Author Topic: Appointed once or twice to die  (Read 1540 times)

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Offline Andy S.

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2014, 01:02:42 AM »


Andy,

Sorry for that very late response.  I've been very much pre-occupied with other things like summer, family, work and such.

I understand your late response.  Family and work is so much more important than trying to give a defense for the clarity of the bible.  However, I did think you abandoned me again.....you know.....like you did in the "Is jesus the son of god or god" thread.  But it is great that you found some time to respond as I enjoy our interactions. 

  Also, I'm not well versed in prophecy, so when you bring up Ezekiel I wanted to take some time and read it. 
So my view of prophecy is that it is cloaked in mystery for a purpose.  There will be things that surprise people in the end, and I believe that is God's intention.  So I haven't gone too far with it since I was a kid when it greatly interested me.  There are people who believe the sacrifices in Ezekiel will be in the millennium but I have a hard time with that because that would mean they are memorial in nature, yet it appears they are for a "sin offering".  Could it still be memorial in nature?  I suppose that it could.  But I don't know for sure and I'm ok with that.  Just like I'm ok with not understanding figurative language that other prophets used.  I will someday spend more time in prophecy and no doubt have a clearer point of view, but in the mean time I have to go with other respected theologians.  Unfortunately the millennial sacrifice view comes from some whom I generally agree with on most other theological issues.

I once again have to remind you that reading your material is just like reading the bible.  It does not take me long to catch a contradiction.  You write in contradictory language just like your god.  The bold contradicts with the underlined.  If it is god's intention to cloak prophecy in mystery then how do you know that you will "NO DOUBT" have a clearer point of view if you study more.  That makes no sense whatsoever!  It is either god's intention to cloak prophecy in mystery or it is not.  If you think it is god's intention to make prophecy mysterious then why would you be so arrogant to say that you would "NO DOUBT" have a clearer point of view?

On a side note, your god is a jerk in my opinion if his prophecy is "cloaked in mystery".  Why isn't your god crystal clear concerning prophecy.  Every "prophecy" mentioned in the bible has multiple interpretations.  If the details of a prophecy are not crystal clear then people can comb through ancient prophecies and shoe-horn current events into them.  You know...like people did with Nostradomus' prophecies or like the New Testament authors did with the so-called prophecies of Jesus.  The details of Prophecies should be clear and not vague and "mysterious"!   

I do think most of the prophecies in the bible are vague but the one prophecy I think is crystal clear is the temple Ezekiel described.  There is nothing really mysterious about this temple.  It is pretty straight forward and the only reason you don't like the straight-forward reading of Ezekiel 40-48 is because it contradicts with Hebrews 9:27.  Sin offerings will be offered in this temple (Ezekiel 40:39) and this can't be possible because Jesus is the last sacrifice once for all (Heb. 9:28).  So instead of noticing this as a contradiction you are going to go with "other respected theologians".  Here is a crazy thought...think for yourself and have some intellectual integrity.  Why are you relying on other theologians?  Don't you think you have this spirit thing inside of you that "guides you into all truth"?           

   
Now this will drive you crazy, but I've always believed (on my own) that figurative speech in the bible can have literal meaning.  In other words, the temple could be figurative pointing to a literal establishment of atonement through Christ.  I don't believe that is the answer in this case, but it helps explain my view regarding figurative language that describes a literal event.  This goes back to my belief that some things are cloaked in mystery for a purpose.


Patrick, if you don't think the temple could be figurative in which it points to a "literal establishment of atonement through Christ" then why did you even bring this up???  You are sounding really indecisive on this.  Your answer to my challenge is sounding....for lack of a better word.....mysterious!

However, I will say that you do not sound insane.  A figurative interpretation of this temple would sound insane to a skeptic.  The temple building is described in precise detail, rather than in symbolic terms. The exact measurements of the wall (40:5), the court (40:47) and the sanctuary (41:4), as well as all the other elements of the construction are provided. What would be the point of such detail if this place did not or will not actually exist? 

But to give you a possible explanation, here is one:

This is not a new temple but the one which had already been constructed by Solomon and was subsequently destroyed by the Chaldeans. In his commentary, Adam Clarke wrote,
"The temple here described by Ezekiel is, in all probability, the same which he saw before his captivity, and which had been burned by the Chaldeans fourteen years before this vision. On comparing the Books of Kings and Chronicles with this prophet, we shall find the same dimensions in the parts described by both; for instance, the temple, or place which comprehended the sanctuary, the holy place, and the vestibule or porch before the temple, is found to measure equally the same both in Ezekiel and the Kings. Compare 1 Kings 6:3-16, with Ezekiel 41:2, etc. The inside ornaments of the temple are entirely the same; in both we see two courts; an inner one for the priests, and an outer one for the people. Compare 1Kings 6:29-36; 2 Chronicles 4:9; and Ezekiel 41:16, Ezekiel 41:17, and Ezekiel 48:7-10. So that there is room to suppose that, in all the rest, the temple of Ezekiel resembled the old one; and that God's design in retracing these ideas in the prophet's memory was to preserve the remembrance of the plan, the dimensions, the ornaments, and whole structure of this Divine edifice; and that at the return from captivity the people might more easily repair it, agreeably to this model."

Sooo....you said you read these chapters in Ezekiel right?  And this is your possible explanation???  First I would like to point out that you have given me a commentary from a person who might be burning in hell right now.  Adam Clarke is not a Trinitarian so you might not even be seeing this dude in heaven according to John 8:24.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Clarke

Secondly, Adam Clarke's commentary on the Ezekiel temple is crap!  I cannot believe you read Ezekiel 40-48 and think that Adam Clarke's view is a possibility.  He says, "This is not a new temple but the one which had already been constructed by Solomon and was subsequently destroyed by the Chaldeans".  And his evidence is that the sanctuary and porch are the same dimensions and the inside ornaments of the temple are entirely the same.  What the hell...does Adam Clarke (and possibly you) interpret the dimensions of the sanctuary and porch as literal but the dimensions of the rest of the construction as figurative? 
   
Architecturally, besides the sanctuary and porch, the dimensions provided in chapters 40-48 do not correspond to Solomon's temple.  Furthermore, the overall design is markedly different from Solomon's temple. Topologically, Ezekiel's temple features a river flowing eastward from the threshold of the temple out to the Jordan Valley (47:1), whereas no river flowed from, through, or even past Solomon's temple. 

In addition, Ezekiel's temple is to be surrounded by a sacred district 25,000 cubits long and 20,000 cubits wide (Ezekiel 45:1). Solomon's temple never incorporated a sacred district.

Moreover, some of Ezekiel’s instructions for the Temple and its service contradict the instructions for Solomon's temple and are a departure from those in the Mosaic Law. For example, Ezekiel’s instruction to make the Altar of Burnt Offering with steps (Ezekiel 43:17) violates a specific commandment in the Mosaic ceremonial legislation against such a construction (Exodus 20:26).

Lastly, if Ezekiel's temple was Solomon's temple as Adam Clarke thinks then there was no need for Ezekiel to give a description of Solomon's Temple since such a description already existed, as preserved in the books of Kings and Chronicles (1 Kings 5:1-8:66; 2 Chronicles 2:1-7:22).  This actually should not be last...it should have been the first thing you thought of but I did get a chuckle out of this commentary and I thank you for that. 

Patrick, Ezekiel's Temple cannot be Solomon's Temple.  As a memorial to Adam Clarke please set this commentary on fire and watch it burn just like Mr. Clarke himself is probably burning in hell because of his wrong interpretation on the nature of Christ. 

 
Strongly related to the above point, this is the temple which the Jews who returned from the Persian captivity could have indeed built if they had not spent many years squabbling over the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls and having various other in-house arguments!

So now Ezekiel is a false prophet???

Secondly you asked me "IF THE READERS KNOW THAT THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO "ONCE" IN THE FIRST PART OF HEB. 9:27 THEN WHY WOULDN'T IT LOGICALLY FOLLOW THAT THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO "ONCE" IN THE SECOND PART OF HEB. 9:27?"
Again, the readers know that he is talking about Christ being the one sacrifice.  There are no exceptions.

There are no exceptions???  Until you give me a better defense for the hope of christ being the one sacrifice I have to conclude that there are exceptions since Ezekiel describes a Temple where there is going to be "sin offerings".  The possible explanation you gave me from Adam Clarke is crap.  You have once again failed to answer my challenge presented to you.  However, I would be interested in hearing another explanation because like I said before, "mental gymnastics is my favorite sport as a spectator".   

If your point is that the bible can't be from God because it isn't written clearly enough to YOUR specifications, then I would say that is exactly your problem!  You are trying to fit God into your view of what He should be saying and how things should work in YOUR mind.  This is the main problem with intelligent atheists and others who think through things but still do not commit to Christ.

Patrick, I think you are right.  I am trying to fit the god of the bible (or any "revealed" god) into my view of what he should be saying and how things should work in MY mind.  If your god doesn't pass this test then he is not a god I can worship. 

The evidence is overwhelming that the bible is the word of man and not the word of a god.  Why do you think there are soooo many different interpretations to verses in the bible?  Do you think it could just be because men were not inspired by god and they were just different men who wrote at different times with different purposes who had different theologies?  Think of all the different translations and different commentaries on the bible.  And you think this bible is all part of god's plan to reveal to humanity his different laws and contradictory nature?  I mean think about all the different denominations and different doctrines in the bible that people argue over.  Your god can't even answer his own prayer that his followers "may all be one" (John 21:17). 

In MY mind, if your god really did exist then he should at least speak from the heavens (as evidenced from the bible) to every generation and clear up a few things that are controversial and confusing.  He should bypass the middleman and not allow fallible man to write down his words.  Or at least allow fallible people to become infallible people when writing down his words so there are not so many contradictions and confusion.  Then it might seem somewhat supernatural.  I might be asking too much but if your all-powerful god cannot even do one of the above then he is not a god I can really worship since heaven and hell are in the balances. 

One more thing, have you ever wondered why the rewards and consequences for disobedience is not clear in the bible?  Sure heaven and hell are mentioned but people argue what people will actually do in these places.  The descriptions of what people will be doing in these places is unclear in the bible.  Do you think it is because....like your god.....these places don't exist?  Your god gives us over a 1500 page book to read and the rewards and consequences are unclear.  This is not a god I can worship since eternity in any one of these places is in the balances.  Do you think your god is ethical to waste space in a 1500 page book that gives us two contradicting genealogies of himself but fails to clearly lay out all the rewards and consequences for rejecting or accepting his plan of salvation?         

