Why Christians accuse Atheists of not having read the Bible explained in one internet meme

good guy satan

Anyone who has read a Bible would know that it’s not Satan who punishes evildoers (in Hell presumably).  The point isn’t that the Bible is right or wrong about anything, only that it doesn’t say what is being implied it says.

I realize it is a popular cultural misconception that Satan is in charge of Hell, torturing people for all eternity if they do bad things, I even believed this prior to reading the Bible for myself.  I had many misconceptions cleared up simply by reading the book I thought I knew all about.

Comments

  1. What about the punishment to non evil doers by the grand creator?

    Why did the christian god create satan in the first place? To what end? What good comes from his invention? Couldn’t we just be left to our own devices? If we were made in this god’s image, why condemn us to hell and damnation for eternity if we use the free will he gave us to not believe?

  2. paynehollow says:

    I don’t know that I’ve heard this complaint from any atheists. Instead, I’ve heard them complain, “Why would a just and loving God punish people an eternity in hell for being fallen, sinful people, which is the way God made them?” or “Why would a just and loving God punish someone an eternity in hell (an eternity of literal torment and suffering) for even small sins and misunderstanding of what it means to be good?”

    That is, I’ve heard them complain that God, as many Christians describe God, is not a good God, if God insists on this overkill of punishment for the “sin” of being a fallen human. They’re blaming that take on God. I don’t know that I’ve heard any atheists complain about the traditional portrayal of Satan.

    But maybe you have.

    For what it’s worth, I expect that might be the response you’ll get…

    ~Dan

    • This is something I saw on facebook. The comments were all supporting the “illogic of religion” because of this pic. Ive never heard this in discussion, but its misknowledge of the bible like this that let on about biblical illiteracy.

  3. God doesnt punish innocent people.

    Please help me understand. If people born innocent, when exactly is one no longer considered innocent? Is it possible for anyone to live their entire life innocent?

    • As soon as your first sin is committed. I differ on a lot of Christians on this. I think it is possible, since we could choose not to do any particular sin. But I think inevitability, given time, we all will sin.

      So its not that we are required to sin, but all will.

  4. I don’t believe anyone is saying that sinning is a requirement, but your model makes living a life without sin not possible.

    So you believe that everyone is headed to hell unless they accept Jesus?

    • I think you’ll hear Christians say that, they just wont use the word requirement.

      I think that everyone who sins will be punished unless they accept the pardon offered by God on the conditions in which he offers it.

  5. I think that everyone who sins will be punished unless they accept the pardon offered by God on the conditions in which he offers it.

    So since everyone who sins = everyone, everyone will be punished unless they accept Jesus. Correct?

  6. How could you determine that?
    At what point do you believe a person goes from innocent to not innocent?

  7. …which is inevitable, whether it’s one minute or one month. It still seems like you’re tap-dancing around the fact that we’re all guilty of sin and bound for hell without Jesus.

  8. God did not create Satan. Satan was created as an angel, and apparently originally angels had a free will to choose to follow God or not. Satan and many followers ended up rebelling, and his followers became the demons. Satan does indeed tempt people to sin by appealing to their sinful natures. But he doesn’t cause them to sin. James 1:14-15 says that, “each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

    Because all mankind inherited a sin nature from Adam and Eve, we will all sin – it is in our nature. However, I believe there are those considered “innocent” of sin in that they are not old enough to know right from wrong (age may be mental, such as with someone severely mentally retarded), and I think that is where the concept of “age of accountability” came from. I discussed this issue on my blog at:
    http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-about-babies-and-salvation.html

    God created mankind to be an eternal being, so our soul/spirit continues living for eternity. The point is where we spend said eternity.

    God is a God of Justice, which means sin must be punished – the punishment must be paid. For Christians, Christ took on the punishment, which is not only physical death (due to the first sin) but also spiritual death – which is separation from God. The Bible says that separation takes place in a location we call “hell,” where unbelievers are tormented eternally. They have to pay for their own sin because they didn’t accept a payment for it by Jesus. Even many Christians, let alone atheists, don’t understand the holiness of God and the “horribleness” of sin.

    There are those who preach annihilationism, which means those who do not go to heaven just cease to exist. But that leads to two things that have to have happened:
    1. God’s wrath has been satisfied
    2. God’s wrath has not been satisfied.

    That leads to two problems:
    If #1, then it is unjust to terminate life
    If #2, then it is unjust to terminate punishment.

    God’s wrath against sin is eternal, so punishment must be eternal to be just.

    • How does the mechanism of “being born into sin” fit into this conversation?

      Are people who have lived and dies without ever knowing of the christian considered to have lived without sin?

      • Being born into sin simply means we are born with a sinful nature into a sinful world.
        Whether one knows of Christ or the Christian faith does not determine whether one has sinned. Everyone sins, as noted above. We all rebel against God in some way, even if it is just a sinful thought. That’s why the Bible says, “For all have sinned.” Of course this, in context, would be speaking of those who know the difference between right and wrong. A preborn baby cannot sin, and infants don’t sin, e.g. BUt they still have a sinful nature.

        • But are we not “made in his image”? How do you square that we are made in his image with having a sinful nature?

          • Adam was the only one said to have been made in God’s image specifically. Man therefore bears the image of God but doesnt possess his full attributes. Adam stained our ability to restrain ourselves from sinning. God didnt create man sinful.

            • But if Adam was made in Go’d image, how could Adam even be capable of non-restraint, or sin?

              How can this god be considered the grand, omniscients, omnipotent, all loving creator if he only made one of us in his image, the rest will eventually all be sinners, and then most will be group punished for eternity.

              Why are the rest of us punished for the non-perfection of Adam?

              It all seems like it wasn’t well thought out.

              • Babies born to drug addicted mothers are punished for their mother’s non perfection. Also those born in households run by losers. Its part of life.

                It seems like you dont like that God didnt create perfect beings. Thats a logical contradiction and they would be as God if they were perfect. Why does ‘in his image’ entail perfection and not similarity?

              • How can this god punish the infant of a drug addicted mother? This surpasses the usual “free will” argument entirely as infants have no free will. Where is the love in punishing a child in the womb for another’s sin? It’s part of life? To punish those who have zero control of their environment? Huh.

                It has nothing to do with what I like or what I don’t like. It is a matter of combining all of the love and omniscience that I hear so much about and finding it to be not so loving after all. We hear all of the time about being made in god’s image, yet we are also all sinners. Even when I was 10 years old it sounded like bs. Where does it clarify that gods image would be a similarity?

                The rest of us have a problem with group punishment. Being punished for Adam’s lapse in not a good plan, much less perfect.

                Near impossible to square these ideas without simply buying into the faith entirely.

              • You dont blame the parents?

              • R.Nash,
                We aren’t being punished for Adam’s staining of the image, we inherit the sin nature as a consequence of his actions. Just like a child is not being punished by his parents with birth defects due to inherited genes.

                God created man for fellowship. If you don’t give that creation free will choices, then all you have is a robot, and you can’t give and exchange love with a robot. God, being all-knowing and able to see the future, knew that man would abuse the free will choice and rebel, so God had a plan before he created man as to the way man would be redeemed – but man would have to choose to be redeemed.

                God did not “predispose” anyone to a sinful nature, any more than a child ends up inheriting blue eyes from his parents due to genetics. Adam and Eve acquired the sinful nature when they sinned, and then that sinful nature becomes something inherited by all their descendants.

                It isn’t questioning God which results in eternal damnation, it is rebelling against God and refusing the offer of salvation he gives. It is really man’s choice (although Calvinists, with their unbiblical theology will disagree, stating man has no choice and God chose from the beginning of Creation who he would save and who he would send to hell, which gives rise to all the questions and misunderstanding about God atheist have). Man can choose to be saved from his sin or he can choose to pay for it in hell.

                Yes, God has free will choices. But he is unable to sin because he is perfect. Just like a circle can never choose to be a square. You can’t choose to do something which is not part of your nature. Can you, with free will, choose to jump off a building and fly? No – you have no wings and were not designed to fly.

              • Richard Nash says:

                So Glenn, on the one hand this god is perfect? But on the other he knew that adam would sin and the rest of us would inherit that sinful nature? I hope you can see that this poses a problem for me. Then to know that a certain angel would fall from grace, become satan and be the CEO in hell for those of us who used our free will in an actually genuine way….how is it really “free” will if it’s nothing but punishment for choosing the “un-free” choice?

                You argue that sin is not a predisposed trait, yet say that we inherited someone else’s “imperfect/sinning” nature. By all accounts this seems like leading a donkey with a carrot on a stick and then punishing him for trying to eat it.

              • R. Nash,
                Satan is NOT the CEO in hell. Satan will be destroyed in the end. God had a particular time limit for his creation, and Satan and his demons will be destroyed.

                You have the free will to choose wisely or poorly. That is a legitimate free will. You have the free will to rape, kill, pillage and burn the free will to not do these things. You have the free will to choose to obey God and the free will to choose not to obey him. How is that not true free will? Does your child not have free will if he chooses to disobey you and get punished for it?- After all, according to you, it wasn’t really a free-will choice if he gets punished.

                I never said sin wasn’t a “predisposed trait” – I said it is an inherited trait because of the first humans acquiring it by their own choice. If you choose to have sex in a way that you acquire HIV, and then choose to have children, the likelihood is that you will pass the HIV to your children.

                There are a lot of choices we make as humans which cause genetic problems that can be passed down to our children and grandchildren. Some genetic traits aren’t problems and still pass down – redheaded people are only that way because of redheads in their ancestry.

                There was no “leading a donkey with a carrot…” with Adam and Eve. They were given everything they needed and were given only ONE rule – don’t eat from that one tree. They could have refrained from eating by their free will choice, and did refrain for some time (how long, we don’t know), but then made a free will choice to disobey. They were told the consequences if they did eat of it. If you tell your children not to do something, and also tell them the consequences of punishment should they disobey, do you lead them with a carrot?

              • Glenn, predisposition and inherited mean the same thing to me. So let’s not get caught up in semantics with regards to their definition.

                And the premise that we have free will but we come with someone else’s sinful baggage is just crap. So we come flawed because of someone’s else’s ability to follow instructions? Gods entire plan was to use adam to make us sinners from the outset?

                Why am I being held accountable for their ineptitude? Why is the grand plan to have all of use responsible from conception for their mistake?

                Not to mention the idea that we are speaking of the free will to morally, emotionally and intellectually subjugate ourselves to this entity for fear of damnation, talk about twisted.

                Why did god create sin to begin with? Why create satan and sin and those who now be born into sin as sinners. It’s folly.

                “God did not create Satan to be who he became any more than he created Adam to sin. Knowing what will happen and making it happen are two different things.” But by the mere creation of satan, and knowing in advance that he would be such a dick, IS making it happen. Creating adam, and KNOWING he was imperfect, and would be a sinner, and would doom the rest of us to this group punishment with the delusion of free will attached is, well ludicrous.

                Did this god give a fair warning to adam and eve that they were dooming an entire species to this conundrum?

              • RNash
                Gods entire plan was to use adam to make us sinners from the outset?
                NO. He did not “use” Adam to make us sinners. Adam had a choice, and he was told the consequences being that death would enter the world. We inherited Adam’s sin nature that he acquired. God did not want to “make us sinners.” He didn’t want sin at all, but without giving man the free will to choose to sin or not, he would have had only robots.

                We are not being held accountable for Adam’s sin – we have inherited his sin nature. But we are held accountable for our own sin, not anyone else’s.

                God didn’t create sin. Sin is an action by man, as well as by the fallen of the heavenly host. Sin is rebellion against God, and God did not create rebellion against himself. He only defined it.

              • But Glenn, this god knew in advance what the result was going to be? So we are robots already, right? If you say then that he did not create sin, then how can there be a thing in the universe that he did no create? I mean it’s kinda cutting hairs to say that he didn’t want sin, and didn’t create it, no? So instead he created a being that he knew would sin, therefore creating it. I mean even as a child this was non-sensical.

                And you say were not being held accountable for adams sin, we have only inherited his nature,….. again semantics. How can I be made in gods image but just as an added extra I am that and, lucky me I get adams sin as an “inheritance.” No it’s not just, it is unjust. This is making us responsible for someone else’s bs, it’s group punishment. How could such a perfect being not expect people to rail against and leave such an obscure and alien way of thinking? I mean this is terrible planning.

                So in his image but also in adams image?

          • Man was made in God’s image, including the free-will choices. Once Adam made a choice to rebel against God, the image was stained.
            The ways in which man is the image of God is not physical. First, man is a spiritual being at his core, and God is spirit. Man has intellect, can reason, has a will, has emotion, has ability to make moral choices, represents God on the earth and therefore is His regent. The sin nature corrupted the image so that whereas God cannot make sinful choices, man can. It is the Hebrew word we translate as “image” which says similarity rather than exact replica – we reflect God and bring glory to Him as the Creator.

            John made an error by saying that babies are “punished” for their mother’s sins; they are not punished. They suffer the consequences, as all sin affects someone else and others always suffer the consequences of others’ sins.

            God is loving, but He is also just. Too often people forget that aspect of God. As a just God, He tolerates NO sin.

            • So yes, we are being punished for Adam’s staining of the “image”?

              Why would a god capable of so much, create a being that he knew, in advance, would sin because he gave him free will, then in turn punish the rest of us?

              How is it “just” to predispose the rest of us to a sinful nature? We are given “free will”, but born with a god given predisposition towards failure? So we are actually imperfect? How could such a flawed being “reflect” god?

              And if we dare use this free will to question gods perfection/existence we are off to hell?

      • Being born into sin essentially guarantees one will sin.

        If someone dies without a savior then they are punished for the sins tjey commit.

  9. Man was made in God’s image, including the free-will choices.

    Does your god actually have free-will?

    You just said that god tolerates NO sin, but is he even capable of it?

  10. @R.Nash

    …talk about blaming the victim!

  11. wiley16350 says:

    Little known facts about the bible that have been destroyed by the idea of eternal hell:

    1. God is in control.
    2. Satan was created by God to be the adversary.
    3. God allowed sin and death into the creation by setting up the conditions for their entry into the world.
    4. Man has no desire to do good on his own accord. God gives man any desire he has to do good (believers and unbelievers).
    5. Man does not believe in God by his own accord. God grants man the ability to believe at his appointed time. Some men are blinded by God so that God can achieve his goals. Some men are blinded because of their own stubbornness to follow the light when God has given them a portion of belief.
    6. There is no age of accountability in the bible.
    7. There are 2 gospels in the bible. One for the circumcision (Jews) and one for the uncircumcision (Gentiles). The circumcision group achieved salvation to the Kingdom of Heaven by works. This was the coming Kingdom that the Jews were expecting where they would be the leaders of a world that lived in peace. For that Kingdom to come immediately the Jews needed to heed Jesus’s warnings and live appropriately. Since they did not, the kingdom was set aside for the calling of the Gentiles. This was all planned to happen by God. After the calling of the Gentiles, the Jews will be brought back into the fold and will be the leaders into bringing reconciliation and peace on earth. The uncircumcision group achieve salvation to the body of Christ simply by the grace of God in that he grants them the beliefs and faith they need to be worthy of that salvation. They are elected and called by God and do not do so by choice. They will have the responsibility to reconcile the heavens.
    8. Jesus paid for the sins of the world. He died for all. He is all the justice God needs to forgive sins. God no longer sees us as sinners. He allows sin to continue for teaching and developing proper character. He warns us not to sin because he knows the consequences and what it does to our lives. Eventually, God will take away our desires to sin and therefore save us from our sins. We can’t do this on our own, the more we try, the more we will fall into the sin. We need God to deliver us from our sins and the great thing is, he will do so when he has taught us each about how they ruin us.
    9. If Jesus fails to save us all, then he didn’t succeed to reach his purpose for dying. If he failed, he becomes a sinner because to sin means to miss the mark (goal). Nowhere in the bible does it say that Jesus died to save those that are willing to be saved.
    10. Jesus is the savior of all, especially of believers. This is explicitly stated in the bible.
    11. Eternal Hell is a falsehood that is only portrayed in a poorly transplanted bible, misunderstanding of the different gospels and in the traditions of men.
    12. The most important commandments is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Hell is antithesis to that in that it teaches people to hate others and to raise oneself above another. If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t believe. If it wasn’t for God, I could never be saved. If it wasn’t for God, I would never do right. If it wasn’t for God, I would be lost. That seems to be an appropriate christian ideal. Hell brings about the ideals that I believe, you do not so I’m better than you. I made the right choice, you did not. I do what is right, you do not. You deserve hell, I do not.
    13. We all deserve death, because of Jesus, we know that death is not the end.

