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Messages - lapwing

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1531
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: John 1:1 - the Word was God.
« on: June 23, 2013, 03:33:51 PM »
JohnBee,
Ah shutgun tactics. Try to shut off debate by overloading your debating opponent with large amounts of exegesis while making little such effort on your own part.

You have failed to address the point about the difference between prayer and worship and most of your examples show a lack of understanding of how the Trinity works and an earthly view of power and authority ("The greatest among you will be your servant." Mt 23:11)

1. Jn 20:7 is an incorrect ref. Mt 27:46 is quoting the appropriate Psalm 22. The Father is God as is the Son. So my Father and my God represents the relationship. There is nothing here about worship though

2. See 1 above and
Quote
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,.... God, the first person in the Trinity, is the God of Christ, as Christ is man and Mediator; he chose and appointed him to be the Mediator, and made a covenant with him as such; he formed and prepared an human nature for him, and anointed it with the Holy Ghost above measure, and supported it under all his trials and sufferings, and at last glorified it: and Christ, as man, prayed to him as his God, believed, hoped, and trusted in him as such, and loved him as in such a relation to him, and cheerfully obeyed his commands. And the same is the Father of Christ, as Christ is God; as such he is the Son of God; not by creation, as angels and Adam, nor by adoption, as saints, but by natural generation; he being the only begotten of the Father, his own proper Son, of the same nature and perfections with him, and equal to him.
John Gill

3. Jn 14:28 should be read with Jn 13:16 as a comment about the relationship between the messenger and the sender. This was true when Jesus was incarnate (that Jesus was sent) but afterwards he was restored to full glory (17:5).

4. This shows a misunderstanding of the Trinity. The Father and the Son cooperated: they did not compete to be the greatest.

5. Confuses prayer with worship

6. The "we" here refers to the Jewish nation: jesus was talking as a Jew to a Samaritan. Your inclusion of this example shows your lack of basic understanding of the Bible.

7. No refs

8.
Quote
What is said here is in opposition to idols, not to Jesus himself, who, in 1 John 5:20, is called "the true God and eternal life."
Barnes' notes

9. Misunderstsanding of the Trinity. Curt has previously shown in this thread that the Father and Jesus raised Jesus from the dead

10-12 Misunderstanding of the Trinity and true greatness.

13. Lk 22:42 Jesus willingly subordinates His will to the Father's - true greatness. This is not about limitations.

14. See 13

15. Misunderstanding of the Trinity and true greatness

16. Ridiculous

17. Repeat of 5. Were you getting tired here?

18. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. This is reverential fear, piety etc.

19. The word "strength" is not present. A misunderstanding of the Trinity and the different roles of Tather and Son

1532
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: John 1:1 - the Word was God.
« on: June 23, 2013, 07:41:23 AM »
Jem,
You do realise that the New World Translation is regarded as distorted in order to promote JW doctrine e.g.

Quote from: wikipedia
Former American Bible Society board member Dr. Bruce M. Metzger concluded that "on the whole, one gains a tolerably good impression of the scholarly equipment of the translators,"[70] but identified instances where the translation has been written to support doctrine, with "several quite erroneous renderings of the Greek."[71] Metzger noted a number of "indefensible" characteristics of the translation, including its use of "Jehovah" in the New Testament.

Theologian and televangelist John Ankerberg accused the NWT's translators of renderings that conform "to their own preconceived and unbiblical theology."[65] Dr. John Weldon and Ankerberg cite several examples wherein they consider the NWT to support theological views overriding appropriate translation. Ankerberg and Weldon cite Dr. Julius R. Mantey, co-author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament and A Hellenistic Greek Reader, who also criticized the NWT, calling it "a shocking mistranslation."[65][66]

Dr. William Barclay, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism, concluded that "the deliberate distortion of truth by this sect is seen in the New Testament translation. ... It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest."[67]

Heb 1:8 and Ps 45:6
Heb 1:8 ESV: But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
  πρὸς  δὲ  τὸν  υἱόν,  Ὁ  θρόνος  σου  ὁ  θεὸς  εἰς  τὸν  αἰῶνα  τοῦ  αἰῶνος,   καὶ  ἡ  ῥάβδος  τῆς  εὐθύτητος  ῥάβδος  τῆς  βασιλείας  αὐτοῦ·   


Ps 45:6 ESV: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
Hebrew: http://biblehub.com/text/psalms/45-6.htm

The "God is your throne" interpretation, though possible, is unlikely since such words would not be addressed to an earthly king such as Solomon, as in Psalm 45:6. Also note that in Ps 45:7 "Solomon" is addressed as God. This Psalm was recognised as Messianic.