Atheists who are full of themselves and yet show irritation at Christians because they are "stupid" don't understand this.  Christianity is not checking your brain in at the door.  It's first being convicted of sin and then seeking salvation in Christ Jesus.  So........I don't think you disbelieve because only because you've found all these contradictions and are getting stuck on literary construct.  It may be that you view your own thoughts so highly that God can no longer be the author of the bible because of too high of a view of yourself.


First, I'm surprised you put "stupid" in quotes.  I don't ever recall calling you stupid.  Gullible maybe but not stupid.

Secondly, you are wrong.  I do not have a high view of myself!!!  This is a little insulting but I'm man enough to take the ad hominen's.  Your god can no longer be the author of the bible because of THE HIGH VIEW I PUT ON EVIDENCE!

 
If we have a bible that was translated from manuscripts from an ancient language to a modern language I would expect some difficulty.


I know huh....those damn people who built the tower of babel screwed up the single language we all shared as humans.  Now if you think this story is actually history then you are extremely stup......I mean gullible.   

But I think we've worked out enough to know how to be saved..............and then some  :)

You think the bible is clear on salvation???  No it's not!  For example, notice I said that Adam Clarke MIGHT BE or PROBABLY is burning in hell right now according to the bible.  I am not certain about this and you can't be certain about this either.  You cannot be certain on the correct interpretation of John 8:24.  Please don't try.  This is not a challenge.  I have heard too much argumentation over this verse.  Thus, salvation is not clear in the bible and this is just one example. 

Do I think that Jesus was a created being?  NO.

Then how do you interpret Rev. 3:14?  Ready, set, scramble for different commentaries  ;D

"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2014, 07:12:05 PM »
First, I'm surprised you put "stupid" in quotes.  I don't ever recall calling you stupid.  Gullible maybe but not stupid.

Secondly, you are wrong.  I do not have a high view of myself!!!  This is a little insulting but I'm man enough to take the ad hominen's.  Your god can no longer be the author of the bible because of THE HIGH VIEW I PUT ON EVIDENCE!

Ok. I'm a little frustrated right now...... I just spent a lot of time answering you and then lost everything.  I'm not sure what happened.  So I don't have time to work on it again tonight.  Will try again later.  But I want to clear this response up first. 
I was not saying that you ever called me stupid.  I was saying that atheists commonly use that type of language and tone.
Regarding your view of yourself.  We all tend to think highly of our viewpoints and it's essential to check our high minded tendencies from time to time.  Look back at my reply and see that it says "may be" an issue.  You and I, and all, would be wise to keep ourselves in check.    It goes back to what I'm saying is essential to coming to an understanding of God and ourselves.   Maybe you disagree with everything the bible says, but I believe and see the evidence of what the bible says.......... that God's ways are not ours and that we do not understand the mind of God.  It also says that the heart of man is deceitful.  If that's true, then we cannot come to God on our own way.  I admit that is the lens which I see the world through.  It doesn't mean that I don't challenge the bible and my view of it.  Otherwise I wouldn't be here.  It just means that I recognize the logical thinking that if there is a God of the universe, then He is much higher than me.  Therefore I must approach Him in humility.  No one can come to understanding any other way. 


Offline Andy S.

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2014, 12:12:47 AM »


Ok. I'm a little frustrated right now...... I just spent a lot of time answering you and then lost everything.  I'm not sure what happened.  So I don't have time to work on it again tonight.  Will try again later.  But I want to clear this response up first.


Hey Patrick, that happened to me too one time last year.  I understand your frustration!

I was not saying that you ever called me stupid.  I was saying that atheists commonly use that type of language and tone.
Regarding your view of yourself.  We all tend to think highly of our viewpoints and it's essential to check our high minded tendencies from time to time.

1. Thanks for clearing up that I never called you "stupid"

2. It is a mistake to generalize any atheist just like it is a mistake to generalize any Christian.  The reason is because there is such a large variety of language, tone and views within the diversity of both camps!  It may be your experience that atheist's always call you "stupid" but I just falsified your viewpoint.  I have never called a Christian stupid.  The reason is because I was once a Christian and I don't think I was ever "stupid".  However, although I never considered myself as "stupid" I definitely feel that I was gullible.  I had an extremely influential pastor and I was hoodwinked for close to five years.  He was almost too good at his job because he encouraged A LOT of bible reading.  He didn't know someone like myself would ever take him serious and actually read the bible everyday.  That's why I'm an atheist!!!

3. Like I said before, I put a high value on EVIDENCE.  I try to base all my opinions on EVIDENCE  and honestly I have a hard time "checking" this part of my viewpoint.  If you want me to "check" my sarcasm or tone I would be happy to do that but I hope to never "check" my "high minded tendency" towards EVIDENCE!         

Maybe you disagree with everything the bible says, but I believe and see the evidence of what the bible says.......... that God's ways are not ours and that we do not understand the mind of God.


Did you just say EVIDENCE!!!  I would love to hear any evidence for the credibility of your specific god and his bible!  Without the presupposition that the bible is true you are in an argument from ignorance when you say, "God's ways are not ours and that we do not understand the mind of God".

I couldn't put it better than Thomas Paine when it comes to the EVIDENCE and truth of the bible and doctrines that come out of Christian churches.  He writes:

"The study of theology as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and admits of no conclusion.  Not any thing can be studied as a science without our being in possession of the principles upon which it is founded; and as this is not the case with Christian theology, it is therefore the study of nothing."

Patrick, the reason why you have "nothing" is because the documents that you rely so heavily on are peppered with inconsistencies and are unreliable.

The best you have is probably a personal experience or some sort of "anecdote".  However, we all know what kind of evidence an anecdote is:

"Anecdotal evidence is an informal account of evidence in the form of an anecdote. The term is often used in contrast to scientific evidence, as evidence that cannot be investigated using the scientific method. The problem with arguing based on anecdotal evidence is that anecdotal evidence is not necessarily typical; only statistical evidence can determine how typical something is. Misuse of anecdotal evidence is an informal fallacy."

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdote

It also says that the heart of man is deceitful.

Patrick, I'm going to say that you have a greater "heart" than your god.  I would say that your god is more deceitful than you Patrick.  Your moral compass is greater than the god that you worship.  Since we are studying a bit of Ezekiel let me give you this verse.

Ezekiel 20:24-26 states:

"Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.
   
Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
   
And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD."

Patrick, do you give your kids "statutes that are not good"?  If you don't then you are less deceitful than your god.     

I admit that is the lens which I see the world through.  It doesn't mean that I don't challenge the bible and my view of it.  Otherwise I wouldn't be here.

Patrick, this is what I really appreciate about you.  The constant approach to "challenge the bible" is an admirable quality you have.  The trick is to try to read the bible with different presuppositions.  My favorite is the non-divinely inspired, multiple authors with different theologies presupposition.  All of the inconsistencies in the bible make a lot more since to me with this presupposition!     

It just means that I recognize the logical thinking that if there is a God of the universe, then He is much higher than me.

This is an argument from ignorance.  You can't be completely certain that there is only one God of the entire universe or that he is much higher than you.  Without proving to me your specific god, your sentence could just as well read, "If there are Gods of the universe, then they are much higher than me".  Both are just ideas with little evidence. 

God's ways are not ours and that we do not understand the mind of God.
Therefore I must approach Him in humility.  No one can come to understanding any other way.

This is interesting.  Do you have any scripture I can turn to that says I can't come to an understanding of scripture without approaching your god with humility?  I'm sure I'm asking the right person since you seem like a really humble person.  However, I have been hoodwinked before. ;D
"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2014, 12:44:04 PM »

I understand your late response.  Family and work is so much more important than trying to give a defense for the clarity of the bible.  However, I did think you abandoned me again.....you know.....like you did in the "Is jesus the son of god or god" thread.  But it is great that you found some time to respond as I enjoy our interactions. 


A balance in life is important otherwise all things suffer. I thought that I left the ball in your court to consider the debate between Hommel and BeDuhn?   



I once again have to remind you that reading your material is just like reading the bible.  It does not take me long to catch a contradiction.  You write in contradictory language just like your god.  The bold contradicts with the underlined.  If it is god's intention to cloak prophecy in mystery then how do you know that you will "NO DOUBT" have a clearer point of view if you study more.  That makes no sense whatsoever!  It is either god's intention to cloak prophecy in mystery or it is not.  If you think it is god's intention to make prophecy mysterious then why would you be so arrogant to say that you would "NO DOUBT" have a clearer point of view?