    You traditional Christians can think i’m a heretic or whatever you want. It doesn’t really matter what you think. God is all that matters and I feel my beliefs align with the bible and logic much more than the idea of Hell. I praise God that he will save zqtx and R. Nash just like he saves me. I don’t deserve salvation more than they do and if God can save me in spite of my sins, he can do the same for them. It just might not happen in the same way or the same eon, but he will do so because he loves all of us. That is why God deserves praise and glory and he will receive that from every tongue at the consummation when he has reconciled everything to himself.

  12. God doeant have the free will to sin because it would run contrary to his nature. By his nature he is unable to sin.

    From this, we can logically conclude that god is in fact not omnipotent.

    • Ummm, no. Omnipotence doesnt entail the ability to make logical contradictions. He cant make a square circle or a married bachelor either.

      That was weak even for you Z

      • Richard Nash says:

        But this god did make an angel that, in spite of god’s pure all around awesomeness did in fact, become satan, correct? He then also is responsible for making adam a sinner, knowing also in advance that he was going to sin, yes?

        And I am trying not to be a pest here, John. These are the same questions I have been asking for decades and have never really gotten much in response.

        But I am curious that you think god has no free will to sin, but he does have a free will? But to use this “free will” to sin would run contrary to his nature? But then it’s not really a “free” will, then, is it?

        Further I am also curious about how you have come to make such a seemingly bold statement about god’s will and nature. This seems like quite a leap.

        • God has the freedom to act in a way that isnt logically conttadictory to being what God is. I have free will but I cant turn myself into a cow no matter how much I want to.

          God knowing the result from creating a creature capable of doing right or wrong and knowing what they will do isnt a liability if there is a greater good that comes from it. That we dont know the greater good or think of one or value what the greater good is doesnt mean it’s absent.

  13. wiley16350 says:

    zqtx

    another misconception people of God. The word omnipotent is not used in the bible, it was a word humans used to describe God. The bible claims God is the all powerful or nothing is more powerful than God. It says nothing about him being able to do anything in the sense of what omnipotent means. Any informed christian would have no problem with God not being omnipotent. Any informed atheist would know that the argument is stupid and has no weight in the existence of God.

  14. Okay, neither of you seem to know what omnipotent means.

    You just stated that your god does not have free will or the ability to sin, so we can conclude that he is not capable of knowing or experiencing almost everything as it relates to man.

    There is no way for your god to be “all knowing”.

    • Z Its irrelevant because the bible never says God is “omnipotent”. Thats a term that has been assigned to him. Thats hardly his fault. Also, omnipotent doesnt mean all knowing, that’s omniscience. And its rather uncontroversial to say that God knows everything that can be known.

  15. Wiley,
    Some of your theology is Calvinist/Augustinian and not biblical.

    2. Satan was NOT created by God to be the adversary. Satan CHOSE to be the adversary.

    3. Man, being created in God’s image, does indeed have the desire to do good. God gave that desire to all mankind in the Creation. Calvinists claim man can do no good without God imparting to them the ability, but God imparted that ability at the Creation.

    5. More Calvinist/Augustine non-sense and totally unbiblical. All throughout the Bible God tells man to believe and allows them to choose or not to choose. ALL mankind has the ability.

    6. While there is no “age of accountability” in the Bible, I demonstrated from Scripture, in my linked article, that the principle is indeed there. God is merciful and just and, contrary to my Lutheran pastor’s claim, would not send aborted babies to hell, nor would he send infants or small children to hell when they have never learned to know right from wrong.

    7. There has never been two Gospels. The Jews also received salvation by faith, and faith alone – Faith in God’s provision. NEVER, NEVER has man been saved by works.

    9. More Calvinist/Augustinian nonsense. Jesus DID die to save all, and the Bible says God wants all to be saved (Matt. 18:14; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9). Jesus didn’t fail because his blood sacrifice was sufficient for all mankind, but it is only efficacious for those who accept it. If I buy you a birthday gift and you refuse it, did I fail to provide the gift? All through the NT It says Jesus died to save those who are willing.

    11. Eternal Hell is talked about by Jesus throughout the N.T. and only those like you misunderstand what He says because you don’t like the idea of it – your bias guides your understanding. NOWHERE does the theology teach people to hate others or set themselves up above others – only YOU could come up with that idea, since it is nowhere taught in Scripture and I have never in my almost 40 years as a Christian even heard of such nonsense.

    God will not save R.Nash or zqtx so long as they reject Him and refuse His offer of salvation – THAT is what the Bible says. You are teaching the heresy of universalism.

    God is omnipotent – which means all powerful. You used “all powerful” but deny that omnipotent is correct.

    I refute many of your claims biblically here:
http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2013/02/i-am-not-calvinist.html

  16. @R.Nash

    That’s because theists can’t answer your question.

    They make all kind of excuses for their perfect god to create something he had to know (if he is all knowing) was going to be an utter failure. Then they have the nerve to say it wasn’t god’s fault, but the fault of what he created.

    IF god did create an angel which then turned against him, would he not have the power to eliminate this adversary? Is he not capable of this either, or is he content to watch EVERY single human ever born be slated to eternal punishment for not accepting the terms of his salvation?

    It still amazes me how people actually believe this stuff.

    • Z

      When you were in school, would you have complained to the teacher if you got an F just because they had a way they wanted the test done and you thought you should have been able to answer the questions any way you want?

      In what other context do you think it should be the case that you shouldnt have to follow the rules but still reap the benefits of doing so? It kinda makes you sound like a petulant brat.

      My daughter does this. Doesnt want to do her chores but still wants an allowance.

      • Richard Nash says:

        So how does following the rules or not, equate to a “usable “free” will John? It’s not really free if there is such a brutal and eternal punishment for using this god given free will. This is coercion, it’s manipulation.

        If I outlined a set of similar circumstances in which I made you make a “free” choice, and you just happened to choose incorrectly, and you end up being tortured for eternity as a result…..that would make me a sociopath.

        • But thats just it. There ismt any coersion, God doesnt stand over you and scream in your face. He gives you the options and you decide. Its kind of moot whether you like the choices.

          • But John, what kind of choice is it to have one option of eternal damnation? It kind of makes the whole act barbaric, no? I mean so if you choose to believe then how is it that you really came to jesus/god of your own free will when the only other option was to burn for eternity? It’s not “free” will when these are the choices.

            How many people would be christians without the threat of hell?

            • Ill ask you what I asked Z. Do you complain about the government because they threaten you with punishment for misbehaving? Or is it not fair that you are expected to follow rules that come with consequences.

              • Stop with the metaphors and analogies John, they continue to allow you to circumvent the legitimate confusion about these 2 important questions.

                The government doesn’t threaten me with eternal damnation. It also is a manmade construct, so we can see where it comes from and what a law is for. We are not born as a felon in the government’s eyes.

                And again it would not be fair to expect belief and allegiance from us, by a grand creator who supposedly makes us in his image, also makes us sinners, and finally forces our hand into using are supposed “free” will to get into heaven.

              • Then your issue isnt with punishment its with duration. But thats not what youve been complaining about.

                Im offering analogies because what youre comolaining about you yourself would see it is silly if the same complaints were offered about anything else.

  17. R.Nash,
    Knowing that something will happen does not make you responsible for it happening. I know that if someone turns the engines of an airplane off, the plane will come out of the sky – but I didn’t cause it to happen. That is a non sequitur logic fallacy.

    God knows what sin is – sin is rebellion against God. He can’t rebel against himself. Sin, in both the Hebrew and Greek words, means “missing the mark.” God sets the mark – and since HE is the mark, He cannot miss himself.

  18. wiley16350 says:

    @zqtx

    omniscience is “all knowing”, omnipotent is “has no limitations”. It seems as though you’re the one that doesn’t know what omnipotent is.

  19. Z Its irrelevant because the bible never says God is “omnipotent”.

    Is your god not all-knowing?
    Is your god not all-powerful?
    …or is that just your personal conjecture?

    Either way, we’ve clearly illustrated here that he is neither all-knowing or all-powerful.

    • God knows everything that can be known (omniscience) and can do anything that can be done (omnipotence).

      God, by definition, cant sin. Just like you, by definition cant morph into a cow.

  20. Wiley, Z also used to think that Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc. were different religions.

    Different denominations under Christianity. Yes, yes, keep misrepresenting previous discussions. It’s no wonder there are so many interpretations of the Christian faith. Let’s try to stay on topic, shall we?

  21. There ismt any coersion, God doesnt stand over you and scream in your face.

    No, just eternal punishment.

    God knows everything that can be known (omniscience) and can do anything that can be done (omnipotence).

    Not true. You just said he doesn’t know sin and he cannot commit a sin.

    • Do you complain about the government? They threaten you with punishment for misbehavior too.

      Where did you get this idea that you should be able to act any way you want with no consequences? And then when there is a consequence, its not fair that youre given a way out?

    • I never said he doesnt know sin. And I did say he cant sin because by definition God cant. Its logically impossible given what it means to he God. Why are you having such a difficult time with this?

  22. Well said, R.Nash

    John, You may look at the game and say, ”You just don’t like the rules”, but there are many of us that simply see the game for the nonsense that it is.

  23. wiley16350 says:

    @Glen

    God created Satan to be who he became. If he didn’t, then Satan thwarted God’s original plan. Forcing God to adjust and come up with a new plan. Unfortunately for you the bible says that Jesus’ death was planned in the beginning prior to the creation of the world. You have all kinds of logical inconsistencies. The fact is, God needed an adversary and had to create one to execute his plan. It doesn’t matter if Satan was originally good or originally bad, he was purposely created to be the adversary.

    Read Romans 3 for points 3 and 5. The points where people are constantly being told to believe for salvation are specifically to those jews that witnessed the things that Jesus did and accomplished. If the Jews would have believed and accepted Jesus as the Messiah then the salvation to the Kingdom of Heavens would have come, since they did not it has been set aside for the current gospel, salvation to the body of Christ.

    As I said, the need for an age of accountability is necessary to justify the idea of eternal hell.

    You can deny that there weren’t two gospels all you want, but both are actually referred to in the bible. Paul preached the gospel of uncircumcision and was specifically directed to preach to the Gentiles. The other apostles preached the gospel of circumcision and were specifically told to preach to the Jews and not to the Gentiles. The evidence is all over the place when you actually know that there are 2 gospels.

    Jesus is the savior of all, especially of those who believes. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. These are plainly stated verses that I take at face value. You read into them and interpret them based on what you believe to be true. Then you accuse me of being wrong. When you’re the one that has to actually read into the verses what isn’t plainly written.

    Eternal Hell isn’t talked about by Jesus throughout the bible. Gehenna is talked about by Jesus throughout the bible. He definitely warns the jews of a coming Gehenna. That Gehenna is eonion and not eternal. Because I understand it to be eonion I don’t have to twist other verses to fit an ideology. I can take the verses at face value. I used to try and defend hell and had no problem with it until I started seeing the logical inconsistencies in it. Because of those logical inconsistencies I felt either my understanding of the bible was wrong or there was a real possibility that God wasn’t real. The more I looked into the issue the more I became satisfied that it was in fact my understanding of the bible that was wrong. I’m sorry but some of the most hateful Christians are those that hold strongly to the idea of hell. When discussing with atheists a lot of their anger is with the idea of hell and i’m sure it is because they were raised with fire & brimstone type Christian parents.

    I don’t care if you call me a heretic, your opinion doesn’t matter, God’s does. The irony is lost on you that one day God may call you the same name that you consistently call other Christians.

    The typical atheist believes that omnipotence is the ability to do anything one desires. I was addressing that definition. That should have been obvious, but alas it seems as if you really have a problem with understanding the obvious.

    • Did you guys even look at what I stated was the definition of sin? It is rebellion against God, it is missing the mark of what God requires. How can God rebel against himself? How can he miss doing what He requires?
      
As John said, God cannot sin any more than a human can decide to be a cow.

    • Wiley,

      God did not create Satan to be who he became any more than he created Adam to sin. Knowing what will happen and making it happen are two different things. You still are stuck with that logic fallacy. God did NOT purposely create Satan to be the adversary – you will find that idea nowhere in the Bible.

      God didn’t have to adjust; God is outside of time (he created time) and sees the end at the same time he sees the beginning. He knew if he created the heavenly host and mankind with free will, there would be rebellion eventually. Knowing that, he had the plan of salvation already determined before he began creation.

      Regarding points 3&5, almost all the original Christians were Jews. It was the leaders who rejected Christ. Your idea of salvation is contrary to the Bible. ALL salvation has been by faith and never by works. (is. 64:6; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim.1:9-10; Tit. 3:5) Romans 4 tells us that even Abraham was justified by his faith and not by his circumcision or any other work.

      There has only EVER been one gospel. What was was taught to the Jews by some apostles was the same gospel Paul taught to the gentiles – that salvation was by faith in Christ.

      The age of accountability is NOT necessary to justify the idea of eternal hell. It is necessary by God’s nature, even if the punishment was annihilation.

      Jesus is the savior of all mankind – but only efficacious for those who accept it. That is what the passage says, and what Christians have taught for 2000 years, and yet you decided that everyone else is in error and your “new” ideas are the correct ones?!?

      Your denial of eternal Hell is in direct contradiction to the Scripture. You and heretic Rob Bell should get along just fine.

  24. Punishment? Duration?

    No, John – I have a problem understanding the entire construct of your Christian faith.

    Your god has no free will, cannot know everything that can be known and cannot do anything that can be done. This discussion has clearly shown that your deity is neither all-knowing nor all-powerful.

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?”

    -Epicurus

  25. wiley16350 says:

    @ Z and R Nash

    You guys can claim that theists can’t answer your questions but I did in fact address them with my first long post. You can continue to argue about logical technicalities with the other guys as long as you wish but we all know they won’t satisfy you. In a way they may be logically correct but it’s not logically satisfying. If you were honest seekers of truth you would look into other christian views of hell, since I have given you some insight that there is in fact a different view. Just because there is disagreement between Christians doesn’t mean there isn’t a complete truth to it.

