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Old 12-18-2006, 12:46 AM   #16
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Re: question for christians

Quote:
Originally posted by edgeboy
Do you all think satan is a real force in the universe?
Yes, I do.

But:

I believe he is far less powerful than God.

I believe that undue emphasis on Satan and his power and what he's up to etc is unwise and spiritually unhealthy. Far better to focus on God and His power and what He's up to.

I agree that in 99.9% of cases where people say "the devil made me do it" they're just making excuses and not taking responsiblity for their own actions.

I don't believe in hell in the sense of a place that people are or will be sent to be tormented for eternity.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by edgeboy
But if your familiar with theology and christian philosophy you'll realize that only one true being exsist, no other! You can not say God the perfectect being created something that is the complete opposite of his essence! It bothers me that people don't seem to get this point. You all seem to understand though. As far as hell, im not sure because your soul has to go somewhere doesn't it? But C.S Lewis made me understand that we don't automatically belong to God when were born but rather it's something we become. What do you guys think?
Really interesting dicussion here, folks.

I hear where you're coming from edgeboy, but the way I see it, a God of perfect love cannot create a being without free choice which would necessarily include the freedom to choose not to follow God's way of love. So in fact a perfect God HAD to create someone who could choose to be the opposite of who God is. Based on my understanding of Scripture, Satan wasn't created "evil"--he was good at first, but chose evil.

Regarding the question of where your soul goes, I believe the soul is indivisible from the physical body. I don't believe in the "ghost in the machine." I do believe that the "Breath of Life" that "God-spark" in each one of us "goes back to God" when we die, but that is in no way a conscious entity. I think of it like the "memory" of who we are stored as a file in God's brain to be restored at the physical resurrection. (But that last part is strictly my speculation and has no serious Biblical foundation).

C.S. Lewis. . .I really enjoy his thinking. I'm reading The Screwtape Letters with my freshman literature class right now.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by edgeboy
But if your familiar with theology and christian philosophy you'll realize that only one true being exsist, no other! You can not say God the perfectect being created something that is the complete opposite of his essence! It bothers me that people don't seem to get this point. You all seem to understand though. As far as hell, im not sure because your soul has to go somewhere doesn't it? But C.S Lewis made me understand that we don't automatically belong to God when were born but rather it's something we become. What do you guys think?
I think we came from God that we lived with him before.

We earned this as right by living correctly with God and Satan rebeled and was cast out.


We came to earth to learn to grow and make choices.

God allowed Satan here so that we could learn to discipline ourselves, learn the difference between good and evil, learn selflessness instead of self centernedness.

Satan is all about him and wants a person in bondage and to live a life of self indulgence.

God on the other hand is about selfless service, about giving, sharing and helping tose less fortunate than us.

So you can choose freedom in this life by loving and serving others or bondage, bondage to addictions and indulgences etc.

Hope that makes a little sense.

dbs
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


I hear where you're coming from edgeboy, but the way I see it, a God of perfect love cannot create a being without free choice which would necessarily include the freedom to choose not to follow God's way of love. So in fact a perfect God HAD to create someone who could choose to be the opposite of who God is. Based on my understanding of Scripture, Satan wasn't created "evil"--he was good at first, but chose evil.
Point taken, but one could argue the opposite - that if God really IS the one and only supreme power, then we MUST accept that he COULD remove all power to chose, because if we insist on humanity's right to choice, then we're insisting on taking that power from God.

This is what Calvinism says - in order to believe that God really is the one and only power, you have to believe he could predestine everything. Now where people get confused is that Calvinist do not say that "GOD HAS PREDESTINED EVERYTHING", no we're just saying that because he is God, he could. Most Calvinists also understand the distinction between "freedom of the Will" and "freedom". You can believe that one's Will is not free and still believe people have been granted the power to make their own choices. The Will only refers to one thing - whether or not you have God's Grace in your heart. A Calvinist's concept of the Will does not refer to making choices like "what should I wear today?", "who should I ask to the dance?", "should I watch this movie?", etc.

Neo-Calvinists and surface level Calvinists who've never taken the time to study Calvinist theology at length will believe or allow people to believe that freedom and freedom of the Will are synonymous.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje


Point taken, but one could argue the opposite - that if God really IS the one and only supreme power, then we MUST accept that he COULD remove all power to chose, because if we insist on humanity's right to choice, then we're insisting on taking that power from God.

This is what Calvinism says - in order to believe that God really is the one and only power, you have to believe he could predestine everything. Now where people get confused is that Calvinist do not say that "GOD HAS PREDESTINED EVERYTHING", no we're just saying that because he is God, he could. Most Calvinists also understand the distinction between "freedom of the Will" and "freedom". You can believe that one's Will is not free and still believe people have been granted the power to make their own choices. The Will only refers to one thing - whether or not you have God's Grace in your heart. A Calvinist's concept of the Will does not refer to making choices like "what should I wear today?", "who should I ask to the dance?", "should I watch this movie?", etc.

Neo-Calvinists and surface level Calvinists who've never taken the time to study Calvinist theology at length will believe or allow people to believe that freedom and freedom of the Will are synonymous.
I think God knows our dispostions and proclivities.
I do think it is ultimately up to us to be the author of our own destiny.

That God knows us each by name, he will judge us fairly, lovingly and with justice we cannot fully comprehend yet.



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Old 12-18-2006, 11:44 AM   #21
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So God is living as a collectivist and satan is individualist, if it wasn't for the supernatural thing I think Satan is a better choice.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
So God is living as a collectivist and satan is individualist, if it wasn't for the supernatural thing I think Satan is a better choice.
Elaborate?
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:19 PM   #23
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Satan's strategy is always to divide and conquer.
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje


Elaborate?
Look up satanism
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:27 PM   #25
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How is "God living as a collectivist"?
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Old 12-18-2006, 05:33 PM   #26
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So basically, satan is perhaps a sort of fallen angel? If satan exist what other spirits exsist besides him?
I get frustrated that God sort of left us a bit in the dark.
Perhaps it's better that way.
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:46 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by edgeboy
So basically, satan is perhaps a sort of fallen angel? If satan exist what other spirits exsist besides him?
I get frustrated that God sort of left us a bit in the dark.
Perhaps it's better that way.
I don't think there's a "right" way to interpret it. I think we can all agree that Satan is a metaphor for tempting people to act against the will of God. Whether you need to believe he is a fallen angel, a dragon in hell, a dynamic force, etc in order for that to enlighten you is up to you. How you interpret Satan will also be affected by what you believe regarding human free will and God's will.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:17 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977
I'm a Christian, and I think one of the most profound statements on the subject was made by Kevin Spacey in "The Usual Suspects": "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making the world believe he didn't exist."
Or, better yet, maybe the greatest trick was making the world believe he existed. What zealous, hateful things people will do if they believe that they're sticking it to "evil."

The "Holy Land" (an oxymoron if I ever read one, considering the state of geopolitics there) comes to mind.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:21 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
Point taken, but one could argue the opposite - that if God really IS the one and only supreme power, then we MUST accept that he COULD remove all power to chose, because if we insist on humanity's right to choice, then we're insisting on taking that power from God.
Or, perhaps, the nature of God is that He chooses not to get involved. "Free will" and "self-sufficiency" are gifts that are bestowed upon us, and that would include the "freedom" to make bad decisions. Having only a choice to make "good decisions" would ultimately mean that we're not free.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:27 PM   #30
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like Ormus, I don't believe in an interventionist God. Or if I do, His/Her/Its interventions are of the extremely subtle variety.

We are NOT puppets.
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