Thank you Patrick Henry, for bringing up such a coherent and comprehensive set of issues.
I am also very interested in the issues of "good" and "evil" and ethnics and morality.
I pulled out some of the bullet points that posted, relating to the topic.
3. The bible also admits the problem of good and evil
4. The bible states that the ability for good and evil exists in people. Which I see evidence of.
5. The bible states that mankind needs to be taught what good and evil are. Otherwise, if left to their own devices, man will deviate into a place where he hurts and destroys himself and others around him. I see evidence of this throughout history and in today's world. But ultimately a society without God's rules for living written in their hearts, will decay. Therefore God in the bible shows us that we are lost without Him.
6. Other religions are self serving in that they try to control their followers. If practiced correctly, Christianity allows people to choose. As Joshua said "choose for yourself this day whom you will serve".
Jesus said "behold I stand at the door and knock, if any one opens the door I will come into Him and dwell".
7. There is a law of nature that says all sin must be paid for with a price. Similar to the first law of thermodynamics in physics, there is a spiritual law in a sense that we can see manifest itself here in the natural realm. If people steal, lie, covet, murder, there is a price to be paid, by someone. Either the victim or the perpetrator pays the price of the activity.
- Patrick Henry
Now please forgive me if this question strays too far from the OP, but I'm really feeling compelled to ask. You have chosen the screen name of a famous leader and orator, who helped shape a revolution.
He was also a slave owner.
There are few acts that I find more morally reprehensible than slavery. This is a man, who made cash profits to buy material goods with the labor of human beings who were kidnapped from their homes, separated from their families, beaten, raped, and forced into servitude.
There is slavery in the bible, of course.
Is there a specific time-frame, during which slavery was morally acceptable? And if so, is there something in the bible to indicate when slavery ceases to be ok? Or is it still morally acceptable?
Was it ever a sin? And if so, is it just one of those random sins that god forgives easily, like using the lord's name in vain or working on a Sunday or wearing clothes made out of a variety of fabrics?
I have heard Christians claim that once they really accept Jesus into their lives, they just don't sin anymore. Or don't sin as much. Or maybe they just really feel genuinely bad when they sin. I'm not absolutely sure.
Patrick Henry was clearly a real Christian, who embraced Jesus. He let Jesus into his heart. How did Jesus let him lead a life in which he valued his own accumulation of material possessions so much that he was willing to destroy the lives of so many other human beings?