Well thanks.  If I sound like my GOD then I must be doing something right!  Arrogant?  Really?  It’s so important to ask someone what they mean by a word or sentence they wrote, rather than jumping to conclusions. It’s common to abbreviate sentences assuming that the reader understands.  For you it seems that I need to spell out everything, which will make for long conversations.
When I said that I’ll no doubt have a clearer point of view, I meant that I am currently ignorant of the Ezekiel topic.  So IF I spend sufficient time on it, I will then be able to take a position.  That means I expect a clearer point of view moving from a place of ignorance to a place of better knowledge. 
It doesn’t mean that I’ll know for sure what that part of the bible means.  I might decide that I just don’t know for sure, or maybe given enough time it will become clearer to me, even if it is narrowing down the possibilities.
As far as the word “cloak” goes, that means it may be difficult but not impossible to uncover.  A cloak can be removed or removed for you if you believe, as I do, that God reveals Himself.  You are so bent on finding contradictions in my words it makes for very long responses to you.  Do you really not know what I mean?  This is similar to the Hebrews 9 argument.  The verse is clear, you are just trying hard to make it sound contradictory in order to fit your predisposition towards unbelief. While debating Ezekiel could be very interesting, it is not the issue when it comes to deciding whether or not God is real.  If I say that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy by becoming the ONE sacrifice, you will say that I just made that up in order to make the bible fit what I want to believe.  Right? 
It seems to me the deeper issue is if visions are mysterious you consider them to be fictional, because in your mind if there was a God that Christians describe as loving then He would reveal Himself more plainly.  If visions are clear, and yet they haven’t been fulfilled or don’t SEEM able to be fulfilled without contradicting scripture, then you claim the bible is false.  Therefore God MUST reveal Himself in much more plain meanings in order for you to believe or we must NOT trust God with the revelation of future events that don’t currently make sense.  True?  Yet, within all of this prophecy has been fulfilled in Christ as the one true sacrifice for those, like Abraham who were justified simply because he humbly obeyed and had faith.  Faith is the key.  It doesn’t happen without giving up our hard hearts.  To me, a “hard heart” means selfish pride in my ways of thinking.  Lacking faith in God that He will work out the details.  It means that recognizing that my tendency is toward sin and away from God. 
Specifically to Hebrews 9, I understand your issue as a problem in mainly in two ways.  One, is that the author didn’t think about Lazarus being raised from the dead and you are asserting that Hebrews can’t be inspired because the God that Christians describe wouldn’t have made that mistake.  Thereby making a contradiction when saying Jesus in the “one….”. Two, is that Hebrews 9 is a problem because it’s contradictory due to Ezekiel’s vision, which must be taken literally and therefore makes Christ’s “once for all” sacrifice become insufficient, due to the statements in the vision as sacrifices for atonement or for sin offering.
My answer for Hebrews 9:27 is that it offers an analogy of men (in general, as a common rule) dying once, then judgment.  Then relates the general rule to the specific atonement of Christ as dying once for all, so the reader is not confused, and the analogy is clear communication of the doctrine of salvation (and encouragement to those who already understand).
As for Ezekiel, I don’t have a position on this, but am sure that Ezekiel’s vision will play out in a way that is consistent with God’s word.  Yes, I will go with an interpretation that aligns with the rest of scripture.  If it makes sense to me that Christ is the one true sacrifice and all the temple detail given to Ezekiel was for a purpose, possibly to glorify the perfection of Christ, then good.  I don’t know at this time, and I don’t take a hard position.  I understand why you are tying Ezekiel to the Hebrews verse because in your mind it “proves” a contradiction, but in my mind you are predisposed to unbelief, therefore you easily arrive at conclusions to fit your predisposition.  I understand that you arrived at an atheist viewpoint based on study of the scriptures.  But during that process of moving from belief to unbelief, you were at some point in a state of neutrality, considering both sides (the atheist vs Christian view) of scripture.   I seriously doubt you are looking through the neutral lens of your mind’s eye anymore and therefore can easily take shots at a Christian position and easily arrive at conclusions that appear to be a checkmate against Christianity.

On a side note, your god is a jerk in my opinion if his prophecy is "cloaked in mystery".  Why isn't your god crystal clear concerning prophecy.  Every "prophecy" mentioned in the bible has multiple interpretations.  If the details of a prophecy are not crystal clear then people can comb through ancient prophecies and shoe-horn current events into them.  You know...like people did with Nostradomus' prophecies or like the New Testament authors did with the so-called prophecies of Jesus.  The details of Prophecies should be clear and not vague and "mysterious"!   


I used to wonder why God doesn’t just reveal Himself.  Really struggled with that one.  This is the central question of this website isn’t it?  Why doesn’t God just show everyone that He’s real by healing an amputee………right? 
It’s difficult.  But there are answers to that, and I’ve arrived at my own conclusions.  It’s one of those things that we who think a lot have to work out for ourselves.  But ultimately requires faith and not just being shown physical proof all the time.  Not that physical proof isn't there at all because Jesus did reveal Himself with miracles.  So we do have some evidence.  But even Jesus said that Thomas should have faith more than proof.  In Jesus parable of the rich man in hell, the rich man was told that a dead man (Lazarus) going back to warn the brothers of the rich man wouldn't be enough to change their hearts if they don't already believe.  That Moses (the law) and the prophets were enough proof.   
Paul lays out the evidence of man's wickedness apart from God and the evidence of creation (God's attributes). 
There is evidence but man will not see it if he thinks there is nothing wrong with him to begin with.  Don't confuse my saying this with a general good that most people display when they excercise restraint, compared with outright unrestrained evil.  But excercising restraint in itself proves there is a problem with man's heart. 

I do think most of the prophecies in the bible are vague but the one prophecy I think is crystal clear is the temple Ezekiel described.  There is nothing really mysterious about this temple.  It is pretty straight forward and the only reason you don't like the straight-forward reading of Ezekiel 40-48 is because it contradicts with Hebrews 9:27.  Sin offerings will be offered in this temple (Ezekiel 40:39) and this can't be possible because Jesus is the last sacrifice once for all (Heb. 9:28).  So instead of noticing this as a contradiction you are going to go with "other respected theologians".  Here is a crazy thought...think for yourself and have some intellectual integrity.  Why are you relying on other theologians?  Don't you think you have this spirit thing inside of you that "guides you into all truth"?   


No, I’m not “going with” other respected theologians on this subject.  That’s not what I said. However, it would be very arrogant to ignore other’s thoughts on a subject, especially those who’s job it is to study these things. This is not my central occupation, of course I read and listen to various viewpoints, THEN I weigh it out against other sources and opinions, including my own view after reading the text, before taking a position.  As far as the HOLY SPIRIT goes, Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would guide them to all truth.  John 16.  That is one reason why the bible is the foundation.  BTW, Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as a person and said in this chapter the Holy Spirit receives His words from Jesus.  Think Trinity. 

 
Patrick, if you don't think the temple could be figurative in which it points to a "literal establishment of atonement through Christ" then why did you even bring this up???  You are sounding really indecisive on this.  Your answer to my challenge is sounding....for lack of a better word.....mysterious!


You are right about being indecisive on this and indecisive means I’m honestly considering the possibilities.  While you are right about the temple not being the same as Solomon’s temple, taking some of Clarke’s thoughts about the temple being something that the Jews “could have had” is something that I’m considering.  Don’t jump to conclusions now.  I’m just writing down my thought process.  Maybe being open with you is too confusing to you.  Particularly with this subject, since I don’t have a position yet. 


However, I will say that you do not sound insane.  A figurative interpretation of this temple would sound insane to a skeptic.  The temple building is described in precise detail, rather than in symbolic terms. The exact measurements of the wall (40:5), the court (40:47) and the sanctuary (41:4), as well as all the other elements of the construction are provided. What would be the point of such detail if this place did not or will not actually exist? 


First of all, I brought it up because I’m just showing you that I am looking at the various views out there.  I said that I need to learn the subject matter first. Visions that men in the bible had, obviously had figurative and symbolic attachments.  So that could be part of the answer. 
I think that Ezekiel’s vision will work itself out in time and revelation of its specific meaning.  While I’m not worried about it, I will keep working on it too. 
It seems that if an Old Testament believer understood Isaiah 53 literally he should have concluded that the Messiah would be the final sacrifice for sin.  But that wouldn’t have correlated well with his current understanding of the Mosaic Law that prohibited human sacrifice.  He may not have been able to justify the literal reading of Isaiah 53, but in the course of progressive revelation and the coming of Jesus, the apparent contradiction became clear.  The same thing may be true with the literal interpretation of Ezekiel’s temple vision. 



First I would like to point out that you have given me a commentary from a person who might be burning in hell right now.  Adam Clarke is not a Trinitarian so you might not even be seeing this dude in heaven according to John 8:24.

Adam Clarke is not in hell if he believed this.  Here are a few of his quotes:

As long as I believe Jesus Christ to be the Infinite Eternal I AM…….
On His (Jesus’) Godhead, the foundation of the salvation of my soul is laid: everything therefore that derogates from that, I most cordially reject.
"It is the same of the Holy Ghost, (of whom the Evangelist does not speak here, because his design was only to make Jesus Christ known.) The Father and the Son love one another with an infinite love; — that love is the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and the Son by way of spiration, and who makes the third person of that adorable Trinity.

This is my point about the entire subject of visions like Ezekiel’s.  It is a secondary issue.  So even if Clarke’s view of Ezekiel was wrong, the man was saved if he believed in Christ as he said.  I would go so far as to say that even if his view of Christ wasn’t perfect, it doesn’t matter.   
I’m not a Universalist either, btw. 


Patrick, I think you are right.  I am trying to fit the god of the bible (or any "revealed" god) into my view of what he should be saying and how things should work in MY mind.  If your god doesn't pass this test then he is not a god I can worship. 


I suppose that’s the end of it then.  It doesn’t mean that you’ve got more sense than a Christian does though.  It doesn’t mean that a Christian who knows just as much as you do about the bible and surrounding history is ignoring the facts and is intentionally delusional either.  What I don’t understand is why atheists are so bent on proselytizing their beliefs with forums in such a way as to make Christians out to be stupid or mean or ……..many other negative ways  that are used to describe them in both tone and adjectives.  I understand that if a so called Christian isn’t living up to the standard to love his neighbor and general kindness, that he is opening himself up to criticism.   But it seems that atheists attack Christians for their core beliefs rather than not living up to the good standards in the bible.  Wouldn’t it be better to respect the good in Christian thought and leave the verbal abuse to themselves?  Again, I’m not accusing you of this, but surely you see it a lot on this board.  To be clear, I’m ok with healthy debate over issues.  But it gets personal very quickly in the internet world.  As a person who keeps up on current events and sees the persecution of Christians in many places around the globe, I think demeaning tones and outright cutting words will contribute to persecution in the USA in the future.  As hard as that may be to believe, you find yourself standing in the atheist camp with a lot of people who believe in the eradication of Christian thought.  It’s not a far stretch to see eradication evolving to the person as well. 


The evidence is overwhelming that the bible is the word of man and not the word of a god.  Why do you think there are soooo many different interpretations to verses in the bible?  Do you think it could just be because men were not inspired by god and they were just different men who wrote at different times with different purposes who had different theologies?  Think of all the different translations and different commentaries on the bible.  And you think this bible is all part of god's plan to reveal to humanity his different laws and contradictory nature?  I mean think about all the different denominations and different doctrines in the bible that people argue over.  Your god can't even answer his own prayer that his followers "may all be one" (John 21:17).
In MY mind, if your god really did exist then he should at least speak from the heavens (as evidenced from the bible) to every generation and clear up a few things that are controversial and confusing.  He should bypass the middleman and not allow fallible man to write down his words.  Or at least allow fallible people to become infallible people when writing down his words so there are not so many contradictions and confusion.  Then it might seem somewhat supernatural.  I might be asking too much but if your all-powerful god cannot even do one of the above then he is not a god I can really worship since heaven and hell are in the balances. 


