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Old 06-16-2011, 05:37 PM  
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Running to God or from God and all points in between."

Wow, right now there are a lot of you guys each with his own burden to bear. I once was in your places and was a "seeker" although I did not realize it at the time. I was seeking peace with God. I now have great peace with Him. But in between those two statements has flowed a lot of water. And I see that that river is still flowing.

(I'm bringing this over from another thread)
When I get insight into most of your encounters with God the Catholic church seems to have been in most of your paths. And then only enough to put a bad taste in your mouths concerning the things of God. I can see how that would have gotten you off to a insouciant start. The Catholic Church has a history of doing some good but it also has left a lot of refugees in it's path. The Catholic religion is based upon some true words of God and mixed in with a lot of "spectacular religious practice" that has no power to change lives or bring peace with God. Don't get me wrong this is not meant to be a Catholic bashing session. Just laying out some facts. I'm afraid that all they did was to inoculate a lot of people with just enough "religion" that was just enough to keep soul's from catching the reality of a dynamic peace with God on a individual plain, a thing all inoculations of vaccines due. We all seem to pick up just enough information to make us dangerous to the dynamic truth. I'm not saying this is the fault of the Catholic church, it is just a common occurrence amongst those who at one time experienced the Catholic religion.

Where to start-- but at the start! "In the beginning God......." We as humans have difficulty identifying with supernatural or spiritual.That is where faith has to come in. Christianity is based upon faith but also it is not just a blind faith. It is built upon facts. Facts that allow for us to make good solid choices by. But then when we receive those facts we have to place our faith in them just like pulling out a chair and sitting down on it with full confidence that it will hold our weight when we sit down. We develop that faith over time by placing our dependence upon each chair time and again. Now we realize that a chair is designed for the purpose of holding us up when we want to relax and take a load of our feet. It is that way with the spiritual things of God.

There are some things we have to learn and there are some things that we have to "un-learn." The easiest way to learn is by others mistakes or by their knowledge. That is what the Bible is all about. It starts out with God supplying some information about Himself and how people learned to come to know him and how He reveled Himself to mankind.

The Bible starts out with God revealing Himself to a group of people we have come to know as Israel. Or for short, they are known as the
Jewish race or Jews.

Just think what a task that was for God at the start. Just imagine being you and looking down at a ant colony and wanting to communicate with the ants. You may see around them the danger that exists for them, but how are you going to communicate with them? To an extent that's the way it is with God. So what did God do? He decided to become one of us so that he could communicate with us on our level as He did through Jesus Christ the second part of the triune God. But there is a history God shared with man before that time came. It is that history that is brought out to us in the Old Testament. It is a story of how he tried to reveal himself to the world, and specifically to Israel as a nation.

That was then, this is now, and the story found in the Old Testament is how God interacted with humanity then. How He is presently dealing with man is given in the New Testament. The Old Testament gives the religious practice of God reaching down to man and man reaching up to God. The Old Testament lays out a religious cultus or practice for man to follow in order to have peace with God during a introductory time. It was when man stopped that practice from the heart that he got into trouble with his God. We can be thankful that we have it to learn by and to understand God and his boundaries that He set on mankind.

It was in this time period of aprox. 2000 years, that His dealings with mankind were recorded as well as the messages of the prophets that God sent to man. Many of these messages given to the prophets had a present value and also a "in the future" fulfillment to come value. God used, I believe, 60 some authors to act as scribe recording these dealings with Israel.

Many of these recordings prophesied of this coming of the voice that would speak directly to the ants. Each and every prophetic word of His coming came to fulfillment right down to the minute detail. (By reading these accounts we learn that we can put our weight down on the seat-- something to build our faith upon with facts).

When our "ant god" came to this world He announced that those prior scriptures spoke of Him. Now He was here in person to communicate with us ants and introduce us to the Father whom He knew so well, having been a part of Him from eternity past. Now He can give to us the message of the Father who is in Heaven. That message being "how we can have a relationship with Him." And it is in that knowing that we can develop that peace with God.