  26. wiley16350 says:

    @ Z

    God is willing to prevent evil and is able and he has promised us he will. That is in the bible. That is an argument against eternal hell, but not against Chrisitanity as described in the bible. They can give you an ok argument like he’ll quarantine evil and keep it around for those that deserve it. I guess that its a possibility but doesn’t really completely satisfy logic.

    Biblically,
    God created everything and the majority of those things were created with the ability to do evil. Therefore, God created evil. He is using evil for a purpose to teach, instruct and develop humanity. Therefore God allows it but has explicitly told us that evil will only last for a period of time. It will not remain forever and that is because of his benevolence.

  27. Just for everyone else, Wiley’s theological ideas are not Biblical, can not be found in any teaching by any fundamental, orthodox Christian in history. His teachings are indeed heretical

  28. Really, John? Is that all you can come up with?
    More quibbling about definitions?

    Omnipotent – having unlimited power; able to do anything.
    synonyms: all-powerful, almighty, supreme, preeminent, most high;
    invincible, unconquerable

    I realize I’ve backed you into a corner and there’s nothing left for you to really stand on, so I’ll just leave you be with your unfounded beliefs.

    Until next time…

  29. Zqtx,
    Who says God is not able to prevent evil? He does it all the time, and has done so throughout history. But preventing evil isn’t the issue; if He prevented all evil, then man would have no free will. Evil is the absence of good – man creates evil through his free will. Take away man’s free will and you have robots.

  30. Who says we can’t use the word “omnipotent” just because it doesn’t say so in the bible?
    People always say your god is all-powerful when clearly he is not.

    BTW, Glenn just made a comment about man’s free will and how we’d be robots without it. That would contradict the very nature of god and his lack of free will, now wouldn’t it?

    I guess we really weren’t created in his image after all.

    You believers have all kinds of mental gymnastics to try to keep this all together.

    • Yi5u can use the word, but it doesnt entail the ability to do the logically impossible. You know that but think it’s cute to say it should then blame God for not being able to do the impossible. Or you dont know this and dont think things through.

    • Z,
      God does NOT lack free will. YOUR problem is that you consider it a lack of free will when one can’t choose to do something against his nature. So I guess you don’t have free will if you can’t choose to be a cow.

  31. That’s a stupid argument. No one is trying to will themselves to be something else. We’re taking about actions.

    All of you have clearly stated that god cannot sin because it’s against his nature.

    (eg. God can part the sea, but he can’t commit an act that he (or we) would consider a sin)

    Therefore, your god is not capable of doing everything and anything possible since many of those actions would be considered sinful. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdxeqEoDXco)

    • Its a stupid argument to insist God do the logically impossible then blame him for it. Which, by the way you said was unfair of God to do to man.

    • Z
      Actions – you can’t free will choose to fly. So I guess you don’t have free will.

      I started to watch your stupid video, but the foul language was something I couldn’t tolerate. If people have to resort to that sort of language to make their arguments, then I just consider their ignorance of language to be indicative of their rationale for an argument.

      God does indeed forgive those who seek forgiveness. I may murder someone and then seek God’s forgiveness for it. He forgives me but still allows me to be punished by the state. Hell is punishment for sins which have never been forgiven.

      God made the rules – that’s his prerogative as creator. He says you have to seek forgiveness through Christ. The Bible says if you don’t honor the Son, then you also don’t honor God. (John 5:23). So if you don’t honor Christ, you certainly won’t honor God.

  32. Let me ask you a simple yes or no question, John.
    Can you forgive someone without an ultimatum?

    If you answer yes, then you can do something that your god cannot.

    Forgiveness is an action that doesn’t involve anything impossible. Apparently, it is impossible to have your god not require a belief in Jesus in order to avoid eternal punishment.

    • Now youre changing the subject again. But im used to it.

      Sin requires punishment. You can either deal with the punishment yourself or it can be put upon Jesus. It you who are finding fault where gratitude should be.

    • Forgiveness doesnt involve the impossible, but that was never your issue. You were complaining that unless God could sin he wasnt omnipotent.

      You seem really confused.

  33. I’m not changing the subject.
    I’m still talking about your supposedly “all-powerful” god.

    I’m simply pointing out the absurdity of the Christian faith that requires a belief in Jesus in order to avoid eternal punishment.

    Although the act of forgiveness is not sinful, your god is apparently not capable of it because of his requirement of belief in Jesus. Now you’re actually saying I should accept this ultimatum with gratitude instead of finding fault with the deity that put this all into motion to begin with.

    Why do you think your god requires belief in Jesus instead of just forgiving you?

  34. wiley16350 says:

    @ Glen

    What logical fallacy? Knowing something will happen and making it happen has no bearing in logic. For someone could know something will happen and make it happen or someone could know something will happen and not make it happen. If Satan was good at the beginning (even though the bible says he was a liar and muderer from the beginning), God still created him with the ability to fall. If God didn’t want that to happen then he could have done so. Same with Adam and Eve, God created them with a susceptibility to sin, gave them a command not to do something and then allowed a tempter to tempt them. If he didn’t want all that to happen then he shouldn’t of set it up that way. The logical conclusion then, is that he did want it to happen. For you to say he didn’t means that God made a mistake in designing this world. Making a mistake is to sin, therefore you would be saying God sinned. I’m not saying that God made anybody do anything, what I’m saying is that God set up the conditions for it to happen because that is in fact what he wanted to happen.

    God had to adjust because according to you it wasn’t his original plan for people to fall into sin or for the world to go wrong. Which you’re saying if Satan wasn’t supposed to be the adversary originally.

    Christianity exploded from the Gentiles and not with the Jews. That is because the Jews did indeed deny their Messiah, which is the Gospel that the Disciples were preaching. The messiah had arrived, follow the law to the letter, be righteous for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. They couldn’t live up to that, therefore the Kingdom of Heaven did not come. This gospel was being preached prior to Jesus’s death and resurrection. Jesus was showing them that they could never live up to achieving salvation through works. There is a verse in Hebrews that talks of the closing of the window for the kingdom of heaven. I believe there was still some circumcision preaching after Jesus ascended to heaven, but it no longer had any affect. After Jesus ascended to Heaven he called Paul and told him to preach to the Gentiles. Galations 2:7 specifically mentions that Paul was sent to the uncircumcised and Peter to the circumcised. The bible also clearly states that Peter & the Apostles where not to take their gospel to the Gentiles (Matthew 10). If they are the same, why would this be? The only gospel to be preached today is that of the uncircumcision (paul’s gospel). 3 of the verses you quote are written by Paul. I don’t even argue that Faith has always been the way to salvation. The point of the gospel of circumcision was to point out the impossibility for humans to affect their own salvation through good works.

    I believe the salvation of all is necessary by God’s nature but that still doesn’t hide the fact that you’re making a claim that isn’t written in the bible.

    I am not claiming that my ideas are new. There have been factions of Christians that have believed in ultimate reconciliation since the early church. Starting with Paul. You see hints if not out right statements of such in his writings. You don’t read about hell in Pauls writings, so it would seem that he would lean more towards my side. In the early church, it was not a heresy to believe. You’re the one that thinks it’s some fresh new idea.

    • Wiley,
      The logic fallacy is your claim that because God knows what will happen he therefore caused it to happen. You stated that God created Satan to be the adversary and that is a lie. You said God created evil and that is a lie. Blasphemy is a good term for it.

      Satan means (as does “devil”) “adversary” – a name given to him after his fall. The being known as Satan was not the adversary from the beginning because he was created good (God declared all of creation to be good at the end of creation week). Once he rebelled and became the adversary, he was a liar from the beginning of his adversarial position.

      God created all the heavenly host (including the being who became Satan) as well as mankind with the ability to make free-will choices. We are not told in Scripture when it happened, but sometime in the past the heavenly host no longer had the ability to choose for or against God – that choice was made once and that divided the angels from the demons. Mankind, on the other hand, has the ability to choose for or against God until his death (the heavenly hosts did not get the ability to die).

      If God didn’t want the devil or mankind to sin, and intervened to stop it, then man would have no freewill choice, which would be against the whole reason they were created. Again, God didn’t want robots or he could have made the devil and man without free will choices. The only thing God “set up” was to allow them to make his choices without compulsion or force.

      God did not want sin to enter the world, but he knew it would happen by allowing the ability to make choices. There would be no point in making beings who would just be pre-programmed robots. That is not a mistake.

      God did not set up the plan for man to sin, any more than he set up satan to fall. He just allowed their choices. But he knew it would happen and had the plan of salvation before creation was even started. Satan was no more supposed to be the adversary than man was to fall into sin. (Actually, you sound sort of like a Mormon, because they say Adam had to fall in order for everything else to work, that Adam couldn’t even have children if he didn’t fall).

      Look again at the Bible. All through the Gospels and in the beginning of Acts, the Christians were predominantly Jews. They got the same gospel as did the Gentiles.

      Peter and the other apostles were to take the gospel to the Jews first, then the Gentiles. Even Paul said in Rom. 1:16 that gospel is for the Jews first. There is no such thing as a gospel of circumcision and uncircumcision.

      The salvation of all is NOT biblical. The Bible says over and over that only through faith in Christ can we be saved, and those who reject Christ will be damned. God’s nature is justice in addition to love. If people didn’t need to accept Christ as payment for their sins, then it would be unjust to require it of believers but not unbelievers. You can believe all will be saved if you wish (another Mormon teaching, by the way) but that doesn’t make it so. You are teaching heresy.

      Yes, there have been Universalists throughout history, but they have always been denounced by real Christians as teachers of heresy. Paul never even hinted at a lack of eternal punishment. You are teaching heresy, plain and simple.

  35. Oh, there you go on the criminal analogy again…
    Under your own definitions, we’re all guilty and worthy of an eternity of punishment.

    There you go on the emotional tangent again…
    You confuse a rational argument with an emotional one.

    Still the same ol same ol from you, John – I guess we’re done here.
    Your beliefs still don’t stand up to critical examination using logic and reason.

    To reiterate Nash:

    And again it would not be fair to expect belief and allegiance from us, by a grand creator who supposedly makes us in his image, also makes us sinners, and finally forces our hand into using are supposed “free” will to get into heaven.

  36. This is why it’s rather difficult to have any kind of discussion with you, John.

    I’ve been simply asking you to explain your beliefs and give reasons for them. I’m not the one offering a new argument, just analyzing your position.

    When someone points out the logical inconsistencies with your argument, you cry about definitions, ignore questions and constantly change subjects. You just hate defending your beliefs, don’t you?

  37. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Sin requires punishment. You can either deal with the punishment yourself or it can be put upon Jesus.

    Who says sin requires punishment?

    Humans certainly have a thirst for vengeance and a desire to see punishment when wronged. But God isn’t human. In fact, we humans can and do forgive people without requiring punishment. Indeed, such behavior is an extreme act of Grace and often recognized as quite Godly. If we humans can and do forgive people without requiring a blood sacrifice or without requiring/demanding a punishment, is it not reasonable to conclude that God can, too?

    I’m just not sure that the premise: Sin requires punishment…

    is defendable logically or biblically.

    Thoughts from a Third Party.

    ~Dan

  38. paynehollow says:

    Consider, John, the fella who punched me once. He was a hotheaded youth and made a stupid mistake. I forgave him. No punishment was required.

    This is one example of many millions we could cite. Setting aside what you might think the Bible says for a minute: In the real world, then, can we not agree that sin can be forgiven without punishment? Is not the reality that it happens evidence that it happens and, in fact, sin can be forgiven without punishment?

  39. Trabue (aka paynehollow) is another heretic as has been proven on site after site.

    Directly to Dan – Sin is an offense against GOD. While our sin CAN BE directed at someone else, it is ultimately an offense against God. It is God who punishes the sin, it is GOD who declared the penalty for sin as death. Yes, sin must be punished – the Bible says it very clearly.

  40. paynehollow says:

    You’re appealing to your opinion of “the moral system God gave us” as proof for someone who doesn’t believe in the Bible and who doesn’t accept your opinion of it as definitive? How will that win any arguments?

    No, I do not know that “the moral system God gave us requires punishment for sin.” That certainly is not my opinion of what the Bible teaches. Indeed, sin requires, needs, longs for grace and forgiveness.

    Indeed, if we who are fallen, poor sinful humans are able to forgive without punishment, why do you think God can’t?

    Here’s a question:

    Are you saying God CAN NOT forgive sin without a punishment or that God WON’T forgive sin without punishment? Or both? Or neither?

    We are saved, I’d opine, by Grace, God’s grace. Lives of grace, embracing and upholding grace. Jesus’ death and blood was not what “purchased” our forgiveness. If so, then it isn’t grace, it’s a business deal by someone who demands punishment but is willing to be bought out of that “need” to punish. I think this is a corruption of the biblical teaching of grace.

    Indeed, Glenn, sin is an offense to God, to neighbor, to all of us, to the world itself and to ourselves. It’s why we need grace in our lives, for it is grace that saves us.

    Demands for blood sacrifice to “pay” for sin is to try to force a literal interpretation of what is clearly a metaphor. Seems to me.

    ~Dan

  41. Dan’s comments are not orthodox, historical Christian teaching. This statement is to alert those atheists trying to understand Christianity to not accept what Dan says. He has been proven to be a false teacher over and over and over:
    http://wolfsheep2.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/false-teacher-profile-updated/

  42. paynehollow says:

    John, should I draw the conclusion that you don’t think your arguments can stand up to some simple questions from someone (me) whom you presumably think is a nitwit, and so you deleted my comments? Or did they simply get lost in the great gray blogosphere?

    ~Dan

    • Dan, you side with atheists on nearly every issue I post here. I dont need to argue with you, ill just argue with someone who admits their position without a lot of misleading smoke.

  43. paynehollow says:

    Assuming the best and that you didn’t delete my comments, I had said this:

    Fortunately for me (and a multitude of others), Glenn and his comrades are not the Deciders on who is and isn’t a Christian, who is and isn’t a heretic.

    I stand by the claim that Christianity is about salvation by Grace, not salvation by blood payment for a sin, without which God is simply not able (or unwilling?) to forgive. There is nothing unorthodox about believing in salvation by Grace. That is, in a nutshell, Christianity.

    I would just ask anyone the reasonable questions:

    Are you saying that God CAN NOT forgive without punishment? Or that God WILL NOT forgive without punishment?

    Are you saying that it isn’t grace that saves us, but a blood sacrifice of an innocent man to “pay for” the punishment that God “had” to mete out to someone, because God was not able to simply forgive people the way that we do?

    I would disagree and don’t think disagreeing with that particular flavor of “atonement theories” to be unorthodox. Indeed, the Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory that I believe these fellas advocate was not developed until hundreds of years after Christ’s death.

    Grace, sweet grace! Embrace it.

    ~Dan

  44. paynehollow says:

    John…

    you side with atheists on nearly every issue I post here. I dont need to argue with you, ill just argue with someone who admits their position without a lot of misleading smoke.

    Do I? I disagree with the literal interpretation of the PS Theory of Atonement, but I certainly do believe in salvation by Grace, which perhaps our atheist brothers and sisters might disagree with, I don’t know. But on this topic, I happen to think that your claim…

    “the moral system God gave us requires punishment for sin.”

    Is not in fitting with the notion of Grace, as we read it in the Bible and as, I think, makes sense in the real world. Again, I think that the claim “Forgiveness requires punishment.” is simply not factual and I have offered real world examples to support my position.

    But I don’t think “Forgiveness requires punishment” is a Christian thought, it sounds more like early pagan beliefs in angry gods who must be appeased by human sacrifice than Christian teaching.