I don’t think there are so many different interpretations of the essentials in the bible.  Yes, there are many who disagree on things like Ezekiel visions.  But those can all be in the “saved” camp. 
I’ll acknowledge there are modern day cults, who interpret the bible differently.  But I don’t have all the answers to why.  I personally think that the essentials of the faith are plain.  There are many reasons why people veer off. For example: Lately I’ve been looking at the JW’s history.  It appears that one problem Mr. Russell had with traditional Christianity was the concept of eternal hell.  It seems that the Mormons have a similar problem.  I’ll also acknowledge that there are “Christian” denominations that teach only the love of God and some that over emphasize the wrath of God.  Missing the balance (that atheists would call bi-polar) of God’s justice with His love.   So maybe it has to do with man not submitting completely to the plain words in the bible without trying to interject his own concept of what God should be like.  I’m relating this obviously, to your comment that God should say or work in a way that makes sense to you.  By your many points of scrutiny it appears that God should ALWAYS make sense to you otherwise you won’t accept Him.  True?


One more thing, have you ever wondered why the rewards and consequences for disobedience are not clear in the bible?  Sure heaven and hell are mentioned but people argue what people will actually do in these places.  The descriptions of what people will be doing in these places is unclear in the bible.  Do you think it is because....like your god.....these places don't exist?  Your god gives us over a 1500 page book to read and the rewards and consequences are unclear.  This is not a god I can worship since eternity in any one of these places is in the balances.  Do you think your god is ethical to waste space in a 1500 page book that gives us two contradicting genealogies of himself but fails to clearly lay out all the rewards and consequences for rejecting or accepting his plan of salvation?   


Are you honestly asking me if I question whether heaven and hell exist?  I think you know what I believe. 
I keep it simple.  Rewards are His to reveal, but I look forward to eternal life where there is no more pain, sin, suffering, in His presence.  That sounds good to me.  It’s certainly better than conscious torment without the presence of anything good (God).       

You think the bible is clear on salvation???  No it's not!  For example, notice I said that Adam Clarke MIGHT BE or PROBABLY is burning in hell right now according to the bible.  I am not certain about this and you can't be certain about this either.  You cannot be certain on the correct interpretation of John 8:24.  Please don't try.  This is not a challenge.  I have heard too much argumentation over this verse.  Thus, salvation is not clear in the bible and this is just one example.
 


John 8:24…….I am He.  Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, the One that the Jews have been waiting for, the eternal Son.  The One whom Adam Clarke believed in.  Maybe Clarke’s specific view of what eternal Son meant was different than his peers, but my brief reading of his letter doesn’t appear to disqualify him. 
 

Then how do you interpret Rev. 3:14?  Ready, set, scramble for different commentaries   


It’s saying that Jesus is the source of creation.  Strongs G746: the first place, principality, rule, magistracy




Offline Andy S.

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2014, 11:07:34 PM »

A balance in life is important otherwise all things suffer. I thought that I left the ball in your court to consider the debate between Hommel and BeDuhn?


Hey Patrick,  I do not have a lot of time tonight to answer all your points in this post but I have just enough time to address these first two sentences of yours. 

1.)  It is important that we keep a balance in life!  I appreciate your patience with me as I am patient with you as I understand you have a family like I have. 

2.) Not to really dwell on past threads but you did not "leave the ball in my court"!  We had a few conversations after you brought up this debate in the thread entitled "Is Jesus the son of god or god".  The reason I didn't touch the ball that you threw in my court is because this debate between Hommel and DeBuhn had absolutely nothing to do with the "I AM's" of John 8:24,58.  This debate was over John 1:1 and had nothing to do with John 8:24,58.  Until I'm given further evidence I'm left to believe that you side-tracked me with this debate over John 1:1 because you had absolutely no rebuttal to DeBuhn's arguments concerning the "I AM's" of John.  Why else would you side-track the thread?  John 1:1 was not even in my post (#98)!!!

One last thing, can you clarify a few things for me?  You say salvation is clear in the bible and just wanted to get your view on the "I AM".  Concerning Adam Clarke you said, "I would go so far as to say that even if his view of Christ wasn’t perfect, it doesn’t matter."  I'm guessing you meant that it doesn't matter for salvation. 

1.) Is the "I AM" of John 8:58 a title for god (Ex. 3:14)? 
2.) Is the "I AM" of John 8:24 a title for god or just a verb? 
3.) Does one at least have to believe that Jesus was the "I AM" of the Old Testament in order to be saved? 
4.) It does seem (according to your undocumented source) that Adam Clarke believed that Jesus was the "I AM" and is this why you think he was saved?

Can you please provide a reason for your yes or no answer to these questions.  Thanks Patrick!   



"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2014, 01:58:39 AM »


2.) Not to really dwell on past threads but you did not "leave the ball in my court"!  We had a few conversations after you brought up this debate in the thread entitled "Is Jesus the son of god or god".  The reason I didn't touch the ball that you threw in my court is because this debate between Hommel and DeBuhn had absolutely nothing to do with the "I AM's" of John 8:24,58.  This debate was over John 1:1 and had nothing to do with John 8:24,58.  Until I'm given further evidence I'm left to believe that you side-tracked me with this debate over John 1:1 because you had absolutely no rebuttal to DeBuhn's arguments concerning the "I AM's" of John.  Why else would you side-track the thread?  John 1:1 was not even in my post (#98)!!!

One last thing, can you clarify a few things for me?  You say salvation is clear in the bible and just wanted to get your view on the "I AM".  Concerning Adam Clarke you said, "I would go so far as to say that even if his view of Christ wasn’t perfect, it doesn’t matter."  I'm guessing you meant that it doesn't matter for salvation. 

It related to the Trinity therefore I sent it to you for that purpose.   
I think what matters is trusting in Jesus as your salvation from sin and spiritual death, and that is more than just head knowledge or a good feeling inside.  In practice it is repentance and turning from known sin and moving toward being like Christ. 

1.) Is the "I AM" of John 8:58 a title for god (Ex. 3:14)? 
2.) Is the "I AM" of John 8:24 a title for god or just a verb? 
3.) Does one at least have to believe that Jesus was the "I AM" of the Old Testament in order to be saved? 
4.) It does seem (according to your undocumented source) that Adam Clarke believed that Jesus was the "I AM" and is this why you think he was saved?

Can you please provide a reason for your yes or no answer to these questions.  Thanks Patrick!   

1.  I AM in the Greek may be a good title, though I'm not sure the Jews understood it as a "title". To just isolate that verse without context I would be forced to say it means Jesus is saying that He simply existed before Abraham.  So isolated it appears to be just a verb, but in the context of John 1:1, John 5:18, and other verses, it had a meaning that made Him equal with God and angered the Pharisees enough to try and kill Him. 
2.  See above.   
3.  Since Abraham was "justified by faith", I think that a Gentile who doesn't understand the old testament doesn't have to know a lot but needs to have faith in Jesus as his Savior and Lord.  If over time, it is revealed to that person more revelation of who God is and that person rejects Christ based on a clear thought process and rejecting the deity of Jesus, then I think that person becomes culpable like the Pharisees to whom Jesus was addressing when He said "unless you do not believe that I AM He....."
When does culpability begin and salvation cease for that person?  I don't think salvation ends for a person who is humbly and with all contrition seeking to know God and Christ his Savior.  I do think that it's dangerous territory if a person becomes openly divisive, hostile to other Christians,  self serving, and I don't think those behaviors happen if a person is humbly with his whole being praying to the Lord for guidance on subjects that seem confusing to the individual. 
4.  http://www.mybrethren.org/memora/framadam.htm
Clarke did not believe in the "eternal Sonship of Christ".  Clarke believed that would take away the eternality of Jesus because the Son would by definition have to be created by the Father.  Clarke reasoned that the Word was in the Father in the beginning and therefore pre-existed always in God the Father.  The "Word became flesh" and then manifested Himself to mankind being sent from the Father as a perfect image of God Himself. 


Offline Andy S.

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2014, 12:43:46 AM »

It related to the Trinity therefore I sent it to you for that purpose. 


I disagree!  Your purpose was to derail the tread off of the "I AM" arguments and try to re-direct attention to John 1:1.  The argument was if Jesus (red letters) ever specifically called himself god through the "I AM's".  The argument was not if some anonymous writer did or didn't call Jesus god in John 1:1.

I am OK with this because I feel pretty good with all my research.  Through all my research (#98 of "Is Jesus god or the son of god") I have concluded that Jesus did not make himself out to be the "I AM" of Exodus 3:14 and I have not heard any convincing rebuttals to my post.  I have also posted my research elsewhere and I am pretty convinced that the overwhelming majority of Christians have a wrong understanding of the "I AM" (ego eimi).  I am open to any counter arguments but have not seen any including any from you.   

   
I think what matters is trusting in Jesus as your salvation from sin and spiritual death, and that is more than just head knowledge or a good feeling inside. 

You think???  This sounds like a lot of speculation.  I am not looking for "I think" at the beginning of a sentence.  I am looking for "Thus sayeth the Lord" and then some scripture.  C'mon Patrick...you are trying to defend your argument that the doctrine of salvation is clear in the bible with this language???  This is extremely unconvincing to a skeptic.   

1.  I AM in the Greek may be a good title, though I'm not sure the Jews understood it as a "title". To just isolate that verse without context I would be forced to say it means Jesus is saying that He simply existed before Abraham.  So isolated it appears to be just a verb, but in the context of John 1:1, John 5:18, and other verses, it had a meaning that made Him equal with God and angered the Pharisees enough to try and kill Him. 
2.  See above.   
3.  Since Abraham was "justified by faith", I think that a Gentile who doesn't understand the old testament doesn't have to know a lot but needs to have faith in Jesus as his Savior and Lord.  If over time, it is revealed to that person more revelation of who God is and that person rejects Christ based on a clear thought process and rejecting the deity of Jesus, then I think that person becomes culpable like the Pharisees to whom Jesus was addressing when He said "unless you do not believe that I AM He....."
When does culpability begin and salvation cease for that person?  I don't think salvation ends for a person who is humbly and with all contrition seeking to know God and Christ his Savior.  I do think that it's dangerous territory if a person becomes openly divisive, hostile to other Christians,  self serving, and I don't think those behaviors happen if a person is humbly with his whole being praying to the Lord for guidance on subjects that seem confusing to the individual.


Thanks Patrick for your answers to my questions.  I know these questions are difficult for you and I know this simply because you failed to give me a dogmatic "Yes" or "No" to every single question like I kindly asked.  How hard is it to give me a straightforward "yes" or "no" to these questions?  Could it be that the doctrine of salvation is not really clear in the bible???  Based on your answers, I still have no idea if someone has to believe that Jesus is the "I AM" of Exodus 3:14 to be saved.  But please note that I am not frustrated with you.  I am amused and entertained as I am watching some spectacular mental gymnastics. ;D 

Your answer to #1 was especially entertaining.  Sooooo....your not sure that the Jews understood "I AM" to be a title for god but "I AM" had a meaning that made Him equal with God???  Priceless.  Thanks for the laugh!!!