--To be continued--
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:19 PM  
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To drag this in from another thread... When did lightning stop being the wrath of God? Was that during the New Testament, the Old Testament, or in 1749, when Ben Franklin invented the lightning rod?

Would a lightning rod have functioned the same way in 1749BC as it did in 1749CE? The bible says no, science says yes, what do you believe?
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:47 PM  
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"Ant God"..........where's the omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign God of the bible? May grace and mercy fill my words when and if my flesh elects to respond to this.

.....and, lightning rods!! My Gawd people, being mistaken or mislead is worlds away from being intellectually vacant.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:26 PM  
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Originally Posted by Hillman View Post
"Ant God"..........where's the omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign God of the bible? May grace and mercy fill my words when and if my flesh elects to respond to this.

.....and, lightning rods!! My Gawd people, being mistaken or mislead is worlds away from being intellectually vacant.
Didn't claim intellectual vacancy, just trying to figure out when to trust the literal word of the bible and when to consider it something other than literally true.

If lightning is a case of people being "mistaken or mislead"; if the "flat earth" idea is a case of people being "mistaken or mislead"; if "the sky is water" is a case of people being "mistaken or mislead"; if "Adam and Eve" is a case of people being "mistaken or mislead" then we've set an important standard. Where the "created" world and the bible APPEAR to disagree, the world has the more "literally" correct answer, and the biblical passages that lead mankind to be "mistaken or mislead" should be discarded as literal truth. Kept, perhaps, for their value as a parable, but no longer considered to be literal truth.

Is this something we can agree upon? If it is, the basic argument between Christian theists and atheists is over, and we can move on to other important matters.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:36 AM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
Didn't claim intellectual vacancy, just trying to figure out when to trust the literal word of the bible and when to consider it something other than literally true.

If lightning is a case of people being "mistaken or mislead"; if the "flat earth" idea is a case of people being "mistaken or mislead"; if "the sky is water" is a case of people being "mistaken or mislead"; if "Adam and Eve" is a case of people being "mistaken or mislead" then we've set an important standard. Where the "created" world and the bible APPEAR to disagree, the world has the more "literally" correct answer, and the biblical passages that lead mankind to be "mistaken or mislead" should be discarded as literal truth. Kept, perhaps, for their value as a parable, but no longer considered to be literal truth.

Is this something we can agree upon? If it is, the basic argument between Christian theists and atheists is over, and we can move on to other important matters.
"RV".....your question is well stated and important. Unfortunately my reply will have nothing to do with "Old-Goat's" original thread direction and for that I apologize to him and those following his......points of view.

I often receive the opportunity to respond to similar questions. It may seem as though I am rambling but please bear with me. Your valid question covers, at minimum, my understanding of; biblical truth, the Holy Spirit's guidance in the writing of scripture, man's cooperation in recording of scripture, and finally the eternal chasm between theists and atheists.

To say that the bible is "literally" true is correct if one is only concerned with it's literary construct, but we all know the point you are making in your question, "just trying to figure out when to trust the literal word of the bible and when to consider it something other than literally true.". The bible is truth, as far as it's intended purpose toward the Work of the Holy Spirit. It reveals Godly truth in a unique way to to those who desire it. It preserves the ultimate manifestation of God's love, free will. We have the choice (free will) to seek "what" we desire from it (the Bible) and "how" we believe and or live it. Now, does it contain mistakes as perceived by our 21st century minds, yes! As an example the bible clearly states/implies that "the sun rises". We all know (or should) that the sun does not rise based on today's understanding of planetary movement. It is in examples like this where the synergy of man's co-operation with the Holy Spirit is fully appreciated. Did the biblical writers (Ecclesiastes 1:5 & Psalms 113:3) know what we know today, no. They wrote of experience (sun rising) as well of inspiration (divine truth). Did the Holy Spirit know what we know today, yes (God is omniscient). Was the intended revelation focused on planetary movement, of course not. Man's "experience", at that time bore out the validity of the statement and allowed the focus to remain on revealing the one true God. There is a term that is utilized by today's apologist to better appreciate this concept, phenomenological reasoning (Phenomenology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)). Basically, man's limited experience in the divine recording of scripture should not be perceived as anything resembling a "Godly mistake" but merely the utilization of an imperfect being (man) to reveal a perfect God in a way that "could" be understood at that time. The Holy Spirit fully knew that time and experience would eventually impact the words of that day, meant for that people, but He also knew that the desires of the heart of man would guide their understanding then as well as today. The stumbling blocks you mention in your post can be significant for some. I fully understand where you are coming from because I was once there. Once I decided, and it was a choice, that I was going to allow my lack of understanding to grow to a place of acceptable understanding, my doubts and questions became less significant. They didn't go away but my intellectual approach changed in a way that allowed those "stumbling blocks" to become quests rather than obstacles. My quest continues today and will remain intact until my end.