    But I disagree with that idea because I’m a Christian, regardless of whether atheists agree or disagree with it.

    In other words, I’m striving to side with Truth, as I understand it, John. What would you have me do? I also happen to believe that letting ideas meet and clash is a good thing, that stronger theories stand and weaker ones fall. I bet you do, too, John. You’re a man of strong opinion and will, not one to be cowed by simple disagreement.

    I bet you and I are of one mind on that point.

    ~Dan

  45. paynehollow says:

    So, John, when R Nash says…

    No it’s not just, it is unjust. This is making us responsible for someone else’s bs, it’s group punishment.

    I think the idea is sound. He is taking a stand for Justice and you and I (I am sure) can agree that there is only One Justice, God’s justice, and that justice is a good thing. So, anytime any man, woman or child takes a stand for justice, for peace, for good, I will stand with that person, whatever their faith system or lack thereof.

    Again, I bet you can agree with this.

    After all, unless I’m mistaken, Mr Nash is more conservative than I and you agree with him on many points, in spite of his atheism.

    As Nash points out (and beyond) the problem is that Glenn is taking a myth – a story to convey truths or beliefs, but where the story isn’t necessarily literally factual – and trying to make it literal. By so doing, he is creating this weird, unjust situation and ascribing this injustice to a God that we all believe to be Just. And that is just not rational.

    So, in order to defend a belief in a Just and Good God, you have to have stories and teachings that are consistent with Justice and Goodness. If someone finds a hole in the story that implies an unjust god, then it becomes incumbent upon you to explain the seeming injustice or to adapt/change your position. If you want to sound reasonable.

    One man’s opinion.

    ~Dan

  46. paynehollow says:

    My fault, John. A simple typo. You said “SIN require punishment.”

    Is the implication, though, that without punishment, there can be no forgiveness? I thought that was your extended point.

    Do you believe, then, that forgiveness can come apart from punishment? That we and God can simply choose to forgive?

  47. wiley16350 says:

    @Glen
    It’s funny how you keep pigeon holing me into some certain sect. I have no denominational affiliation. My goal is to have a logically consistent and biblical worldview.

    I am saying that God had a plan and set it in motion and is now working to bring that plan to completion. I am saying that God is in ultimate control. He knew that Satan, Adam and Eve would all fall with the way he set the world up. If he knew it was going to happen then it must have been his intention for it to happen. For if it wasn’t his intention he would have done it differently. It doesn’t matter to me if Satan fell or was originally created as evil. God is responsible for everything because he knew what would happen beforehand. If he didn’t want it a certain way he could have changed the starting parameters. I believe this world is exactly the way God wanted it to be at this point in time. You say God wanted people to freely choose him and not be robots. Which is all well and good but for them to choose him over something, there has to be another choice. It seems as though sin is that other choice. That means sin was part of his intention. There are so many logical problems when you try to absolve God from the sin problem. He allowed it, he uses it and then will eradicate it when it’s purpose has been served seems like a more logically sound belief than it entered on it’s own accord, he allows it to happen to get people to follow him and will never actually do anything to remove it completely.

    I specifically showed you a passage that tells you there was a gospel of circumcision and a gospel of uncircumcision and then you tell me there was no such thing? Your provided verse however makes a seeming contradiction. So I need to refine what i’m thinking. I think the Matthew 10 verse where Jesus tells the disciples to preach that the kingdom of heaven is near is not the gospel of circumcision then. That was something entirely different. All of Jesus’s Gehenna warnings were prior to his death and were during this same time of preaching the nearness of the kingdom of heaven. The Gospel to the Jews then would have been similar to Paul’s Gospel. I need to look into what the difference was, because there is a claim to 2 different Gospels. Pauls statement that you referenced would then be a general statement about the basic tenents of the Gospel which was given to the Jews first by Peter and then to the Gentiles later by Paul.

    Salvation comes by grace, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. This is what you have a hard time believing; God grants one the faith he needs to believe that God will save him. This is only given to a person by the grace of God and not anything that the human chooses. The fact is that salvation comes from God. The fact is that God wants all to be saved. If thats what he wants and he is the one that does the saving, then why won’t he achieve the salvation of all? I like how you choose the word damnation. In reality, the wicked are brought to destruction. The question is, what is biblical destruction. Is it the complete destruction of the person or is it the destruction of his wicked ways? It’s funny how you guys continuously focus on justice and sin. Jesus was beatin and crucified as payment for the sins of the world. Not only the sins of believers, but the sins of unbelievers too. That is plainly written in the bible. God is not seeking payment for sin any longer. He wants you to give up sin for your own sake, not his. Ultimate Reconciliation is absolutely in the bible, it is obvious when you’re not out looking to hold to hell to keep from being a church outcast or seen as a heretic. I may be a heretic to the church, but all that matters is what God thinks.

    • Wiley,
      I see you practice the same eisegesis with my comments as you do with the Bible. I never said you were with any particular sect – I merely pointed out how some of your teachings agree with those of the Mormon cult.

      He knew that Satan, Adam and Eve would all fall with the way he set the world up. If he knew it was going to happen then it must have been his intention for it to happen.

      There you go with your logic fallacy again – it’s called a non sequitur. Just because one knows something will happen, that doesn’t mean it was their intention that it would happen. I certainly wouldn’t want an airplane to crash, but I know if one is hit with an missile it will crash. By your logic that means it was my intention because I knew it would happen.

      So now you make God responsible for sin just because He knew it would happen? More heretical logic fallacy. Again, I know if I know that two cars will crash by observing their collision course, that doesn’t make me responsible for the crash.

      Your logic is flawed in the same way throughout your convoluted comment.

      No, the passage you cited only said that apostles went to those who were circumcised (Jews) as well as to those who were uncircumcised (Gentiles). It does not say they were two different gospels. In order to come up with that you have to practice eisegesis. Funny how Christians have taught for 2000 years that there is only one Gospel, and yet you dispute 2000 years of Christians claiming that they are in error.

      Salvation comes by grace, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. This is what you have a hard time believing; God grants one the faith he needs to believe that God will save him.

      I do not have a hard time believing the passage. Faith isn’t the gift – salvation is. God grants all people faith. Your version is from Augustine, that God only gives faith to those he preselected to save while he sends the rest to hell with no chance on their part to seek God. But the Bible says over and over that we are to seek God, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6)

      God wants all to be saved, which is why He offers the gift to all. But not all will be saved because not all will accept the offer.

      The Scripture plainly says over and over that to have your sins paid for you must place your faith in Christ. Unbelievers do not have their sins paid for – the offer is there but they refuse it.

      You preach heresy when you preach universalism.

  48. wiley16350 says:

    If you knew a missle was going to hit an airplane and you wanted that airplane to arrive in California and you had the ABILITY to STOP the missle from hitting the airplane, you would stop the missle so that the airplane can arrive at its destination. If you don’t stop it, then there has to be a reason why you were ok with the airplane not reaching its destination. That reason becomes your new intention, albeit one forced by someone elses action. The fact is though if you didn’t want that new destination you would have stopped the missle and allowed the airplane to arrive at its original destination.
    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    Your version is from Augustine, that God only gives faith to those he preselected to save while he sends the rest to hell with no chance on their part to seek God
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    I have no idea why you wrote what you wrote about Augustine since it is obvious that is not my position. I would believe that God would give faith to all at their appointed time, then be saved. I don’t hold to faith being necessarily given by God.

    You don’t think you’re limiting God’s power by saying he won’t achieve his desire of saving everyone?

    It is not sins that are being paid for by believing. The bible says that Jesus paid for all sins upon the cross, believers and unbelievers alike. When you place your faith in Christ that he can and will save you, he will then save you from indignation and destruction. Therefore it would be lack of faith and belief in Christ’s ability to save that would send someone to indignation and destruction. Since Christ paid for our sins with humiliation, torment and his life it would be a slap in the face to deny what he did for you. I don’t deny that there is a period of wrath upon those that are unrighteous, wicked and unappreciative of what Christ did to save us from death and sin. I just see a hint that the story doesn’t end with the destruction of the wicked. This is because of passages that refer to the salvation of all and the end of death and a picture of total reconciliation at the consummation.

    • Wiley,
      
What is so difficult for you to understand that God’s “intention” is to let man have his free will to do as he pleases? That doesn’t mean God’s intention is that he sin. DUH!

      Your statements about God needing to give people specific faith to come to HIm are Augustinian. No, it does not limit God’s power if not everyone is saved – His power gives everyone the personal responsibility.

      You disagree with the Bible – Jesus does not pay for “indignation and destruction” – he died for our sins. It says that too many times – He died for our sins. But although he died for the sins of all, the payment is only efficacious for those who accept the gift.

      Jesus did not pay for our sins with humiliation and torment – he paid with his life, and had to raise from the dead for the payment to be acceptable.

      The only “hint” of salvation for all is in your bias. Nowhere does it say all will be reconciled. I think you need to read Revelation again.

      • Glenn,

        How does the death/sacrifice of Jesus account for the 100’s of millions who lived and dies without the christian belief system available to them?

        The reason I ask, is that several different christian denominations seem to come to quite different conclusions about the details.

        • Scripture says that God plants the knowledge of Him in the heart (mind) of everyone, as well as placing the moral law in them. Romans 1:19-20 says the evidence is there that God exists so that unbelievers are without excuse. Ps. 19:1 says the heavens declare the glory of God, Job 12:7-8 says the animals and earth bear witness to God, Acts 14:17 says God has not left men without witness about Him, and Acts 17:24-28 says that men were created so men will seek God. Scripture also says that those who seek God will find Him – that He will honor their desired to know Him.

          Since Christ is God in the flesh, I think that coming to believe in the true God points to belief in Christ. How that all works out, I don’t know. But since God says everyone has the chance to come to HIM, to know HIM, because they are without excuse when they ignore all the evidence for Him, then real faith will be rewarded.

          • Would this conflict with those same masses even if the were worshipping another god(s)? If they had a good heart, in spite of worshipping another deity, they still get into heaven?

            • People arent cured from disease by taking the wrong medicine even if they really want it to work.

              • So just to be clear John, the masses who lived and died before they had access to christianity are in hell?

              • No, The Israelites who placed their trust in the coming Messiah were also saved. All the way back to Abram people have had the opportunity to place their trust in the God if Israel. This isn’t new with the Advent of Christ.

              • How could the folks the 50k year before christ know anything about the god of Israel? The Tlingit people of B.C. are 12k miles removed and 25k years before the life and times of Jesus, what opportunity did they have?

              • I don’t know. The bible does tell us that without the law there is no sin. If the law had not been handed down, it may be the case that they were not liable for their moral behavior. I’d be willing to grant for the sake of ignorance and argument that they may be held in exception. However, post-Law, there is no excuse.

              • But even the Law took time to get everywhere. I could argue that the indian tribes of the southern Amazon are still unaware of the christian god.

                When exactly do modern christian demarcate this “moment” in time in which everyone who doesn’t believe in this god is off to hell?

              • I still don’t accept that just because you arent aware of a law doesn’t mean you arent bound by it.

              • How and why could you come to such a conclusion? What don’t you buy?

                You do realize that some feel the same about you, right?

                So the fact that a people are isolated by time and geography, is of no consequence? They are off to hell because they didn’t build a boat, traverse the Atlantic, find Jerusalem and start asking about their mono religion and how they were so wrong?

                That comes of as not only ludicrous and arrogantly presumptuous, but non sensical to boot?

                Do you think that the most perfect being in the universe would condemn people to hell in spite of the impossibility of ever coming into contact with his being?

              • no, they are off to hell (if they are off to hell) because they violated God’s moral law.

                However, the bible says God providentially controls when and where each of us is born. W.L. Craig hypothesizes that those placed at a time and in a location to have never heard the Gospel were so because God knew they wouldnt have accepted it even if they did. Everyone who has had the chance to hear it, have the opportunity to accept or reject and could do either.

                You make it sound like people are required to sin. why do you suppose this? couldnt you or anyone choose to do the right thing every time?

              • John, your gods plan in advance, was to populate hell with people who lived and died before the birth of jesus?

                Your god has the providential power to “know” these people in the womb, after being responsible for them coming into being to begin with, and also “knows” that they wouldn’t have accepted him anyways, in spite of no chance to know him, and now I will meet them in hell?

                It is exactly this type of delusional poisonous scourge that is the Abrahamic faiths. This is so far from perfect. So far from forgiving, so far from just, as to be born of a psychosis.

                This is a moral abortion. This kind of “thinking” is born from those who feel and have the “opinion” that they are “right” because they have the “truth.”

                “Everyone who has had the chance to hear it, have the opportunity to accept or reject and could do either.” – I am not speaking of these people. I am very specifically speaking of the people who lived and dies before this message existed.

                “You make it sound like people are required to sin. why do you suppose this? couldnt you or anyone choose to do the right thing every time”? – This is non sensical. There is no sin. Sin is a construct in your specific religious taint. Please define the “right” thing. The right thing is not found in your bible. That’s the last place you should look for guidance, it leads otherwise sane and decent people to do insane and indecent things.

              • RNash,
                The Constitution and free speech has nothing to do with blogs. It’s only about governments refusing to allow free speech. I don’t allow heretics on my blog because I don’t want people being confused with false teachings. Than isn’t violating anyone’s right to free speech.

                I think John is a bit confused about pre-Christ believers, that’s all. Scripture says EVERYONE is saved by their faith, be it in God the Father directly looking forward to the Messiah, or be it directly in the Messiah after his arrival. As I have pointed out way up there in the comments, the moral law, as well as everything one needs to know about the existence of the true God of the Bible, is planted in every member of mankind, and every thing in creation witnesses to that God. Since God has planted this information in us, it is our responsibility to seek God. He says if we seek Him we will find Him.

                The Bible teaches that God, being outside of time, knows who will and who will not choose to worship him – who will or will not come to faith. In his foreknowledge he then saves those who put their faith in Him and in Christ’s atoning death – he “predestines” them to salvation, they become the elect who will enter heaven. But the choices are by man with his free will – his choice to seek God and accept the salvation offered.

                There is indeed an unbiblical teaching, known as “reformed” theology and actually originated by Augustine and propagated by Calvin, which says God chooses who to give the ability to seek Him, that God pre-selects who He decides to give this ability to in an arbitrary manner,”predestines” them to salvation, and all others are therefore selected and predestined to go to hell. This God is not the God of the Bible and was never taught before the end of the 4th century. Yet Calvinism, as it is called, is one of the fastest-spreading theologies now, and is the theology which gives atheists such consternation because this God is definitely arbitrary and does indeed allow people to be born just so he can choose to not allow them to be able to but their faith in action.
                Some Calvinists, such as Rick Warren, even teach that God has created use each individually, that He chose what eye color would be, what hair color would be, any deformities, and even our current conversations! This makes God nothing but a puppeteer, and it’s no wonder atheists can’t understand why anyone would follow such a God!

              • Glenn,
                If this idea that this god of yours has planted his knowledge in all of us, holds up, then why do christians spend so much time proselytizing and doing missionary work, building church’s etc?

                Further, isn’t he a puppeteer after all, if he knows in advance who will accept his being and those who won’t? I mean it’s just a boring game if that’s the case.

                And lastly, your position on these others being heretics, is well, disturbing. It perpetuates the image of the book, and witch burning radical zealot fringe of your faith. But maybe your’e going for that?