Actually your answer to #3 was pretty comical as well.  Concerning John Clarke in a previous post you said, "I would go so far as to say that even if his view of Christ wasn’t perfect, it doesn’t matter" but in your answer #3 you say, "If over time, it is revealed to that person more revelation of who God is and that person rejects Christ based on a clear thought process and rejecting the deity of Jesus" then that person is culpable of their salvation ceasing.  Sooooo....does a perfect view of Christ matter or not?  What if god revealed to John Clarke a so-called perfect view of the Trinitarian god and John Clarke rejected this perfect view?  Now you can't be so certain that his salvation didn't cease.  There are way too many gray areas with this thinking when it comes to the doctrine of salvation.  Your answer not only seems to contradict with your last post but this answer seems extremely speculative.       

This was a set up if you couldn't already smell it.  This is something that is extremely important for you to look at.  The bold letters are what I want you to look at.  This is not language that a skeptic would see as convincing to prove that salvation is clear in the bible.  Like I said before, these questions dealt with the doctrine of salvation and I'm looking for "Thus sayeth the Lord" and then some scripture.  As a skeptic, it is evident to me from your language that your conclusions concerning salvation are subjective and speculative.

This is all good and this is a great lesson for you to learn.  Until you can be more dogmatic with your answers to these questions you can never ever ever say that salvation is clear in the bible based.  So next time anyone, including your kid(s), ask you if the doctrine of salvation is clear in the bible you have to say (if you are honest): "I cannot say with 100% certainty that salvation is clear in the bible.  Some things concerning salvation are clear but there is at least one controversial verse that makes the doctrine of salvation unclear.  I THINK salvation is clear but I cannot be entirely dogmatic based on the ambiguity of at least one verse (John 8:24) in the bible."

This is just one verse I provided for you but there are other verses that makes the doctrine of salvation out to be an ambiguous doctrine.   

Moreover, when someone comes to you and asks how they can become saved it would be intellectually honest of you to start your sentence off with "I think...". 

Sorry for the temporary derailment of this thread but it drives me absolutely nuts when Christian apologists lie and dogmatically say that the doctrine of salvation is clear in the bible.  You don't have to answer anything in this post but I just wanted you to see how a skeptic views your answers to these questions.  Judging from your answers to my questions one would have to be extremely gullible to believe that salvation is crystal clear in the bible.


4.  http://www.mybrethren.org/memora/framadam.htm
Clarke did not believe in the "eternal Sonship of Christ".  Clarke believed that would take away the eternality of Jesus because the Son would by definition have to be created by the Father.  Clarke reasoned that the Word was in the Father in the beginning and therefore pre-existed always in God the Father.  The "Word became flesh" and then manifested Himself to mankind being sent from the Father as a perfect image of God Himself.

It is funny that Clarke used the word Trinity in this link.  He has no idea what the definition to the word Trinity is.  He says he believes in the the Trinity but then in this link he says: "I shall reject the common notion of his 'Eternal Sonship'; not only because it is an absurdity and palpable contradiction, but because I cannot find it in the Bible."

I understand what you are saying in that Clarke thought the word was eternal but not the son but the definition to the Trinity is NOT "One god in three persons: The father, the word, and the holy spirit".  The definition is "one god in three persons: the father, son and holy spirit and all three are co-eternal..."  It's funny that he says he believes in the Trinity but doesn't even know the definition to the trinity.  Like most Christians who try to defend the doctrine of the trinity, this seems like one confused fellow. 

I don't have time tonight to respond to any of your responses in your second to last post but I promise to get to them soon.

 
"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline Andy S.

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2014, 11:25:32 PM »
While debating Ezekiel could be very interesting, it is not the issue when it comes to deciding whether or not God is real.  If I say that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy by becoming the ONE sacrifice, you will say that I just made that up in order to make the bible fit what I want to believe.  Right?

Hey Patrick, this was a long post of yours but I think I have time to pick apart half of it.  I will try to respond to the rest of it sometime this weekend or maybe early next week.

Yes, if you say that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Ezekiel 40-48 by becoming the one sacrifice, I will say that you just made that up in order to make the bible fit what you want to believe.  You would have to give me some kind of convincing evidence to show me how Jesus could have fulfilled this prophecy.  You could try but I have a feeling that you would sound like some of the people today who try to shoe-horn current events into Nostrodomus' so-called prophecies.  But you can try to make a case as I am addicted to entertainment.       


If visions are clear, and yet they haven’t been fulfilled or don’t SEEM able to be fulfilled without contradicting scripture, then you claim the bible is false.  Therefore God MUST reveal Himself in much more plain meanings in order for you to believe or we must NOT trust God with the revelation of future events that don’t currently make sense.  True?

Wow Patrick, you are two for two!  Yes, referring to prophecy, your god MUST reveal himself "in much more plain meanings" in order for me to believe that there is some kind of supernatural validity to his prophecies.  Why would I trust your god when there is no good evidence that any of his so-called clear prophecies ever came true?  When you scratch beneath the surface of any so-called prophecy revealed in the bible there is an element of ambiguity and vagueness.  There is no WOW factor.   

Yet, within all of this prophecy has been fulfilled in Christ as the one true sacrifice for those, like Abraham who were justified simply because he humbly obeyed and had faith.  Faith is the key.  It doesn’t happen without giving up our hard hearts.  To me, a “hard heart” means selfish pride in my ways of thinking.  Lacking faith in God that He will work out the details.  It means that recognizing that my tendency is toward sin and away from God.

I can see how you can interpret "hard heart" as selfish pride in one's thinking.  However, there is evidence in the bible that your god actually hardened my heart (Ex. 10:1,10:20,10:27,11:10,14:8.  If your god exists then he is a jerk for hardening my heart and giving me a "spirit" of skepticism.  Damn it, if your god didn't harden my heart with skepticism then maybe I could have the gullible faith and free will to actually choose your god.  :D   

And yes, of course I lack faith in your god that he will work out the details of the Exekiel temple in the future.  I'M A SKEPTIC!  I look for testable claims that the bible puts forth so I can examine the validity of your god's ability to actually fullfill his predictions.  For example, when the author of Mathew says, "There are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the son of man coming in his kingdom" (16:28), I look for signs that this god of yours is trustworthy.  The fact that your god failed to deliver on this prediction of his makes me really question if he can actually deliver on working out the details of Ezekiel 40-48 in the future. 

If you think being a skeptic is a sin then I guess I am in sin.  I PRIDE myself in not coming to a full conclusion on any topic until I am given adequate and convincing evidence.  Your god dropped a major turd in the pool by saying he would return in the generation of his followers (Mk. 13:30).  Call me crazy but I can't trust anyone who says they will "work out the details" in the future when they already got one prediction wrong.  In other words, I don't like swimming in a pool when there is already a turd in it!       

As for Ezekiel, I don’t have a position on this, but am sure that Ezekiel’s vision will play out in a way that is consistent with God’s word.

What a ridiculous presupposition to have!  There is more evidence in the bible that there are irreconcilable contradictions than there is evidence that prophecies will "play out" in the end.  Why don't you lose your confirmation bias and see this for what it really is......A CONTRADICTION!  What is the problem?  You do admit to there being contradictions in the bible don't you?  You do concede to the bible having errors don't you?  Then why don't you just chalk this one up to being another contradiction in your god's holy book until you are given more evidence that this is not a contradiction.  That is the more honest presupposition to have. 

To presuppose that your god will work out contradictions in the end is a view that is not well-supported.....even in the bible.     


I understand why you are tying Ezekiel to the Hebrews verse because in your mind it “proves” a contradiction, but in my mind you are predisposed to unbelief, therefore you easily arrive at conclusions to fit your predisposition.

Wrong, in my mind I am predisposed to GOOD EVIDENCE.  I don't know how many times I have to tell you that.  The GOOD EVIDENCE has led me to unbelief but I arrive at conclusions based on EVIDENCE!   

I seriously doubt you are looking through the neutral lens of your mind’s eye anymore and therefore can easily take shots at a Christian position and easily arrive at conclusions that appear to be a checkmate against Christianity.

The evidence I have found regarding the Ezekiel Temple is not a "checkmate against Christianity" as a whole.  However, I believe it is a checkmate against the clarity to the doctrine of the atonement within Christianity.  I have you in checkmate and you answer me by saying, "you do not have me in checkmate.  God will get my king out of checkmate.......you just have to have faith that he will work out the details in the future".  With these rules of yours it is doubtful that there will ever be an end to this game.

The fact that it appears I have a checkmate position on the clarity of the doctrine of atonement makes your god look pretty pathetic.  Isn't the doctrine of atonement a central doctrine to Christianity?   

I used to wonder why God doesn’t just reveal Himself.  Really struggled with that one.  This is the central question of this website isn’t it?  Why doesn’t God just show everyone that He’s real by healing an amputee………right? 
It’s difficult.  But there are answers to that, and I’ve arrived at my own conclusions.  It’s one of those things that we who think a lot have to work out for ourselves.  But ultimately requires faith and not just being shown physical proof all the time.  Not that physical proof isn't there at all because Jesus did reveal Himself with miracles.  So we do have some evidence.


Did you just say "physical proof"???  Uhhhhh.....I don't think so.

Yeah you have some evidence but it is extremely weak evidence.  Now don't be gullible enough to think I am an actual prophet but I predicted you would say something like this in my #31 reply.  I said that the best evidence you probably have is anecdotal.  Then I gave you an explanation and a link to point out to you that anecdotal evidence is not very reliable.

Patrick, the miracles that Jesus performed is based on just stories.....you know.....anecdotes.       


But even Jesus said that Thomas should have faith more than proof.


Just a bit of advice.  If you ever want to argue the bible with a skeptic never bring up the story of Thomas.  Should I just have "faith" that the story of doubting Thomas in John 20 is reliable.  By doing so I would be giving up something that I value so deeply in my life......my skepticism.  I can't be so sure that the story of doubting Thomas even happened because the bible told me so.  I doubt the validity of the the doubting Thomas story!  The writer of Luke says that Thomas was present at the first post-resurrection appearance of Jesus (Luke 24:33). 

In Jesus parable of the rich man in hell, the rich man was told that a dead man (Lazarus) going back to warn the brothers of the rich man wouldn't be enough to change their hearts if they don't already believe.  That Moses (the law) and the prophets were enough proof.