As for the "chasm".....it is a mere choice, an important, eternal, undefinable choice. It is easy for some difficult for others. For some it is impossible for so many reasons and easy for some for no reason at all. The Bible, the parts I feel I understand, changed me. Those changes take place because I allowed them. That "change" in me is being perfected each day that I allow it to take place. Do I fully understand the Bible, no. Do I fully understand God, no......not until I meet Him face to face. Do I allow these facts to get in the way of my trying (and usually failing) to live the life I believe the bible inspires , no. To believe, or not believe, is a choice. The testimony of God's patient and lasting love for man is manifested in this choice known as free will.

In closing, my attempt to rationalize the big question of the "literal" question concerning the bible is this: I don't take the bible literally but I do take it seriously!

If you got this far in my ramblings, thanks. I appreciate your questions. I hope I made sense enough to prompt other valid questions.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:53 PM  
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[QUOTE=Hillman;111495]"RV".....your question is well stated and important. Unfortunately my reply will have nothing to do with "Old-Goat's" original thread direction and for that I apologize to him and those following his......points of view.

Hillman: No need to apologize, on the contrary, I am honored to have those words of wisdom added to my feeble attempt to reach out to those who are still "ants." --Unable to hear and understand the voice of God.--

Hillman, you took me to task concerning my usage of the analogy of "Ant God"

I think that we are all set with hairline triggers. If you will reread you will discover that my usage of that "synonym" was taking a short cut of saying "we had a God that was speaking but we were not yet understanding."

God certainly is omniscient and the Almighty God. But what good does it do for this God to stand over the ant pile and shout down a the ants and get no response. They may hear the thunder and see the lightning bolts but what meaning do they have without coming down and becoming a ant and speaking ant language. Sorry for my imperfect metaphor but am doing my best to break through.

I am not theologically trained or educated but I do love Jesus our Lord and am trying to relate with others on the level where we find ourselves.

I do appreciate your thoughts and look forward to them keeping me on the straight path as we go into the future. Also I would like to bring forward a quote of yours from another thread, as I think it important as a introduction for the direction that I would like to see this thread go. For now why don't we keep our Gospel triggers on safety.


ps. I have gone back to my old moniker of "Old Rugged Crosser."
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:19 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillman View Post
....... In clarification there are 2 major positions in reference to God's grace; (1. A liberal view point or Armenianism, which gives responsibility for one's salvation to the person not God. It is by their free will that they accept grace or refuse it. Salvation is offered to all but can be rejected. These are very elementary definitions but they will suffice for this entry. Then there is (2. a conservative view or Calvinism. This view puts the (salvific) decision in the hands of God, respecting His sovereignty over that of man, and also respects man's free will.

Scripture is clear, God is sovereign, faith is a gift, and election is a reality. Calvinist hold that scripture is on their side while Armenians hold that scripture is on their side. I previously revealed my conservative beliefs. With all that can be debated the Calvinist view that God is sovereign over salvation trumps the Armenian view that man decides his will to accept or not accept grace. With that being said, both positions assume the acceptance of Christ as Lord over their lives. That is the "simple" theological constant.

