Christian Theological/Philosophical Book Club discussion

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The Forum - Debate Religion > "God doesn't owe you anything."

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message 1: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle I'm always amazed how few church goers study the lives of the Bible characters: Imagine what Daniel, David, Moses and Paul would think of Mr. Osteen's book?

God indeed does bless us = but we should always be prepared to be eaten by Lions for God's glory. Many Christians give up at the slightest sign of discomfort.


message 2: by David (new)

David This is a really good question. I would tend to say that no, God does not owe anything to you. That is why most Christians realize that every single thing we have is a gift from God. This begs the obvious question: why does God bless some and not others? Why should someone who survives a school shooting think God saved them when a lot of other praying people may have been gunned down?

That question aside, I would look at your question through the lens of Jesus. Jesus is our primary picture both of God's character and what it means to be human. Jesus called on his followers to emulate him and, well, Jesus died on a cross. Call it a glorification of suffering or fatalistic, but Christianity at its root, if its root is Jesus on a cross which means followers of Jesus should at least be open to suffering.

Of course, the flipside is the resurrection. Suffering is not the last word, hope is. There is hope that suffering will end. I think there is a danger though in saying this end of suffering does not come till heaven/afterlife. That is a danger because Christianity is not fatalistic. Jesus opposed suffering and did a lot to end suffering, his followers ought to do the same. Thus, if someone comes to me for help I don't say, "well, Christians suffer." Instead, i try to help them.

On top of that, the suffering you face is probably not given to you by God (perhaps that is up for debate among Christians, so be it). Suffering is not a good thing, it is bad. When we oppose suffering we are not opposing God, we are joining a God who opposes suffering.

I guess I am a pretty practical Christian. I mean, I don't think God promises you a comfy life (a la Joel Osteen) but I don't think having a decent life means you are a bad Christian. I really think that no matter your situation in life, the call of Christ is to use whatever gifts you have to help others.

This is why I think the reviewer of your book is wrong, or at least, a bit off in what he said. I think my job as a Christian is not to refute you as an atheist but to empathize with you in your suffering. I think I am trying to say that while in a white-tower philosophical level I might come close to agreeing with that reviewer - your bad life is not proof God does not exist and so on. But if that is my first reaction to your painful story, then I'm a jerk and not really showing the sort of sympathy I should. We Christians need to get down in the dirt with suffering people and rather than philosophize on the suffering, do some work to end it. Jesus never gave us a treatise on why God allows suffering, but Jesus spent a lot of time ending suffering.

That's my rambling. Hope it made some sense.


message 3: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments did you have a crappy life, C.J.?

I, too, am inclined to think of God's gifts in a more practical manner, though probably from a different perspective than David. For me, it's more like "what goes around comes around." Sharing in the vision of Jesus that the Kingdom of God arises through active compassion means entering a network of goodness, upon which you may in your need someday find yourself falling back on.


message 4: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments :) I've never warmed to the book of Job either. There are certainly some thoughtful commentaries out there about it, though. I met a friend here on goodreads who was working on one, and who promised to share it with me when he finished, and now i've lost track of who it was.


message 5: by Alford (new)

Alford Wayman (wayman29) | 20 comments David wrote: "This is a really good question. I would tend to say that no, God does not owe anything to you. That is why most Christians realize that every single thing we have is a gift from God. This begs t..."

Justice. Would not God owe us Justice?


message 6: by Kris (new)

Kris (khart17) | 128 comments Does God "OWE" us anything? Whoa, Nelly... Like David said, Justice, but does He owe us a fabulous life on earth? Absolutely not. If I were to finish out my life at the ripe old age of 78 (like the average American) and never again reap another blessing, I'd still be Blessed more than I deserve. I get to spend ETERNITY in Heaven with God. It don't get better than that.


message 7: by Kris (new)

Kris (khart17) | 128 comments I'm expecting a baby, but I think you're looking at this from the wrong angle. I will take care of my baby because I Love him/her. I will nurture that baby to the best of my ability, but that doesn't mean that when he/she grows up and makes mistakes that they won't have consequences for those mistakes. When my child lashes out or misbehaves, I will have to punish him/her. God is a good Father. He does the same. He allows consequences and punishes misbehavior.
No, I don't "Owe" my mom and dad anything for loving me. They were happy to do it. I am happy to do it for my baby. That's the nature of love.


message 8: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments I agree with C.J. on this one. If I have a baby, I do morally owe that baby proper care.