Quote
Do you have any idea how many times Jesus used the expression e·go′ ei·mi′? Only this once is it singled out and applied to Exodus 3:14.
Again this is not true. See http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/15/15-3/15-3-pp144-152_JETS.pdf for a good discussion of "I am". The section on Jesus starts half way down p149

e.g.
Quote
What may or may not have been implicit in the “I am” of Jesus on that occasion became explicit at the time of His trial before the religious authorities of Jerusalem. Luke’s account recalls the inquisition of the elders as they demanded certain information from Jesus, information that He refused to give them. When they finally asked Him if He was the Son of God, He said to them, “You say that I am.” The phrase “I am” was all they needed to hear; their response to it indicates that they were thoroughly convinced that by using it He was claiming divine prerogatives (Luke 22:66–71).

In Mark’s account of Jesus’ trial, our Lord is even more direct. Here He does not put the “I am” into the mouths of His accusers, but uses the expression of Himself. To the high priest’s question, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed?”, Jesus responds, simply and forth-rightly, “I am.” At that “the high priest tore his mantle, and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy’” (Mark 16:61–64). Quite clearly, the inquisitors of Jesus heard in His “I am” unnerving echoes of the ancient ehyeh

1533
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: John 1:1 - the Word was God.
« on: June 23, 2013, 05:28:38 AM »
Jem,
Quote
I do wish you would learn how to quote; it makes replying to you somewhat difficult.
I do wish you would learn to explain yourself properly rather than just criticise negatively. Positive criticism would involve explaining what you mean here with example(s).

Quote
I would suggest you use a variety of Bible translations because sticking to one, esp the NIV is not giving you a good overview of the text from different points of view in translation.
I do use a range of translations and have quoted from different versions on this forum. Note that I state which version I'm using so that readers can verify and read round the quotations - you do not generally do this.
You can verify this by searching on ESV, NRSV, NASB and KJV and keying on lapwing.
I think it would be better, Jem, if in future you take more care to avoid making false statements.

Quote
Firstly "no one has seen God at any time"....how many people saw Jesus? 
Curt has alreadt explained this in #150 (+1 for that post Curt) and so has the NT: Heb 1:3

Quote
"only begotten God" also brings up problems because God is not begotten
Where is it written that "God is not begotten"?

Quote
Jehovah "sent his only begotten son" means that he is not God but a son of God
Curt has addressed this one in #150. Recall that some MSS use "God" rather than "Son" in Jn 1:18. The Aland, Metzger Greek NT gives text critical reasons for preferring theos in Jn1:18 i.e. "the only begotten God".
See http://www.nestle-aland.com/en/read-na28-online/text/bibeltext/lesen/stelle/53/ and key on "anarthrous" in http://obinfonet.ro/docs/exeg/exegres/metzger-alls.pdf

Quote
It is not JW doctrine, it is Bible doctrine.
But it (edit: what you write) is JW doctrine isn't it?

Quote
no human had the right to remove it from his word.
What do you mean here? The divine name has not been removed from the OT. The NT is written in Greek since the gospel was accepted to a greater degree by the Gentiles.

Quote
Jesus in his pre-human existence IS an "only child" in every sense of the term. He has a Father, suggesting that he is a 'progeny' or offspring of his Father.
Yes Jesus is the only, unique, begotten Son of God.

Quote
is all that really needed to explain something that is so simple?
It's a good idea to know what lies under the bonnet of the Bible so as to understand it better. Methinks this tells me you are not really a serious Bible student despite your "avid" descriptor.

Quote
Does use of the word "firstborn" not make you realize that Jesus had a birth
Yes He is the only begotten Son of God.

Quote
but in being brought into existence by a process that leads to the creation of another being.
You obviously haven't bothered to work out the difference between create and beget.