Soooo, your statement, "...you really think he couldn't forgive someone for being born in a position where christianity wasn't forced upon them even if they did great humanitarian things?", has the meat of perceived validity but it still fails the theological reasonablity test. Salvation is not geographically based (as in being born somewhere). God is revealed in everyone's heart; believers and rejectors alike. That revelation manifest itself in acceptance or rejection. With out that revelation, this debate would not be taking place. You cannot reject something you do not know, philosophically or otherwise. Again you attempt to debate a subject you not only are challenged by and over, but your insistence on the "doing (humanitarian) things" as an argument is........
I have brought forward a quote from Hillman as he states this situation perfectly. No need to reinvent the wheel. With that being wonderfully said and posted, I would refer to it as being foundational in this thread.

It seems that everyone has sharp elbows; everyone's concerned about who does or doesn't get credit for what. Well I've got news. Man's story is God's story and man's chief end is to bring to God the greatest glory possible.

Now that might be objectionable with atheist who are self absorbed. But like it or not man would not have a story without God.

Why should we be taken up with this you may be asking. Because God is a God of love. I know that that is simplistic but it is true. If a fireman rescued you from a blazing fire that meant certain death to you, wouldn't you have a feeling of thanksgiving and indebtedness to him for at the risk of his own life he rescued you. Yet this does not go far enough.

That is the point I would like to make an attempt to clarify.

This is what the Scriptures call us believers too:

Rom. 10:14,16, 17
"How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? ?. But not all have obeyed the good news, for Isaiah says, ?Lord, who has believed our report?? Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ."

I am not a preacher but I do have things to say that should be of interest to those willing to spend some time.

When we as Christians focus on our salvation, we are really focusing on that which is most praiseworthy of all. We offer the highest praise for our salvation. Above all other things we are grateful to God that He has saved us. Nothing else would matter if that were not true.

And we affirm together that our salvation is fully the work of God, that He is worthy of all praise for He has provided for us salvation. It is a gift. It has been given to us. It is all God's work and all the glory belongs to Him. What a wonderful realization that is. And what a relief of pressure that gives us from not having to keep up with a "works relationship." It keeps down all those sweat bands and sharp elbows.

Just remember that praise is far more satisfying than cursing.


--to be continued--
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:01 AM  
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Originally Posted by Old Rugged Crosser View Post
Wow, right now there are a lot of you guys each with his own burden to bear. I once was in your places and was a "seeker" although I did not realize it at the time. I was seeking peace with God. I now have great peace with Him. But in between those two statements has flowed a lot of water. And I see that that river is still flowing.

(I'm bringing this over from another thread)
When I get insight into most of your encounters with God the Catholic church seems to have been in most of your paths. And then only enough to put a bad taste in your mouths concerning the things of God. I can see how that would have gotten you off to a insouciant start. The Catholic Church has a history of doing some good but it also has left a lot of refugees in it's path. The Catholic religion is based upon some true words of God and mixed in with a lot of "spectacular religious practice" that has no power to change lives or bring peace with God. Don't get me wrong this is not meant to be a Catholic bashing session. Just laying out some facts. I'm afraid that all they did was to inoculate a lot of people with just enough "religion" that was just enough to keep soul's from catching the reality of a dynamic peace with God on a individual plain, a thing all inoculations of vaccines due. We all seem to pick up just enough information to make us dangerous to the dynamic truth. I'm not saying this is the fault of the Catholic church, it is just a common occurrence amongst those who at one time experienced the Catholic religion.

Where to start-- but at the start! "In the beginning God......." We as humans have difficulty identifying with supernatural or spiritual.That is where faith has to come in. Christianity is based upon faith but also it is not just a blind faith. It is built upon facts. Facts that allow for us to make good solid choices by. But then when we receive those facts we have to place our faith in them just like pulling out a chair and sitting down on it with full confidence that it will hold our weight when we sit down. We develop that faith over time by placing our dependence upon each chair time and again. Now we realize that a chair is designed for the purpose of holding us up when we want to relax and take a load of our feet. It is that way with the spiritual things of God.

