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Old 01-23-2003, 07:23 PM   #31
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Originally posted by melon
There are victims, because there is free will. Just as we have the perfect free will to do good, we also have the free will to do bad. In both instances, undeniably, our actions have effect on other people. Any compromise on that would mean that we really don't have free will.

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Right, and this goes along with what nbcrusader said in response to the rapist apologizing to the victim- (unfortunately) the victim has to be able to forgive the person to get on with his/her life and continue to survive, which I can't imagine being an easy thing to do. Forgiving someone for doing something like that to you must be extremely difficult, and that is something else that challenges the victim.

hope that made sense
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Old 01-23-2003, 08:24 PM   #32
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Wow Melon - that last post of yours is right on (don't always think that but..... )

People wonder how there can be a God that lets all these bad things go on in the world. It does boil down to free choice. If God didn't give us that freedom, we would basically just be robots. He's the only one that knows our hearts, and He has said that we will all someday be held accountable for our words and our actions (which I believe could also include our lack of action).

Just a thought on the victims: we see the horrificness of your example, but what we can't see is the bigger picture and how God is working in this situation. He did not make those men do what they did, but He is able to make good come out of these bad situations. We as Christians have hope in the promises given in Isaiah 61:3 - "........he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair....." and in Romans 8:28 - "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose".

When we sin, and then ask for God's forgiveness and repent, we are forgiven. Forgiveness does not mean there are no consequences however. Sometimes the consequences are obvious - a drunk driver may not get his wake-up call until he kills someone. He can ask God's forgiveness and receive it, but that doesn't mean a magic wand is waved and all is as it was before. He has to live with knowing he killed someone, deal with having a totaled car and no license, and jail time. Those are some of the consequences of his actions. You may feel that the punishment doesn't fit the crime, but there will likely be more than just those earthly consequences - to my knowledge, the Bible does not spell out exactly what will happen when we answer to Him when our life on earth is done.

Somehow I still feel like I am missing something - if anything is unclear please let me know here or PM me
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Old 01-23-2003, 08:34 PM   #33
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i need to cash in that "Grace cheque" when I get up to "big table" when i finally meet my Maker.
w/o his Grace we will all find ourselves automatically short for the grand prize-

-the prize of eternal life in his presence.

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Old 01-23-2003, 08:56 PM   #34
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That's just it diamond - we have all been given that free 'check' of grace that covers the price of our sin - but we have to actually accept that check at some point in our time on earth in order to be able to cash it in at the end.
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Old 01-24-2003, 06:44 AM   #35
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Sorry this got off topic guys, its a great thread. Thanks also Bama, my comments re: the Messianic Jews was genuine, I sincerely do not know what church they attend. Religions and their subsequent churches is not something I am familiar with.

And thanks for your congrats too

But enough of my sidetracking!....
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Old 01-24-2003, 08:01 AM   #36
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Angela,
This is a congregation I have visited several times over the years, they have a good FAQ page re Messianic judaism:

http://www.shema.com/modules.php?nam...ories=Overview
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Old 01-24-2003, 10:35 AM   #37
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Thanks for the link BLS! That site is full of info, I had to bookmark it so I can browse it again. Interesting stuff for sure
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Old 01-24-2003, 11:08 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm


Right, and this goes along with what nbcrusader said in response to the rapist apologizing to the victim- (unfortunately) the victim has to be able to forgive the person to get on with his/her life and continue to survive, which I can't imagine being an easy thing to do. Forgiving someone for doing something like that to you must be extremely difficult, and that is something else that challenges the victim.

hope that made sense
For me, the terminology of "rapist" is a strange one. Mine was an "abuser". Coming from that type of situation is very difficult. Depending on the age of the victim and the degree of abuse has an impact I think on how the victim comes to terms with it on the whole.

For me, I was 12 and when all was said and done I was 16. For my abuser to face me and look me in the eye and honestly and remorsefully tell me that they are truly sorry for the crime that they committed and ask my forgiveness..I think I would stare him right back in the eye..and I am a spiritual person..and tell him he will never get that from me.

I dont think I could ever forgive someone who stole something so precious from me. The gift of myself. Im 39 years old now. I started dealing with my past last Easter. Until then Id been flitting along...ignoring..shutting it down...

I look at it now and it is mind boggling how much time is lost for me. Ive always thought it was my fault, that I did something..I have never blamed anyone but myself for that.
And what of the abuser - he went through his life...no scars...no repercussions for his actions...

My life is in shambles and who do I have to thank - forgive him that for his own peace of mind - I dont think so. I cant do that. So regardless of how much that person may or may not feel about what they did...I could never ever forgive him for taking my life away from me.

So I guess Im not what any of you would call a god-loving Christian for not allowing myself to forgive...but even for a spiritual person, which I consider myself to be, to give forgiveness, you must be able to forgive yourself...and at this point that isnt possible..20 years after the fact..so I doubt that will change.

just another .02
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Old 01-24-2003, 11:34 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave
Angela,
This is a congregation I have visited several times over the years, they have a good FAQ page re Messianic judaism:

http://www.shema.com/modules.php?nam...ories=Overview
Very cool. I would love to hear your impressions from visiting the congregation.

We have some friends who attend Shuvah Yisrael Messianic in Irvine. We plan on visiting the congregation this spring.
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Old 01-24-2003, 11:43 AM   #40
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Whackamole,

You are not alone. Forgiving someone who has robbed your youth and scared your life is difficult, if not impossible for anyone. I will be praying for you and offer the God's promise in Joel 2:25 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten". The abuser is the locust who has taken away years of your life. God will restore.
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Old 01-24-2003, 01:17 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Let's move on....

