Who's Calling, Please?

It's not my portrait, Caroljeen
It's much different than mine and I'm in a relationship with him.
What I criticize is what scripture and/or the Christian faith portrays God as
It's your misconception of the scriptures and of Christians who portray God as anything other than Jesus Christ.
The Government:
"Gee, we really do believe that raping children is an awful thing that nobody should ever, ever do, but if it's going to happen anyway - well, then, who are we to condemn it?"

Does that sound reasonable to you?

Allowing evil - even grudgingly - is evil
Where did this rant stem from? God doesn't condone rape.
You don't believe in Original Sin?
So?
You don't believe that we are born with corrupt natures?
So?
Christianity teaches that those who die apart from Christ do not receive salvation
There is one scripture that doesn't seem to teach that.
Conversely, Christianity teaches that those who die in Christ will receive salvation
Very true, without a doubt.
And all of this is irrespective of one's moral character as exhibited throughout life
This is not true.
You disagree with this?
Some of it.
ETA:
My apologies for the bolded text
Were you yelling at me in front of your screen?
 
It's much different than mine and I'm in a relationship with him.
Are you?

It's my contention that you are simply imagining a relationship

It's your misconception of the scriptures and of Christians who portray God as anything other than Jesus Christ.
God IS more than just {NT} Jesus Christ, Caroljeen!

God is every bit as much {OT} YHVH as He is Jesus!!

You don't get to disavow the monster portrayed in the OT - not when Jesus, Himself, flatly states that the 1ST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT is to love the OT God with ALL OF OUR HEARTS, SOULS, AND MINDS!!!
 
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Where did this rant stem from? God doesn't condone rape.

I'm not suggesting that God condones rape

You said that God "grudgingly allowed slavery"

I am simply pointing out to you that just as a grudging allowance of rape is evil - so, too, is a grudging allowance of slavery

Any allowance {grudging or otherwise} of an evil IS EVIL

Not an answer

Do you believe that we are born with corrupt natures?
Do you believe in Original Sin?

There is one scripture that doesn't seem to teach that.
Not an answer

Do you believe that one must accept Christ in order to be saved?

This is not true.
Yes, it most absolutely IS TRUE according to Christian teaching!

One's moral character throughout life has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on whether he/she goes to Heaven or Hell

The ONE AND ONLY DETERMINING FACTOR is whether one accepts Christ as Lord and Savior or not

Were you yelling at me in front of your screen?
Nope

You bolded text and when I replied to it my text was bolded in turn

Didn't know how to 'unbold' it
Not a computer guy...
 
I'm not suggesting that God condones rape

Where did this rant stem from? God doesn't condone rape.

I'm not suggesting that God condones rape

You said that God "grudgingly allowed slavery"

I am simply pointing out to you that just as a grudging allowance of rape is evil - so, too, is a grudging allowance of slavery

Any allowance {grudging or otherwise} of an evil IS EVIL
Not if He allows it for a greater good.
Not an answer

Do you believe that we are born with corrupt natures?
Sinful nature.
Do you believe in Original Sin?
Yes, though it is often misunderstood even by some Christians.
There is one scripture that doesn't seem to teach that.
Not an answer

Do you believe that one must accept Christ in order to be saved?
Yes. Though for those that never hear about Him, they can learn from the Creation about Him as Romans 1 teaches.
This is not true.
Yes, it most absolutely IS TRUE according to Christian teaching!

One's moral character throughout life has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on whether he/she goes to Heaven or Hell

The ONE AND ONLY DETERMINING FACTOR is whether one accepts Christ as Lord and Savior or not
Your moral character does determine what level of heaven or hell you end up in. If you are not a Christian but you live a good life then you would be in the better parts of hell which may not be much worse than the present earth.
 
Not if He allows it for a greater good.
God doesn't need to allow an evil in order to achieve a greater good

God can achieve the greater good WITHOUT allowing evil

When God consciously and purposefully chooses to allow an evil it is, by definition, NEEDLESS

And, as always, a conscious and purposeful infliction of a needless harm is immoral

Your moral character does determine what level of heaven or hell you end up in. If you are not a Christian but you live a good life then you would be in the better parts of hell which may not be much worse than the present earth.
In which neighborhood, and on which side of the tracks, would one expect to find a person who says:

"I know that enslaving another human being is evil, but I'm not going to condemn it - in fact, I'm going to provide the guidelines by which others can do so with my blessing"?
 
