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Old 03-03-2002, 02:09 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Honestly? I don't believe God did play much of a role at all in the Bible. I believe it to be the creation of humans, who believed that this was what God wanted. I think the much of the Mosaic Law was written by post-exilic Jewish rabbis, who were clamoring to regain the power over their own people that they had lost when the Assyrians and Babylonians had conquered Israel and spread them out amongst present-day Iraq. Then Persia comes in, and permits them to return home. Of course, they thought that they were speaking for God Himself, so they just left out a few crucial details, and just cut to the chase, and said that God Himself commanded this.

...

Well, not to sound arrogant again, I believe myself to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Of course, I also have the same personality temperament as "healers" or "prophets." I feel the presence of God almost constantly, and I feel that I have been given the gift of part of His wisdom, not so unlike Solomon. Perhaps that is why I feel like I "know" the nature of the Bible and of God. But, no, I don't plan on being so arrogant as to create my own religion and get others to follow me. Of course, I cannot prove any of the above. This is a matter of faith on my part.
For the momentary sake of argument - and for that reason only - I'll concede that perhaps the books of Moses were not actually written by Moses - that they may have been written by Jewish rabbi's many centuries later. I'll also concede that the gospels may have been written decades after the deaths of the attributed authors - that their followers may have written the books. That still doesn't address whether you think God had a hand in the work and why you reached that conclusion.

As I said, "one could believe that the Gospel writers (whether they be the Apostles, their followers, or someone else) were divinely guided."

My question is, if you believe that you can be led by God's spirit, why is it not the case that the writers of the Bible were also led? That they were at LEAST as in tune with the will of God, and perhaps MORE in tune with His will?

On the issue of mutations...

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Of course, you are referring to mutations, but mutations are so "natural" that we all have an average of 8 at birth. However, most mutations occur in the benign "junk DNA," so that is why, most of the time, we do not notice. So, don't put all the blame on parents. "Mutations" are part of God's design, which is a mystery of life itself.
I think you miss my point, simply because I used an instance where it's not entirely clear that the mother actually caused the birth defect.

(And I never meant to imply homosexuality was a birth defect, per se, much less a defect caused by human hands; I'm just trying to refute the theory that all births are what God wanted them to be by presenting ONE counterexample.)

Let's take a more extreme, hypothetical example. Let's say a mad scientist wanted to make as deformed a human as possible. He takes a donated egg and donated sperm, allow them to join, and - before performing in vitro fertilzation - exposes the zygote to massive, NEARLY lethal doses of radiation to mutate its genes. (In fact, genetic testing pre-radiation and post-radiation reveal that the genetic makeup of the zygote has been changed significantly.) The woman miscarriages, or the child is born and quickly passes away; either way, the random mutations went horribly awry.

By what you suggest, I take it that you would think that what transpired is the will of God: "I think that we are all perfect upon birth: we are exactly what God intends us to be."

I see only two ways that your belief could fit: either we have no effect on the universe around us (which clearly doesn't seem to be the case), or the mad scientist was merely a tool of God's perfect will (which eliminates free will from the picture).

I'm obviously not happy with either choice, so I believe that, while God's will is perfect, He does not (yet) fully exert that will on the universe. Hence, babies can be born with terrible birth defects, those defects weren't part of God's plan, but they had to be allowed to allow free will.

So being born homosexual - whatever that means, either through genetics, development in the womb, or whatever - doesn't necessarily mean that the condition was approved by God.

Quote:
This reeks Augustinian philosophy. "Desire," itself, was a sickness in all forms to him, and that included sexual feelings that a husband had towards his wife. Women were never to have orgasms...that would mean she's an uncontrollable lush having impure thoughts. Hence, she was sick. Henceforth also came the belief that men were never to feel emotions, and that idea of the "stoic" strong male arose.

I find such beliefs to be ridiculous, reducing humanity to the status of animals.
I didn't think I implied that all desire was bad; and I certainly didn't mean to imply it. Desire is what it is, an instinctual, animal urging to do something. Sometimes it's appropriate and moral, sometimes it isn't.

I believe sexual desire is appropriate under the conditions of marriage - and that desire should definitely be embraced fully (as the Song of Solomon indicates). Otherwise, in instances that would lead to adultery, homosexuality, or incest, the desire is to be denied.

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Well, who is to say that homosexuals cannot be held to the same criteria, hence waiting for sex until they find that life partner? Objectively speaking, I think "premarital" sex is sinful, because of how much we value it. Hence, we tend to get hurt easily when a relationship doesn't work out, especially when it turned sexual. Likewise, forcing homosexuals to celibacy is equally hurtful, because it denies them the human urge to form a lifelong, lasting relationship with another human being.
Now, I wonder another deep question: how do you define sin? You say premarital sex is sin, "because of how much we value it." Shouldn't the criterion be, "because God says so"?

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Celibacy should never be forced upon people. Some are called to it, gay or straight, but not all. I certainly believe that many gays are called to lifelong relationships or "marriage." Unfortunately, civil society is denying them their right.
I'm not saying that celibacy should be forced on them by laws of man, but it does seem to me that it's the only option to live within the laws of God.

And you say that they are "called" to such a relationship. Called by what, or by whom?

At any rate, I have work to do today, and I will hold off on addressing Paul's works until I know whether you think they can be divinely inspired.

But first, two quick comments for Anthony:

Quote:
Orignally posted by Anthony:
The Bible is a book, first and foremost. And its a book that was written milleniums ago, now, isn't that a tad out of date?
How so? In what ways has man substantively changed? Are our thoughts, concerns, desires, and weaknesses REALLY that different?

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I believe that Love is divine, that proper love in any form is God incarnated; to love someone is surely to look into the eyes of God. Homosexual love, for me, has always been a part of that love and will always be such, why shouldn't it? Why should it be condemned as a vile and filthy thing, when it has created such beauty in its process. People (or certain fundamental Catholics) who talk of Homosexuality in a filthy manner forget that Michaelangelo, the Artist behind your beloved Sixteenth Chapel, was as gay as they come. The Pope at the time didn't mind, apparently.

It is both cliched and stupid to talk about the 'greatness that honosexuality is', as it is cliched and supit to talk about the 'greatness that love is'. I equate them both. How one can write homosexuality and beastiality in the same sentence is beyond me, as if the soul can be shared with an animal in terms emotional and physical.
Not to nit-pick, but "God incarnated" means "God in physical form," and that would be Jesus Christ.

That said, perhaps homosexuality and bestiality aren't precisely comparable - they do both seem to be inappropriate expressions of the human desire for sexual pleasure, but as you said, it's not "as if the soul can be shared with an animal in terms emotional and physical."

That begs the question: if homosexuality is good - because, as you say, it's an expression of love - why not incest? WHY NOT PEDOPHILIA?
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Old 03-03-2002, 02:28 PM   #92
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
That begs the question: if homosexuality is good - because, as you say, it's an expression of love - why not incest? WHY NOT PEDOPHILIA?
A good question worthy of a good answer, I will attempt one.

Primarily, I never said homosexuality is 'good', I said that homosexuality isn't bad, which is not mutually exclusive. Notice there is a distinction, I am not encouraging everyone to be homosexuals. I am not standing outside with a banner saying 'YES, LET'S ALL BE GAY!' the same way I don't have a microphone to scream out 'HETEROSEXUALITY IS THE WAY!' I think it is both arrogant and wrong to attach morality to someone's sexuality when speaking of matters such as homosexuality and heterosexuality. If a man loves a woman, you don't say that its an immoral love, that it is wrong for him to love her. Yes, it may be wrong if they are both married and they engage in an affair, however, the act of loving someone can not be wrong.

However, you can not say that true love applies to the pedophile; how can you? How can a love that is true cause pain and suffering? How can you compare homosexuality to sexual abuse, rape, physical manipulation and psychological torment? That is NOT love. Therein lies the difference.

An elderly man of forty does not share his soul with a young girl of eight, especially when he lies to her, manipulates her and then sexually abuses her - that is NOT love. Now, you tell me, when does homosexuality involve the suffering of one of the parties? When?