If God created us as playthings/children/worshippers, he likewise owes us.


message 9: by David (new)

David I think we are moving into the same old free will discussion. By that I mean, if we're talking about things like childcare and proper care, well we need to go a bit deeper. No one disagrees that we owe our children proper care. But what does that mean? My parents, like any parents, gave me more and more freedom. Sometimes I made bad decisions and suffered consequences. My daughter will have freedom. She will screw up in big and small ways.

Is "proper care" not allowing her freedom, giving her a sheltered and perfect life (like in The Truman Show?). Should we be mad at God for not giving us the kind of sanitized existence Truman had in that movie?

I am not saying CJ or anyone brought their suffering on themselves (I read CJ's book - he didn't). But our kids live in a world with other kids who also have free will. Someone else's kid may choose to harm my daughter through no fault of her own. Am I a bad parent by simply allowing her to live in a world with other free beings who may harm her? If someone else uses their freedom to harm me, is that God's fault?

My point is - we owe our kids a lot. Part of what we owe them is allowing them to grow into functioning humans who make choices, even if those choices may harm them sometimes.

As for Alford's question on justice. I am not sure God owes us justice. I am not sure I really want justice.

I know lots of Christians try to balance God's love and justice, but I think love is far greater. I have a lot of thoughts swirling in my head, so I'll just offer one: I don't want justice, at least for myself. I want justice for the starving kids, the girls forced into prostitution. I want them freed. I want justice for the men who rape women, I want them punished.

But I don't want justice for my own darkness. I don't want justice for all the poor choices I have made, people I have hurt. Perhaps its the evangelical in me, but if God owes us justice, we're all screwed.

I am much more interested in forgiveness, restoration and grace. Those things are not owed us, they are simply given to us because God loves us. Heck, its like the story of the prodigal son. Did the father "owe" the adult son anything after the adult son threw away his inheritance? If I as a 10 year old kid lose some money, my parents still owe me love but if I as a 30 year old man take my dad's fortune and waste it I don't think he owes me anything.

And no one commented on my final paragraph, which really was my point - it is more important how we help those in need then how we philosophize about why they are in need.


message 10: by Kris (new)

Kris (khart17) | 128 comments God does promise to provide for us. That doesn't mean He'll make sure we live lavishly, but He will make sure we have the things that we need when we need them. Sometimes it does come down to the last second and most people don't trust Him to follow through. This means that they and end up taking matters into their own hands, leaving themselves and/or others hurt in the wake of their actions. There would have been blessings for them if they would have waited on God.

Ex: I felt God prompting me to leave my job(s). Now... I have always worked. Actually, I have always worked more than one job. Not because I need the money, but more because I need to keep busy. The money didn't hurt, I just liked always having something to do. I worked full time as a graphic designer and part time at the elks lodge in my home town. I left the part time job no problem. I didn't need it, it was just fun. I did kinda need my full time job though. My husband makes a lot more than I do, but it wasn't enough to cover all of our bills by himself, so I was Terrified to leave my job. That sense of security was Strong. I know God was asking me to leave my job though, so Finally I did. It was scary, but I did it anyway. It made No Humanly sense, but I did it anyway because I Knew God asked me to. Ever since, we have never missed a bill payment on anything. He doesn't bring home enough money, but whatever we're short, God sends us. He always does. We Always have enough.

Ex. 2: I have some friends who want a baby, and cannot have kids, physically. They were beginning a process which includes lots of shots and lots of paperwork and lots of money... They don't have lots of money. They felt God prompting them to stop the fertilization processes. They really wanted a baby, but listened to God and quit. They Instantly felt relief from the stresses of being infertile and looked to God for direction... which sent them to a Christian women's home for pregnant girls. There they have begun the adoption process. It's also a very expensive and time consuming process. They dont' have the money for it, but it's always there when they need it. They had a two weeks notice to come up with $1200. I'm not sure about you guys, but that is a lot of money where I come from and it would take me months to save that back, but it was all part of God's plan. The day they needed it, they received the last $500 they needed. They didn't have the $1200. They didn't ask anyone for it. God did send it to them though. That is how their entire process has been going. everything is provided for them by God. That's how our lives should be. He does promise to take care of you if you allow Him to. But you are allowed to reject Him if you want. It really is your choice.


message 11: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle I think nations can be a reflection of their God's:

If a starving nation prays to Allah and keeps starving - that is a bad representation for Allah. The same goes for Hindu's and Buddhists and voodoo deities.