Not if He allows it for a greater good.
God doesn't need to allow an evil in order to achieve a greater good

God can achieve the greater good WITHOUT allowing evil

When God consciously and purposefully chooses to allow an evil it is, by definition, NEEDLESS

And, as always, a conscious and purposeful infliction of a needless harm is immoral
No, contrary to popular belief even among Christians, there are some things even God cannot do. Such as God cannot create a square circle. And He sometimes cannot achieve some greater goods without allowing evil. Of course, the most obvious case is that He had to allow His son to be killed in order for us to be saved.
Your moral character does determine what level of heaven or hell you end up in. If you are not a Christian but you live a good life then you would be in the better parts of hell which may not be much worse than the present earth.
In which neighborhood, and on which side of the tracks, would one expect to find a person who says:

"I know that enslaving another human being is evil, but I'm not going to condemn it - in fact, I'm going to provide the guidelines by which others can do so with my blessing"?
I am not sure how this relates to your or my statement about heaven and hell, but God DOES condemn involuntary slavery. Read Exodus 21:16 and Jeremiah 22:13.
 
I am not sure how this relates to your or my statement about heaven and hell, but God DOES condemn involuntary slavery. Read Exodus 21:16 and Jeremiah 22:13.
The God of the Bible condemns involuntary slavery of Hebrews. He has very different rules for gentile slaves as Lev 25:44-46 makes clear. They can be regarded as property, they are slaves for life. It is explicitly Hebrew slaves who are to be treated well - "you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly".
 
No, contrary to popular belief even among Christians, there are some things even God cannot do. Such as God cannot create a square circle. And He sometimes cannot achieve some greater goods without allowing evil. Of course, the most obvious case is that He had to allow His son to be killed in order for us to be saved.
I am fully capable of forgiving others without requiring that anyone {much less an innocent} be sacrificed on a cross

If I can do it, how come God cannot?
 
The God of the Bible condemns involuntary slavery of Hebrews. He has very different rules for gentile slaves as Lev 25:44-46 makes clear. They can be regarded as property, they are slaves for life. It is explicitly Hebrew slaves who are to be treated well - "you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly".
No, the gentiles or strangers in the land were to be treated just like the hebrews and not oppressed. Exodus 22:21-24. They were to love the stranger as themselves, Leviticus 19:33-34. So they could sell themselves voluntarily just like the hebrews in Lev. 25:47 during times of economic stress. And could not be bought or sold involuntarily as I demonstrated in my earlier post 207.
 
No, the gentiles or strangers in the land were to be treated just like the hebrews and not oppressed. Exodus 22:21-24. They were to love the stranger as themselves, Leviticus 19:33-34. So they could sell themselves voluntarily just like the hebrews in Lev. 25:47 during times of economic stress. And could not be bought or sold involuntarily as I demonstrated in my earlier post 207.
And yet the Bible explicitly states that gentile slaves are property and are slaves for life - just like black slaves in the US back in the day in fact.

Lev 25:44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
 
I am fully capable of forgiving others without requiring that anyone {much less an innocent} be sacrificed on a cross

If I can do it, how come God cannot?
You are not the creator, king, and judge of the universe. Sin is rebellion against that Being. So it is the most serious thing humans can ever do. And therefore requires physical and spiritual death. Even God can not change that requirement. But He has provided a substitute so we dont have to experience both of those deaths. He provided His son to take our place.
 
You are not the creator, king, and judge of the universe. Sin is rebellion against that Being. So it is the most serious thing humans can ever do. And therefore requires physical and spiritual death. Even God can not change that requirement.
Then where did it come from?
As the creator of everything, he must have written it into the code of the universe.

Which means that he could have not written it in.
 
And yet the Bible explicitly states that gentile slaves are property and are slaves for life - just like black slaves in the US back in the day in fact.

Lev 25:44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
The "... make them slaves for life... " utterly obliterates this tiresome

"IT WAS VOLUNTARY INDENTURED SERVITUDE!!!"

objection.
 
And yet the Bible explicitly states that gentile slaves are property and are slaves for life - just like black slaves in the US back in the day in fact.

Lev 25:44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
No, even that is voluntary, and it was not always for life. Read Exodus 21:5-6. And if the slave lived until the Year of Jubilee for gentiles (every 50 years), then they were freed. And they were not property the way animals were or like in Roman slavery. You would receive the death penalty even if you murdered a slave. Roman masters could kill their slaves for no reason and never be punished.
 