And as for incest, that is a complicated matter worthy of someone who can see it for what it is; I don't think it is morally wrong as long as they do not reproduce, then it involves an innocent third party who can suffer at the hands of their actions and THAT is immoral. Morality and immorality come into the equation when suffering is created, that is all.

As for incest, I never much agreed with it until I read the 'God of Small Things'. You tell me; if a brother and a sister loved each other more than anyone else in the planet, and therefore loved blindly without the ability to define what they feel, a love that went beyond 'sisterhood' and 'brotherhood', why should it be deemed wrong? Such a love is more truthful and more beautiful than the heterosexual marriage that goes wrong at the hand of infidelity, alcoholism and physical abuse. Not to mention the destruction of the human Spirit.

As for Jesus being the holy incarnation, I don't believe he was or is the only one. However, that is a question of faith, and your faith is not the same as mine.

Ant.

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Old 03-03-2002, 07:11 PM   #93
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Hmm...I really hate replying to your posts, only because, for some reason, all of your message before the last "QUOTE" is truncated. I wish I knew why....cut and paste time!

Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
That still doesn't address whether you think God had a hand in the work and why you reached that conclusion.
Yes and no. On one hand, if it weren't for the Old Testament, He would likely have been forgotten. On the other hand, these books singe with so much judgmentalism, hatred, and executions, I don't think God had any hand in any of these parts. What it was, to me, was humanity using the name of God to inspire hatred, not so much different than Osama bin Laden evoking the name of "Allah" to declare war against America. These Jewish rabbis had so much power that they very easily changed the scriptures to suit their will. "Their will" is not God's will.

Secondly, on the issue of Jesus, I believe He was both 100% human and divine, and, due to His humanity, He did not know everything, unlike God the Father, who knows everything. Hence, Jesus knew enough to know which laws to overturn, but was not privileged to the nature of how those books were written in the first place. Besides, assuming that Jesus did know everything, can you imagine that anyone would have believed Him if he had stated that the Old Testament was a lie? Seeing the reactions here tends to seem that would have been disastrous, and He would have been very ill-received.

However, with the New Testament, I believe it to be divinely inspired, but not "divinely written." Imagine, now, if you went to class and heard a lecture from your professor. Then, imagine that this lecture was spread around by word-to-mouth around the entire campus. Would it be fully correct? Then, amplify that by 40 years down the road, whereas this is the first time that this famous lecture was written down. It would likely be accurate in terms of the main points, but missing in the minute details and full of errors and misconceptions, along with details that never even happened.

Quote:
My question is, if you believe that you can be led by God's spirit, why is it not the case that the writers of the Bible were also led? That they were at LEAST as in tune with the will of God, and perhaps MORE in tune with His will?
And who is to say that I'm not MORE in tune? Just because I was not living 2000 years ago and had my personal writings canonized in the New Testament does not mean that my beliefs are less valid.

I do not believe that God ceased to change things after A.D. 397.

Quote:
Let's take a more extreme, hypothetical example. Let's say a mad scientist wanted to make as deformed a human as possible. He takes a donated egg and donated sperm, allow them to join, and - before performing in vitro fertilzation - exposes the zygote to massive, NEARLY lethal doses of radiation to mutate its genes. (In fact, genetic testing pre-radiation and post-radiation reveal that the genetic makeup of the zygote has been changed significantly.) The woman miscarriages, or the child is born and quickly passes away; either way, the random mutations went horribly awry.
This is so hypothetical that it doesn't even happen in real life.

Assuming it could happen, the sin would not be on the child that was mutated. He/She was changed without any choice in the matter.

Quote:
By what you suggest, I take it that you would think that what transpired is the will of God: "I think that we are all perfect upon birth: we are exactly what God intends us to be."
Aside from tales worthy of L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction books, like the one above, I think we are all created under the will of God. As it stands, no one does anything to make their child gay in the womb.

Quote:
I see only two ways that your belief could fit: either we have no effect on the universe around us (which clearly doesn't seem to be the case), or the mad scientist was merely a tool of God's perfect will (which eliminates free will from the picture).
So, assuming now that you think that fetuses have free will, why don't they fight when some are being aborted?

Mutations are part of nature. A species that does not mutate goes under so much genetic strain that it goes extinct. With every great potential for good, there is equal potential for evil. For example, the same element that gives us life, oxygen, kills us slowly, as our cells oxidize from it. Shall we now cease to breathe, due to this knowledge?

Quote:
So being born homosexual - whatever that means, either through genetics, development in the womb, or whatever - doesn't necessarily mean that the condition was approved by God.
Oh this argument reeks of latent stoic philosophy. The belief was that all fetuses were inherently male and that, due to the interference of Satan, some fetuses were made female.

Regardless of Satanic influence, females were still able to be saved as females. They didn't have to go through some "cure" to become male.

How funny is that all fetuses are inherently intersexed, but without the presence of a handful of hormones, they will become female by default--hence XY females. Or, if a hormone is missing or a gene is mutated to lack a receptor for that hormone, the process can be rendered incomplete, hence resulting in "intersexed" individuals, who remain both male and female.

I know this idea must boggle your mind, but I think that the intersexed, along with homosexuals, Down's Syndrome individuals, Siamese twins, those afflicted with genetic protein diseases (Nieman-Pick Disease, Huntington's Disease, etc.), and any other condition imaginable, are normal and worthy of God.

Otherwise, if they are the result of some mistake out of the influence of God, then why don't we do genetic tests to find these Satanic spawns and abort them?

I find such a notion to be preposterous. God has created us all in His image and all perfect. If that conflicts with the superficial definition of "perfect" that humanity has, then I'm sorry. You'll have to deal with it.

Quote:
That said, perhaps homosexuality and bestiality aren't precisely comparable - they do both seem to be inappropriate expressions of the human desire for sexual pleasure, but as you said, it's not "as if the soul can be shared with an animal in terms emotional and physical."
I find the fact that you tried to compare the two to be revolting. But I have heard it from other sources before. It is almost interesting what crap "Christian" ministers indoctrinate into people.

Quote:
That begs the question: if homosexuality is good - because, as you say, it's an expression of love - why not incest? WHY NOT PEDOPHILIA?
Because, CHILDREN CANNOT CONSENT TO SUCH BEHAVIOR. I'm surprised that this is such a shock to you. Pedophiles rape children. It is certainly reprehensible under every circumstance. Rape under any fashion, whether it be with children, with animals, straight, or gay, is reprehensible. Yes, that is why you cannot compare even bestiality to homosexuality. Last I heard, sheep could not consent to sex, nor enter into any legal contract. The same is with children.

And, in fact, I'm surprised you even mention "incest." Consensual "incest" amongst first cousins is quite legal in many states, and is legal in some Christian faiths. In fact, that's the small town joke about how they all marry their cousins. However, incest, under normal circumstances, is wrong due to lack of consent! If a father has sex with his daughter, I can honestly say 10/10 that the daughter will not like it, not to mention that it is adultery, which is hurtful to the spouse.

Alas, I'm starting to see that this argument is starting to go in circles, with very little new material.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time

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Old 03-03-2002, 08:46 PM   #94
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I only have one thing to say in this thread. It's addressing melon, when he asks "why don't fetuses try to fight when tehy're being aborted?"

The answer is that after a certain age, fetuses do indeed try to move away from the instrument of abortion. I've seen it on video. They also try to emit a scream, and this is commonly known as "the silent scream".
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Old 03-04-2002, 12:40 PM   #95
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Ant:

Thanks for your reply - even though I disagree with much of what you say, it was quite well thought out, worthy of being part the discussion melon and I have been advancing.

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If a man loves a woman, you don't say that its an immoral love, that it is wrong for him to love her. Yes, it may be wrong if they are both married and they engage in an affair, however, the act of loving someone can not be wrong.
Honestly, I think one of the weaknesses of the English language is its many uses of the word "love."

We can "love" others by showing a concern for their needs that is at least as great as our own concer: feeding them when they're hungry, clothing them when they're cold, etc. Historically, this form of love is called "charity."

We can "love" others as close friends, brothers and sisters in every way but geneology. For lack of a better word, let's call that "filia", or "brotherly love."