IF there is a nation of ACTUAL Christians and they are starving then we have a problem. Is it our fault or our God's fault? Of course if there's a nation of atheists - then they have only themselves to blame. :D


message 12: by Kris (new)

Kris (khart17) | 128 comments So, CJ, what you're saying is: "a loving God would never let His people's bodies die so that their souls can live on and be with Him forever?"


message 13: by Kris (new)

Kris (khart17) | 128 comments You're still assuming that this life is all there is... Shame.


message 14: by David (new)

David I think it is interesting you totally ignored my analogy of parenting an adult or older child. Should I ask all my questions again? Simple example - if I choose to cheat on my wife, is that my dad's fault? If I were to cause her the pain and anger that would cause, should she blame my father or blame me? What should my father do, drive up to my house and keep constant watch on me so I never harm anyone or make any mistakes in life?

I was going to reply to post 14 where you talk about cognitive dissonance too. I have two thoughts in my head.

First, if I am going to be consistent in talking about free will then it makes sense to say that if a person freely hurts me, I can't blame God. It also makes sense then to say that if a person freely is kind to me, I ought to thank them. So I guess I reject your statement: "something good happened? Praise God, see how much he loves you?" It is not that simple because people have free will (though I suppose, philosophically, God may get some secondary praise/blame for human actions).

But second, historically Christian theology has said all good things come from God for God is the ultimate good. If you adhere to that, it makes sense to praise God for the good but not blame for the bad. To use the old analogy, think of a parent. As a small child, I thank my parent for feeding me but if I burn my hand on the stove I don't blame my parents for that. I recognize from a young age my parents want what is best for me. This does not mean no bad things ever happen, but I realize my parents do not cause those bad things.

Of course, human parents are imperfect. Sometimes I give my daughter her mac and cheese while it is too hot which causes her pain. She could blame me for that pain. But if God is the perfect parent we could assume good comes from God while bad does not.

A few caveats:
1. Nothing I am saying here is meant to be logical to someone who does not believe in God. If you believe in God certain things make sense and if you don't, they don't. It comes down to what is plausible within your own worldview. I am thinking of what was said in another thread: of course religious people assume an afterlife and of course non-religious people do not.

2. I guess there is also space for God to cause pain for reasons we do not understand. Gross example - my daughter sometimes cries when I change her diaper. Her perspective - the butt wiping hurts so daddy is mean. Doesn't dad owe her more than that? My perspective - the temporary pain is less then greater pain if I leave the shit on her. When she goes to school I could cause her less pain by doing her homework, but allowing her to suffer through perseverance will make her a stronger person. But daddy, she may ask, don't you love me? Why must I suffer through all this homework? Can't I just enjoy less painful things?


message 15: by Kris (last edited Dec 28, 2012 09:23AM) (new)

Kris (khart17) | 128 comments C.J.,
David makes perfect sense bringing relevant scenarios to the table to make the point clear. I still don't see what is so conflicting... I think you're just ignoring FREE WILL. When people screw up, people Are to blame. Those actions do set things into motion... consequences, dude. God leads us to live righteously, WE (humans) CHOOSE not to. Is that really God's fault? Not hardly. Is it His "Responsibility" to make all our mistakes go away? Do our homework for us? let us sit in poop all day? He absolutely loves us, that is why He makes us pay for some things in life with pain. How would we appreciate ANYTHING if we never ever suffered at all? We would have NO Way to understand the Price/the worth for anything if we never ever paid for anything. Take a gander at any wealthy heir in Hollywood... They have no idea what work is or what the actual worth of anything they take for granted is. They do, however, have a fabulous sense of entitlement! Exactly what God DOESN'T want us to have. He wants us to have Grateful hearts. Loving Hearts. We gain these by learning, First Hand, what things cost and how they are paid for.