Quote
To make a doctrine out of the exclamation of one apostle who was expressing doubt, as if it cancels out the rest of scripture is ridiculous.
You are rejecting the Bible when it conflicts with your JW prejudices. Thomas was expressing faith here not doubt - that's the whole point and made clear by Jesus: 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jn 20:29 ESV. Note that Jesus says that Thomas has "believed" i.e. has expressed faith not doubt!

Quote
As an apostle Thomas had no notion of Jesus being Jehovah at all. He had never heard Jesus even hint at such a blasphemous idea.
Incorrect. See #91 and #150

Quote
There is just one Almighty God.
I agree:
Quote from: 39 articles
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

1534
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: John 1:1 - the Word was God.
« on: June 23, 2013, 04:18:59 AM »
JohnBee,
Quote
we find that Jesus worshiped his God and Father. ie. Jesus recognized and declared his Father as the One true God. He fell to his knees before Him, asking for strength, direction, and most of all, attributed(through thanks), for all things(good) as His God and Father.
You are failing to differentiate between prayer and worship - a good dictionary will explain this to you. For instance, in Matthew's account of Gethsemane the word used is προσεύχομαι (proseuchomai). Its NT usage is given here: http://biblesuite.com/greek/strongs_4336.htm The literal meaning is to exchange wishes. The Greek word for worship (e.g. Mt 14:33) is προσκυνέω (proskuneó). Its NT usage is here http://biblesuite.com/greek/strongs_4352.htm. It is used for people worshipping Jesus and also Jesus' response to satan that only the Lord ( κύριον  τὸν  θεόν  ) should be worshipped. This is quoting Dt 6:13 ESV It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. Here the wording is Yahweh=Lord eloheka=your God. So one should only worship Yahweh and yet Jesus accepts worship. Conclusion: worship of Jesus is worship of Yahweh.

Quote
YHWH spoke of a son whom he would send to save mankind
You have provided no biblical references for this statement. In the NT it is the Father who addresses Jesus.

Quote
The Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy after claiming to exist prior to Abraham.
Where is this stated explicitly. How does Jesus exist before Abraham?

Quote
Jesus was not claiming to be his Father
Correct. He was claiming to be God. The Father is another person of the Trinity and so not Jesus.

Quote
was not claiming to be Jehovah in any way
Have you read Curt's #150?

Quote
I'd be careful on putting faith on anything that lay beyond Jesus' own teachings
You need to be wary of the red letter fallacy. All the NT is the inspired word of God, not just Jesus' quoted words.

1535
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: John 1:1 - the Word was God.
« on: June 22, 2013, 06:03:58 PM »
JohnBee,
1-5. Where does it say Jesus worshipped? The other questions are answered by "the Father". (NB: your "who's" should be "whose"). How does this affect Yahweh=Father+Son+Holy Spirit? How does Abraham, Moses, David and Elijah worshipping Yahweh affect this?

Quote
Jesus called upon the name of his Father(Jehovah) who's (sic) name he declared as prophesied in Isai 52:6 and in conjunction with the prophecy of the end spoken of in Zech 13:7:
How does this show the Father=Yahweh? Bracketing (Jehovah) above is your assumption: it's not in the Bible.

Quote
nowhere in the text do we find Jesus ever saying He was Jehovah.
Please reread #91. Why did the crowd try to stone Jesus?

1536
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: John 1:1 - the Word was God.
« on: June 22, 2013, 07:43:40 AM »
"This is my son" is spoken by the Father (obv!). Where does it say that Yahweh says this?

Quote
these arguments have come-up a number of times in the forums, to which I'd add, the results were mixed at best.
This is mere personal opinion and has no substance.

1537
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: John 1:1 - the Word was God.
« on: June 22, 2013, 05:13:00 AM »
Hi JohnBee,
Quote
it is the Father(Jehovah or YHWH) and He alone that we should worship rather than; the son, lamb, the christ, the throne, the word, the sacrifice, the arm, etc. To which I'd add, really couldn't be any clearer.
Where do you get the idea that Yahweh=the Father. It is orthodox Christian doctrine that Yahweh=God=Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Quote from: 39 articles
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Jesus claimed to be Yahweh and got into trouble for it.
Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57“You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds
Jn 8:56-59 NIV
 πρὶν  Ἀβραὰμ  γενέσθαι  ἐγὼ  εἰμί.  