And, we can "love" others in a sexual way, feeling a desire, an erotic attraction, towards another. Again, for lack of a better word, let's call that "eros", or erotic love.

Now, being charitable to all is not only morally permissable, it's Biblically demanded.

Exhibiting filia, brotherly love, towards friends is certainly morally permissable.

(And let me state the obvious: brotherly love is not necessarily sexual, and in many cases it's not sexual at all. A close same-sex friendship, like the one I have with my old roommate, isn't a homosexual relationship - just as my close friendships with girls throughout the years haven't been heterosexual. The "-sexual" label simply doesn't have to apply.)

Finally, eros is, I believe, restricted by the will of God; that he intentionally created the two sexes so that a man and a woman would join together in a permanent bond of love, intellect, emotion, spirituality, and sexuality. Every other expression of eros seems to be out of bounds.

(And, as I've said before, feeling these desires is not a sin; embracing immoral desires is.)

Quote:
However, you can not say that true love applies to the pedophile; how can you? How can a love that is true cause pain and suffering? How can you compare homosexuality to sexual abuse, rape, physical manipulation and psychological torment? That is NOT love. Therein lies the difference.

An elderly man of forty does not share his soul with a young girl of eight, especially when he lies to her, manipulates her and then sexually abuses her - that is NOT love. Now, you tell me, when does homosexuality involve the suffering of one of the parties? When?

And as for incest, that is a complicated matter worthy of someone who can see it for what it is; I don't think it is morally wrong as long as they do not reproduce, then it involves an innocent third party who can suffer at the hands of their actions and THAT is immoral. Morality and immorality come into the equation when suffering is created, that is all.

As for incest, I never much agreed with it until I read the 'God of Small Things'. You tell me; if a brother and a sister loved each other more than anyone else in the planet, and therefore loved blindly without the ability to define what they feel, a love that went beyond 'sisterhood' and 'brotherhood', why should it be deemed wrong? Such a love is more truthful and more beautiful than the heterosexual marriage that goes wrong at the hand of infidelity, alcoholism and physical abuse. Not to mention the destruction of the human Spirit.
To play the Devil's Advocate, I'm not at all sure every pedophilial relationship involves manipulation on the elder (remembering that it's not always a older man that preys on a young girl). As the younger party gets closer to adolesense, it may be possible that the younger party becomes closer to understanding the nature of the relationship (and feeling reciprocal sexual desires). Just to say that the vast majority of cases of pedophilia are abusive and manipulative, it doesn't mean that there couldn't a rare exception where the two people share in a beautiful relationship.

To further play the Devil's Advocate, if suffering prevents incestual relationships from bearing offspring, wouldn't reproduction through "normal" relationships also be morally impermissible. After all, every human being suffers, and bringing a child into the world (under any circumstances) causes suffering. Further, aren't you denying the incestuous relationship the ultimate end of procreation?

Ultimately, I don't believe suffering is a proper yardstick to judge whether an action is moral. Some actions that cause suffering (punishing your child for doing wrong) may in fact be the RIGHT thing to do, as such suffering would improve the person. And some actions that end suffering or prevent potential suffering (an excuse that could be used to abort a child with indentifiable birth defects) could be very, VERY WRONG.

Finally, on the question of the "incarnation", your beliefs notwithstanding, "God incarnate" refers to God in a physical form. To say that "love is God incarnated" is like saying "I literally died on stage on last night."

(If you LITERALLY died, then we've just seen a miracle.)

It was a nit-pick on grammar, not belief.
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Old 03-04-2002, 02:02 PM   #96
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Yes and no. On one hand, if it weren't for the Old Testament, He would likely have been forgotten. On the other hand, these books singe with so much judgmentalism, hatred, and executions, I don't think God had any hand in any of these parts. What it was, to me, was humanity using the name of God to inspire hatred, not so much different than Osama bin Laden evoking the name of "Allah" to declare war against America. These Jewish rabbis had so much power that they very easily changed the scriptures to suit their will. "Their will" is not God's will.
I've heard the revisionist theory on the Old Testament, and one glaring thing stands out: it seems far too damning to be propaganda. If Israel's leadership crafted the books to fit their own wills, they probably would have followed in the pattern of the rest of the world, skewing the past to their favor.

Instead, their greatest leaders are murderers (Moses, David); their people CONSTANTLY rebel, including at the foot of God's mountain in Exodus; and the nation is being regularly punished for its transgressions. It's not putting the Jewish historical figures, the Jewish people, and the Jewish leadership ITSELF in a good light.

Further, in order to reject the judgmentalism and hatred of the Old Testament, you have to further reject the specific instances where Christ is judgmental:

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" Matthew 7:21

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - Matthew 10:24

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and F15 Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." - Mark 6:11

"John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable." Luke 3:16-17

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:26

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." - John 8:44-45.

(Note that I found fairly judgmental, angry verses in all four Gospels, not just mean old Matthew.)

THEN, you'd have to throw out Revelation, since it has God ultimately judging all of mankind.

Quote:

Secondly, on the issue of Jesus, I believe He was both 100% human and divine, and, due to His humanity, He did not know everything, unlike God the Father, who knows everything. Hence, Jesus knew enough to know which laws to overturn, but was not privileged to the nature of how those books were written in the first place. Besides, assuming that Jesus did know everything, can you imagine that anyone would have believed Him if he had stated that the Old Testament was a lie? Seeing the reactions here tends to seem that would have been disastrous, and He would have been very ill-received.
On the idea that Christ either didn't know about the falsehood of the Old Testament - or that he knew and didn't say anything:

"And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." - Matthew 7:28-29

"And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes." - Mark 1:21-22

He spoke as if He KNEW what He was talking about, and yet He confirmed the validity of the Old Testament by quoting it ALL THE TIME.

With the "He didn't know" theory, you're basically asserting that you know more about the nature of the Bible than Jesus Christ Himself. With the "He knew and withheld" theory, the implication is that he basically lied about the validity of Scripture. Obviously, I reject both theories.

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However, with the New Testament, I believe it to be divinely inspired, but not "divinely written." Imagine, now, if you went to class and heard a lecture from your professor. Then, imagine that this lecture was spread around by word-to-mouth around the entire campus. Would it be fully correct? Then, amplify that by 40 years down the road, whereas this is the first time that this famous lecture was written down. It would likely be accurate in terms of the main points, but missing in the minute details and full of errors and misconceptions, along with details that never even happened.


You miss my meaning.

Let's take your example and say, forty years after the original lecture, you're attempting to summarize it, and the ORIGINAL professor (a man with a photographic memory or an audio/video tape of his lecture) comes by and helps you out. THAT what's I mean by divine inspiration - not that the author was inspired by thinking about God, not that God wrote the work in that the scrolls magically appeared, but that the author was actually assisted in the writing.

I believe it possible that the writers of the Gospels (whoever the writers may be) may have been guided by the Holy Spirit in what to write. What's so impossible about that theory?

Quote:
This is so hypothetical that it doesn't even happen in real life.

Assuming it could happen, the sin would not be on the child that was mutated. He/She was changed without any choice in the matter.
I believe I've been misunderstood.

(Amusing: the first example was too realistic, thus it wasn't clear that the mother caused the birth defect. This example's too hypothetical, thus it somehow doesn't apply to reality. Though, it seems gene therapy will soon make it very possible a mother could have altered the genes of her unborn child.)

On the idea that "the sin would not be on the child that was mutated," I didn't suggest that the mutation is a sin, per se.

Yes, I've defined a sin as an action outside of the will of God, but it seems to me that action has to be deliberate - and thus what happened to an unborn child (and what a child does in the first few years of life) wouldn't fall under sin.

I'm suggesting that, while God does influence the universe in many subtle ways, He CANNOT force the universe to His will and keep humanity's free will intact. That idea DOES allow for birth defects that aren't his specific will, and it would further allow for human tendancies (the tendancy to alcoholism, homosexuality, and even the urge to procreate with as many humans as possible) to be outside His will.

The alternative reduces the state of man to "I have this desire, the desire must be okay because God made me this way, thus I'm allowed to indulge this desire." That's not morality; that's hedonism.