                Dan,
                Your post is long and a bit drawn out, and to be honest I am not clear about what you are asking, if anything. But I think we are mostly in agreement.

                One point though that I can’t wrap my head around is: How exactly are we supposed to have “free” will if god knows before we are even born if we will accept him. This wouldn’t even qualify as a logical fallacy, but mere gibberish. I mean this is like going to Vegas and betting on the horses, the game is fixed in advance by the whole idea of being born a sinner. It’s a terrible plan.

              • RNASH.
                God plants the knowledge of Himself in all people. The evangelization is to bring people out of suppressing the knowledge they have so that they can receive the good news of salvation. It is their responsibility to seek God with the information provided. He says if you seek Him, you will find Him – this is stated in many passages, including in Isa.55:6 where it says to seek God while He may be found. Once the end is brought about it is too late.

                God is outside of time and so sees the end from the beginning. But knowing what will happen doesn’t make Him the cause of it, so he isn’t a puppeteer because He isn’t causing it.

                Labeling someone as a heretic is so that the public knows they do not represent historical, orthodox Christianity, rather they usually play “cafeteria Christianity” deciding for themselves what should be interpreted in what way, regardless of how passages have been understood by the Jews for almost 5000 years (O.T.), and by Christians for 2000 years. There is never a desire to “burn” them or to punish them in anyway, only to expose them for what they are so as to protect others from being led astray.

                Man does indeed have free will; as noted previously, just because God knows what you will do, it does not mean the game is rigged. We live in a linear time continuum, while God lives outside of time. But the event in time do in fact occur by our personal free choices.

                What I find interesting is how often charges are brought against God for being barbaric, unfair, unjust, etc by those who are unbelievers. Yet without belief in God, unbelievers have no moral foundation, no moral standard by which to measure what is or is not moral, barbaric, etc, except their own personal opinions. Someone else will have a different opinion and neither can dispute the other because there is no standard of measure.

            • Wiley,
              It was NOT God’s intention that sin would be a part of his plan for man. He knew sin would take place unless man was prevented from having a free will choice to obey or disobey, and established His salvation plan accordingly based on that knowledge. He never decided that sin would serve His purpose.

              Where in Scripture did you find “logical problems” about Hell? I think you found it from reading other books, because you can’t find it in Scripture without practicing eisegesis.

              As I noted above, annihilationism, leads to one of two things that have to have happened:
              1. God’s wrath has been satisfied
              2. God’s wrath has not been satisfied.

              That leads to two problems:
              If #1, then it is unjust to terminate life
              If #2, then it is unjust to terminate punishment.

              God’s wrath against sin is eternal, so punishment must be eternal to be just.

              As for believing all will be saved, look again at Rev. 20:15; it makes no sense if all are saved and there is no Hell.

  49. wiley16350 says:

    Glen

    I don’t believe it was God’s intention for man to sin, I believe that it was God’s intention that sin play a part in his plan. Subtle difference, but a difference. He knew the way things would go based on what parameters he wanted and what/ who he was going to create, therefore he knew sin would enter the world. Knowing that, if he didn’t want sin in the world he would adjust. However, rather than adjust so that sin wouldn’t enter, he decided that sin would serve a purpose in his plan.

    I didn’t say Jesus paid for indignation and destruction. Jesus died for sins. I said those that refuse the free gift of salvation will be punished with indignation and destruction. I agree that Jesus paid for sins with his life. I wrote that, I just added humiliation and torment because he had to endure those before paying with his life. The whole point was to show what Jesus had to endure to be our savior from sin and death.

    I actually don’t have a bias. I started out believing the same things you did. When I started to see logical problems with the idea of eternal hell, I started wondering if the bible was wrong or if I was reading it wrong. After some study I was led to the annihilation position. There are many passages that talk of the destruction of the wicked. In revelations the wicked were thrown into the lake of fire which is the second death. I held to that view until I started seeing passages that says God wants the salvation of all and that Jesus is the savior of all. It wasn’t until I realized that death is the last enemy to be defeated that I became pretty sure of the salvation of all. Defeat of death told me it is possible that people are brought out of the second death and into immortality. I now mostly lean to the salvation of all, I can see legitimate arguments for annihilation. I have no leanings toward eternal hell. Eternal hell has the least amount of solid biblical support and is the hardest to defend logically. If the bible specifically stated an eternal hell, that would be one thing but the support for it comes in highly symbolic language, time specific warnings and wrongly translated language.

  50. wiley16350 says:

    Glen
    Even in your view, sin serves the purpose of having people freely choose God or sin. So God uses it for a purpose. It then has an intended purpose in God’s plan. This argument is completely about semantics because you think God can’t have any blame for sin being in the world. He created the world and designed it. God wanted to create a world where humans could freely choose between following God or not following God. To put this in effect, god placed a tree in the garden and told them to never eat of that tree. His intention then was to have them to never eat off the tree and enjoy paradise with him for eternity (according to you). Except that we know God knows the future and knows they will not always obey. So in effect by giving the free creatures a choice he is intending for sin to enter the world because he already knows that sin will in fact enter the world by giving them that choice. I happen to have no problem with God allowing sin in this world. I believe he uses it to develop character and understanding. To show us the opposite of what good is. To allow us to appreciate the things he has given and will give us.

    The logical problems with hell;
    1. What does hell accomplish? Punishment is usually done for correction. Holding people for eternity under torment seems pointless since it benefits no one and its cruel, especially it would seem for an all benevolent God.
    2. God tells us to love all, even our enemies but then turns around and torments them for an eternity himself, that seems out of character.
    3. The lake of fire is called the second death. Death is the opposite of life. These are the obvious meanings, to say more than that means you’re reading into the verse to fit your personal view. To change it to mean spiritual death is only done to protect the idea of eternal hell.
    4. Many passages in the bible speak of the wicked being brought to destruction. These passages don’t mention hell.
    5. The old testament never mentions eternal hell.
    6. Does Paul’s letters mention eternal hell?
    7. The passages that do mention Gehenna don’t actually use the word eternal, the proper word is eonion. These passages may be relating to the 1000 year kingdom or kingdom of heaven that the Jews have been looking forward to.

    Your annihilation problem is ludicrous. Where does the bible say that God’s wrath against sin is eternal? Even then, if God removes sin from the world then he needs to have no more wrath against it.

    It makes no sense if hell is eternal either since it ends with the second death. Read 1 Corinthians 15 about the end of death. There is also a chapter that follows the one (in Revelations) that you wanted me to look at. The next chapter talks of the new heaven and earth with no pain and suffering and no more death. The seemingly troubling part is that Revelations ends with people in the lake of fire which is the second death. Revelations doesn’t reveal they are revived from the second death but still declares there will be no more death in the new heavens and the new earth. It seems contradictory with Corinthians 15. This can be cleared up a couple of ways. When Paul says that death is defeated he just means that nobody has to fear death any longer. The wicked are already dead so no longer fear it and death will no longer come for those who remain. Which fits fine with Annihilation but not salvation of all. Or it’s possible that Revelations doesn’t reveal that the wicked and unrighteous are revived to life at receiving their due penance. This would fit with the salvation of all. The reason I would lean towards Revelations not revealing is because of other passages that we have went over about the salvation of all. Plus Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that the defeat of death was a mystery (secret) until the time he wrote that. What you can’t defend is eternal hell because those in an eternal hell are spiritually dead since you have to have a way to explain why they aren’t physically dead at the second death. For death to be defeated it can’t remain and if hell or the lake of fire is eternal then death always remains.

    • Wiley,

      Sin does NOT serve “the purpose of having people freely choose God or sin.” It is a RESULT of people freely choosing against God. God doesn’t use sin for a purpose, he uses the consequences for His purposes. It isn’t about semantics – it is about biblical proper understanding of what sin is. God is NEVER to blame for sin in any way. He didn’t create it, He didn’t want it, but He had to allow it in order to give man genuine free will.

      You are also wrong about the use of punishment – it isn’t for correction. Discipline is for correction, but punishment is given as a consequence. I dare say executing a murderer as punishment for his crime is not to correct him!

      God’s love is balanced by His justice. The punishment of eternal torment is just for the crime committed against the holiness of God. You don’t seem to understand the abject holiness of God!

      So you have decided that the term “spiritual death” is only to protect the idea of hell? Nice eisegesis again. “Spiritual death” is used to contrast spiritual life in Christ with its opposite. I suppose you think God must have been wrong when He said Adam would die the day he ate of the fruit? The death Adam died was a spiritual death, as well as physical death that began that day. Spiritual death is absence from God, which is why Paul said we WERE “dead in transgressions.” (Eph.2:1,5) Without the regeneration of the Holy Spirit at the time of our conversion, we remain spiritually dead.

      So, if Paul didn’t mention something that Jesus talked about dozens of times, it therefore doesn’t exist?

      My annihilation problem is not ludicrous – it is accurate whether you accept it or not.

      1 Cor. 15 is about physical death, which will end. The spirit lives on. The second death is spiritual death as those who have life in Christ will not endure it.

      So now you have your own eisegesis that the unbelievers will receive a penance for a while and then revived to life?!?!?! Some Roman Catholicism in there.

      The OT Hebrew word for hell is “sheol”, which means “the unseen world.” While it is often used referring to the grave, it also refers to the world of spirits. In the NT the Greek word is “hades,” which usually signifies a place of departed spirits. “Gehenna” is sometimes translated as hell, because as the putrid, perpetually-burning dump it signified what hell would be like. Another word used by Peter, to signify the place of eternal damnation for fallen angels, is “tartaroo,” or Tartarus, which the Greeks considered to be a place lower than hades.

      Sheol meant much more than the grave for the believer, because at death the spirit separated from the body, and the spirit lived on in a spirit world.

      Daniel 12:2 speaks of those not having everlasting life as having “everlasting contempt.” This is impossible with annihilation. Even in Isa. 66:22-24 he speaks of those who rebelled against God as being in a state where “their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched.” Again impossible with annihilation.

      Go to 4 Maccabees to see what the Jews believed between OT and NT times, and you will see that the unrighteous would “endure torments with end … [in] eternal doom,” “eternal fire and torments which shall not leave hold on thee to all eternity.” And, “A great struggle and peril of the soul awaits in eternal torment those who transgress the ordinance of God.”
      
Read Josephus to understand what the Jews believed, in his “Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades”: “Hades is a place in the world not regularly finished; a subterraneous region, where the light of this world does not shine…but there must be in it perpetual darkness. This region is allowed as a place of custody for souls… In this region there is a certain place set apart, as a lake of unquenchable fire, wherein we suppose no one hath hitherto been cast; but it is prepared for a day afore-determined by God, in which a righteous sentence shall deservedly be passed upon all men…. [They shall receive] this everlasting punishment, as having been the causes of defilement; while the just shall obtain an incorruptible and never-dying kingdom…. [God allots] to the lovers of wicked works eternal punishment. To these belong the unquenchable fire, and that without end, and a certain fiery worm never dying, and not destroying the body, but continuing its eruption out of the body with never ceasing grief.”

      Jesus talks of hell and who goes there, and what happens there, in Matt. 5:29-30, 10:28; 11:23; 13:40-41; 13:49-50; 22:13; 23:15,33; 25:41. In these Matt. passages he says there will be fire burning them, it will be darkness with “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” and that it was originally prepared for satan and his demons.

      Jesus talks of hell in Mark 9:43-48 and cites the Isa. passage as what it will be like. He speaks of hell in Luke 12:5; 16:19-31 when discussing hades with its two compartments (which Josephus also explains by saying temporary punishments are handed out there prior to the final hell).

      2 Thes 1:7-9 is the one which speaks of everlasting destruction – how can destruction be “everlasting” if it isn’t continuous? Once something is destroyed, it is no longer referred to as being under destruction. Everlasting destruction has to refer to a continuous process.

      Jude 12-13 says they will be in “blackest darkness” which has been reserved for them forever.

      Rev. 2:11 says the righteous will not be hurt by the second death, implying that the unrighteous will be hurt.

      Rev. 14:10-11 refers to the place where the “beast” [and by further context, his followers] will be where “the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever.” In 19:20 the beast and his sidekick are thrown “alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” 20:10 says the devil will also be thrown there and be “tormented day and night for ever and ever.” And then in 20:15, as well as 21:8, the rest of the unrighteous are thrown into the lake of fire – which is the second death.

      If there is no hell, then there can be no final victory over evil. God is eternal and justice then must be eternal – either eternal life or eternal death in the lake of fire. Only eternal punishment will suffice for sins against an eternal God.

      Even Plato held to a place of eternal punishment! But more importantly, all the early church fathers taught hell as a place of eternal punishment. Yet you, Wiley, would hold that they are all in error and that YOU are correct.

      You really need to start reading the Bible without your anti-Hell bias, and without your heretical universalistic theology.

  51. wiley16350 says:

    I should have said the purpose of loving punishment is to correct, but in reality I shouldn’t have used punishment at all because eonion correction is what he wicked receive according to the verse where the righteous receive eonion life and the wicked receive eonion correction.

    The proper translation of Adam dying is “dying, you shall die”. There is no need to take it as spiritual death. I don’t even have a problem with spiritual death, but there is nothing in the lake of fire passages that point to spiritual death. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what kind of death it is. Death is defeated. You can claim that it is the first death that is defeated all you want but the 1 Corinthians 15 doesn’t declare that. The verse does say that ALL enemies will be defeated and put under Christ’s feet. Is Spiritual death not an enemy to God who wants all to be saved? The same chapter also declares, For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. Show me the verse that declares that God’s eternal holiness demands eternal damnation. If it’s not in the bible then it’s just something made up to justify eternal hell. Which I would accept if I saw eternal hell as a necessary belief.

    If eternal hell was an actual consequence of not believing then you would think the guy that was preaching to the Gentiles would have actually warned them about that consequence.

    The problem with your annihilation argument is that in the annihilation belief sin is removed from the world. It does not remain. Therefore God would no longer hold wrath for something that doesn’t exist.

    Shoel means the unseen, not unseen world. Shoel did not mean more than the grave. the old testament always refers to the dead as sleeping. Their spirits did not live on. There is no use of Shoel in the old testament that refers to a place of eternal torment. Hades is used the same way in the new testament as Shoel is used in the old. Tartarus is used once in the bible in reference to angels that were chained. Gehenna is the only one that may refer to a eternal place of torment.

    The Daniel passage properly translated would be eonion contempt. That means it lasts for a period of time. Annihilation could happen after that or salvation could. The Isaiah passage says that they’re carcasses, which means they’re dead. The worms don’t die and the fire isn’t quenched until they’re finished consuming the carcasses. The same unquenchable fire is used to describe the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah but they aren’t still burning.

    Jews didn’t always believe in hell and it is true that Jews around the time of Jesus did believe in hell because they were borrowing from the pagans, which is a possible reason why Jesus used the language he did to warn them of their impending cutting off from God’s riches.

    Jesus did warn the Jews about Gehenna. Gehenna was a place they knew well and had no desire to go since it was full of the lowest of all humans. Gehenna seems to be preached along the same time that the nearness of the kingdom of heaven was being preached. They probably go together. I have yet to tie it all together. What I do know is that Gehenna can be an eonion punishment during the actual 1,000 year reign and that it does not have to be an eternal place. The rich man and Lazarus is a parable and is not literal. It is possible that Jesus is prophesying the changing of God’s favor from the Jews (rich man) to the Gentiles (Lazarus). He even prophecizes his death and resurrection (at the end) and that the Jews would still not transform their evil ways even if someone came back from the dead and warned them. Hell has its most support in the writings to and about the Jews. Paul doesn’t write about hell. This suggests that maybe there is something else being pointed out in the hell verses. It seems as though Jesus was warning the Jews of their impending fall from grace and impending doom and that the only way they could bring in their expected kingdom would be to heed his warnings and live up to the law in full. They couldn’t and didn’t do that so their doom was sealed and the expected kingdom was delayed until after the full complement of the Gentiles was brought into the fold.