We have Free Will. You are not Forced to worship a God you don't believe is there... would you rather be forced to worship Him and live the way He says you must, or would you rather live your life how You will? When we accept this freedom, we put things in life into motion. These things affect other people. When we follow the will of the Father, His purposes are put into motion. It's just that... How often do people really put God's purposes before their own? We're weak.
I get that there really is no way for you to totally understand this. Your understanding of God really is between you and The Holy Spirit. Nothing anyone says in the forum will bring light to your eyes... if you even want it at all. Only God can do that... if you want Him to.


message 16: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments God is Kris's Daddy, whom she looks up to with adoring eyes. But he's C.J.'s distant slavemaster, demanding worship by threat of hell, and C.J. is none to pleased by the scenario.

Therefore, Kris is more likely to embrace evidence of God's existence, while C.J. will embrace evidence of non-existence.

What is so surprising about this? Why does this silly argument even exist? Each of us finds in our religion (or lack thereof) that which meets our specific needs.

By the way, our needs change as we grow, so don't pretend you know what God will be like for you tomorrow.


message 17: by David (new)

David CJ, I don't think God is universally immune to any accusations. I think there is lots of space to ask God why, even Bible writers ask God why.

I also think you're a decent guy and I enjoy talking with you. But I do wonder at times what the point is.

You say something like, "If a loving God creates us, doesn't God owe us anything? Do we owe children anything?"

I respond with questions about your analogy, bringing up what we may owe adult children.

You respond by not even engaging with the response, but tossing out another one-liner.

Let's try it one more time. In your last post you wrote,

Not ignoring anything but it should be pretty clear to us all by now that God is universally immune to any accusations.

My response - I believe God is not universally immune to any accusations. The obvious question is, which accusations? Now let's either have a debate or not. Answer my question - if I cheat on my wife, is that my dad's fault? If I cheat on my wife, is that God's fault.

Don't throw out your usual zingers about God being immune to accusations. Just answer the question and we can talk. I have a dad - is he responsible for my actions as an adult?

You're a good guy but if we're not really going to talk then what are we really doing here?


message 18: by David (new)

David Lee, I think you're on to something. Good point.


message 19: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments C.J. wrote: "Lee,

What you are presenting is a "strawman" argument. Read my book to see the deep love I had for God as a Father, never a "slavemaster". "


Sad that your opinion changed, isn't it? Life was happier back then I reckon. So you write books to turn other people miserable too?

Hey, just kidding, but it is an issue worth examining. I, also, write books that may be an obstacle to the faith of some, and must decide whether for some people they could do more harm than good.

I would love to read your book, but realistically I know I probably wouldn't get around to an e-book. It just doesn't happen for me, it is not as pleasurable as a paper copy, and I have so many others I've promised to review. I admit curiosity though about reviews others in this group may post, and it may talk me into reading.


message 20: by Clark (new)

Clark Goble (cdgoble) C.J.,

You very clearly claim in your book that you mission is to "destroy the Bible."

That seems a little more than just precautionary to me. And for the record, you are failing miserably to accomplish your mission.

Clark


message 21: by Kris (new)

Kris (khart17) | 128 comments You Should be Utterly Ashamed of yourself, C.J.


message 22: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle C.J. quote:
"If God is real, what harm can my little book do versus the Creator of the Universe?"

This explains everything C.J.. Your heart and actions have turned against God. You are spiritually blind and pretty much doomed (at the moment). Good luck buddy.
I realize at this point absolutely nothing we say will cause you to smack your head and denounce your current stance.
Most likely the only way God will reach you is with a Cosmic slap. But generally he just leaves people like you to dig yourself eternally deeper. Like I said, "Good luck!"


message 23: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle You told us earlier C.J. that you hoped God was real and wanted proof. Have you done the slightest thing to look for this proof? All i've seen you do is argue poorly that you are correct and without hope.

You haven't changed anyone's mind here: which means you are arguing poorly.

There are 100's of ways to challenge religions. You have barely begun this process. Here's a challenge that you will probably ignore: Which religion explains all the other religions the best?

And for a bonus: how many religions make claims on Jesus: (just about all of them - WHY?)