No, even that is voluntary, and it was not always for life. Read Exodus 21:5-6. And if the slave lived until the Year of Jubilee for gentiles (every 50 years), then they were freed. And they were not property the way animals were or like in Roman slavery. You would receive the death penalty even if you murdered a slave. Roman masters could kill their slaves for no reason and never be punished.
Oh, come on! Please do not insult my intelligence. It explicitly states this is for Hebrew slaves just two verses before.

Exodus 21:1 “These are the laws you are to set before them:
2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.
5 “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master must take him before the judges.[a] He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

There were very clearly two sets of rules, one for Hebrews, one for gentiles. Hebrews were to be treated well, gentiles got no such protection. Yes, I will note that killing a gentile slaves was not allowed, but beating him so hard he only just survived was allowed.

Exodus 21:20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

Gentile slaves were considered property, and were slaves for life. This was chattel slavery. This was absolutely morally wrong. We can excuse the Hebrews; they were doing the same as every other culture at that time and for a long time later. But we cannot excuse a God who chose to explicitly allow it.
 
@5wize

I wanted to follow-up the assertion I made in post #178 and 184 with an example of it being used by the first century christians.

post #178
This is not saying what everyone thinks it is saying. Man here is a heavenly being who rebelled in heaven, died, and transformed into matter.

If you remember I originally said that in Paul’s mind the original sin associated with the fall of Man or “Adam” applies to the Primal Man IN HEAVEN before the creation of our material world. (see Romans 5:12). Then I suggested an original source for that idea from Babylonian/Persian creation myths in post 184.

Here, I provide an example of that same idea being used in “The Secret Book of John”. In this source an archetypal Man or “first Adam“ in heaven equivalent to YHWH in Genesis makes a weak copy of himself on earth in order to enslave humanity. The first human on earth awakens to his imperfect nature through eating the tree of knowledge in the garden (becoming wise) and from him the generations of Seth, a wise race of humans is born who spread the word about salvation to others.

Key
Primal Man (First Adam), original sin, ”ARCHETYPE” = YHWH in heaven, fallen angels thrown out of heaven, creator of the material world

First humans (little Adam and Eve) on earth, weak copy of archetype ^^, made imperfect, ”TYPE” = all humans thrown out garden of Eden

Therefore, Paul’s conception of sin and death originated in heaven with a fallen angel resulting in a material world as an imperfect copy of the heavenly world. So when Paul quotes Hebrew from the Biblical creation myth, then all this additional context (about the original source of our imperfect material world) is the foundation upon which he bases his arguments, if you know what I mean. IOW, there is presumed knowledge for Paul’s audience not explicitly expounded on in the epistles that we, —two-thousand years later would not know unless we, —by some “chance” discovery were to uncover them after being buried in the earth all this time. (see Nag Hammadi & Dead Sea Scrolls).

For the sake of brevity, I will briefly quote from the scholarly analysis of “The Secret Book of John” summarizing the archetypal “Primal Man” or “First adam” IN heaven producing ON EARTH a weak or imperfect copy of himself, namely, human Man representing us all. (Please note in the secret book of John, the name Yaldaboath is associated with YHWH. I have no idea what “yaldaboath“ means, possibly a greek representation of the Hebrew letters YHWH.)

In the first part, Christ reveals to John the nature of the supreme deity (the primal divine triad, Father, Mother, and Child), the divine realm brought into being by him (the All or Pleroma of light organized into Four Luminaries, Harmozel, Oroiael, Daveithai, and Eleleth), and its relation to the created order [docphin: our material world]—how the [our] creation, with its flaws and shortcomings originated (through the fall of Sophia/Wisdom and the creation of a lower world at the hands of her ill-begotten son, Yaldabaoth, and his demonic underlings) and became dominated by the inferior powers that now control it. This part concludes with Yaldabaoth’s boast, “I am a jealous god and there is no other god beside me”…(see Isaiah 45:5)​
The second part of the Secret Book of John contains Christ’s explanation of the true meaning of Genesis 1–9, revealing how Yaldabaoth created [human] Adam as an initially weak copy, not yet spiritual, of the image of the archetypal human (Docphin: or heavenly “first Adam”) projected below from the divine world. John then asks the first of ten questions, introducing an element of dialogue not found in the first part; and the subject matter shifts from theogony and cosmogony to soteriology and anthropogony. This part goes on to reveal how [human] Adam acquired his true spiritual nature and was enlightened by Insight (Epinoia) appearing in the form of the spiritual Eve and by eating of the tree of knowledge, was expelled from paradise, and begot Seth.​
(The Secret Book of John, Introduced by John D. Turner, Translated by Marvin Meyer)​
 