Quote:
Aside from tales worthy of L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction books, like the one above, I think we are all created under the will of God. As it stands, no one does anything to make their child gay in the womb.
Certainly, no one does anything to make their child gay in the womb. BUT, the ability to alter a child in the womb implies that children in the womb aren't ENTIRELY within the will of God, regardless of how people become homosexual.

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Oh this argument reeks of latent stoic philosophy. The belief was that all fetuses were inherently male and that, due to the interference of Satan, some fetuses were made female.

Regardless of Satanic influence, females were still able to be saved as females. They didn't have to go through some "cure" to become male.

How funny is that all fetuses are inherently intersexed, but without the presence of a handful of hormones, they will become female by default--hence XY females. Or, if a hormone is missing or a gene is mutated to lack a receptor for that hormone, the process can be rendered incomplete, hence resulting in "intersexed" individuals, who remain both male and female.

I know this idea must boggle your mind, but I think that the intersexed, along with homosexuals, Down's Syndrome individuals, Siamese twins, those afflicted with genetic protein diseases (Nieman-Pick Disease, Huntington's Disease, etc.), and any other condition imaginable, are normal and worthy of God.

Otherwise, if they are the result of some mistake out of the influence of God, then why don't we do genetic tests to find these Satanic spawns and abort them?

I find such a notion to be preposterous. God has created us all in His image and all perfect. If that conflicts with the superficial definition of "perfect" that humanity has, then I'm sorry. You'll have to deal with it.
...and your arguments remind me of the idiotic philosopher in Candide who thought that we're in the best of all possible states.

I'm NOT suggesting that humans are born with Satanic genes or some such silliness. ALL I'm suggesting is that we're not born perfect. We are born INNOCENT, in that we have all yet to commit sin, but none of us are born PERFECT.

If we WERE born exactly as God intended, then that can mean only one of two possible things: either we're all cogs in a machine in which everything leading up to the birth is ALSO in God's will (since such things as radiation and chemicals can affect that birth); or the actions leading up to the birth have ABSOLUTELY no effect on that birth. BOTH of those ideas preclude free will, thus I cannot believe in them.

THAT is the crux of my argument, something I haven't seen you seriously address.

I believe I have addressed pedophilia and incest in my post above - it only remains for me to emphasize that everything I can think of that defends homosexuality (short of my defense of heterosexuality; i.e., it's the will of God) can also be used to defend exceptional cases of pedophilia and incest.

To play Devil's Advocate once again, you say, "If a father has sex with his daughter, I can honestly say 10/10 that the daughter will not like it, not to mention that it is adultery, which is hurtful to the spouse." What if the daughter is a consenting adult and the father a widow? Hmmm?

It does indeed seem we're going around in circles. But it also seems that you're avoiding or misunderstanding the central points of my arguments - which is what's compelling me to repeat myself.
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Old 03-04-2002, 04:38 PM   #97
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
I only have one thing to say in this thread. It's addressing melon, when he asks "why don't fetuses try to fight when tehy're being aborted?"

The answer is that after a certain age, fetuses do indeed try to move away from the instrument of abortion. I've seen it on video. They also try to emit a scream, and this is commonly known as "the silent scream".
Well, this was more of a tongue-in-cheek response. Fetuses do react, I will agree with that, because I've seen similar video before. However, they cannot stop the abortion. That was my main point of argument, which was on the basis of "free will." "Free will" does have its points, but there is an obvious limit as to what we can control around us. A person's sexual orientation is not one of those things.

Melon

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Old 03-04-2002, 06:23 PM   #98
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Originally posted by melon:
Well, this was more of a tongue-in-cheek response. Fetuses do react, I will agree with that, because I've seen similar video before. However, they cannot stop the abortion. That was my main point of argument, which was on the basis of "free will." "Free will" does have its points, but there is an obvious limit as to what we can control around us. A person's sexual orientation is not one of those things.

Melon

I've been searching in my mind for an example more clear-cut than the pregnant woman drinking her way to birth defects in her child, and more realistic than the hypothetical mad scientist, and I *believe* I have it.

What I'm trying to do is disprove the suggestion that all humans are born precisely as God intended. Or, as Melon put it:

"I think that we are all perfect upon birth: we are exactly what God intends us to be."

"God has created us all in His image and all perfect. If that conflicts with the superficial definition of 'perfect' that humanity has, then I'm sorry. You'll have to deal with it."

If we are all born the way God intended us, then the fetuses that didn't make it to birth were also part of God's perfect plan: they didn't survive to their birth because THAT was in God's plan.

Well, then.

WHAT ABOUT ABORTIONS?

CONSERVATIVE estimates suggest that over twenty million unborn children have died due to legal U.S. abortions (that is, those after Roe v. Wade).

Regardless of whether you think the fetus is human, regardless of whether you think abortion is murder or a Constitutionally protected right, can you HONESTLY suggest that THAT was part of God's perfect plan?

Honestly, you can suggest that, but then SURELY there are only two logical conclusions: either the human actions had nothing to do with the death of the fetus, that God just happened to make the fetus die at the same time the doctor did his work. OR the doctors committing the abortions and the women choosing to have them are mere automatons doing PRECISELY what God wanted them to do.

THAT's the loss of free will I'm talking about; either human actions are irrelevant (God would have caused a miscarriage anyway) or they don't REALLY have any real choice in the matter.
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Old 03-04-2002, 06:39 PM   #99
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
I've heard the revisionist theory on the Old Testament, and one glaring thing stands out: it seems far too damning to be propaganda. If Israel's leadership crafted the books to fit their own wills, they probably would have followed in the pattern of the rest of the world, skewing the past to their favor.
Are you sure? A nation under a constant state of siege is easier to control. Look at America, for instance? Using the guise of terrorism, the Bush Administration has easily rolled back any sense of privacy we had left. Could he have done the same thing if everything was perfect?

Then, in fact, with such a state of siege, you will always have "heroes" to liberate the people, and, if you notice, the "Mosaic Law" (supposedly created by Moses, one of those "heroes") is full of control measures. If people tried to create a movement to overthrow these laws, the elders would have called it "blasphemy." Likewise, in America, if you criticize the war policies of Bush, you are a "terrorist sympathizer."

Kindness and peace, thus, are not often most advantageous for those in power. Machiavelli's "The Prince" would be a good read for you.

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Further, in order to reject the judgmentalism and hatred of the Old Testament, you have to further reject the specific instances where Christ is judgmental:

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" Matthew 7:21

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - Matthew 10:24
Well, I see that you've quoted Matthew again. The first quote is a parable on faith and good works. Obviously, the moral is that faith without good works is dead. This was in sharp contrast to the Pharisees, who believed themselves to be saved just as who they are. Funny how many "Christians" act just like Pharisees now. I see no problem with this passage.

The second passage is seen as one of the instances in which the author likely inserted his own commentary, rather than the actual words of Jesus Himself. What is wholly apparent is that it is full of Jewish Christian bias:

"Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." -- Matthew 10:5-6

Despite the very bombastic language of Matthew 10, the point is that the Lord should be the most important part of your life. Not possessions. Not family. However, this chapter is so fully un-Jesus like that I question its authenticity.

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"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." - Mark 6:11
Well, I spot another, what I like to call, "KJV hyperbole"--basically, a passage that is amplified beyond its original translation to be more severe than intended. This is Mark 6:10-11 in my Bible:

"He said to them, 'Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.'" -- Mark 6:10-11

The "hyperboles" originated from King James' own translators, who had their own biases in translation, and were found guilty of this and some were executed. Unfortunately, at the same time, these "hyperboles" were never removed. I never trust a Protestant Bible for this reason (amongst others).

This was likely exaggerated over Matthew 10:14-15, which is similar:

"Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words--go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town." -- Matthew 10:14-15

And I'm glad you brought this passage up. This is the only time Jesus brings up Sodom and Gomorrah, and it is done in the context of hospitality violations, not sexual acts.

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"John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable." Luke 3:16-17
Ah...how I love Catholic Bibles. Here is the official footnote on this passage:

"He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire: in contrast to John's baptism with water, Jesus is said to baptize with the holy Spirit and with fire. From the point of view of the early Christian community, the Spirit and fire must have been understood in the light of the fire symbolism of the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4); but as part of John's preaching, the Spirit and fire should be related to their purifying and refining characteristics (Ezekiel 36:25-27; Malachi 3:2-3). See the note on Matthew 3:11."