Do you believe every religious person on this planet is lying?


message 24: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Did you ever have FAITH C.J.? You apparently played with Christianity for 14 years - But I don't think you ever had faith or Salvation. How did your supposed faith work for you? Where did it go?

C.J. question:
"How many religions claim an invisible god or gods is real? All of them- WHY ?"

Exactly! Now this is something worth researching. Are all these God's similar? NO! Why? Are they borrowed or twisted? Apparently - yet not that simple.

Maybe when you are older and settled down a little you can actually start investigating some of these things seriously.


message 25: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments lol.

And from my perspective, neither the Christians nor the atheists are willing to truly investigate the phenomenon. We just play surface games trying to prove what we already think.


message 26: by Alford (new)

Alford Wayman (wayman29) | 20 comments Jung and Joseph Campbell have helped me out quite a bit on understanding some of it. " The primitive mentality does not invent myths it experiences them. Myths are original revelations of the preconscience psyche, involuntary statements about the unconscious psychic happenings, and anything but allegories of physical process."- Carl Jung, The Archetypes And The Collective Unconscious p.154


message 27: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments C.J., forget God for now. He's just a hangup for you, and you can figure out what "God" is afterward. Instead, start with observations, seek explanations, and build on that to reach the truth. Some examples:

1. People are capable of believing very strongly in something without evidence.

2. Different believers believe contradictory things with equal conviction.

3. People seem absolutely convinced that prayers work and miracles happen, and attribute this to God.

4. People go to church and come out the doors happy.

5. At church, people embrace instructions to give, be compassionate, show love, and generally make the world a nicer place.

I could go on, but you get the point. Starting with an explanation (a particular God)to prove or disprove is hardly the way to truth.


message 28: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Then you recognize that "God" exists in some guise, right? The phenomenon is real? So quit wasting your time criticizing other peoples' idea of God and begin developing your own, recognizing that they are hardly idiots either in their beliefs or in their chosen way of life. Maybe we can actually move forward together.

Same goes for the die-hard Christians who ridicule other religions the same way C.J. ridicules your religion. Utter silliness, and you Christians are the ones who really should know better.


message 29: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Sigh. You are sooooo hung up on your description of God that you can't think outside the box at all.

I guess I'll refuse to recognize anything else that's invisible. Love, wind, the internet.


message 30: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Alright, so you've moved on from "The Bible's" description (whatever that is). That still leaves a phenomenon to investigate.

I do not know what will one day be uncovered. But when we do, whatever it is, I'm content to call it God. That is the God that interests me, more than any single Biblical descriptions, or that of any of the other religions today.


message 31: by David (new)

David The question is whether or not a God has any responsbility or debt to His created children.

I think my example is pretty simple and simply shows that people may choose to do things which harm others and God is not to blame for this.

I am not sure how I can spell it out any clearer. You are speaking of God having children so I am using an analogy of human parents and human children.

I am 32, a grown adult and I have parents. What is their responsibility to me? (this is a rephrasing of your exact question about God.)

If I choose to cause harm to someone - let's say I tell a lie that destroys someone's reputation or I cheat on my wife or I get drunk and kill somebody - what is my parent's responsibility in this? By analogy, as you seem to place all the blame for God on bad in the world, you would have to say my parents ought to be hauled into court and blamed for the sins of their child.

So again, just why is God to blame if a human person causes harm to another human person?

The fact is not that God is off the hook, as you would say, the fact is that lots of crap happens in the world that it makes no sense to blame God for.

To prove me wrong, you would either have to say the analogy of God to a human parent is a flawed analogy. But if it is a flawed analogy, then I can't see how you can speak of God as a parent. Or you would have to say that our human parents are to blame for the sins of their children, just as God is apparently to blame for all the evil humans (by your account, God's children) do.

If God is to blame, then human parents are to blame.

If human parents are not to blame, then God is not to blame.


message 32: by Kris (new)

Kris (khart17) | 128 comments Amen


message 33: by Clark (new)

Clark Goble (cdgoble) No amount of common sense will work here guys. C.J. is not in this for honest conversation.

Did you notice how, yet again, he failed to address the arguments contained within a well-written post?


message 34: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle I applaud you C.J. for not giving in to our lame apologetics. (we are a messy bunch!)

The big question is: what apologetics would you prefer?