    Destruction isn’t everlasting, the proper translation is eonion destruction. The question is, what is biblical destruction. Is it complete ruin or is it destruction of the wicked part of a person. I don’t know, but I know there are a lot of destruction of the wicked passages. The fact that eonion is in front of it says that it lasts only a period of time.

    Jude 12, again the proper translation would be eonion and not forever.

    I think you got revelations 2 backwords. the unrighteous will be hurt by the second death and the righteous will not be hurt by it. I don’t have a problem with that.

    All your forever and forever and evers should be properly translated as eonion or for the eon or for the eon of eons. Forever and ever is a nonsensical translation since you can’t have more than forever, that shows that it is in fact wrongly translated. Eon of the Eons is a lot more sensical than forever and ever.

    All it takes for God to overcome evil is to remove it from the world, he could do that with or without hell. Hell is not necessary to overcome or to eradicate evil.

    It is ridiculous to say that only eternal punishment will suffice for sins against an eternal God. Show me that in the bible. All Christians have sinned against an eternal God. Jesus paid our price, but he is not paying the price eternally. Jesus took our sins upon himself onto the cross and he was so wretched that God left him. Somehow God cleansed him and now overlooks our sin without continuously punishing Jesus.

    Have you ever heard of Origin, Diodre of Tarsus, Gregory of Nazianzeu, St. Jerome, Gregory of Nyssa, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Clement of Alexandria, Olnmpiodorus, & Peter Chrysologus, These guys all wrote about the salvation of all and lived within the 2nd and 5th centuries. So you’re absolutely wrong that all the early church fathers taught eternal hell. Not only that but the Jews were all in error in what they expected from the Messiah. The righteous leaders had many things wrong with their conception of God, proper morality, the Messiah and salvation.

    I don’t read the bible with an anti-hell bias, I read it to try and have a consistent worldview that I can defend logically. I could tell you to try reading the bible without protecting your view of hell. My goal is to defend God and the bible when trying to lead others to God. I don’t need to conform to some church or statement of doctrine, I just want the truth. If hell is the truth it has no effect on my life, it may affect people that I care about but it doesn’t affect me.

  52. Good golly! Lots and lots of really long comments. But I did catch Dan’s suggestion that sin does not require punishment. Perhaps he remembers reading something like this: “For the wages of sin is death” That seems to say it all right there. It’s from Romans 6 and speaks to our salvation being provided through the death of Christ for our sins. This is not the only place this is taught in Scripture. Indeed, most every place that speaks of being saved by Grace, it says we are saved by Grace through the blood of Christ, or through Christ crucified or some such. Dan asks;

    “Are you saying God CAN NOT forgive sin without a punishment or that God WON’T forgive sin without punishment? Or both? Or neither?”

    Whether He can or not is irrelevant. Whether He will or won’t is the $64,000 question. The answer is, He won’t/doesn’t/hasn’t and the proof is the death of Christ. He died for our sins. Does that statement sound the least bit familiar?

    Throughout the entire OT, the Israelites always atoned through death, either of the sinner himself, or by some scapegoat sacrifice. So much ritual tied sin with death. Bodily fluids were unclean because, especially in the case of blood, they were synonymous with death, which was synonymous with sin.

    But no sacrifice was perfect to wash away the sins of the world until Christ, who was the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God.

    Sure. God can forgive without punishment. But He doesn’t. Our faith in Jesus is our ticket as He is our sacrifice for our sins. HE was punished in our stead if we put our faith in Him. THAT’S how it works and it’s really grade school Christianity class where we first learn this basic truth. That anyone would question this is alarming.

  53. paynehollow says:

    The problem, Marshall, is that, if you have a god that WILL NOT forgive sin – and yet asks us to forgive sin – without a literal punishment – without a literal blood sacrifice – is that you have a vengeful god, not a God of love or justice or grace. There is no consistency with that image of God. “Yes, God expects us to forgive, point blank, but god will not do that for us.”

    I fear that you all confuse metaphorical language with literal language, and then insist that everyone must agree with your literal interpretation and hunches about God, whether or not they are logical or moral or biblical.

    Do Christians believe Jesus “died for our sins…”? Sure. But the Bible no where insists that this means that Jesus literally had to be a blood sacrifice to literally appease God and otherwise, God would never forgive anyone without that literal blood sacrifice.

    The blood sacrifice is a remnant of a more primitive time and it has its worth as symbology, but we shouldn’t confuse the symbol (that God’s love is a self sacrificial love, pouring out one’s life in love and forgiveness and grace in a way similar to this sacrificial offering pours out its life) for a literal (that God won’t forgive anyone without a literal god/human blood sacrifice.) The one points us to grace and forgiveness and justice, the other, to anger and intolerance and injustice.

    Seems to me.

    Marshall…

    THAT’S how it works and it’s really grade school Christianity class where we first learn this basic truth.

    But you can’t expect to offer up something that sounds superstitious, primitive and vengeful – as opposed to loving and just – and expect people would go along with that particular flavor of Christianity. Christians and other people of good intent will raise problems with these ideas, and rightly so.

    Christians shouldn’t check out reasoning and innate morality at the door and just go along with what some sects of christendom have insisted is the One True Way. If a belief does not sound rational or moral or just, then raising questions is a good thing. And if you can’t address these concerns without saying, “Well, but I am reading this passage in the Bible and I think it means X, therefore, you can agree with X or you can expect to go to hell…”, well, you can’t expect people to just blindly follow your ideas, right?

    A serious question, Marshall: We SHOULD NOT go along with what seems to be irrational and immoral, just because some group of believers insist that we must, should we, Marshall?

    ~Dan

  54. paynehollow says:

    Nash asked…

    How could the folks the 50k year before christ know anything about the god of Israel?

    And John answered…

    I don’t know. The bible does tell us that without the law there is no sin. If the law had not been handed down, it may be the case that they were not liable for their moral behavior. ..

    I think a better answer is that we have always been saved by Grace, are always being saved by Grace. Thus, the folk in the OT or anywhere in the world are not saved by trusting in a specific blood sacrifice or knowledge of a specific set of rules by a specific version of God, they are/we are saved by Grace and always have been.

    The Apostle Peter suggests…

    Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of THE GRACE that would come to you

    In Chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews, the author speaks of the many folk who came before Jesus and who knew not of Jesus, but who were saved by faith, not by a blood sacrifice…

    …and all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

    Thus, it was not their morality that saved them, nor was it a blood sacrifice (which is just a symbol for grace and forgiveness, not the ACTUAL exchange for grace and forgiveness), but by that “something better” – that Grace, by which we are saved.

    With that explanation, we don’t have to dance around trying to irrational explain how a Just God could punish those who never heard of Jesus or his death and resurrection, or conversely, try to say that SOMEHOW these people had the chance to know about the Future Christ story, so that they could believe in that blood sacrifice in order to be saved. Both of these attempts leave us with a supposedly Just and Loving God acting in an unjust and unloving and capricious manner. We can’t reasonably expect people to say “Okay, you have told me that is what makes sense, so I’ll believe it…”

    Moral and rational people will want moral and rational explanations and we can’t fault them for that, seems to me.

    One man’s opinion,

    Dan

  55. paynehollow says:

    For God so loved the world that God came down with us in the form of Jesus, who came to live amongst us, to teach us, to be tempted in every way like us, so we have an advocate. He came showing us what living a life of grace and ultimate love looks like, even to the point of laying down his life for our sakes, being reviled and tortured and yet, loving us all until the end, accepting us as we are, in all our imperfection, and showing us ways to stand against oppression and sin not as the world tends to stand against it, but as God is teaching us.

    Why did Jesus die? Because he was human, as we are human (and yet, God, too).

    Why did Jesus die? Because he took stands against the religious zealots and the rich and powerful who saw Jesus as a threat. Literally speaking, this is WHY he died. For when he stood up against the religious and powerful, they recognized the subversive nature of this Way of Jesus’ and they were threatened by it and so, they began to plot his death.

    Jesus came down to lay down his life for us, but not as a mere blood sacrifice to appease an angry God, but to show us the Way to live. Indeed, he told us that it is mercy, not sacrifice, that God desires, that God longs for.

    All of this, as I hope you understand and recognize, are the biblical reasons given as to why he came, taught, lived and died and rose again.

    And yes, to be sure, there are allegorical places where the Bible speaks in terms of “to pay the price,” and that is certainly true in its own allegorical way. But not literally. And why would I think that? Because requiring a literal blood sacrifice to an angry God undermines the greater teaching of Grace and Love and Justice found throughout the pages of the Bible, and THAT is why Jesus came, seems to me.

    The religious zealots and the powerful of his day found these teachings (Ultimately: God desires mercy, not sacrifice – lead lives of Grace and be saved by Grace) to be a threat.

    So they killed him.

    That is my understanding, John, and my answer to your question. My question for you, John:

    Do you believe that we are saved by God’s grace, or is it through a blood sacrifice that we are saved and without this literal blood sacrifice, God’s grace would do no good because God would be unable – powerless~ – to simply choose to forgive us?

    ~Dan

  56. paynehollow says:

    Here is an even-hand review of the various theories of atonement (which is really what we’re speaking of here)…

    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/atonementmorris2.html

    And here is a pretty effective discussion of a strictly PS – or sacrificial – theory of atonement, pointing out the logical and biblical problems with making that The One True Theory…

    http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/openhse/atonement.html

  57. paynehollow says:

    You are welcome to your opinions, John, but I notice that you are not addressing the holes in your theory, you’re just making a blanket statement. You DO know that it is not the PS Theory of atonement that saves us, nor that our salvation depends upon agreeing with the PSTA?

    You DO agree that we are saved by Grace, through faith in Jesus, don’t you John? And isn’t THAT the ultimate teaching of Christianity?

    Are you saying that because I believe the ultimate teaching of Christianity (salvation by grace though faith in Jesus) more strongly than you do, that this is evidence that I am a heretic?

    Do you see the rational and biblical problem with such a claim and such a hunch?

    Will you try to address these questions, as they point to holes in your reasoning and I’m sure you are able to meet the challenge of discussing this in a respectful manner, asking questions and getting answers, and being asked questions and giving answers. Come, let us reason, together.

    ~Dan

  58. paynehollow says:

    And I wonder what about my response makes you think I’m heretical? You DO recognize, don’t you, that each line of my response corresponds with biblical teachings? (and have the added benefit of being internally consistent and rational)?

    For instance, my very first sentence said…

    For God so loved the world that God came down with us in the form of Jesus, who came to live amongst us, to teach us, to be tempted in every way like us, so we have an advocate.

    Which corresponds with John 3:16 and 1 John 2:1, among other verses? And on and on, each of my lines of reasoning correspond exactly with passages of Scriptures, you did get that, didn’t you?

    Are you, then, faulting me for being too biblical and that is what you find heretical?

    You can’t reasonably just make charges as serious as that, John, without some support of the charge. It’s irrational and lacking in grace.

    ~Dan

  59. wiley16350 says:

    Dan,

    The bible does declare that a blood sacrifice is necessary for the remission of sins. We absolutely would not be saved without it and the death and resurrection of Christ was necessary because God required it. The question is, why did he require it. I believe he required it because he wanted a way to show his love for humanity in the realest way possible. He also wanted to show humanity what true love for God looks like. Grace comes because of what Jesus did not just because God decides to do it. There are a lot of things I like in your answer but I do think you’re wrong in thinking that Jesus’s sacrifice wasn’t necessary. Faith in God’s salvation has always been the way we’re saved (past and present) but the salvation is completed through the death and resurrection of Christ. Salvation would have never come without it. You get stuck on the sacrifice being about vengeance when in reality the sacrifice was about showing love. God’s love for us, Jesus’s love for God and humanity.

  60. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    The bible does declare that a blood sacrifice is necessary for the remission of sins.

    Indeed, literally, it does. It also says that those who sin will die. It says that we should pluck out our eye if it causes us to sin. It says that that one died for all, and therefore all died. The Bible uses rich, lovely words and images to convey many great Truths and ideas, but does that mean each line must be taken literally? Or don’t we all recognize that much of the Bible is imagery?

    And is it okay to disagree on when one particular line is imagery and when it is literal, or must we all agree with the Others’ view in order to be saved? But which “Other” gets the final say? Or is all this biblical nitpickery rather missing the point of salvation by grace?

    Wiley…

    We absolutely would not be saved without it and the death and resurrection of Christ was necessary because God required it. The question is, why did he require it.

    Well, that is one question. But another question is, WHY would we assume that it was literally necessary? Is it because that God is incapable of forgiveness unless SOMEBODY pays a blood sacrifice – and if not the guilty person, then someone else?

    But that isn’t rational, is it? Beyond that, another biblical teaching is that we each are accountable for ourselves, and that it is wrong to punish an innocent for the sins of a guilty person. Reason would support this.

    Yet another question is: DOES God “require” it, or is that merely one interpretation and, additionally, an interpretation that doesn’t hold up to reasonable or biblical inquiry?

    I believe we are saved by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus. I find the 16th Century theory of atonement that says we MUST believe in a literal blood payment in order to be saved to be contrary to reason and to grace. Can Christians of good faith disagree on this point? I think so. John appears to not agree. You?

    I’d say that we’re better off avoiding ad hom attacks (I don’t have to address HIS questions because HE is a heretic!) and instead, respectfully and gracefully address the questions being raised, for it IS by grace that we are saved, not by our perfect knowledge or group consensus, nor by holding “the One Right Answer” (ie, perfect knowledge, again), but by grace.

    This seems biblical and rational to me.

    ~Dan

  61. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    I believe he required it because he wanted a way to show his love for humanity in the realest way possible. He also wanted to show humanity what true love for God looks like.

    Amen, I can certainly agree with this.

    Grace comes because of what Jesus did not just because God decides to do it. There are a lot of things I like in your answer but I do think you’re wrong in thinking that Jesus’s sacrifice wasn’t necessary.

    Well, “necessary,” in a way, I can certainly agree to. But my problem is that I don’t think it was necessary in the sense that God REQUIRED a literal blood payment and it is that blood payment that saves us, not grace.

    I would say God’s grace, which saves us and is saving us, required Jesus to come and live amongst us, showing us the way, demonstrating God’s grace and love – even to the point of torture and death. This was all essential in God’s outreach to us, so in that sense, “required” makes some sense. My objection is to the subordination of grace to a blood sacrifice – without which, we can’t be saved because, without which, God is powerless to forgive us, which seems to undermine the notion of grace, not to mention the sovereignty of God.

    What do you think? How do you deal with the seeming undermining of Grace in this Theory of atonement?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  62. paynehollow says:

    Oh, also Wiley, where you said…

    The bible does declare that a blood sacrifice is necessary for the remission of sins.

    I think you are perhaps primarily pointing to Hebrews 9, which reads (in the NASB)…

    And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    A few things:

    1. The text says, in this translation, “It MAY ALMOST BE SAID…” etc. This points to, to me, the metaphorical intention. It MAY ALSO BE SAID… it IS LIKE… it is AS IF…

    Metaphor.