This is not meant to be a scary passage, but one of purity. As water can purify, so can fire, as, to purify precious metals like gold, you have to use fire. I have no problem with this passage.

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"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:26
Remember your recipe analogy? Taking this passage literally is analogous to throwing in the eggshells. Footnote in Catholic Bible:

"Hating his father . . . : cf the similar saying in Matthew 10:37. The disciple's family must take second place to the absolute dedication involved in following Jesus (see also Luke 9:59-62)."

Quote:
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." - John 8:44-45.
A passage taken greatly out of context. If you notice, though, the Pharisees are challenging Jesus on the fact that He contradicts the Bible.

"They [the Pharisees] said to him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?'" -- John 8:4-5

Jesus makes the famous "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone" line that many Christians seem to ignore.

Jesus then gets angry at the Pharisees, who, despite the fact that He has told them repeatedly the opposite, continue to ignore Him in favor of what is literally written in the Bible. I don't blame Jesus at all...remember my little outburst in this thread for the same reason?

Quote:
THEN, you'd have to throw out Revelation, since it has God ultimately judging all of mankind.
Revelation was greatly disputed as being part of the New Testament canon, and wasn't latched on until near the end of the canon councils.

Regardless, I think it is a book of symbolism during a time of Christian persecution, where literal texts would have been seized and destroyed. The original audience knew the symbolism. We do not.

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And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." - Matthew 7:28-29

"And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes." - Mark 1:21-22
I love how you quote cross passages from gospels. You are showing much of the evidence as to why Matthew is not an original gospel in many aspects, but copied text directly from Mark, the oldest gospel.

Regardless, these texts do not even support your argument. In these passages, Jesus casts aside the Old Testament and makes His own teachings. So, essentially, He knew it to be false. "[He] had authority, and not...the scribes [Old Testament writers]." That is what it means. Hence, Jesus did know, and cast it aside.

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Let's take your example and say, forty years after the original lecture, you're attempting to summarize it, and the ORIGINAL professor (a man with a photographic memory or an audio/video tape of his lecture) comes by and helps you out. THAT what's I mean by divine inspiration - not that the author was inspired by thinking about God, not that God wrote the work in that the scrolls magically appeared, but that the author was actually assisted in the writing.
How silly, particularly since writing analysis links Matthew and Luke to have taken much directly from Mark, but makes their own details surrounding the tales. I'm sorry...you may think of it as divinely inspired in that fashion, but I think you are wrong. Each gospel was written to evangelize to a particular audience that appeals to their sensibilities and biases, nothing more and nothing less.

Quote:
I'm suggesting that, while God does influence the universe in many subtle ways, He CANNOT force the universe to His will and keep humanity's free will intact. That idea DOES allow for birth defects that aren't his specific will, and it would further allow for human tendancies (the tendancy to alcoholism, homosexuality, and even the urge to procreate with as many humans as possible) to be outside His will.
So you are now limiting God? How faithful of you.

I think that difference is within God's plan. What a dreadfully boring world it would be without homosexuals, nor black people, Asians, women, etc. Some American Indian tribes once taught, in not so many words, that the presence of homosexuals were here from the gods to teach heterosexuals a lesson, and were, thus, divine.

Just because Christianity has cast them aside as "useless" doesn't mean that they are useless to everyone else. I bet over half of your clothes were designed by homosexuals, for instance. You would dread a world without homosexuals, because, for some reason or another, they fill a void in the world that would otherwise be unfilled. LOVE is a basic human element. An unloved child will be more likely to die young.

Quote:
The alternative reduces the state of man to "I have this desire, the desire must be okay because God made me this way, thus I'm allowed to indulge this desire." That's not morality; that's hedonism.
And I love how you think that homosexuals are automatically "hedonistic," as if they are incapable of having a monogamous relationship, but, I guess, hedonism is in the eye of the beholder. The Catholic Church thinks that any sex unopen to procreation is "hedonistic." If you ever use birth control someday, including condoms, you'll join the ranks of the hedonistic yourself.

Quote:
...and your arguments remind me of the idiotic philosopher in Candide who thought that we're in the best of all possible states.
You know, suffering serves a purpose. It reminds me of "The Matrix," where they stated that the original Matrix was paradise, where everyone's desires and dreams were fulfilled, but people kept on waking up from it.

The world God created is perfect, and I still believe it. The design of Earth and all the universe, along with the intricacies of humanity, are all perfect. If it weren't for "mutations," Earth would still be reduced to nothing but single-cell bacteria.

Quote:
I'm NOT suggesting that humans are born with Satanic genes or some such silliness. ALL I'm suggesting is that we're not born perfect. We are born INNOCENT, in that we have all yet to commit sin, but none of us are born PERFECT.
I believe that the design of life is perfect.

Quote:
If we WERE born exactly as God intended, then that can mean only one of two possible things: either we're all cogs in a machine in which everything leading up to the birth is ALSO in God's will (since such things as radiation and chemicals can affect that birth); or the actions leading up to the birth have ABSOLUTELY no effect on that birth. BOTH of those ideas preclude free will, thus I cannot believe in them.
I see you have still missed my point:

Let's take someone who is left-handed. Aside from that left-handedness, they are otherwise perfect. However, it was believed that left-handed people were deviant, and most schools tried to force them to write with their right hand.

Eventually, we abandoned such foolishness. If right-handedness is "perfection" and left-handedness is "imperfection," we don't expect the left-handed to be something that they are not. We certainly don't force them to stop writing completely, because they cannot conform to the right-handed. However, those who are right-handed who try to write with their left are punished, because they are going against their own nature.

Homosexuals are like the "left-handed." They are no more different than any heterosexual, aside from whom they love. In the most ideal of stoic fantasies, no one would ever love. No one would ever have sex. We'd all bury ourselves in constant prayer, suffering and waiting for death to free us from that punishment we call "life." However, that is, to me, wasting the talents that God gave us.

Regardless, I think that these pronouncements against homosexuality are just as ludicrous as any of the Mosaic Law.

"So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, 'Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders, but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?' He responded, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.' You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition.' He went on to say, 'How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!'" -- Mark 7:5-9

As I think you will simply not get my point from this passage, let me rewrite it to accent my point:

"So Bubba questioned melon, 'Why do you not follow the tradition of the Bible, but instead support homosexuals?' He responded, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.' You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition.' He went on to say, 'How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!'"

The crux of my argument is that, by obsessing over this issue, it detracts from faith. Many homosexuals, in fact, have found a greater relationship and faith in God through having a committed relationship with someone of the same sex. The misery and emptiness of being alone brought on only resentment and hatred of God.

You sit on your ivory tower making Draconian pronouncements on others who are not you, but, if you were on the other side of the fence as gay and had to deal with this ultimatum: "Love women or spend the rest of your life alone," I have a feeling you would be questioning the validity of this pronouncement on whether it was essential for practicing faith in God or not.

You quote Bible passages, but most you have quoted are dreadfully out of context. Jesus' points on marriage are liberating messages. While Judaism cast on the yoke of marriage as a requirement for being a true believer, He upheld the sanctity that could be found in single life. But leave Christianity to cast on another yoke of celibacy, completely missing the point: remove obstacles to your faith. If money is preventing you from loving God, give away all your money. If marriage is preventing you from loving God, don't get married. Thus, if celibacy is preventing you from loving God, find love. I could become celibate, but, after the embitterness and ensuing agnosticism I endured believing that was what I had to be, I had to cast off the yoke of this legalistic remark.

If religion, tomorrow, took away the woman you loved and told you that you could never love again, what would you do? I doubt that your faith would be stronger. Some men, indeed, find greater faith in celibacy, but not all men will find the same solace in it.

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THAT is the crux of my argument, something I haven't seen you seriously address.
Well, enjoy the above.

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I believe I have addressed pedophilia and incest in my post above - it only remains for me to emphasize that everything I can think of that defends homosexuality (short of my defense of heterosexuality; i.e., it's the will of God) can also be used to defend exceptional cases of pedophilia and incest.
Then you have fully missed the point.