Now the LXX=Septuagint=Greek OT rendering of the key verse at the burning bush is:
Ex 3:14 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς πρὸς μωυσῆν ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν καὶ εἶπεν οὕτως ἐρεῖς τοῖς υἱοῖς ισραηλ ὁ ὢν ἀπέσταλκέν με πρὸς ὑμᾶς
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you

Of course, Jesus spoke in Aramaic so would have paralleled the Hebrew here:
http://biblehub.com/aramaic-english/john/8.htm shows this as close to אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה from http://biblehub.com/text/exodus/3-14.htm

1538
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: John 1:1 - the Word was God.
« on: June 22, 2013, 02:30:09 AM »
Jem,

1. First I must apologise for missing the accusative form of "the" before the first use of theos=God in John 1:1
Ἐν  ἀρχῇ  ἦν  ὁ  λόγος,  καὶ  ὁ  λόγος  ἦν  πρὸς  τὸν  θεόν,  καὶ  θεὸς  ἦν  ὁ  λόγος
But as Asking_A_Question has pointed out this does not imply a "lesser God". Note the word order is actually:
"and the word was the God and God was the word" not the word was God. So which God does it mean - grammar strongly suggests it is the God just referred to. But there are other instances of the usage of theos in the NT. AAQ has mentioned John 1:18:

Θεὸν  οὐδεὶς  ἑώρακεν  πώποτε·  μονογενὴς  θεὸς  ὁ  ὢν  είς  τὸν  κόλπον  τοῦ  πατρὸς  ἐκεῖνος  ἐξηγήσατο.
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Note that the "God" whom no one has seen (I assume you take that to be Jehovah) does not have a preceding definite article whereas the only begotten God who has made him known (i.e. Jesus) does have a definite article. So to be consistent you would have to say that Jehovah is a lesser God compared to Jesus! I think you need to rethink your exegesis of John 1:1 and lay aside preconceived JW doctrine - look at what the  text actually says.

2. Is monogene=μονογενὴς=only begotten the same as "created" (!) The root word gennao is used chiefly for men begetting children. as in the Mt ch 1 genealogy. There is a Greek word for create, ktizo, used for instance in Mk 13:19 and Rom 1:25 for God's creation. See http://biblesuite.com/greek/strongs_3439.htm for other uses of monogene. Note that the three uses in Luke's gospel refer to the only children of people in the gospels i.e. begotten children. Beget and create are words with different meanings. Try looking them up in a good dictionary.

"There are many "sons of God" but only one who was begotten directly by the Father." Correct!

3. "How do you translate "God" in one verse and then render "son" in another from the same word?"

There are differences between manuscripts for this verse. See http://biblehub.com/john/1-18.htm for how the different versions handle it and the following quotation gives the manuscript information:
Quote
John 1:18
ο μονογενης υιος (the only-begotten son) — A C3 K X Δ Θ Π 063 0234 f1,13 28 565 700 892 1009 1010 1071 1079 1195 1216 1230 1241 1242 1253 1344 1365 1546 1646 2148 Byz Georgian mss. of Adysh (9th century)
ο μονογενης θεος (the only-begotten God) — 75 אc 33 copbo
μονογενης θεος (God [the] only-begotten) — 66 א* B C* L
from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textual_variants_in_the_New_Testament