    2. In that passage in Hebrews 9, it begins with…

    But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation.

    Jesus was not a literal high priest. That is metaphor. He did not go through a literal “more perfect tabernacle.” That is metaphor (ie, not made with human hands).

    3. It goes on to say…

    He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

    He did not literally enter any tabernacle, he is speaking metaphorically here. And it wasn’t the blood of goats that got him in, it was his own blood, but clearly, in context, that is still metaphorically. Jesus didn’t literally “buy” a “ticket” or “pay for permission” to enter a “tabernacle” with his blood. It is all clearly metaphorical, in this passage. Right?

    4. Continuing…

    For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

    One of the early Christian schools of thought on Theories of Atonement (the first recorded, I’ve read) is the Ransom Theory of atonement, wherein Jesus “paid a ransom” to “the devil” to “purchase” our release from hades. And clearly, LITERALLY, the text here speaks of a ransom paid to set people free. But does the text support the demand that we take this text literally? Or is it clearly imagery? No, I don’t think so.

    5. We read in Hebrews 10 of the very symbolic (a shadow) nature of the notion of blood sacrifices. They were intended as ritual REMINDERS of sin and a need for grace and forgiveness, not that they were the actual means by which forgiveness came. Jesus contrasts himself with these SYMBOLIC sacrifices saying his example was “here I am to do your will…” which, given Jesus teachings, can be extended reasonably (I think) to, “here I am, living by grace…”

    Out of time, but just saying that while I certainly agree that there are texts and lines that use words like “a sacrifice was need, a payment made…” that these seem to me to, in context, obviously be allegories and metaphors, not that which literally saves us. I am convinced that it is by Grace that we are saved, and Jesus’ life, death and sacrifice are all symbols and lived-out realities of that grace, but it is the GRACE which saves us, not the sacrifice. That seems to me to be a backwards and actually undermining-of-grace way to take it.

    Thoughts?

    ~Dan

  63. wiley16350 says:

    Dan,
    I think we take things literally when they are portrayed as literal and things symbolic when portrayed as symbolic. I think we can discuss differing views, that is what we’re doing now. I don’t call people heretics nor do I challenge whether one is a Chrisitan or not, that can only be decided by God. But I did see something that I questioned and decided to respond to show you a different view point because of concerns you had with the atonement.

    We assume the death and resurrection for salvation was necessary because God said it was and it literally happened. God is capable of forgiving without sacrifice, but because he required it, it was necessary. He made it necessary for a reason; as I expounded on earlier. It is wrong to punish an innocent for the wrongs of another. It however is not wrong for an innocent to willingly take the punishment for another. This is what Jesus did, willingly took the place of the guilty.

    It does seem as though blood sacrifice is required since he had the Jews perform blood sacrifices all the time as a preview of what Jesus would do. Jesus also really did die and offer up himself as a sacrifice. So yes it does seem that it was required.

    What is your faith in Jesus about? It is supposed to be faith that he will save you from death and sin. How did he save you from death and sin? By being the blood sacrifice that God required for the remission of sins, by taking your lashes for your punishment and by overcoming death so that we can join him in resurrection. Therefore you need to actually believe that he died for your sins and took your punishment and rose from the dead and will resurrect you from death. If you believe that, then he will save you.

    Grace and atonement go hand in hand. By the grace of God he willingly gave up his only son (a piece of himself) to be the necessary sacrifice rather than require payment from every human that ever lived. Jesus willingly became the sacrifice God needed. The problem you have is that you see atonement as vengeance and subordination. I see atonement as a declaration of ultimate love. Atonement was necessary for God to show ultimate love so he made it a necessary requirement. He could have forgiven in other ways but they would have the impact or show love because the horrible effects of sin would have no representation. I don’t think we’re really that far apart. I just think you have a wrong conception of what atonement is, which is probably a conception that you got from discussion with atheists. Since you couldn’t defend the atonement to atheist you more than likely adopted your current view. In your arguments I see a person that does believe in God but struggles with defending his belief against atheists and those against traditional Christian views and so you adopt a watered down version that you can logically argue to them. I don’t think you’re as bad as these other guys make you out to be. Only God can judge your motives and whether or not you’re a heretic. He is the only one that really matters. We all have to be willing to change our views when it becomes obvious that they’re not biblical but none of us can judge whether or not someone is purposely distorting the bible or if he honestly doesn’t see the error. If one of us in error, God will lead us out of it someday unless we are willingly holding to the error out of love for something other than God.

  64. How could the folks the 50k year before christ know anything about the god of Israel? The Tlingit people of B.C. are 12k miles removed and 25k years before the life and times of Jesus, what opportunity did they have?

    I explained above how everyone who has ever lived has been given the requisite knowledge to seek God, so that should answer your question.

    But I also want to point out that your dates are erroneous, based of evolutionist’s theories. No one existed more than 5000 years BC – If that far back (closer to 4000, since we are now approximately 6000 years since creation).

    John is in error to say there was no law prior to Moses. The law planted in mankind from the beginning was the moral law. Romans 2:15

    And again John is wrong to say that God controls when and where we are born – nothing biblical about that. God KNOWS when and where everyone is born, but if He controlled it then He would just be a puppeteer.

    Trabue continues to prove his heresy by claiming the real God will not forgive sin if He punishes with Hell. And he says the Bible nowhere says a blood sacrifice of Jesus is not necessary to forgive sins, yet Hebrews 9:22 specifically states that without blood there is no forgiveness of sins. But Trabue relegates this to mere “superstition.”

    RNash and other atheists, do NOT listen to Dan Trabue or Wiley for information about the Christian faith. They are heretics and teach against 2000 years of Christian theology practiced and taught.

    To correct Dan Trabue, yes people have always been saved by grace, but it was through their faith in the true God of the Bible. Without that faith, there is no salvation.

    Dan’s teachings about the reason Christ came to die is liberal social gospel heresy. I find it humorous when one heretic, Wiley, can actually correct another heretic, Dan, about the need of a blood sacrifice for sin! Dan calls passages teaching the need nothing but “allegories and metaphors” while Wiley says that those passages speaking against universalism and for hell are all hyperbole!

    John, if this was my blog I’d remove all comments by Dan and Wiley and block them from posting; discussing theology with an unbeliever gets very confusing when heresy is included in the discussion.

  65. wiley16350 says:

    It’s funny how Glen thinks I think all hell passages are hyperbole. I’m pretty sure most of my point against the Gehenna passages was that Gehenna will not last for eternity. Lazarus and the rich man is the only one that I pointed to as symbolic. The fact is, it is a parable and parables are symbolic. I have no problem fitting a real Gehenna within my biblical worldview. I just believe it will come to an end either with complete destruction of those in it or with Jesus resurrecting those in it to immortality after they have received their correction. I also believe that it’s most likely that Gehenna is a part of the millennial kingdom on earth that the Jews were expecting the Messiah to bring at that time. The fact is there are passages that seemingly teach hell, some that seemingly teach the salvation of all and some that seemingly teach annihilation. My aim is to find the most logical and biblical belief that harmonizes all those passages. I find the easiest way to do that is with the salvation of all. The salvation of all is the most logically satisfying to me and I find no absolute biblical reason to put it aside and it brings my heart joy to believe that God will save all. I am open to annihilation but I think the salvation of all is more biblical at this time. If I’m in error then hopefully God will lead me to proper understanding. I find eternal hell the most illogical viewpoint and see no biblical reason to hold to it based on my current understanding.

  66. Just to clarify Glenn, you disagree with John about the populace of the world that lived and died without any exposure to christianity, being in Hell?

    Further, I understand your need to stick to the 6k number but that would still be a lot of people, some alive even today who are unaware of your particular brand of belief.

    And let me make this point very clearly, I will advocate John’s right to qualify Dan’s and Wiley’s right to free speech. For me the Constitution will always trump the bible.

  67. Getting back to the title of this post…

    What I find amusing are the disagreements between Christians. (Often the same ones who accuse atheists of not having read the bible)

    In the end, it doesn’t seem to matter. Even if you do claim to know the bible, you’re probably not reading it correctly.

    I know believers would have you think that it’s the fault of man, but I guess god did a lousy job of trying to deliver his message.(Even if we blame man for fouling up the delivery, you would think that god would have seen it coming)

    • Thats how we know every scientific “fact” is wrong, you know, because some scientists disagree on how to interpret the evidence. We all know that when people disagree we should just disregard all of it.

      Smh..

  68. Did I say that it must all be wrong because there is disagreement between believers?

    I don’t think so, straw man.

    I said this illustrates the ineptitude of the deity trying to deliver the message.

  69. wiley16350 says:

    @ zqtx

    Except that the deity wants people to search out the truth. Therefore he doesn’t make it plain. He uses the confusion to test the believers faith and devotion. He uses atheist like you to test believers. That is why there are atheists in the world. Don’t worry though, some day I believe he will give you the truth and you will delight in the truth and actually praise him.

    • A,
      There is no ineptitude. If you can’t look around you and KNOW everything out there is designed and therefore needs a designer, it is only because, as Romans 1 says, you suppress that truth in your unrighteousness. You don’t want to be held accountable to God.

      Wiley’s response is all made up with no Scriptural backing except for the fact that God does want us to seek Him. But he DOES make it plain, as Romans 1 succinctly points out. Nowhere does the Bible say God intentionally uses confusion to “test believers faith and devotion.” Nor is the reason atheists are in the world because God wants to test Christians – atheists are in the world because they reject God and suppress the truth about him. Until an atheist decides to no longer suppress the truth, he will never find God.

  70. paynehollow says:

    Nash…

    It is exactly this type of delusional poisonous scourge that is the Abrahamic faiths. This is so far from perfect. So far from forgiving, so far from just, as to be born of a psychosis.

    This is a moral abortion. This kind of “thinking” is born from those who feel and have the “opinion” that they are “right” because they have the “truth.”

    This is sort of the point I’m making about how the sacrificial atonement approaches seem irrational. Even if you disagree with my conclusion, can you see how the following seems irrational and immoral/unjust…?

    1. You state that there IS a God and that this God is perfectly loving and perfectly just.

    2. You state that humans are flawed and have imperfect knowledge/wisdom/understanding (this much, at least, is observable and demonstrable).

    3. You state that it is belief in and acceptance of Jesus’ specific death and resurrection as a means of “purchasing” our forgiveness is the one and only way to salvation.

    Am I right (or in the ballpark, allowing for some quibbling of semantics) thus far?

    Continuing then…

    4. Is it not impossible for those who have never heard of the specific death and resurrection and the need to accept that belief as what “purchases” our forgiveness, to in fact, accept this belief? Clearly, there are and have been millions and millions who have never even heard of this story and if acceptance of THIS PARTICULAR and SPECIFIC story is necessary, then they are, by your measure, hellbound for an eternity of torment for something beyond their control. Is that what you’re saying…?

    5. Not only that, but even for those (like me, for instance) who HAVE heard and DO believe in Jesus and his teachings and even in his God-nature and resurrection, and yet, who don’t find the specific interpretation of atonement called “Penal Substitutionary Theory” (or something very similar to it) to be rational, we are condemned for our lack of understanding to an eternity in hell. Is that what you’re saying?

    Because if you are saying 4 and 5, then it sounds very much like

    A. This is a salvation that depends on our works and a fluke of when and where we were born – we have to HEAR the story AND UNDERSTAND it in a very specific way in order to not be condemned to an eternity in torment. If our understanding is faulty – ie, our flawed human nature doesn’t allow us to “rightly” understand and correctly assent to the One Right Theory of atonement – then we are doomed because of our very human nature, which is out of our control and just WHEN and WHERE we were born, which is out of our control. and…

    B. It is not Just or Moral. You can’t have an imperfect being and tell him “You must perfectly understand this point in order to be saved and if you don’t understand it – NOTE: Not that you understand and reject it, but you sincerely don’t understand it – then you are condemned by a simple lack of understanding to an eternity of torment” and call that Just or Moral. How can an imperfect being understand something perfectly?

    C. It is not Just or Moral: You can’t hold someone responsible for perfectly understanding something they have never heard and had no opportunity to hear and call that Just or Moral.

    Both of these scenarios appear on the face of it to be monstrously unjust.

    NOW, if you are saying, “well, those who haven’t heard, they have been exposed to God generally (NOT the specific PS Theory of Atonement, but just God in nature) by Creation and our Human Conscience/heart/mind, and thus, they can understand GRACE sufficiently for salvation…” well, then I can agree, for it is by Grace that we are saved and that notion is not inconsistent with reason or morality.

    But it doesn’t sound like you all are content to have salvation dependent upon Grace, in general, but that you must assent to a very specific understanding of Jesus’ literal death and resurrection on the cross and why specifically that was done.

    Do you see how that seems insanely unjust? Insanely immoral? Even if you don’t agree, do you see how advocating that sort of god seems on the face of it rationally and morally inconsistent?

    ~Dan

  71. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    if this was my blog I’d remove all comments by Dan and Wiley and block them from posting; discussing theology with an unbeliever gets very confusing when heresy is included in the discussion.

    I am a fellow human being offering a not-irrational viewpoint and explaining how I got there and asking questions that are reasonable about your position. Is it the case that you don’t trust the moral and rational sound-ness of your own views that you want to see people censored? Do you think your views don’t hold up to scrutiny?

    It seems to me that John probably agrees with me that we bring our opinions to the marketplace of human discussion and let steel sharpen steel. Answer questions and be exposed to questions to know what other fellow humans and fellow believers (and whether or not you accept me as a Christian, literally, I am a believer in God and follower of Jesus and so, am a fellow believer) hold. If your ideas make sense and you can make your case, then you will be able to address even stupid questions I might ask.

    If your ideas don’t make sense and you can’t make your case, deleting questions from someone else won’t make your case any better.

    Come, let us reason together.

    ~Dan

  72. paynehollow says:

    z…

    In the end, it doesn’t seem to matter. Even if you do claim to know the bible, you’re probably not reading it correctly.

    Which is why, it seems to me, all the more rational that we need and find salvation in Grace, not a specific human interpretation of ancient texts.

  73. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    There is no ineptitude. If you can’t look around you and KNOW everything out there is designed and therefore needs a designer, it is only because, as Romans 1 says, you suppress that truth in your unrighteousness. You don’t want to be held accountable to God.

    But in the case of many like me, we DO recognize God, we DO want to do the Right and be held accountable to God. And yet, by your testimony, believing in God, loving Jesus and his teachings and striving to walk in his ways and accept that life of grace is not sufficient. You also have to have the Right Understanding of a specific Theory of Atonement. So, it seems you are advocating an inept and unjust God – one who wants us to understand this specific view of atonement (one that was first theorized in the middle ages, I believe) and, if we have not heard that specific view or our sincere understanding does not lead us to believe that particular theory, then we are doomed for an eternity for reasons beyond our control.

    How is that rational? How is that moral or just? How is that adept at communicating that specific message?

    Good questions, seems to me. Do you have good answers?

    ~Dan

  74. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    My comments DO make sense.

    I fully understand that, TO YOU, they make sense. I am telling you factually that they do not make sense to me or others. In the real world, we don’t find your comments sensible, moral or rational (or biblical, to boot).

    Thus, if you think you can stand by and defend your beliefs, then why would you not answer the reasonable questions that arise in the minds of sincere folk who don’t understand how your position is moral or rational?

