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Old 11-21-2004, 01:39 PM   #256
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
In the context of the entire Old and New Testament, yes. Picking one verse from the Old Testament with the question, "does that apply today?" will result in misleading answers. Levitical law is not required for salvation. But, as is noted in Romans 7, we would not know what sin is except through the law.
I agree, taking a VERSE out of any part, old or new testament, is completely dangerous. Everything needs CONTEXT. However, there are plenty of things that can be taken from the old testament besides levitical law.



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Originally posted by nbcrusader
No. First, human authorship is note a settled issue. There is a significant difference in view on who wrote the Pentatuch, for example. And, I'm not sure it really matters.

Focusing on human authors, and their "input", takes away from the authority of Scripture as the Word of God.
I do not believe it takes away from the Scripture. I believe it makes things more clear, when looking to see who wrote the Penatuch. Given that there are clear distinctions that show up in the the Pentatuch between the possible four authors and the times that they wrote, make the book more meaningful to me.

For me it is no different than recognising the differences between the four Gospels, and recognizing the imoportance of the audience they were writing for. The difference is that the four Gospels were not merged into one story, as apparently much of the Pentatuch was.

When there are passages that would imply that there was more than one God, and there are passages that do this, I think it makes sense to reconize that this was by one of the four identified authors by theologeans. It clears it up, in the sense that I know that it was a piece of a merged text from a time when the early community believed that different groups of people had their own gods, but that theirs was the ONE God.

I also believe it more meaningful to understand the difference in the writing style of the Priestly writers verses the earlier writers. The purpose of the Priestly writer, verses the purpose of the writer that was putting down the mythological stories makes clear some of the more confusing aspects of the Old testament.

Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Additional Gospels, additional books, additional other "helps" that are deemed "necessary" to understand the nature of God.
Can you give me an example? I am still lost on this.
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Old 11-21-2004, 01:42 PM   #257
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I'm honestly not sure if we should judge scripture or not. I can't say whether God's words went through the writers, but I personally believe they did. Feel free to disagree. We should remember something though - God sees a day like a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day. To define this, just because times have changed doesn't mean God has.
I am not sure I am judging scripture. I think we need to understand the times that the scripture was written in. I think we need to understand who the authors were, and why the wrote what they wrote.

I do not believe the message of the story is diminished by looking at things like this, I believe it makes the case stronger when dealing with people who have questions.
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Old 11-21-2004, 03:59 PM   #258
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
I do not believe it takes away from the Scripture. I believe it makes things more clear, when looking to see who wrote the Penatuch. Given that there are clear distinctions that show up in the the Pentatuch between the possible four authors and the times that they wrote, make the book more meaningful to me.

For me it is no different than recognising the differences between the four Gospels, and recognizing the imoportance of the audience they were writing for. The difference is that the four Gospels were not merged into one story, as apparently much of the Pentatuch was.

When there are passages that would imply that there was more than one God, and there are passages that do this, I think it makes sense to reconize that this was by one of the four identified authors by theologeans. It clears it up, in the sense that I know that it was a piece of a merged text from a time when the early community believed that different groups of people had their own gods, but that theirs was the ONE God.

I also believe it more meaningful to understand the difference in the writing style of the Priestly writers verses the earlier writers. The purpose of the Priestly writer, verses the purpose of the writer that was putting down the mythological stories makes clear some of the more confusing aspects of the Old testament.
I would suggest that concepts of authorship and intent/purpose are possibly good at a third or fourth level for providing meaning. These concepts can be abused to further a specific meaning.

I am especially weary of this when authorship is not well established, yet an academian introduces these concepts to underscore a different or new interpretation. It may fit together well as part of a thesis, but it seems cart before the horse to me.