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@5wize

An interesting side topic is the relation of the material world to the divine realm in the minds of early christians, specifically, that our material world was once part of a divine realm made of light. The Secret Book of John mentioned above says that the divine realm brought into being by the supreme deity was “organized” by four luminaries. Subsequently, Wisdom ”fell” into our imperfect material world.

What is interesting is the idea of the primordial divine realm being “organized” by FOUR luminaries, apparently, thought of as angels or “principles”. I suspect that early christians believed matter came from these four luminaries because in classical times matter was divided into four elements and these elements were under the control of an angel, for example,

“the angel who has authority over FIRE” (Rev. 14:18)…
”Then I heard the angel in charge of the WATERS” (16:5)

IOW, the material world was organized by four elements which correlate with the four luminaries in the divine realm. The point is not so much the number of elememtary principles organized into matter, especially since the number of elements of matter has grown from 4 to 118 in modern times, as the idea that the material world is a corrupted or “fallen” form of the divine realm made of light.

Given the fact that science now confirms matter is associated with energy and light as E= mc*c, I wondered if the early christians would have had evidence for that as we now do. IOW, how much of their belief was based on evidence and on mere faith. To claim that the material world came from a divine realm made of light is a big leap without any evidence.

Then it dawned on me. They had lots of evidence that Energy = matter because every time they started a campfire they physically saw matter be returned to energy, fire, and light. It was so simple.

Therefore, the more I investigate their beliefs and translate religious jargon into modern scientific terms, the more reasonable their beliefs seem. I doubt it is enough to persuade you but there is more to them than mere superstitions and myths.

For example, when we read the following statement by Paul in the context of matter being derived from fallen beings made of light, then it starts to make more sense.

“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those [angels?] that by [material?] nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world,” (Gal 4:8)​
 
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@5wize

An interesting side topic is the relation of the material world to the divine realm in the minds of early christians, specifically, that our material world was once part of a divine realm made of light. The Secret Book of John mentioned above says that the divine realm brought into being by the supreme deity was “organized” by four luminaries. Subsequently, Wisdom ”fell” into our imperfect material world.

What is interesting is the idea of the primordial divine realm being “organized” by FOUR luminaries, apparently, thought of as angels or “principles”. I suspect that early christians believed matter came from these four luminaries because in classical times matter was divided into four elements and these elements were under the control of an angel, for example,

“the angel who has authority over FIRE” (Rev. 14:18)…
”Then I heard the angel in charge of the WATERS” (16:5)

IOW, the material world was organized by four elements which correlate with the four luminaries in the divine realm. The point is not so much the number of elememtary principles organized into matter, especially since the number of elements of matter has grown from 4 to 118 in modern times, as the idea that the material world is a corrupted or “fallen” form of the divine realm made of light.

Given the fact that science now confirms matter is associated with energy and light as E= mc*c, I wondered if the early christians would have had evidence for that as we now do. IOW, how much of their belief was based on evidence and on mere faith. To claim that the material world came from a divine realm made of light is a big leap without any evidence.

Then it dawned on me. They had lots of evidence that Energy = matter because every time they started a campfire they physically saw matter be returned to energy, fire, and light. It was so simple.

Therefore, the more I investigate their beliefs and translate religious jargon into modern scientific terms, the more reasonable their beliefs seem. I doubt it is enough to persuade you but there is more to them than mere superstitions and myths.

For example, when we read the following statement by Paul in the context of matter being derived from fallen beings made of light, then it starts to make more sense.

“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those [angels?] that by [material?] nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world,” (Gal 4:8)​
That’s like claiming Greek Mythology portrays real events because they portray human truths. I understand how what you outline makes sense from a metaphorical sense, but a lot of metaphors can be crafted around reverse-engineered empirical experiences.

I don’t view Gnosticism as ancient mystical forgotten knowledge. It is simply one culture’s collection of metaphorical thinking attempting to put a supernatural framework around what they are experiencing.
 
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