Enough proof of what???   That one has to believe that Jesus is god and also the son of god at the same time and was sent by his father to die and rise in three days to atone for the sins of mankind???  Good luck trying to find these claims in the "law" and the "prophets".  Some more advice.....if you really want to hang on to your Christian faith do not google "why don't the Jews accept Jesus as their Messiah".


Well, I know I only picked apart half of this long post of yours and I will try to get to the rest of it this weekend or it might have to be early next week.  I'm getting a puppy for the family tomorrow night.  Pray for me! :laugh:     
 
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 11:34:08 PM by Andy S. »
"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline Andy S.

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2014, 12:00:49 AM »

I think that Ezekiel’s vision will work itself out in time and revelation of its specific meaning.  While I’m not worried about it, I will keep working on it too. 
It seems that if an Old Testament believer understood Isaiah 53 literally he should have concluded that the Messiah would be the final sacrifice for sin.  But that wouldn’t have correlated well with his current understanding of the Mosaic Law that prohibited human sacrifice.  He may not have been able to justify the literal reading of Isaiah 53, but in the course of progressive revelation and the coming of Jesus, the apparent contradiction became clear.  The same thing may be true with the literal interpretation of Ezekiel’s temple vision.

Hey Patrick, sorry for the late response to the second half of your long post but this little puppy I got for the family has been time consuming.  I feel like a Christian apologist trying to defend the bible....I am trying to defend the carpet in my house from all the poop and pee from this puppy but when it comes down to it, I have no defense.  ;D    I hope you had a good week!

Did you just say, "if an Old Testament believer understood Isaiah 53 literally he should have concluded that the Messiah would be the final sacrifice for sin"???  You do realize that the word "Messiah" is not in Isaiah 53 don't you?  If an "Old Testament believer" is reading Isaiah 53 literally and come out thinking this is about the one true Messiah then that person is not reading Isaiah 53 literally.

What if the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8 kept traveling to Jerusalem to get another interpretation of Isaiah 53 after hearing Philip's point of view on this chapter?  I bet he wouldn't be in such a hurry to jump in the water and get baptized.  Judaism believes that Isaiah 53 is talking about Israell.....Jacob.....you know....the seed of Abraham.  Isaiah 41:8 states:

But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

Isaiah 44:1, 44:2, 44:21, 48:20, 49:3 backs up this view of Israel/Jacob/the seed of Abraham being the servant.  Hell, even Jeremiah understands the servant to be Israel/Jacob/the seed of Abraham (Jer. 2:14, 46:27, 46:28).  Ezekiel even mentions Jacob to be the servant (28:25).

If the Ethiopian Eunuch heard an argument that the servant of Isaiah 53 was Israel/Jacob/the seed of Abraham then he would have been hesitant to jump in the water to be baptized because this view makes much more sense.  It is obvious after reading all of Isaiah that this author did not intend the subject of chapter 53 to be the one true Messiah.  The eunuch was too gullible and was convinced after hearing only one view of Isaiah 53.  The word "Messiah" is not in Isaiah 53 and once again it seems like these new testament authors were combing through the old testament and trying to shoehorn Jesus into Isaiah 53.     


What I don’t understand is why atheists are so bent on proselytizing their beliefs with forums in such a way as to make Christians out to be stupid or mean or ……..many other negative ways  that are used to describe them in both tone and adjectives.  I understand that if a so called Christian isn’t living up to the standard to love his neighbor and general kindness, that he is opening himself up to criticism.   But it seems that atheists attack Christians for their core beliefs rather than not living up to the good standards in the bible.  Wouldn’t it be better to respect the good in Christian thought and leave the verbal abuse to themselves?  Again, I’m not accusing you of this, but surely you see it a lot on this board.

I have no idea what this has to do with anything.  First, I have no idea why you are generalizing atheists.  Not all atheists are the same. 

Secondly, I am not a big fan of "red herrings".  To me it shows a sign of weakness in one's argument.  I have no idea why you brought this up.  Maybe it is because you like long posts.  Who cares if you are described negatively in "tone" or "adjectives"?  I have participated in many Christian forums and can't count the times I was called a "dog" or "swine" (Matt. 7:6).  Do you think I cared?  Of course not.  I focused on the arguments.  I made it clear that the "pearl" they didn't want to cast my way was not really a "pearl".  Instead it is more like a counterfeit. 

Why are you so sensitive?  If you have credible arguments then any kind of ridicule will roll off your back like water off a duck's back.  The key is to always strive to have reliable, measurable, peer reviewable, and/or scientific evidence so any kind of ridicule will make the opposition look.....well.....ridiculous.         

To be clear, I’m ok with healthy debate over issues.  But it gets personal very quickly in the internet world.  As a person who keeps up on current events and sees the persecution of Christians in many places around the globe, I think demeaning tones and outright cutting words will contribute to persecution in the USA in the future.  As hard as that may be to believe, you find yourself standing in the atheist camp with a lot of people who believe in the eradication of Christian thought.  It’s not a far stretch to see eradication evolving to the person as well.


Can you be more clear on your last sentence here?  What do you mean by eradication of the person.  This seems like a non-sequitur to me but I might be misunderstanding you. 

By the way, just a bit of advice....if you want to be treated more kindly by atheists then I would really try to bury the persecution card.  I'm going to bite my tongue as we have a lot on the plate but I will say that I am not too empathetic towards your sob story.

 
I don’t think there are so many different interpretations of the essentials in the bible.


False!!!  The only place the word "essentials" is mentioned in the bible is Acts 15:28.  Within these "essentials" are abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, and from things strangled.  There are multiple interpretations of what these things mean. 

If you think that "Christians" have developed another list of "essentials" that every Christian abides by then you are not only gullible......but delusional.  Not every Christian sect has the same list of "essentials".  What would the criteria be?  It is not laid out in the bible what the "essentials" are for the church except for Acts 15:29.


I’ll acknowledge there are modern day cults, who interpret the bible differently.  But I don’t have all the answers to why.

It's simple.  Your god is a crappy communicator!!!  Either that or your god doesn't exist and this "holy" book was written by different men at different times with different purposes and different doctrines who had different theologies and that is why there are different interpretations.


  I personally think that the essentials of the faith are plain.  There are many reasons why people veer off. For example: Lately I’ve been looking at the JW’s history.  It appears that one problem Mr. Russell had with traditional Christianity was the concept of eternal hell.  It seems that the Mormons have a similar problem.


Once again, the "essentials" (whatever those are) are not plain.  There are good proof texts for annihilation.  Just google it.  It is not like these cults don't have an argument for their views.  The problem is that the bible is contradictory when it comes to the punishment for unbelief in your god. 

I’ll also acknowledge that there are “Christian” denominations that teach only the love of God and some that over emphasize the wrath of God.  Missing the balance (that atheists would call bi-polar) of God’s justice with His love.   So maybe it has to do with man not submitting completely to the plain words in the bible without trying to interject his own concept of what God should be like.  I’m relating this obviously, to your comment that God should say or work in a way that makes sense to you.  By your many points of scrutiny it appears that God should ALWAYS make sense to you otherwise you won’t accept Him.  True?

Patrick, there is no "balance" with your god's justice and his love.  It is not "just" to punish and torment people infinitely for a finite crime.  That is not what a loving person would do.  This doesn't make sense to me.  So by "accepting" him you mean worship him then I agree with you.  Your god's justice would have to make sense to me in order for me to worship him.

Are you honestly asking me if I question whether heaven and hell exist?  I think you know what I believe. 
I keep it simple.  Rewards are His to reveal, but I look forward to eternal life where there is no more pain, sin, suffering, in His presence.  That sounds good to me.  It’s certainly better than conscious torment without the presence of anything good (God).

I just debunked the notion that your god is good.  A good person would not torment a person for eternity for a finite crime.  That is not just.  Do you think it would even be moral for a government to execute someone for being caught driving over the speed limit.  Would you pledge allegiance to this government.  Patrick, you are more moral than your god.  Just think of how evil your god is if your kid(s) became skeptical and tormented them for eternity for the finite crime of unbelief.  What kind of heaven would that be for you?  How could you worship such a moral monster?  Why is your god so intolerant towards skeptics?           




"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2014, 09:40:32 PM »

It related to the Trinity therefore I sent it to you for that purpose. 


I disagree!  Your purpose was to derail the tread off of the "I AM" arguments and try to re-direct attention to John 1:1.  The argument was if Jesus (red letters) ever specifically called himself god through the "I AM's".  The argument was not if some anonymous writer did or didn't call Jesus god in John 1:1.

I am OK with this because I feel pretty good with all my research.  Through all my research (#98 of "Is Jesus god or the son of god") I have concluded that Jesus did not make himself out to be the "I AM" of Exodus 3:14 and I have not heard any convincing rebuttals to my post.  I have also posted my research elsewhere and I am pretty convinced that the overwhelming majority of Christians have a wrong understanding of the "I AM" (ego eimi).  I am open to any counter arguments but have not seen any including any from you.   

You think???  This sounds like a lot of speculation.  I am not looking for "I think" at the beginning of a sentence.  I am looking for "Thus sayeth the Lord" and then some scripture.  C'mon Patrick...you are trying to defend your argument that the doctrine of salvation is clear in the bible with this language???  This is extremely unconvincing to a skeptic.   

Thanks Patrick for your answers to my questions.  I know these questions are difficult for you and I know this simply because you failed to give me a dogmatic "Yes" or "No" to every single question like I kindly asked.  How hard is it to give me a straightforward "yes" or "no" to these questions?  Could it be that the doctrine of salvation is not really clear in the bible???  Based on your answers, I still have no idea if someone has to believe that Jesus is the "I AM" of Exodus 3:14 to be saved.  But please note that I am not frustrated with you.  I am amused and entertained as I am watching some spectacular mental gymnastics.   

Your answer to #1 was especially entertaining.  Sooooo....your not sure that the Jews understood "I AM" to be a title for god but "I AM" had a meaning that made Him equal with God???  Priceless.  Thanks for the laugh!!!



Actually your answer to #3 was pretty comical as well.  Concerning John Clarke in a previous post you said, "I would go so far as to say that even if his view of Christ wasn’t perfect, it doesn’t matter" but in your answer #3 you say, "If over time, it is revealed to that person more revelation of who God is and that person rejects Christ based on a clear thought process and rejecting the deity of Jesus" then that person is culpable of their salvation ceasing.  Sooooo....does a perfect view of Christ matter or not?  What if god revealed to John Clarke a so-called perfect view of the Trinitarian god and John Clarke rejected this perfect view?  Now you can't be so certain that his salvation didn't cease.  There are way too many gray areas with this thinking when it comes to the doctrine of salvation.  Your answer not only seems to contradict with your last post but this answer seems extremely speculative.       