So far you have shown no interest in any. This just makes you a bad student.
What area of Christianity was most important to you? Was it Hope, Goodness, Morality, Compassion, History, Miracles, or my favourite - Logic and Reason?

Believe it or not: everyone here seems to have a different angle on Christianity and how it appeals to them. God does not reach out to all people exactly the same. So far the only thing I've seen you interested in is complaining. What met your needs before?

You are not interested in puzzles I guess?


message 35: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle To be fair to C.J. I have often done a similar thing to other religions: I would go their facebook groups and challenge them on their religious beliefs - and have them challenge me back.

No one has ever changed their minds in the midst of our discussions. I've had many people ignore a great deal of my questions - such is life. I however ponder every attack that is thrown at my beliefs - they are all valid concerns.
WE have barely begun to use our apologetics on old C.J. - mostly because he doesn't really care what our responses are. If he did then we could have tons of fun.

You are a contradiction C.J.: you claim to want Christianity to be true - yet you write a Book to convince the world that it cannot possibly be true. Please pick one.

It's been amusing having you here but we are all getting tired of going around in circles. Please pick something we can really explore and discuss. Your original complaint was a good start: We've all moved on to other areas of discussion and yet you can't seem to let go of that one poorly thought out complaint.

The reason I am still a Christian is because of the mystery of the Bible. Written by 40 authors, over 1500 years, involving 2 religions - and yet it is perfectly complete. The effect this book has on the World is mindblowing...I've spent the last 20 years studying other religions of the World (and atheism) and they just don't compare.


message 36: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Several legitimate arguments for "God" have been presented. I do not fault C.J. for his unwillingness to take the final leap of faith to believe in what he calls the Biblical God.

It seems a shame when Christians (and other religious groups) are so insistent upon their explanation as being the one TRUE "leap of faith," because this undermines the foundation that has been built up to that point. But here's the thing.

Picture a tall building, a tower of Babel, constructed by all the peoples of the earth. Then picture everybody climbing to the top and jumping off their own direction, taking their own leaps of faith. "God" scatters the people.

What happens when they jump? Each one seems to be caught in their own safety net. Different nets, to be sure, but still safely held. You take this leap of faith to the next level, and you're safely protected, so of COURSE you believe in your chosen leap! Isn't this utterly amazing?

So I can't fault those who take the leap, either.


message 37: by Clark (new)

Clark Goble (cdgoble) C.J.

What I am accusing you of is completely ignoring David's well-articulated post ... As you have so many before. You continually fail to address and respond to the arguments which are presented to you. When you do directly respond, as with instance, it has nothing to do with what was actually written.

Clark


message 38: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle C.J. question:
"What I am interested in is verifiable evidence the invisible Biblical God is real and not just part of our imaginations."

WE have the same question presented to us once again. I see your point in hammering this one home - it is a good and fair question. But are you seriously willing to explore it?
Personally I think you are so proud of the question you aren't even interested in exploring an answer.

I agree with you that we should not believe something just because people claim it as truth.

The other problem is you want evidence without faith. Have you even read your Bible? Apparently not enough to understand how God works.
So you claim (I seriously doubt it) to want to find God? Are you willing to follow the clues to his presence and Truth? Again I doubt it. But if you were serious:

What would your first step be in finding a missing person? Start asking questions that lead somewhere!


message 39: by Clark (new)

Clark Goble (cdgoble) Lee ... No one is faulting C.J. for not agreeing with us. I am, however, directly faulting him for not engaging with those arguments that have been presented.mfor instance, what's his response to David's arguments concerning human parents verses God as a parent? I don't know, because he virtually ignored the whole post.


message 40: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle What exactly are you selling Lee? Apparently Truth is not important to you. There's a religion or two for that belief: they are Baha'i and Zoroastrianism.

You seem to have very little interest in the Christianity of the Bible or its Truth. Do you even know what the Words Christian Apologetics mean? Then why do you keep arguing against them?

Anyway, back to the important stuff.
___________________________________________________-

C.J. quote:
"And to be honest, the fact you have concluded Calvinism is truth has completely discredited you in my opinion."