There are some things we have to learn and there are some things that we have to "un-learn." The easiest way to learn is by others mistakes or by their knowledge. That is what the Bible is all about. It starts out with God supplying some information about Himself and how people learned to come to know him and how He reveled Himself to mankind.

The Bible starts out with God revealing Himself to a group of people we have come to know as Israel. Or for short, they are known as the
Jewish race or Jews.

Just think what a task that was for God at the start. Just imagine being you and looking down at a ant colony and wanting to communicate with the ants. You may see around them the danger that exists for them, but how are you going to communicate with them? To an extent that's the way it is with God. So what did God do? He decided to become one of us so that he could communicate with us on our level as He did through Jesus Christ the second part of the triune God. But there is a history God shared with man before that time came. It is that history that is brought out to us in the Old Testament. It is a story of how he tried to reveal himself to the world, and specifically to Israel as a nation.

That was then, this is now, and the story found in the Old Testament is how God interacted with humanity then. How He is presently dealing with man is given in the New Testament. The Old Testament gives the religious practice of God reaching down to man and man reaching up to God. The Old Testament lays out a religious cultus or practice for man to follow in order to have peace with God during a introductory time. It was when man stopped that practice from the heart that he got into trouble with his God. We can be thankful that we have it to learn by and to understand God and his boundaries that He set on mankind.

It was in this time period of aprox. 2000 years, that His dealings with mankind were recorded as well as the messages of the prophets that God sent to man. Many of these messages given to the prophets had a present value and also a "in the future" fulfillment to come value. God used, I believe, 60 some authors to act as scribe recording these dealings with Israel.

Many of these recordings prophesied of this coming of the voice that would speak directly to the ants. Each and every prophetic word of His coming came to fulfillment right down to the minute detail. (By reading these accounts we learn that we can put our weight down on the seat-- something to build our faith upon with facts).

When our "ant god" came to this world He announced that those prior scriptures spoke of Him. Now He was here in person to communicate with us ants and introduce us to the Father whom He knew so well, having been a part of Him from eternity past. Now He can give to us the message of the Father who is in Heaven. That message being "how we can have a relationship with Him." And it is in that knowing that we can develop that peace with God.


--To be continued--
"ORC" my concerns lie with the following:

"The Catholic Church has a history of doing some good but it also has left a lot of refugees in it's path." = EVERY religion holds that distinction for various reasons. "Religion" is of man, not God, therefore corrupt.

"Just think what a task that was for God at the start. Just imagine being you and looking down at a ant colony and wanting to communicate with the ants. You may see around them the danger that exists for them, but how are you going to communicate with them?" = While the concept is understood, if the goal is to identify/explain God and His relationship with man and maintain His characteristics, this analogy falls short if not heretical. This is not to say that you or your intentions are heretical, it merely misstates doctrinal truths. Quite simply, and hopefully with grace, I mean....There IS NO TASK for God. He is omnipotent. Additionally, the "start" you refer to was authored by Him therefore it (the "start") was part of His Divine Plan. As for the "communication" issue...there was/is none. The issue was, and remains, the "listening".

"He decided to become one of us so that he could communicate with us on our level" = My concern here is with "so that he could communicate"....the church teaches "so that he could save".

"It is a story of how he tried to reveal himself to the world, and specifically to Israel as a nation." = His omnipotence doesn't allow Him to "try" anything.

ORC you make some very good points. My "concerns" as noted above are insignificant and rest in the shadow of the overall message you shared. Keep up the Good Work!
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:31 AM  
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Hillman, I like how you break it down.
A lot of what you say makes scince to me.
Maybe there is still hope for me.
But first I have to believe that there is an almighty omnipotent God.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:22 PM  
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Kra Ze Dav: That belief will not come from Books or from "head" knowledge. It will come from within when God chooses to call you , and He /She will, at one point in your life. It will be irresistable ,unmistakeable , and you will have the choice to respond to it or not. You dont have to be scholar or member of a church, and nor do you know when He/She calls, just be open , hear and answer.:-)
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