This was a set up if you couldn't already smell it.  This is something that is extremely important for you to look at.  The bold letters are what I want you to look at.  This is not language that a skeptic would see as convincing to prove that salvation is clear in the bible.  Like I said before, these questions dealt with the doctrine of salvation and I'm looking for "Thus sayeth the Lord" and then some scripture.  As a skeptic, it is evident to me from your language that your conclusions concerning salvation are subjective and speculative.

This is all good and this is a great lesson for you to learn.  Until you can be more dogmatic with your answers to these questions you can never ever ever say that salvation is clear in the bible based.  So next time anyone, including your kid(s), ask you if the doctrine of salvation is clear in the bible you have to say (if you are honest): "I cannot say with 100% certainty that salvation is clear in the bible.  Some things concerning salvation are clear but there is at least one controversial verse that makes the doctrine of salvation unclear.  I THINK salvation is clear but I cannot be entirely dogmatic based on the ambiguity of at least one verse (John 8:24) in the bible."

This is just one verse I provided for you but there are other verses that makes the doctrine of salvation out to be an ambiguous doctrine.   

Moreover, when someone comes to you and asks how they can become saved it would be intellectually honest of you to start your sentence off with "I think...". 

Sorry for the temporary derailment of this thread but it drives me absolutely nuts when Christian apologists lie and dogmatically say that the doctrine of salvation is clear in the bible.  You don't have to answer anything in this post but I just wanted you to see how a skeptic views your answers to these questions.  Judging from your answers to my questions one would have to be extremely gullible to believe that salvation is crystal clear in the bible.


Andy, I'm trying to figure you out.  I find it interesting that your focus is all about what YOU think, instead of actually trying to understand what the other person is saying.  I'd like you to take a look at your posts to me with as much neutrality as you can.  I'm sure it's difficult, but you should try.  You are so impressed with your own opinions that you actually just answered a factual statement that I made about MY purpose for which I gave some information to you, and you answered "I disagree".   Andy, this is not an agree or disagree situation.  I'm telling you why I did something and you are disagreeing with me.  Do you realize how ridiculous that is?  I bring this up because this has been your attitude about everything that I post.  Between nitpicking words, and condensending tone in your replies, I really think that it is clouding your judgement and ability to have a thoughtful and respectful dialogue. 
Salvation is clear.  Trust in Jesus as your Saviour and Lord.  Believe that He alone is the final sin offering which reconciles anyone who believes, to  Holy God.  1 John 2:2
You know that you know Him if you keep His commandments.  1 John 2:3
You know that you will be saved if you are connected (dedicated) to Him.  John 15:4
You will have evidence in your life when you are connected to Him.  John 15: 8 – 12

The do’s and don’ts of the old testament still apply in the sense that they represent God’s will for our lives and show us right from wrong.  But Jesus clearly taught that our salvation is in Him and trusting that He alone could only be perfect in our place.  We are to put our trust in Him for what He has done, and it’s not about what we perfectly believe about the rules or exact doctrine on everything.   The one doctrine that we must get right is that Christ is the one who took our place on the cross and He alone is our salvation.  The other doctrine that we must get right is that we must submit to Him by loving God and loving others.  From that starting point, the bible teaches that salvation will come.
There is more……. Jesus taught us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, follow Him.  The apostles taught about sanctification and how to live.  But all this comes from the beginning point of belief that I mentioned.  But we must submit to Christ.  You asked me why I think humility is important.  This is the obvious spirit of the bible and the new testament.  None of this happens without submission to the teaching of the bible.  If we don’t submit to it, then it reveals our true heart.  If the bible is true and man’s heart is wicked and deceitful, then we need an outside source by which we gauge ourselves.   
I realize that you aren’t going to like me pointing out your faults and that I’m suggesting there is a little pride in you.  I’m only doing it because I want you to consider that you are blinded by this pride.  God still loves you and you are under grace as long as you’re alive.   He is offering you salvation through Jesus by repenting from your unbelief and sin.   
I don’t know you, but I’m NOT doing this for the mental exercise.  My time is very limited but I felt like I should engage you for some reason. 
You will not come to true knowledge with pride in your heart or by thinking there is some formula for salvation.  Jesus clearly taught that we are to follow Him, and not ourselves or a system of rules that we couldn’t keep anyway.   I wonder if that is how you always believed.  Is it that you were always trying to get the Christian life right by being doctrinally correct?  There’s nothing wrong with that except when being right creates enmity between you and other true Christians.  If that happens then it reveals the prideful heart




Offline Andy S.

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Re: Appointed once or twice to die
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2014, 05:23:23 PM »

Andy, I'm trying to figure you out.  I find it interesting that your focus is all about what YOU think, instead of actually trying to understand what the other person is saying.

Patrick, how in the hell am I supposed to understand what you are trying to say when practically all of your posts have been contradictory?  Even your last post was contradictory.  You say that Christianity is not about getting doctrine exactly right but then you rattle off a couple of doctrines that people must get right.  Then you say that a person knows God if they keep His commandments but then you say that Jesus taught that we are not to follow a system of rules that people can't keep anyway.  Lastly you say that salvation is clear but then you say there is no correct formula for salvation.  I'm trying to understand what you are saying but you are making it extremely difficult for me. 

Once again I will remind you that reading your posts is like reading the bible.  It's no wonder there are so many different denominations.  It is because there are so many contradictory doctrines.  You would make a great biblical author as you have a wonderful ability to write so contradictory.         

You are so impressed with your own opinions that you actually just answered a factual statement that I made about MY purpose for which I gave some information to you, and you answered "I disagree".   Andy, this is not an agree or disagree situation.  I'm telling you why I did something and you are disagreeing with me.  Do you realize how ridiculous that is?  I bring this up because this has been your attitude about everything that I post.  Between nitpicking words, and condensending tone in your replies, I really think that it is clouding your judgement and ability to have a thoughtful and respectful dialogue.

I can't believe I have to explain this to you but any supposed anecdotal "factual statement" CAN BE an agree or disagree situation.  Just because you say it is a factual statement doesn't mean it is a fact.  I disagree with your purpose and intent to which you gave me the information regarding the John 1:1 debate.  In other words, it is NOT ridiculous that I disagree with your intent.  The reason is because I think you are a liar.  I believe you had too much pride to admit that the evidence I gave you regarding the "I AM" statements in John 8 was too good of evidence for you to counter.  The reason I say this is because I have no evidence of any counter-argument and that is because you gave me no counter-argument. 

It is not to far of a stretch to call you out as a liar.  I told you there was convincing evidence that Jesus was not claiming the title of "I AM" (Ex. 3:14).  You wanted to see this evidence and I kindly typed out DeBuhn's argument and added a couple of my own arguments.  This post (#98) in the "Is Jesus the Son of God or God" thread took me a long time to write.  I then sent you a PM and asked for your feedback and you responded in a PM and a post that you would get back to me with an answer concerning these arguments.  Then you gave me a link to a debate concerning John 1:1 and said the ball was left in my court.  Hey Patrick, do you see the words "I AM" in John 1:1???  Was Jesus claiming the divine name of "I AM" in John 1:1???  That's why I said you were trying to side-track me.  You were skirting the issue and I think it is because you had, and still do, have no counter-argument. 

Patrick, your holy book even says that if you say that you are going to do something then do it.  Don't say that you are going to give me feedback and then not follow through on this promise.  This makes you a liar.  The way you have a "thoughtful and respectful" dialogue is to read the arguments that are given and then stay on topic and respond by saying, "I agree (or disagree) with the arguments because...".  What you don't do is say, "Here's a debate on John 1:1 that you might want to read" and then say that the ball is in my court.  That is not only disrespectful but it also shows your ignorance regarding the proper way to have a dialogue.  However, I don't really care that you don't know the rules of proper dialogue because somehow I am still enjoying our conversation. 

If I asked you for an opposing view concerning something and then told you I would give you feedback then I would follow through with my promise.  Especially if I knew the post took you a long time to type out.  Do you know why I would follow through with my promise?  It is because my aim is to have a "thoughtful and respectful dialogue".  I know you aren't going to like me pointing out your faults but you are rude, a liar, and a hypocrite.

So you are a rude and lying asshole who is a hypocrite and I'm a condescending, prideful, nitpickin' asshole.  What separates me from joining you in heaven?  Just a belief that Jesus died and resurrected from the dead and is the Messiah and also possibly the one true God?  I'm afraid my ability to nitpick is going to keep me from believing this story.  Through my critical thinking (i.e nitpicking) I would have to believe that Jesus died on two different days and as a judge I would have to throw out the whole resurrection story. 

Challenge to Patrick Henry:  Without omitting a single detail from the separate resurrection accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension.  Can you do this without any contradictions?  I would ask you if you would get back to me with your answer but I wouldn't believe your "factual statement" anyway.  You have lied to me once before so forgive me if I cannot believe any more of your "factual statements".

Concerning the contradictory story of Jesus' resurrection to ascension, Thomas Paine writes:

"I lay it down as a position which cannot be controverted.  First, that the agreement of all the parts of a story does not prove that story to be true, because the parts may agree and the whole may be false; secondly, that the disagreement of the parts of a story proves the whole cannot be true".

It seems what separates one asshole from another is that although we are both sinners one asshole seems to be more skeptical and the other asshole seems to be more gullible.

I wish I could really apologize to you deep down in my heart for being condescending but I find ridicule to be a valuable tool.  The reason is because it was the ridicule of others that led me to my deconversion from Christianity.  It was Thomas Jefferson who said:

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions."

I think any "unintelligible proposition" is a belief that is based on little to no evidence.  And...well...there are many "unintelligible propositions" seen throughout your posts.  I'm sorry but I find ridicule to be a valuable tool.  If I was to believe something "unintelligible" I would not be offended in any way if you were to ridicule me.  In fact, I would consider myself well-deserving of ridicule. 

     
Salvation is clear. 
You know that you know Him if you keep His commandments.  1 John 2:3

Oh crap, I thought I was engaging with a true Christian.  I have my doubts now.  If salvation is clear and you know that you "know Him if you keep His commandments" then I'm not sure you are even saved since I'm pretty sure it's an oxymoron to say that liars can keep God's commandments.

The do’s and don’ts of the old testament still apply in the sense that they represent God’s will for our lives and show us right from wrong.