If you cannot see how Calvinism fits with the Old and New Testament then you really haven't read your Bible. If 2 Kings 2:23-25 is true then most likely Calvinism is very accurate.
Most Christians ignore stories like that because it doesn't match their imaginary deity of love and niceness that they assume is the content of the Bible.

It's one thing to not agree with Calvinism - it's quite another to have no better option.
I do agree with you C.J. that the God you WANT and WORSHIPED for 14 years does not exist. Now you are free to look at one who does exist.


message 41: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Rod, I sympathize with C.J. because he has found a log in the road and cannot pass. Nothing else matters until that log is removed.

At the risk of offending you (I wouldn't say such things if I hadn't come to know you as a friend by now), I'll say that I suffer from a similar malady. To me, any reasonable person will quickly and easily determine that the Bible is not infallible. It takes very little effort to recognize its inconsistencies. Therefore, when someone claims inerrancy, it undercuts everything else they say. I cannot trust you on a single matter of religion, because you've demonstrated that you are far too easily convinced of untruths. You will go to extreme measures to justify an unnecessary belief.

I have a friend who is very, very smart, but who believes in a 10,000 year old earth. Man, this guy is smart! But because there is a Bible, he chooses to believe in a young earth, even though every learned person knows its not true. This is a huge stumbling block to me; whenever he says something, in the back of my mind is this little voice, "but this guy is so easily fooled he believes in a young earth! You can't trust anything he says!"

This is a very serious problem of credibility for Christians to overcome. When there is no compromise with the real world, unbelievers like C.J. will just keep harping on something they KNOW to be untrue and give no credence the multitude of other truths you share.

Far better, in my opinion, would be to admit the Bible does contain contrary portrayals of God, and tell C.J. he doesn't have to get hung up on believing something just because its in the Bible. He can climb the building without jumping.


message 42: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Why thank you C.J. for holding up the Bible to Lee. He's not very fond of it.

So we both agree that our God condemns? That's a good start. :D


message 43: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Rod: I am extremely fond of the Bible.

CJ: Jesus is my guy, but I would not raise Christianity above other religions.


message 44: by David (new)

David Wow CJ, you are afraid to answer a simple question. You just run back to your same straw-man arguments and zingers when someone offers a legitimate challenge to your assumptions.

By your logic, all parents are to blame for all the poor choices of their children of any age. This is not at all logical, especially for a person who claims to want some sort of logical proof of God.

Good luck man, as I've said before, I truly hope life works out for you.


message 45: by Clark (new)

Clark Goble (cdgoble) And again C.J. Does not acknowledge or respond to David's argument. Amazing.

Clark


message 46: by Clark (new)

Clark Goble (cdgoble) You are apparently not reading David's post all the way through. You are certainly not responding to them. And yes, you are missing a great deal.

Clark


message 47: by Clark (new)

Clark Goble (cdgoble) C.J. wrote: "Example?"

Read everything David has written in this thread and then respond in a specific and engaging fashion. You have failed to do this so far. If I were any more specific I would be answering his arguments for you.

Clark


message 48: by David (new)

David CJ (post 6) - If a loving God truly does not owe us anything, then can we say the same to our children that we love?

You made the analogy of God as a loving parent to humans as loving parents.

In posts 13, 25 and 58 I attacked that analogy as a flaw in your argument about God owing us anything. You have yet to respond to that attack. When faced with the fact that human parents are not responsible for the free bad choices of their adult children, you offer no response and retreat to your zingers (example, post 60 which I take as a response to my post 58, even though it was not a response at all).

Should I even ask again, in hopes of an actual discussion: are my parents to blame for my choices that may harm others? What do parents "owe" their adult children?

It seems the God/parent you envision is the one who holds your hand (and everyone else's) all through life to ensure nothing bad happens. That is what you seem to think a good God would owe you.


message 49: by David (new)

David Clark, feel free to play devil's advocate and answer the arguments. It'd be fun. I could respond to myself but I might get confused over which Dave is saying what.


message 50: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Be careful not to ignore 50% of the Bible and assume that God is nothing but Love. That would be just silly - yet many Christians do this.

1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.

1 John 5:18
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

Love has conditions C.J..

Whenever you see a Bible verse C.J. always read a little further to get the full meaning.

Matthew 10:32-33
So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

So again we have love with conditions. You have just denied God before men - You have been warned.


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