Quote:
To play Devil's Advocate once again, you say, "If a father has sex with his daughter, I can honestly say 10/10 that the daughter will not like it, not to mention that it is adultery, which is hurtful to the spouse." What if the daughter is a consenting adult and the father a widow? Hmmm?
And what if the sky is purple and it rains chocolate syrup? Hmmm? Only God knows the status of their hearts, regardless. Besides your example is not comparable. I don't know of any person who just is attracted to just one person. Condemnation of homosexuals effectively eliminates all potential sources of love, regardless of legal age or family status.

Quote:
It does indeed seem we're going around in circles. But it also seems that you're avoiding or misunderstanding the central points of my arguments - which is what's compelling me to repeat myself.
Likewise, you're misunderstanding mine. I, simply, disagree with the central points of your arguments.

Melon

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Old 03-04-2002, 06:48 PM   #100
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
Well, then. WHAT ABOUT ABORTIONS?
I think that they are wrong and murder, because I believe in the sanctity and importance of all life, perfect or imperfect, right or left-handed, straight or gay. But, of course, under the conservative model, the unborn are to be defended, but, once born, people are evil.

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Regardless of whether you think the fetus is human, regardless of whether you think abortion is murder or a Constitutionally protected right, can you HONESTLY suggest that THAT was part of God's perfect plan?
You miss my point. You can choose to have sex to create a child, but you have no hand in deciding what that child will be. I cannot have a child and decide mentally that it will look exactly like Tom Cruise. You get what you are intended to get from God, whether that child is blonde-haired, blue-eyed future model that everyone will drool over or a grotesque "Whortense" that is one of two Siamese Twins that everyone gawks at and pities. Now, tell me, which one is more worthy of love and God?

Under your model, it is as if the parents cause their children to be perfect or as Siamese Twins, when, in fact, they have no choice over the matter.

Unfortunately, as usual, my point is missed completely under a flood of side rhetoric.

Melon

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Old 03-05-2002, 02:45 AM   #101
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Are you sure? A nation under a constant state of siege is easier to control. Look at America, for instance? Using the guise of terrorism, the Bush Administration has easily rolled back any sense of privacy we had left. Could he have done the same thing if everything was perfect?

Then, in fact, with such a state of siege, you will always have "heroes" to liberate the people, and, if you notice, the "Mosaic Law" (supposedly created by Moses, one of those "heroes") is full of control measures. If people tried to create a movement to overthrow these laws, the elders would have called it "blasphemy." Likewise, in America, if you criticize the war policies of Bush, you are a "terrorist sympathizer."

Kindness and peace, thus, are not often most advantageous for those in power. Machiavelli's "The Prince" would be a good read for you.
Let's put the anti-Bush rant aside (honestly, this isn't the thread for this, and I believe you know that). You ask whether I'm sure of my argument, and I am - as the entire argument demonstrated. Since you apparently missed it the first time, I will repeat myself, with the ignored paragraph in bold:

"I've heard the revisionist theory on the Old Testament, and one glaring thing stands out: it seems far too damning to be propaganda. If Israel's leadership crafted the books to fit their own wills, they probably would have followed in the pattern of the rest of the world, skewing the past to their favor.

"Instead, their greatest leaders are murderers (Moses, David); their people CONSTANTLY rebel, including at the foot of God's mountain in Exodus; and the nation is being regularly punished for its transgressions. It's not putting the Jewish historical figures, the Jewish people, and the Jewish leadership ITSELF in a good light."

In other words, look at older grade-school American History books, in which American leaders are protrayed as wholly great men: Jefferson's possible liasons with slaves, FDR's moves to steamroll the judiciary, and the questionable circumstances under which JFK was elected, they are all ignored. THAT is the type of history you get when you people try to recast their past in a better light.

NOW look at the Old Testament: Moses murdered a man before meeting God, tried to weasel his way out of doing God's will, and so thoroughly upset God that he wasn't permitted to enter the Promised Land. King David committed adultery and murder - and lost his son and temporarily lost the throne in the process. The people themselves were not only constantly under attack (and occasionally defeated and put into captivity), but the Old Testament clearly says that the Isrealites THEMSELVES were to blame.

"With such a state of siege, you will always have 'heroes' to liberate the people." THESE are the heroes? The Great Liberator is an exiled murderer who was nearly dragged kicking and screaming into doing God's will, the greatest king is an adulterer and a murderer, and the people themselves stray constantly from God's good graces. Does that strike you as REMOTELY propagandistic?

I brought this up in the last post, and you ignored it completely in order to take the first paragraph out of context.

(And for what? A completely irrelevant comment about Bush.)

It's one thing to do that to outside texts, but there's no excuse to do that to a post within the same thread.

Quote:
Well, I see that you've quoted Matthew again. The first quote is a parable on faith and good works. Obviously, the moral is that faith without good works is dead. This was in sharp contrast to the Pharisees, who believed themselves to be saved just as who they are. Funny how many "Christians" act just like Pharisees now. I see no problem with this passage.
Backhanded remark about "Christians", aside, it doesn't seem to me that you go to any effort to prove the very contestible point you assume is factual: "The first quote is a parable on faith and good works."

How does Matthew 7:21 qualify as a parable? No mention of seeds, sheep, salt, or fruit. No hypothetical story in which Christ Himself plays no role. Because Christ mentions himself in the first person, I think he's being quite literal: "Not every one that saith unto ME, Lord, Lord...".

Quote:
The second passage is seen as one of the instances in which the author likely inserted his own commentary, rather than the actual words of Jesus Himself. What is wholly apparent is that it is full of Jewish Christian bias:

"Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." -- Matthew 10:5-6

Despite the very bombastic language of Matthew 10, the point is that the Lord should be the most important part of your life. Not possessions. Not family. However, this chapter is so fully un-Jesus like that I question its authenticity.
I believe this objection has also been covered before; this verse seems to be a temporary command, one that applies in the short time that Christ is on Earth and is countermanded prior to His Acension - a fact that is included EVEN within Matthew itself:

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." - Matthew 28:18-20, emphasis mine.

That one gospel would contradict another is one thing; that it would apparently contradict itself is another thing entirely. It suggests either utter incompetance on the part of the writer (which seems unlikely) - or that the apparent contradiction is actually easily resolved.

The comment that chapter is un-Jesus-like begs the question: by what standard? It seems to me that you've picked out what verses fit your idea of who Christ was, then excised the other verses on the grounds that they don't fit. On what basis did you pick out the original "authentic" verses?

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Well, I spot another, what I like to call, "KJV hyperbole"--basically, a passage that is amplified beyond its original translation to be more severe than intended. This is Mark 6:10-11 in my Bible:

"He said to them, 'Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.'" -- Mark 6:10-11

The "hyperboles" originated from King James' own translators, who had their own biases in translation, and were found guilty of this and some were executed. Unfortunately, at the same time, these "hyperboles" were never removed. I never trust a Protestant Bible for this reason (amongst others).
I admit, the KJV is quite imperfect in this case. Another translation, the "New Living Translation" offers the following for the same verse:

"And if a village won't welcome you or listen to you, shake off its dust from your feet as you leave. It is a sign that you have abandoned that village to its fate."

And another, "Today's English Version:"

"If you come to a town where people do not welcome you or will not listen to you, leave it and shake the dust off your feet. That will be a warning to them!"

This seems to be very similar to your translation; either way, it also seems to be quite judgmental, which was my point to begin with.

Either way, the KJV's inaccuracy is no reason whatsoever to "never trust" a Protestant Bible, or to suggest that "A Protestant Bible is as good as toilet paper in terms of translation accuracy."

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Ah...how I love Catholic Bibles. Here is the official footnote on this passage:

"He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire: in contrast to John's baptism with water, Jesus is said to baptize with the holy Spirit and with fire. From the point of view of the early Christian community, the Spirit and fire must have been understood in the light of the fire symbolism of the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4); but as part of John's preaching, the Spirit and fire should be related to their purifying and refining characteristics (Ezekiel 36:25-27; Malachi 3:2-3). See the note on Matthew 3:11."