People who make claims like this either don't read the bible objectively or are complete assholes and really do think that the "do's and dont's" of the old testament still apply today as they represent God's will for our lives.  I really hope it is not the latter unless I really fear for your family and I would be in complete favor of locking you up in a mental institution.  Here are just a few examples:

1.  If your child strikes you then it is your god's will to put your child to death. (Ex. 21:15)

2.  If your child curses you then it is your god's will to put your child to death. (Ex. 21:17)

3.  If your wife commits adultery then it is your god's will to put her to death. (Ex. 20:10)

4.  If a priest's daughter commits fornication then it is your god's will to burn her to death. (Lev. 21:9)

5. If you have a daughter then stoning her to death if she is not a virgin on her wedding night is the will of your god. (Duet. 22:20)

6. If your own brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods then it is your god's will for you to kill them. (Duet. 13: 7-12)

7. It is your god's will to kill people if they do any work on the Sabbath. (Ex. 31:15)

I am disgusted with you when you say "the do’s and don’ts of the old testament still apply in the sense that they represent God’s will for our lives and show us right from wrong".  These are just a handful of the disgusting "do's and dont's" of the old testament.  If you have read the old testament and you actually believe the rules still apply today as they represent God's will for people's lives, then, for lack of a better word today, you are a complete asshole.

After reading just these 7 "do's and don'ts" listed I hope you are not a literalist when it comes to Jeremiah 48:10:

"Cursed be he who does the Lords work negligently, cursed be the one who restrains his sword from blood."

It is time to re-examine the god you worship!!!
 
 
I realize that you aren’t going to like me pointing out your faults and that I’m suggesting there is a little pride in you.  I’m only doing it because I want you to consider that you are blinded by this pride.  God still loves you and you are under grace as long as you’re alive.

Thanks for pointing out that I might be blinded by my pride.  However, I don't see this as a biblical truth.  Since my skepticism has led me to be an "unbeliever" the gospel is "veiled" to me because I am "perishing".  It seems as though my free will has been taken away since the "god of this world" has "blinded my mind" to where I cannot see "the light of the gospel".  It is NOT my pride that is blinding me but it is the "god of this world" that is blinding me according to the bible. (2 Cor. 4:4).  MY FREE WILL HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY!!!

As you know I was a true fundamentalist Christian.  I believed the bible with all my heart, mind and soul (whatever that is).  I bought into it all.  I used to think the majority of geneticists, biochemists, zoologists, biologists, geologists, paleontologists, ecologists, comparative anatomists, and physiologists were crazy not to believe the earth was around 6,000 years old counting the genealogies back from Luke 3.  I had no idea at the time that there were two different contradictory genealogies of Jesus.  I used to believe some crazy things like penguins, kangaroos, and dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark.  I used to believe that Samson's hair was the source of his strength.  I used to believe in the zombie apocalypse in Matt. 26.  I used to actually believe that fallen angels (i.e. demons) came down from heaven and had sex with women and they gave birth to giants.  I really studied this text in Gen. 6 and discovered this was the most convincing interpretation.  I really believed with all my heart that I had the Holy Spirit in me guiding me into all truth.  It was either this thing called the holy spirit who was guiding me to believe in all this crazy stuff or at that time in my life I ignored my skepticism and let my guard down which allowed gullibility to creep in.     

Soooooo..........I'm sorry for being such a "nitpicker" but this last sentence of yours is not biblical either.  You are not only rude, a liar, and a hypocrite but you also seem to know little about your bible.  It could be because your rudeness, dishonesty and hypocrisy is "clouding your judgement".  I was a Christian and was a "partaker" of this thing you call the Holy Spirit but according to Hebrews 6:4-6, people are NOT "under grace" as long as they are alive like you say.  I once believed and "tasted the good word of God" but I "fell away" due to my critical thinking skills.  Heb. 6:4-6 says it is "impossible to renew me again to repentance of my sin which is unbelief.  If you ask me, this is just one more reason why you shouldn't worship this unjust asshole you call god.     

I don’t know you, but I’m NOT doing this for the mental exercise.  My time is very limited but I felt like I should engage you for some reason.


Patrick, I'm glad you still want to engage despite my nitpicking, condescending tone, and prideful attitude.  You didn't mention why you still wanted to engage but I hope I am challenging you and helping you realize that you don't really have a good defense for the hope that lies within you (1 Peter 3:15).  Think about this Patrick...the fact that the bible says you should have a good defense for the HOPE that is in you and NOT THE ASSURANCE is even problematic.     

You might be asking yourself right now why someone like myself would want to continue a conversation with you.  You might be asking yourself, "Why would Andy want to continue having a conversation with me when he has discovered that I'm rude, a liar, and a hypocrite"?  The answer is because I don't dwell on peoples' past sins and I have sympathy for you.  I hope you start thinking more critically and start nitpickin' the bible.  Being more skeptical will help you lose this delusion of yours that you call Christianity.

You will not come to true knowledge with pride in your heart or by thinking there is some formula for salvation.  Jesus clearly taught that we are to follow Him, and not ourselves or a system of rules that we couldn’t keep anyway.   I wonder if that is how you always believed.  Is it that you were always trying to get the Christian life right by being doctrinally correct? 

So I can't come to true knowledge of scripture with pride in my heart?  Well, I think we have a case of one asshole telling the other asshole to take the log out of his eye when the accuser has the same size log in his eye.  Logic would follow that you also have pride in your heart since you don't understand some parts of scripture (Ezekiel 40-48).  Maybe you got rid of your PRIDE and you now understand these chapters.  I would ask you for some feedback but wouldn't be able to believe you if you say you will get back to me with an answer.  Being called out as a Hypocrite sucks huh?  A wise man once said, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled" (Luke 14:11).  Based on my own anecdotal evidence, I have come to realize that behind every pious Christian LIES a hypocrite.  Excuse the pun.

So I'm NOT supposed to think that there is some formula for salvation???  You are not only a liar but you are now sounding like a lunatic.  You sound like a door-to-door salesman who is trying to sell me a home safe without giving me the exact combination.  I obviously would want the exact formula to salvation just like I would want the exact combination to the safe you are trying to sale me.  In other words, I would want to know the exact requirements of salvation so I could enter heaven just like I would want to enter my safe with the exact combination. 

If Jesus even existed you are sounding extremely Christ-like!  You are just like Jesus...a liar and a lunatic.  And yes...Jesus was a liar (John 7:8-10, Mark 13:30) and a lunatic (Matt. 19:29, Luke 14:26). 

In my opinion, you are mildly abusing your children if you are teaching your children that they will be in eternal torment if they are not saved but at the same time telling them there is no exact formula for salvation.  I can imagine this being extremely stressful for your children.  They probably wake up every day in fear of hell as they might not have the exact requirements needed for salvation since you say there is no exact formula.  What if one day your child does not humble himself and doesn't quite grasp the added "revelation of who god is" and then is culpable of damnation.  I couldn't even imagine the stress. 

If you don't think there is an exact formula to salvation then this would be a good time for you to look outside your faith and test your beliefs as if you were an outsider to Christianity looking in.  For instance, if some Muslim came up to you and tried to convert you and said there is no exact formula for salvation you would think he/she is a lunatic.  If there is no exact formula for salvation then any religion (including your own) is a joke and your god, if he exists, is not worthy of worship.  To PLAY off of Epicurious' quote:   


Is God willing to give humans a book with the exact formula on how one can get to heaven, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then why do we have an "inspired" book by him that fails to lay out the exact formula on how one can get to heaven?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?


In conclusion, I would like to say that I read your post #34 of this thread again and find your view to be problematic.  To summarize your #3 answer to me in this post I believe you are saying that someone can be saved without thinking Jesus is the one true god (the god of the old testament) but then could lose their salvation if the person doesn't except that Jesus is the one true god through "MORE REVELATION OF WHO GOD IS".  Sooo....a person has to initially believe that god sent his only-begotten son and that person is saved.  But then after "MORE REVELATION OF WHO GOD IS" then if one doesn't believe that god instead sent HIMSELF, then that person is culpable of damnation.  I don't find this progressive doctrine of salvation to be biblical whatsoever but you are free to believe whatever ridiculous thing you want to.  I would just like to point out that I would be very careful with this belief as I really think this is a different gospel to what Paul preached and you might be "accursed" (Gal. 1:9).   

My follow-up question would be this:  What if someone believes in Christ and is saved and also believes that Christ is a god of love.  But after reading the old testament and after "more revelation of who God is" is that person still saved if he/she rejects the notion that your god is an asshole? ;D 

You have said that salvation is clear a number of times throughout this thread.  I will give you one last chance to try to back-up this claim.  It seems like you are saying that a person is culpable of damnation if he/she rejects further revelation of who your god is.  You can even change your mind from this progressive salvation doctrine of yours.  I would be really interested if you could even find one other Christian commentator that would agree with you that a person is initially saved by believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God but will then lose their salvation if they reject the added revelation of Jesus actually being Yahweh.  That's why I say you might be "accursed" according to Paul. 

This belief of yours is absurd.  It makes your god look like a bait-and-switch salesman.  He baits people in thinking he sent his son to die on the cross but then he switches the deal and makes a person culpable of damnation if they don't believe that this god actually sent himself to die on the cross.  The "bait" is easy to believe as no contradiction is apparent but the "switch" is harder to believe because one would have to believe in a contradiction to be saved since a "son" cannot be eternal by definition.   

Anyway, here is your chance to defend your claim that salvation is clear in the bible.  I have asked you this question before and you were vague in your answer and with all honesty, your answer was unbiblical. Please give me a yes or no answer like I kindly asked before.  Does a person have to believe that Jesus was the "I AM" (Yahweh) of the Old Testament in order to be saved?  Many Christian apologists seem to think so because of John 8:24.  Please answer with a yes or no.  If you can't answer this question with a yes or no then please quit thinking that salvation is clear in the bible.  If you cannot answer this question with a yes or no answer but continue believing that salvation is clear in the bible then you are not only lying to me...but you are also lying to yourself.   

First, you might not want to answer with, "I'll get back to you after some study" because I won't believe you since you are a liar.  Secondly, here is my prideful prediction.  I will not hear from you again because this question is way too tough for you and is too challenging for you to answer with a simple yes or no.  You know this question muddies the doctrine of salvation but you still want to pretend in your own little delusional world that salvation is clear.  I have exalted myself with this prideful prediction and I hope you humble my exaltation with a response as I really have enjoyed this interaction.       

"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."
~Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)