A more detailed version is this:
Quote
1:18 (Münster) (IGNT Majuscules)
μονογενὴς θεὸς] p66 ‭א* B C* L pc syrp syrh(mg) geo2 Diatessarona Valentiniansaccording to Irenaeus Valentiniansaccording to Clement Ptolemy Heracleon Origengr(2/4) Ariusaccording to Epiphanius Apostolic Constitutions Didymus Ps-Ignatius Synesiusaccording to Epiphanius Cyril1/4 WH NRtext Nv NM
ὁ μονογενὴς θεὸς] p75 ‭א2 33 pc copbo Theodotusaccording to Clement(1/2) Clement2/3 Origengr(2/4) Eusebius3/7 Serapion1/2 Basil1/2 Gregory-Nyssa Epiphanius Cyril3/4
ὁ μονογενὴς υἱὸς] (see John 3:16; John 3:18; 1John 4:9) A C3 E F G H K Wsupp X Δ Θ Π Ψ 063 0141 f1 f13 28 157 180 205 565 579 597 700 892 1006 1009 1010 1071 1079 1195 1216 1230 1241 1242 1243 1253 1292 1342 1344 1365 1424 1505 1546 1646 2148 Byz Lect ita itaur itb itc ite itf itff2 itl vg syrc syrh syrpal arm eth geo1 slav Theodotusaccording to Clement(1/2) Theodotus Irenaeuslat(1/3) Clement1/3 Tertullian Hippolytus Origenlat(1/2) Letter of Hymenaeus Alexander Eustathius Eusebius4/7 Hegemonius Ambrosiaster Faustinus Serapion1/2 Victorinus-Rome Hilary5/7 Athanasius Titus-Bostra Basil1/2 Gregory-Nazianzus Gregory-Elvira Phoebadius Ambrose10/11 Chrysostom Synesius Jerome Theodore Augustine Nonnus Cyril1/4 Proclus Varimadum Theodoret Fulgentius Caesarius John-Damascus Ps-Priscillian ς NRmg CEI ND Riv Dio TILC
μονογενὴς υἱὸς θεοῦ] itq (copsa? θεὸς) Irenaeuslat(1/3) Ambrose1/11(vid)
ὁ μονογενὴς] vgms Diatessaron Jacob-Nisibis Ephraem Cyril-Jerusalem Ps-Ignatius Ps-Vigilius1/2 Nonnus Nestorius
from http://www.laparola.net/greco/index.php

Note that Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) both have theos =God rather than huios=Son.

4. lapwing: Where in the Bible does it say Jehovah created  Jesus? Jem: Rev 3:14, Col 1:15, 16

Rev 3:14 NIV: To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.
This states that Jesus rules God's creation not that God created Jesus!

Col 1:15, 16 NIV: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
This says the same as John chapter 1. All of creation was created by God in, through and for Jesus. Jesus is the firstborn=πρωτότοκος (prōtotokos) For other usage see http://biblesuite.com/greek/strongs_4416.htm Note that again "firstborn" is used for natural firstborn begotten children such as those killed during the first Passover in Egypt.

5. "Was Thomas' expression to cancel out what the rest of what scripture states?  To latch on to one expression from a man exhibiting a lack of faith is hardly proof of a doctrine."
Gulp Jem! How far and deep you have fallen. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles whose names are written on the foundations of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:14)! And you've just rubbished him!!! Thomas is reputed to have taken the gospel further than any other apostle - to India. Also there is the small matter of Jesus' response which you chose to ignore since it conflicts with your prejudice. Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Jn 20:29 NIV Sounds to me as Jesus was not denying Thomas' expression.

1539
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: John 1:1 - the Word was God.
« on: June 21, 2013, 06:10:05 PM »
Jem,
You have made factually incorrect statements in this thread:

1. "First we have to ask "in the beginning" of what? As an eternal God, Jehovah had no beginning. So what "beginning" are we talking about? How does "beginning" relate to an eternal God?"

The obvious parallel with Gen 1:1 and Jn 1:3 give the answer. The beginning is the moment of creation.
"Through Him all things were made".

2. The verse doesn't say that the moment of creation was the beginning of God - rather it says God was there at the moment of creation. So it allows for God (Father and Son) to exist before the moment of creation.

3. It should read either "the only begotten god", meaning a lesser god-like one.
Ἐν  ἀρχῇ  ἦν  ὁ  λόγος,  καὶ  ὁ  λόγος  ἦν  πρὸς  τὸν  θεόν,  καὶ  θεὸς  ἦν  ὁ  λόγος.
Note that theos is used both for "was with God" and "God was the Word". So is the first theos a lesser god as well? You're being arbitrary here with no justification.

4. The definite article (the) is used in the first instance but not in the second.
The three instances of "Word" = logos are preceded by the definite article. Neither of the two instances of God=theos has a preceding definite article ὁ. (edit: This statement of mine omitted notice of the word τὸν which is the accusative form of the definite article.)

5. Jehovah is the only true God and he created a son
Where in the Bible does it say Jehovah created Jesus?

6. Thomas' expression was an exclamation. The term "god" simply means a "mighty one" which term undoubtedly fits Jesus as John 1:1 proves. He is god-like, but he is not the Almighty
ἀπεκρίθη  Θωμᾶς  καὶ  εἶπεν  αὐτῷ·  ὁ  κύριος  μου  καὶ  ὁ  θεός  μου.
Notice Thomas uses the word theos here - that's the same word as "with God" in Jn 1:1. Your statement about "mighty one" here is palpably false. Note also that Thomas says ho theos!