This is not meant to be a scary passage, but one of purity. As water can purify, so can fire, as, to purify precious metals like gold, you have to use fire. I have no problem with this passage.
An "official" footnote? Surely, the footnote wasn't in the original manuscript. Surely, it's merely the addition from some church official. What I wonder is, what makes it more "official" than the Bible itself (like Matthew 10)? And, if the Jewish rabbis are so prone to corruption as to alter the Old Testament, why trust Catholic priests to correctly interpret?

At any rate, a second look at the verse does confirm your theory, that it isn't necessarily condemning and judgmental. So, I offer an alternative verse:

"The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here." - Luke 11:31-32

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Remember your recipe analogy? Taking this passage literally is analogous to throwing in the eggshells. Footnote in Catholic Bible:

"Hating his father . . . : cf the similar saying in Matthew 10:37. The disciple's family must take second place to the absolute dedication involved in following Jesus (see also Luke 9:59-62)."


Oh, I agree absolutely; the verse isn't to be taken literally, just as one isn't to cast out one's own eye (Matthew 5:29). But, it is first of all telling that Matthew 10:37 appears to be a more literal, reasonable translation than Luke 14:26 - and it still confirms my original assertion that Christ preaches more than just love and unification.

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A passage taken greatly out of context. If you notice, though, the Pharisees are challenging Jesus on the fact that He contradicts the Bible.

"They [the Pharisees] said to him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?'" -- John 8:4-5

Jesus makes the famous "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone" line that many Christians seem to ignore.

Jesus then gets angry at the Pharisees, who, despite the fact that He has told them repeatedly the opposite, continue to ignore Him in favor of what is literally written in the Bible. I don't blame Jesus at all...remember my little outburst in this thread for the same reason?
That's an unusual way to frame context - to quote John 8:4-5 and completely ignore 31-43, when those verses seem key to the passage:

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

"But we are descendants of Abraham," they said. "We have never been slaves to anyone on earth. What do you mean, 'set free'?"

Jesus replied, "I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because my message does not find a place in your hearts. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father."

"Our father is Abraham," they declared.

"No," Jesus replied, "for if you were children of Abraham, you would follow his good example. I told you the truth I heard from God, but you are trying to kill me. Abraham wouldn't do a thing like that. No, you are obeying your real father when you act that way."

They replied, "We were not born out of wedlock! Our true Father is God himself."

Jesus told them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can't you understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to do so! For you are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don't believe me!
- John 8:31-45 (New Living Translation)

John 8:4-5 seems to have very little to do with the verses I quoted.

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Revelation was greatly disputed as being part of the New Testament canon, and wasn't latched on until near the end of the canon councils.

Regardless, I think it is a book of symbolism during a time of Christian persecution, where literal texts would have been seized and destroyed. The original audience knew the symbolism. We do not.
An interesting theory, but that also implies that the book is a flat-out lie, since its premise is a supernatural revelation from Christ Himself. Revelation also seems to run parallel to all of Mark 13; to condemn one as pure symbolism surely condemns both.

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I love how you quote cross passages from gospels. You are showing much of the evidence as to why Matthew is not an original gospel in many aspects, but copied text directly from Mark, the oldest gospel.

Regardless, these texts do not even support your argument. In these passages, Jesus casts aside the Old Testament and makes His own teachings. So, essentially, He knew it to be false. "[He] had authority, and not...the scribes [Old Testament writers]." That is what it means. Hence, Jesus did know, and cast it aside.
And I'm keenly aware of your contradictions. Verses in which Matthew says something different than the other Gospels is apparently proof that it's inaccurate; verses in which Matthew agrees, even if not verbatim, is apparently proof that it's a rip-off of the other Gospels.

As per your actual observation, I do not think the observation is a criticism of those who wrote the Old Testament, since they were all dead, and no one at the time really knew how they behaved or taught. Rather, I believe it refers to the teachers of the Old Testament, those who took the existing books and interpreted them.

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How silly, particularly since writing analysis links Matthew and Luke to have taken much directly from Mark, but makes their own details surrounding the tales. I'm sorry...you may think of it as divinely inspired in that fashion, but I think you are wrong. Each gospel was written to evangelize to a particular audience that appeals to their sensibilities and biases, nothing more and nothing less.
My theory is that the books were partially ghost-written by God (Holy Ghost-written, one could say). Your rejection of that theory is based on the theories that the writing is similar, but the details are different.

That's hardly a rejection: the similar passages could reflect the fact that God had a hand in every book, and the difference in details could reflect the fact that different humans were involved in writing each book. Your theories are not conclusive, certainly not to the point that justifies calling my theory silly.

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So you are now limiting God? How faithful of you.

I think that difference is within God's plan. What a dreadfully boring world it would be without homosexuals, nor black people, Asians, women, etc. Some American Indian tribes once taught, in not so many words, that the presence of homosexuals were here from the gods to teach heterosexuals a lesson, and were, thus, divine.

Just because Christianity has cast them aside as "useless" doesn't mean that they are useless to everyone else. I bet over half of your clothes were designed by homosexuals, for instance. You would dread a world without homosexuals, because, for some reason or another, they fill a void in the world that would otherwise be unfilled. LOVE is a basic human element. An unloved child will be more likely to die young.
In the first case, theologians limit God all the time - they believe he is unchanging, incapable of committing evil, incapable of a mistake, etc. I'm doing the same: "limiting" God because the alternative is nonsense. If God exerted His FULL WILL on the universe, we would be INCAPABLE of resisting that will and doing what we want. We are able to do what we want, thus He is not exerting His full will.

To reject that argument on the basis that it "limits God" is to nearly admit that you have no reasonable counterarguments.

Further, "difference" itself is a weak argument for the idea that homosexuality is in fact part of God's plan. Yes, the lack of differences may be "boring", but that doesn't make that lack less good; nor does variety necessarily make things better. As a quick counterexample, the big city can offer a HUGE variety of vices, from illicit drugs, to prostitution, to stolen merchandise, to pornography - but the monestary's life offers little more than routine. Is it then natural to conclude that the monk's life is LESS MORALLY GOOD? Hardly.

Finally, the last two sentences, "LOVE is a basic human element. An unloved child will be more likely to die young," seem to have nothing to do with the argument at hand.

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And I love how you think that homosexuals are automatically "hedonistic," as if they are incapable of having a monogamous relationship, but, I guess, hedonism is in the eye of the beholder. The Catholic Church thinks that any sex unopen to procreation is "hedonistic." If you ever use birth control someday, including condoms, you'll join the ranks of the hedonistic yourself.
I am honestly returning to my original conclusion - so long ago - that you don't actually read my posts. What I said can be reduced to the following:

If I am correct, you believe that homosexuality is good because it is, to some, a natural urging. THAT idea - that the natural urging is NATURALLY good - is hedonism defined. It reduces to morality to one's feelings; if one feels something, the feeling must be good, so it must be okay to indulge it.

That conclusion I draw can apply to literally every desire, including the heterosexual desire. I am not equating homosexuality with hedonism, and that fact should be obvious.

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You know, suffering serves a purpose. It reminds me of "The Matrix," where they stated that the original Matrix was paradise, where everyone's desires and dreams were fulfilled, but people kept on waking up from it.

The world God created is perfect, and I still believe it. The design of Earth and all the universe, along with the intricacies of humanity, are all perfect. If it weren't for "mutations," Earth would still be reduced to nothing but single-cell bacteria.
And I again ask, what about the effects man exerts on his surroundings? How can the universe remain truly perfect if man is also truly to free to screw it up?

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I see you have still missed my point:

Let's take someone who is left-handed. Aside from that left-handedness, they are otherwise perfect. However, it was believed that left-handed people were deviant, and most schools tried to force them to write with their right hand.

Eventually, we abandoned such foolishness. If right-handedness is "perfection" and left-handedness is "imperfection," we don't expect the left-handed to be something that they are not. We certainly don't force them to stop writing completely, because they cannot conform to the right-handed. However, those who are right-handed who try to write with their left are punished, because they are going against their own nature.