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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Can you give me an example? I am still lost on this.
Gospel of Thomas, Book of Mormon, and the Watchtower are probably the most well known examples.
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Old 11-21-2004, 06:48 PM   #259
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here's what i think my problem is: it's not the message, but the messangers.

i admire faith, but to assert faith as fact without acknowledging the very human choice to belive, to have faith, is a bit disconcerting. without acknowledging any doubt or any struggles you -- here, the "believers" -- have had while on your road to faith, it sounds like you're blindly repeating what someone else has told you. i feel certain that all believers on this list have thought long and hard about these things, i just wish it were reflected more when they actually write about faith. the more doubts you express about your faith, the more likely i am to take what you say about your faith seriously.

these declarative statements: "Heaven is not a reward, it's chance for those who know God, to be with him on a new earth" make me far more skeptical of the message because of the certainty of the messanger. doubt and struggle are evidence of an active mind, in my opinion.
Well, the last verse of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" describes my own faith at times.
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Old 11-21-2004, 07:54 PM   #260
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Hi again!

I have had a crazy busy weekend but just finished reading every word of this entire thread. I am exhausted.

1) Maphistowannabe and Dreadsox need to change their avatars, I keep getting them confused and wondering why they are saying one thing and then the opposite!

2) I am glad there are people on here who think along the same lines as me.

3) Thank you for all the reading suggestions...I haven't much time to read anything before the New Year, what with selling my home, quitting my job packing up and moving to the US, but eventually I hope to get to it.

4)
Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
[B]nbcrusader ... you are perhaps the most civil person on here, and you certainly know a lot about the Bible. while i disagree with you most of the time, i respect your posts a great deal and find them extremely helpful to me.

however, the way you (effortlessly, and impressively) reference the bible it is, i think, indicative of exactly my problems with Christianity in the narrow sense, and religion in the broad sense. for every question, you've got a neatly contained answer that, to me, has little to no relevance on my life or my experience. it's a self-referential, self-justified, entirely closed system. you prove scripture with scripture. got doubts about Scripture? Scripture has an answer. God not answering your prayers? you'll change and that will answer your prayers.
Oh WOW! That sums up how I feel exactly. Having no experience with scripture, quoting it is totally meaningless to me, and I just don't see that there are such simple answers. I much prefer when people explain WHY they believe things PERSONALLY in their own words and with their own experiences, I can relate to it much better.

5) I had a thought while lying in bed last night. There has been reference to going to Heaven to "be with God", and if you are not a believer, why would you want to spend an eternity with God anyway?



This is a very good point. I had always thought of Heavan as a place of utter peace and joy, where you are reunited with loved ones, get to meet people like John Lennan, and eat all the ice cream you want without getting fat.

Are you saying that what happens is you go and meet God and talk about heavy theosophical matters? Do you sit in a big circle with God leading a discussion group? Do you read prayer books in earnest, sing hyms and quote the book of xyz to each other? If so, I can't imagine anything more AWFUL! So maybe I am better off without it?

Seriously, I want to know what the religious people on here think you do in Heaven for ALL ETERNITY...I am curious!
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Old 11-21-2004, 08:21 PM   #261
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I have no idea what eternity in heaven is like. My only guess is that it's feeling loved and in the presence of God for the rest of time. That, to me, sounds perfect.
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Old 11-21-2004, 09:36 PM   #262
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mrs. Edge
I had a thought while lying in bed last night. There has been reference to going to Heaven to "be with God", and if you are not a believer, why would you want to spend an eternity with God anyway?



This is a very good point. I had always thought of Heavan as a place of utter peace and joy, where you are reunited with loved ones, get to meet people like John Lennan, and eat all the ice cream you want without getting fat.

Are you saying that what happens is you go and meet God and talk about heavy theosophical matters? Do you sit in a big circle with God leading a discussion group? Do you read prayer books in earnest, sing hyms and quote the book of xyz to each other? If so, I can't imagine anything more AWFUL! So maybe I am better off without it?

Seriously, I want to know what the religious people on here think you do in Heaven for ALL ETERNITY...I am curious!
You make a very good point about heaven. No, I don't believe that heaven is a discussion table that is about theological matters. I probably bring that up more often than I should. My reason is that God's judgement on me is 100% more important than mankind's judgement.