1540
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Rosenberg's Argument from Evil Folly
« on: June 21, 2013, 05:32:44 PM »
Quote from: Fred
My intrinsic sense of right and wrong leads me to feel human life should be protected as I described.
But you're judging God according to your own worldview. Surely a traditional theistic God has autonomy from you.

Quote
Implicit in your suggestion is that 100% of the people who died in the Black death deserved it.
You miss the point again. We all deserve eternal punishment so saying that those "who died in the Black Death" deserved to die from the Black Death creates a false separation with a this-world-is-all-there-is assumption. I'm not saying that they deserved to die and others didn't, and neither did Jesus (tower of Siloam pericope). None of us deserve the life we have. We should be grateful for every moment of our lives - God is delaying his judgment to give us the chance to repent and turn to Him.

Quote
Your reference to the Bible is a non-sequitur for the discussion I’ve framed
Why given "God has knowingly placed people in harm’s way from natural disasters and God has repeatedly failed to prevent people from coming to harm from natural disasters". You're talking about God: the Bible provides a well researched description of God according to certain religions with many followers.

1541
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Rosenberg's Argument from Evil Folly
« on: June 21, 2013, 04:40:04 PM »
Fred,
You're assuming that humans deserve to be protected from the pain of illness and natural disasters. What justification do you have for that? The Bible teaches that we are all sinners and deserve eternal punishment instead. God is a holy God of justice as well as a God of love. But He has made it possible for us to return to Him from this fallen world by sacrificing His Son for us.
You're also taking a this world only matters viewpoint and then using it to argue against God's existence - assuming what you seek to prove.

The suffering from some natural disasters can be due to man's actions e.g. removing mangroves and suffering from storm surges and tsunamis. Living in flood plains or by coasts rather than on higher ground. Building substandard concrete buildings (Haiti earthquake).

1542
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Could it be that hell is not punishment?
« on: June 21, 2013, 10:49:35 AM »
Jem,
4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,a putting them in chains of darknessb to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment 2 Pet 2:4-9

The word for "ungodly people" in v5 is ἀσεβῶν or asebon. This is used only for people, not angels or Nephilim. See http://biblesuite.com/greek/strongs_765.htm

Quote from: Jem
Heaven was never mentioned in the OT at all
The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, Ps 102:19 and many other refs.

Quote from: Jem
There was NO expectation of going to heaven.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
10because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand
Ps 16:9-11 NIV

Quote from: Jem
Salvation for the majority will mean life in paradise conditions on earth, not heaven.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. Rev 7:9 NIV
God's throne is in heaven. Those who "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" are the redeemed.

1543
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Prayer request
« on: June 20, 2013, 03:46:16 PM »
Snoochies, I pray that God will help you and give you wisdom whatever the future may hold.

1544
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: When Seeking but not Finding
« on: June 20, 2013, 01:15:00 PM »
In Luke "good things" is replaced by "Holy Spirit" so giving an example of a "good thing".

1545
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Role of Baptism within Christianity
« on: June 19, 2013, 05:56:07 PM »
Hi Deadeye,
"You believe there is one God" - note this is a doctrinal belief such as believing God is omnipotent: it's not expressed as believing in Christ or God i.e. as relationship. James is making the point that true faith will show itself in works. He's answering the question "how do I know I've got true faith" not "am I saved by faith or works". I think it's fair to say that James' letter shows an awareness of Paul's teaching that salvation is by faith alone, not works (Eph 2:8,9) given that he uses Abraham as his example.

You're right that a true faith will want to obey God and this will include water baptism (by immersion of course  ;) ) but you don't want to make water baptism a condition for salvation since then you end up being like those Jewish Christians who insisted on circumcision.

1 Peter 3:20,21 clearly says that the external act of washing through water does not save - rather it is a clear conscience of the person baptised. So clearly infant baptism is not taught here. The word for "conscience" here is used in 1 Cor ch 10 in the context of doing the right thing about eating meat sacrificed to idols. 

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