Mrs. Edge, you are asking some great questions that help us all understand our faith - keep 'em coming!!
Thank you! But you may be sorry you asked that, because I am always full of a LOT of questions about everything! lol!

Thanks everyone for being so concerned and taking the time to respond, I was worried about starting this thread, but now I feel very glad that I did.

OK, here's a related question. This idea of cashing in the cheque (spelled the Cdn way ), and the idea that since you know the Grace is there, and you will truly be sorry later, you don't have to worry about anything NOW. Almost like teen smokers who don't care what happens to them in their old age. Another example would be Catholics who go to confession and have it all forgiven and say a few Hail Mary's just to start over again with the same stuff the very next day (criminals like in the Mob for example, not just every day foibles).

You have partially addressed this already (in that God knows your true heart, etc.), but why would God even bother allowing free will to do evil in the first place, especially knowing how weak we are and susceptible to sins? Wouldn't he want us to live up to our full potential and be a wonderful creation?

I just don't see the point of this at all, especially if you are going to be forgiven later anyway! If you are a non-believer, you can always go to hell, but why also allow all these horrible crimes to happen to the innocent? What on earth is accomplished by that? I think you CAN be nothing but a good person and have free will make different choices, while still not being a robot. We could have a whole world where people are kind and considerate...what's wrong with that? Shouldn't God's children be a reflection of God's love?

BTW, I love the Locust comparison. I truly hope that ppl like Whacka will have something made up to them to compensate this unfairness!
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Old 01-24-2003, 01:42 PM   #42
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Awesome questions Mrs. Edge. Iíll try my best to address them all.

First, you asked the timing questions Ė why seek Godís grace today if I can achieve the same result tomorrow (or later in life)? A couple of points Ė (1) we never know when the end will come, so why take chances; (2) if we are sick and know we can get a cure, why live with the illness; and (3) eternal life doesnít begin when you die, it begins when you bring Christ into your life. As one who came to faith later in life (age 22), I can see profound differences in who I am and the peace I have. Thatís not to say life is any easier in many ways, but there is a peace I can find no other way.

Second, you mentioned daily confession. All believers should make confession a regular part of their prayer lives. Some confess in front of a priest, others on their knees before God. Daily confession is important because as a believer, we are indwelled with the Holy Spirit Ė part of God lives inside us (God refers to our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit). Now, Godís holiness and our sin do not mix. My sin interferes with how God can work through me. Picture an automobile engine. When it is clean, it runs smooth and efficiently. Add dirt and gunk (sin) and the engine suffers.

Now, the big questions Ė why did God give us free will. Volumes have been written on this subject, as well as the existence of evil and related concepts (predestination, etc). My instincts tell me that most members of the congregation where I attend church havenít even bothered to tackle these issues. Thank you again for bringing them up!

My brief response would be that if we didnít have the ability to make bad choices, we wouldnít have free will. Even the most gracious hearted person will sin at some point. Godís children can be a reflection of Godís love Ė but deep down inside we really donít want to be. God even gave His angels free will Ė which allowed Lucifer (the best of Godís angelic creations) to fall (aka Satan).

We have a decent selection of books on these subjects at home. Tonight I will either find summaries for you or give you titles for your perusal. I apologize for not having more information available for you now.

In His Service
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Old 01-24-2003, 01:55 PM   #43
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heres the deal.
the age old cliche, that "nobody's perfect" is applicable here.
That said the Son of God's Grace makes us perfect, if we ask for it.
I do think God is just also.
So.. if u live a good long decent life your place is assured.
If u call on him at the 11th hour your place w him is assured.
He has "many mansions" he has told us.

However,I do think though some mansions arent qwite as "spiffy" as others.
The rate Im going my mansion may be next door to the damn train tracks..

thank u-

DB3
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Old 01-24-2003, 05:42 PM   #44
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Jessica,
I regards to free will, yes, it does seem like it would have been easier and nicer to create mankind as inherently good. Well, Godís purpose with mankind is to have eternal fellowship with those who truly love Him. Therefore, to create us as inherently good 'robots', without the potential for the opposite character, evil, would not allow for true love. Only love that comes from a free choice of the will is *true* love. Voluntary choice is the key Ė love isnít genuine if thereís no other option.

So I think free will is one of our greatest blessings, but can also be our greatest curse, like in your story and whackamole's story and 9/11, etc. God doesn't cause these acts of evil - Joseph was very wise when he said of his brothers selling him into slavery in Genesis 50:20, "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good....."

In searching for verses etc on this topic, I came across this page with an explanation of the difference between God's will and man's free will that might be helpful:

http://www.epm.org/freewill2.html

And like nbc said, any more questions or further clarification that we can try to help with, please let us know.

whackamole, it is truly awful the things that you have gone through. I hope that someday you can claim for yourself that promise God has given us in Joel, as nbc posted above
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Old 01-24-2003, 05:53 PM   #45
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oops, I forgot - for nbc, in regards to my thoughts/experience of messianic judaism, I almost think that that would be the kind of congregation Jesus would be most 'at home' in if He came to earth today. Jesus was, after all, Jewish himself, and they celebrate all the Jewish traditions such as Yom Kippur, the feast of Purim, etc. The main thing is that they also realize that Jesus was/is the Messiah, and though He knew when He came to earth that He would be rejected by the Jews, I think it was always His desire that someday they would be able to see the truth that He is the Messiah. The place I went to was very welcoming and I could find no contradictions or points that conflicted with my own Christianity.
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