Eternity definately reunities us with loved ones, and in a sense I believe that we will meet great historical icons, such as The Founding Fathers, Martin Luther King, and Bono in Heaven. All of these people are especially privelaged by God in order to make a positive impact on the world. I hope you don't interpret this as sales pitch. If Christianity were about sales pitch, most of us would consider becoming salesmen for a profession.
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Old 11-21-2004, 10:04 PM   #263
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Originally posted by speedracer


Well, the last verse of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" describes my own faith at times.
I feel the same way. When things are tough, I have a hard time believing that God would want me to face struggle. But when I overcome it, I not only renew my faith in God, but strengthen it as well. I believe that struggle, and overcoming struggle, are a few of the ways that result in God strengthening our faith.
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Old 11-21-2004, 11:00 PM   #264
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Whenever crap happens I don't understand why some assert that God is just testing us; or, that he is strengthening us. Can't shit just happen? Listen, in a way we've kicked "God" - or whatever you wanna call it - out of this world. The reason we can't find the Garden of Eden isn't because God put some angel to protect it from us...don't you see that the connection mankind had with God was severly cut? The Garden is all around us but we pollute it, chemically and morally, to the point where we can't see all the beauty. This pollution has led to disease, famine, war, pain etc. God isn't testing us; he has no part in all of this. Furthermore, saying God wants us to face struggle only once again serves to put God in human terms. God doesn't want...he is Want.
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Old 11-22-2004, 05:24 AM   #265
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Mrs. Edge I think there are many denominations of Christianity and that they all have key aspects to be followed. I am a Christian that believes that "God is Still Speaking" and my belief of the Bible follows along Dreadsox's beliefs.

My strongest belief of Christianity is to serve, to do what you can to bring to reality the command "Love thy neighbor". I haven't dwelled on personal faith. I believe and it is more comforting to know that there is somewhere else after life on earth (whatever I want to envision that to be as no one really knows).

My greatest inpiration in becoming an active Christian is Bono. I am posting an interview that comes to mind to me this morning where Bono speaks of God and religion.

Before you read it, I want it known that I don't entirely agree with Bono's opinion on organized Religion. I think it can be a wonderful thing if you find your home in it. I really enjoy the rituals of the Christian calendar, the sermons and the hymns. I love learning more about the stories and characters in the Bible without actually reading it. I love watching all of the support that is there for all that belong to the Church family. I love watching the congregation gather together to better serve and do great things for mankind.

I do agree with Bono that it does need to branch out beyond the congregation's community to embrace everyone and I believe that all Christians should be active in loving they neighbor where ever they may be. I frown upon organized Religions that spend all of their offerings on their own education and spreading the word and not on loving each other whether they be in the congregation or whether they be overseas in a place where we don't see.

Quote:
KING: You mentioned being Christian, and...

BONO: Trying to be.

KING: ... trying to be. Are you -- do you like organized religion? Are you a Catholic? Do you go to mass?

BONO: Who in Ireland could have too much respect for organized religion? We've seen it tear our country in two. My mother was a Protestant. My father was a Catholic. And I learned that religion is often the enemy of God, actually.

And religion is this sort of -- religion is the artifice, you know, the building, after God has left it sometimes, like Elvis has left the building. You hold onto religion, you know, rules, regulations, traditions. I think what God is interested in is people's hearts, and that's hard enough.

KING: So, especially in Ireland, you've seen it fail.

BONO: Yes, yes. And now, we're watching it around the world. We're watching what religion can do. And you know, I think it's anathema, and see -- religion takes ideas. Religion often reduces the size of God. God is so big. It's a gigantic concept in God. The idea that God might love us and be interested in us is kind of huge and gigantic, but we turn it, because we're small-minded, into this tiny, petty, often greedy version of God, that is religion.