Homosexuals are like the "left-handed." They are no more different than any heterosexual, aside from whom they love. In the most ideal of stoic fantasies, no one would ever love. No one would ever have sex. We'd all bury ourselves in constant prayer, suffering and waiting for death to free us from that punishment we call "life." However, that is, to me, wasting the talents that God gave us.

Regardless, I think that these pronouncements against homosexuality are just as ludicrous as any of the Mosaic Law.
There are a couple problems with your counterargument, the fact that you don't actually address my original argument notwithstanding.

The left-handed example is quite different from homosexuality, in ways that I think invalidate the comparison: Left-handedness is an ability, while homosexuality is an expression of desire. Left-handedness is statistically frequent enough to justify the belief that it's one of the many common configurations (black, white, male, female, righty, lefty). I believe left-handedness is genetic; taken to its natural conclusion, it propagates to the next generation. Homosexuality, if it is genetic, is a genelogical dead-end. Finally, there is no reasonable moral objection to left-handedness while there is one overriding reason to reject homosexuality: the possibility that God intentionally created the two sexes so that one from one sex would join with one from the other sex.

Again, I'm not suggesting Stoicism; I explained earlier that I'm not suggesting it, you should have read that part.

Finally, I again defend Mosaic Law in that it's not *all* ludicrous; that stuff about not stealing and not killing seems pretty reasonable.

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"So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, 'Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders, but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?' He responded, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.' You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition.' He went on to say, 'How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!'" -- Mark 7:5-9

As I think you will simply not get my point from this passage, let me rewrite it to accent my point:

"So Bubba questioned melon, 'Why do you not follow the tradition of the Bible, but instead support homosexuals?' He responded, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.' You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition.' He went on to say, 'How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!'"
So, my assumption that you called me a Pharisee out of anger wasn't completely wrong, was it? Apparently, the analogy was not only intentional, but you're also extending the analogy: you're Jesus Christ by comparison.

Cajones and hubris.

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The crux of my argument is that, by obsessing over this issue, it detracts from faith. Many homosexuals, in fact, have found a greater relationship and faith in God through having a committed relationship with someone of the same sex. The misery and emptiness of being alone brought on only resentment and hatred of God.

You sit on your ivory tower making Draconian pronouncements on others who are not you, but, if you were on the other side of the fence as gay and had to deal with this ultimatum: "Love women or spend the rest of your life alone," I have a feeling you would be questioning the validity of this pronouncement on whether it was essential for practicing faith in God or not.

You quote Bible passages, but most you have quoted are dreadfully out of context. Jesus' points on marriage are liberating messages. While Judaism cast on the yoke of marriage as a requirement for being a true believer, He upheld the sanctity that could be found in single life. But leave Christianity to cast on another yoke of celibacy, completely missing the point: remove obstacles to your faith. If money is preventing you from loving God, give away all your money. If marriage is preventing you from loving God, don't get married. Thus, if celibacy is preventing you from loving God, find love. I could become celibate, but, after the embitterness and ensuing agnosticism I endured believing that was what I had to be, I had to cast off the yoke of this legalistic remark.

If religion, tomorrow, took away the woman you loved and told you that you could never love again, what would you do? I doubt that your faith would be stronger. Some men, indeed, find greater faith in celibacy, but not all men will find the same solace in it.
1. I agree that obsessing about the issue (any more than condemning people with drinking problems or anger issues) is not constructive. But while you continue to offer arguments that are as incredulous as these posts, I will continue to reply. Don't confuse my committment to stand by my position with obsession. In all honesty, the issue doesn't come up that often in my real life.

2. Lonliness can indeed bring on "resentment and hatred of God", but many heterosexuals experience the same condition on the basis that they're, honestly, incapable of having a relationship. That's not a reason to change the rules, forcing people to keep others' company.

3. Whether I would be saying this if the shoe was on the other foot is irrelevant. Whether something is moral or not is external to whether I would actual follow the precepts. I have trouble turning the other cheek; that makes the commandment no less vaild.

4. I don't believe I have quoted too many verses out of context; in fact, I'd be more than willing to go through every verse mentioned in this post and tally where I was out of context and where you were out of context. If we were to do that, I would win.

5. "If money is preventing you from loving God, give away all your money." What if poverty is preventing you from loving God? Should one steal? No, of course not. So the entire argument is invalid.

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Well, enjoy the above.
Psst. You STILL haven't addressed my argument. My argument is this:

If we WERE born exactly as God intended, then that can mean only one of two possible things: either we're all cogs in a machine in which everything leading up to the birth is ALSO in God's will (since such things as radiation and chemicals can affect that birth); or the actions leading up to the birth have ABSOLUTELY no effect on that birth. BOTH of those ideas preclude free will, thus I cannot believe in them.

I put my argument in bold last time, and you ignored it. I have put it in bold again, not that that does a bit of good.

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And what if the sky is purple and it rains chocolate syrup? Hmmm? Only God knows the status of their hearts, regardless. Besides your example is not comparable. I don't know of any person who just is attracted to just one person. Condemnation of homosexuals effectively eliminates all potential sources of love, regardless of legal age or family status.
Guess what? An adult daughter of a widow isn't as uncommon as a purple sky and chocolate rain; to reject it as such is immature.

And the fact that homosexuality and incest may not be comparable is beside the point: you said the reasons you object to incest is consent and adultery. I've eliminated both of those with my scenario, and you haven't responded.

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I think that they are wrong and murder, because I believe in the sanctity and importance of all life, perfect or imperfect, right or left-handed, straight or gay. But, of course, under the conservative model, the unborn are to be defended, but, once born, people are evil.
That's great, but it separates the question, "What about abortion?" with the the specifics of the question: whether humans are born exactly according to God's will. If/when we count the times we each take the Bible out of context, I would also like to tally the number of times you take my words out of context.

And I don't believe humans are born evil; otherwise Christ, being fully human, would also be evil. Humans are born imperfect with the capacity for evil; and every human (with the One Exception) eventually sins if given just a little time to grow and comprehend right from wrong.

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You miss my point. You can choose to have sex to create a child, but you have no hand in deciding what that child will be. I cannot have a child and decide mentally that it will look exactly like Tom Cruise. You get what you are intended to get from God, whether that child is blonde-haired, blue-eyed future model that everyone will drool over or a grotesque "Whortense" that is one of two Siamese Twins that everyone gawks at and pities. Now, tell me, which one is more worthy of love and God?

Under your model, it is as if the parents cause their children to be perfect or as Siamese Twins, when, in fact, they have no choice over the matter.
But you DO have a hand in it. You determine WHETHER the child exists, both by the decision to have sex AND by the decision not to abort the child. Whether you smoke or drink, whether you subject the child to radiation, whether you play music around the child are believed to contribute to what the child is at birth. Truly, you don't have complete control, and that control is as unpredictable as a roulette wheel, but you do have some control. You have some influence on the child before its birth - THEREFORE God doesn't have complete control, THEREFORE the child isn't born perfectly compatible with God's will.

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Unfortunately, as usual, my point is missed completely under a flood of side rhetoric.

Melon
Whose rhetoric?

Who has taken a debate about homosexuality as an opportunity to accuse President Bush of being a dictator?

Who has twice associated me with Pharisees and Stoics?

And who has said, "A Protestant Bible is as good as toilet paper in terms of translation accuracy"?

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" - The Dreaded Gospel of St. Matthew Chapter 7, Verse 3

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 03-04-2002).]
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Old 03-05-2002, 02:50 AM   #102
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WoW this has really become a contest to see who can have the longest post

j/k of course, just trying to interject some humor
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Old 03-05-2002, 03:21 AM   #103
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Originally posted by z edge:
WoW this has really become a contest to see who can have the longest post

j/k of course, just trying to interject some humor

LOL z edge!
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Old 03-05-2002, 03:33 AM   #104
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Im miffed why my questions aren't worthy of addressing! Thot it was pretty straight forward, guess no one reeeally wants to take a stab at what God's agenda really is.
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Old 03-05-2002, 11:03 AM   #105
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Originally posted by Anthony:

An elderly man of forty
Elderly?!! Well, guess it's time for me and Bono to throw in the towel and check in to a nursing home.


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