KING: And so, we raise money in his name and go to war in his name.

BONO: Yes.

KING: If there is a God, he must be angry at a lot of this.

BONO: I think God is very angry at the moment, and I think there is -- I think it's shocking what is going on in the world. And I think it is an extraordinary moment.

Right now, I can tell you this. Our age will be remembered. This moment in time will be remembered for three things: the war against terror, sure; the Internet, probably; and how we let an entire continent, Africa, burst into flames and stood around with water in cans. This is not acceptable. It is not acceptable to let people die because they can't get the drugs that you and I take for granted. That means -- you have to ask very hard questions of ourselves if we're doing that.

KING: Why did we? For example, we would -- that wouldn't have happened in Europe. We wouldn't have let it happen in Europe.

BONO: Correct.
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIP...1/lklw.00.html
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Old 11-22-2004, 08:00 AM   #266
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Originally posted by blueyedpoet
Whenever crap happens I don't understand why some assert that God is just testing us; or, that he is strengthening us. Can't shit just happen? Listen, in a way we've kicked "God" - or whatever you wanna call it - out of this world. The reason we can't find the Garden of Eden isn't because God put some angel to protect it from us...don't you see that the connection mankind had with God was severly cut? The Garden is all around us but we pollute it, chemically and morally, to the point where we can't see all the beauty. This pollution has led to disease, famine, war, pain etc. God isn't testing us; he has no part in all of this. Furthermore, saying God wants us to face struggle only once again serves to put God in human terms. God doesn't want...he is Want.
About God wanting us to face struggle - if he didn't want us to face struggle, it would just rain on people who didn't believe in God. Struggle takes faith to overcome when you're in a relationship with God. I can't doubt that we've all questioned the existance of God in our lives, and a lot of it might have to do with how difficult life is. In another way, I think that those who are overly privilaged - such as the rich - could find it hard to need God when they believe they have everything.

While I might humanly disagree with your post, I was trying to relate how my faith guides me through struggle. I don't know how else to explain how faith has made me a stronger person. Many Christians disagree on how faith works, and I will be honest, I don't think it's wrong to have your view. For me to believe, it took more than a matter of mind. God's love had to hit my soul and my heart. If it didn't, I would still be the rebel child that I once was. I'm just glad that words like "soul mush" and "heart mush" are not a part of human vocabulary.

Yes, The Garden of Eden cut us apart from God, but I believe that Jesus died on the cross in order for us to come to the Father. It sure didn't bring an end to our sinful nature. But seeing that God didn't have to save mankind if he didn't want to, and allowing his own son to die to save us from our sins leads me to believe that God is righteous beyond words.
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Old 11-22-2004, 08:21 AM   #267
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Seriously, I want to know what the religious people on here think you do in Heaven for ALL ETERNITY...I am curious!
There are small glimpses of heaven found in Scripture. Surely not enough to support the common descriptions (pearly gates, St. Peter, etc.).

We see God's people in the presense of God, worshiping Him. We are told that there is no need for a sun or stars as God's glory will provide all our light. We are told there is no saddness or suffering. We are told that we will be perfected.

It is interesting that we try to equate heaven with our earthly pleasures. It works for many (72 virgins), but I believe that glory and joy we experience in heaven is far greater than our understanding of joy on earth.
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Old 11-22-2004, 08:59 AM   #268
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NBC - great explanation. On one hand, you take the words right out of my mouth. On the other hand, you remind me that heaven is not about earthly pleasures, it's much bigger than that.
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Old 11-22-2004, 02:13 PM   #269
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I believe in the Kingdom Come....

When all the colors bleed into one........

---------------------------------------------------------

Not going to find Heaven on Earth..........
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:18 PM   #270
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
I believe in the Kingdom Come....

When all the colors bleed into one........

---------------------------------------------------------

Not going to find Heaven on Earth..........
I could've changed my avatar for your sake if you wanted... Or at least inverted the colors. I might even do that anyhow.
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