  75. paynehollow says:

    [And, by the way, repeating: “Dan’s a heretic! Dan’s a heretic! Here’s a link to a page full of gossip and half truths about him! See? Dan’s a heretic!” is not addressing the reasonable questions that have arisen.]

    • I really hate to do this, but I have to respond to Dan’s abject stupidity.

      I never said that God planted all about him in people. Perhaps you are unable to read and comprehend. God has given man the knowledge to be able to SEEK Him. That is what Scripture says. Then it is man’s responsibility to SEEK God, and God says IF you seek Him you WILL find Him – i.e. He will respond to you and in HIS grace and mercy responding to faith will provide (we aren’t told how) the information about the need for sacrifices for atonement, etc. But the need to seek Him first is what all mankind must do to be saved. But Rom 1 says men don’t necessarily want to seek Him and indeed will suppress the knowledge God has planted in them and around Him. Men must place their faith in the salvation God has provided, and will learn that faith if they seek Him.

      I will continue to post that link (which is NOT gossip or “half-truths,” but 100% FACTS) on every blog I see you show up on trying to discuss the Christian faith. You are a known heretic who believes in a different god and Christ from those of the Bible. I don’t want people accepting what you have to say in regards to the Christian faith because you will be wrong more than correct. This has been demonstrated by many, many Christians on blog after blog after blog.

  76. wiley16350 says:

    Glen,
    something does not have to be in the bible to be truth. You agree that God wants people to seek him out. Would you agree that the bible has secrets that aren’t plainly written? Do you agree that the bible isn’t plainly written? I mean if it is plainly written in all aspects then why do we have all these disagreements? If it isn’t plainly written then is that a mistake by God or was it done on purpose? It seems to me that the bible isn’t plainly written, therefore I claim that it was done so on purpose to have people seek for the deeper truths of God. What I said has nothing to do with the existence of God and how plain it is for everyone to know there is a God.

    Would you also agree that God may bring an atheist into a Christians life to test his faith and to develop his knowledge by questioning his biblical knowledge? Is it not possible that God uses atheist for this reason? Is it not possible that God allows a person to be an atheist until he has used him to bring someone else to repentance. Maybe it was too far to say that atheists are atheists for that sole purpose, I really didn’t mean it that way. Your reference to Romans 1 had nothing to do with what zqtx said and it really didn’t have much to do with what I was talking about.

    • This quality and quantity of bickering over seemingly important tenets of the christian dogma is what gave rise to this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

      And yes it could be argued that many of these denominations/sects don’t disagree. But then why is there more than just one christian church?

      Imagine Glenn, you think that your “interpretation” is the right one, while these other 40k+ other denominations think your’e doing it wrong.

      This was the grand creators plan? Seems less than perfect……

  77. Wiley,

    No, I don’t agree with your suppositions. Nor will I continue the discussion with you. Like Dan, you are false teacher and unteachable.

  78. I agree, Nash, but I don’t think these believers get it.

    They say we’re born innocent and free of sin, but sin is inevitable. Since we sin, we go to hell. The ONLY way to avoid hell is to accept Jesus. Freewill doesn’t really enter into it – it’s coercion. It has nothing to do with justice – nobody is innocent. You’re already guilty and this is your only way out of getting punished? Make no mistake, I’m not complaining about the rules of the belief. I’m calling bs on the belief itself. It is nonsensical.

    “Why should I even care?” you ask? “Why do atheists keep arguing about something they don’t even think exists?”

    Well, to borrow a line John just made this very morning on the post regarding weather:

    I follow it because it affects me. Believers push the government to regulate what is taught in schools and attempt change society to fit their ideals. People like Glenn scare me.

    • RNASH and Z,

      Most denominations are there due to what we call “non-essentials” in other words, we ALL believe the same, non-negotiable, fundamental doctrines. How we practice some of those doctrines cause splits. For example, everyone agrees that a Christian should be baptized – that is what the Bible says. But some say babies should be baptized while other say only those who have actually professed the faith should be baptized. Then among those two groups, there are those who say baptism should be by sprinkling and others by pouring, and others by immersion.

      Wikipedia, as normal, is not the place to go to determine what is or is not a “denomination.” There are NOT 40K+ denominations. Their lists often show branches rather rather than denominations. There are independent churches which do not affiliate with any denomination and so they are noted as a separate denomination! They also include cults as denominations, when such cults do NOT accept the non-negotiable doctrines, have invented their own holy books, have fake prophets, etc. They cannot rightly be under the Christian label.

      There is only ONE Christian Church. The “Church” – biblically speaking – are all those true followers of Christ, even those who have some of their theology in error. As long as they profess the Christ of the Bible and worship the God of the Bible, then they are Christians. Cults and false teachers redefine the identity of both God and Christ. For example, while the Bible says God is a spirit and has existed eternally, the Mormons say he was once a man who earned his way to be a god, and still has flesh and bones and lives on a planet near the star Kolob (wherever that may be). This “god” has an innumerable amount of wives and they produced all the people who have ever existed or will exist on earth, so that everyone is either a liter sibling or half-sibling in the “pre-existence,” and we come to earth by being born fully human so we can work our own way to godhood. Similar problems with their identity of Christ. False teachers like Dan have invented a god who approves of same-sex fake marriages and is okay with abortion.
      
This was not God’s plan, nor was it Christ’s plan. But man, in his sinful pride, will not listen to proper, exegetical teachings and will come to his own decisions based on what HE wants the Bible to say rather than what it says, because all too often it pricks the conscience which doesn’t want to be pricked. Others read the Bible with a bias towards a particular viewpoint and claim it says things to agree with their agenda, when any 6th grader can better understand what it actually says.

      Z complains about the two choices given – to obey God or to rebel against Him. Z also complains that rebellion results in punishment, and then claims it is coercion. Yet if he told his children to do something and the result of disobedience would be punishment, he likely will not call that coercion. God isn’t coercing anyone to make the choice – He just gives the consequences of each choice, one being eternal life with Him and the other being eternal separation and torment away from Him. Man can choose, but man is too often more interested in hedonism and doesn’t want to follow God’s laws, even though God’s laws are for man’s own good.

      It is the unbelievers who push the government to regulate what is taught in schools. The believers just want to stop the forcing of that which corrupts society; let the schools go back to teaching the three Rs and quit forcing sex indoctrination classed, multi-cultural nonsense, evolutionism, amoral values, etc. We don’t seek to change society except through teaching one person at a time the truth about God and his provision for the sinful world.

      People like me shouldn’t scare you. We do nothing to harm you.

      • Richard Nash says:

        But Glenn, you must realize that of those 40k plus sect.denominations that they are plenty pointing a finger at you saying that your understanding/practice of christianity manifests as a cult? I mean even if your claim about branches vs denominations was really spot on and that list was wrong by 50%, that still leaves 20k denominations, that feel you are doing some important things wrong in your practicing and understanding of the christian faith. I mean we all get that you know you are right and they are wrong, but that’s a lot of wrong people over a very short period of time.

        If the same exponential growth continued for just another 1k years, that would introduce another 14k denominations. If we are made in his likeness, why such a shipshod marketing and advertising bungling of the message? For example, Mormons “know” you are doing it wrong. You see them as a cult, and vice versa.

        Seems odd to know in advance that your message would be continuously distorted for 3k years, and just arrogantly expect all of these people to believe in exactly the right flavor of your brand, no?

        • RNash,
          There are NOT that many denominations. A couple hundred, maybe five hundred, but what Wiki is calling denominations are churches, not a denomination. They want to include independent churches, as well as branches of the main denomination as denominations themselves. At one point they show “anabaptist” as a denomination, and list Amish and Mennonite branches, when anabaptist is a personal belief which may show up in many denominations.

          The point is not how many independent denominations or branches or assemblies there are rather the point is that ALL who are real Christians will subscribe to the same non-negotiable doctrines I subscribe to and John subscribes to. Minor differences such as those who think it is best to allow contemporary music vs no music and such, which we call non-essentials, do not affect the fundamentals. Some denominations practice some false teachings (such as pretend “tongues”) but still adhere to the fundamentals.

          My teachings are not “my brand.” I teach the same thing every fundamental orthodox, historical Christian teaches when it comes to the non-negotiables.

  79. Nope.
    The entire concept is simply nonsense.

    Just in case the image link doesn’t work–

    “Let me save you from what I’m going to do to you if you don’t worship me”, says your benevolent creator.

    No, Glenn, people like you try to interject creationist bs into science curricula. People like you stunt progress in social structure. People like you are not an asset to our culture.

    • Z,
      Here’s the issue. God created mankind, and therefore as the creator has the right to do with him, make the rules as it were, as he pleases. You don’t like it for only one reason – you don’t want to be held accountable. The idea of God interferes with your morals and ideology and you don’t want God to decide what is right and wrong. You want to be your own God and make your own decisions as to what is right and what is wrong.

      God says, since he is the creator and without Him you wouldn’t exist, so either worship him or be punished. You think it’s just fine for a parent to punish a child, or for the state to punish a criminal, but you deny God the right to punish those who refuse to obey him. Very inconsistent, wouldn’t you say?

      People like me do NOT want “Creation” taught in schools. We just say if you are going to teach the fraudulent evolutionism view then you should teach the opposing viewpoint of intelligent design (which is not creationism). People like you only want the lie of evolution taught and don’t want dissent.

      People like me do not stunt progress in social structure, but people like you want to destroy the social structure by redefining marriage, and promoting sexual immorality and abortion, etc. People like me are an asset to the culture while people like you are destroying the culture.

  80. @Glenn

    Let’s clear up a few things here:

    1. “Intelligent Design” = creationism, and is not accepted in science because it’s total bs and has been shown to be total bs.

    2. You and John both allude to the notion of discipline from a parent or government. Do you pronounce guilt upon your child from birth and deserving of punishment if they don’t worship you? If so, you are a horrible parent.

    3. This idea that I just think this way because I don’t want to be held accountable by your god is a joke. Is your fear of accountability to god the only thing stopping you from committing rape, theft or murder?

    I have a pretty good idea of what is “right” and “wrong”, as do many non-believers, and we don’t have to get it from the bible of from a fear of retribution of a vindictive god you believe imparts “justice”.

    • Z

      Creationism is not ID, nor is ID creationism. ID says that the evidence shows design in every thing in nature, but does not say who or what designed it. Creationism includes the idea of ID, but goes much farther using the Bible as evidence as to who, how, what and where. What has been proven to be total bs is evolutionism, which has absolutely no evidence – only speculations, assumptions and assertions.

      The analogy using the government and parents is not and cannot be a pure analogy, but the point is the same. God is the creator and as such is deserving of worship.

      Your idea of what is right and wrong is mostly borrowed from the Judeo-Christian faith, but you have no standard by which to measure and end up with nothing but your opinion.

      I think the way I do, and live the way I do, because it is the right and moral way, and brings glory to God. You have no reason to disbelieve in God except rebellion and a desire not be held accountable. What other reason could you have?

  81. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    God has given man the knowledge to be able to SEEK Him. That is what Scripture says. Then it is man’s responsibility to SEEK God, and God says IF you seek Him you WILL find Him

    Two questions, then:

    1. The person who does not know – COULD not know – the specific story of Jesus and his death and resurrection… How are they saved? By grace, in their seeking of God and God’s ways, even if they have no way of finding out about the specifics of Jesus? Or are they not saved?

    2. A person like me, who HAS sought to learn about Jesus and God my whole life, who loves and strives to follow Jesus’ teachings… I’ve taken the responsibility to seek God out and have accepted salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus… and yet, you think I’m not saved. Is that because you think my understanding is too flawed (ie, I’m just too stupid)? If so, do you think God punishes us for being too stupid to understand the RIGHT way to understand about God and salvation?

    3. If you think the person with no knowledge of Jesus can be saved by Grace, in their seeking of God, even without the specific Gospel knowledge, then am I (who knows about Jesus) held to a different level of accountability than the ignorant-of-Jesus? After all, I’m accepting Grace, believing in a Creator God and believing in Jesus… I just disagree about how rational or biblical your specific understanding of atonement is…

    Do you get what I’m getting at? You seem to be telling us that it’s not enough to believe in God and salvation by grace, but we also have to come to believe your theory of atonement and, without understanding and agreeing with your idea of atonement, we can’t be saved… but that’s not from failure to seek God. IF I misunderstand, it’s an honest mistake and I’m honestly seeking God by grace the best I know how to. Are you saying that if I can’t find it within myself to make sense of your theory, I can’t be saved and will be punished for an eternity for my lack of understanding? How is that Just? How is that Loving?

    Glenn…

    Men must place their faith in the salvation God has provided, and will learn that faith if they seek Him.

    So, serious question: I HAVE placed faith in the salvation God has provided AS I UNDERSTAND it. I HAVE sought God. So, are you saying that I’ve sought God and misunderstood the One Right Way of understanding atonement? But you just said that if people sought God, they WOULD find the “right” answers. I have sought God… so, what am I doing wrong?

    Again, the problem seems to me to be that you’re speaking about salvation by some kind of perfect knowledge and understanding of a particular theory of Atonement, but isn’t that a salvation by works teaching? Why not?

    ~Dan

  82. paynehollow says:

    ? Glenn, I have asked questions. One doesn’t misrepresent when one asks questions – one asks questions. I ask to clarify if this is your position and to help you see how, IF it is your position, it does not make sense to me.

    If I have misunderstood, please correct me so I can know what your position actually is.

    For instance, you said, and I quote so I don’t get it wrong…

    Then it is man’s responsibility to SEEK God, and God says IF you seek Him you WILL find Him – i.e. He will respond to you and in HIS grace and mercy responding to faith will provide (we aren’t told how) the information about the need for sacrifices for atonement, etc.

    I am telling you that I HAVE and DO seek God. IF I am seeking God, then you are telling me I will find God. And yet, you are also telling me that I am wrong and that I have not found God and, in fact, am a heretic for what I believe.

    So, one question I have is, Why have I not (in your opinion) “found God,” since I have sought him? Does everyone not find God who seeks God? Why do people not find God, in your opinion?

    I’m also asking a reasonable question: IF I have sought God and am following God and Jesus’ gospel of Grace as best I know how, and IF I have drawn a mistaken conclusion, is being mistaken condemning me to suffer an eternity in hell?

    IF that is your position, how is that Just, Moral, Good or Loving?

    If that is not your position, then what have I misunderstood?

    These are questions asked to give you a chance to clarify your seemingly immoral and irrational position (ie, that is how it seems to me). You can’t choose to ignore questions and then suggest I’m lying about your positions. I have to make a claim before I could possibly lie, Glenn. Asking questions is not making claims.

    The ball’s in your court, brother.

    ~Dan

  83. “The problem, Marshall, is that, if you have a god that WILL NOT forgive sin – and yet asks us to forgive sin – without a literal punishment – without a literal blood sacrifice – is that you have a vengeful god, not a God of love or justice or grace.”

    Well, Dan. This shows just how poorly your prayerful study of Scripture has informed you. Your position requires that you ignore (or dismiss as metaphor) descriptions of God’s nature and character that don’t sit well with your kumbaya sensibilities and preferences. It requires asserting that when Biblical authors record God’s words, they wrote what they wanted (to be poetic?), rather than what He said.

    But Scripture is very clear about God’s character and it includes those less than hippie aspects you pretend do not exist. Some examples:

    Wrath:
    Ezekiel 25:17
    Nahum 1:2

    Jealousy:
    Exodus 20:5 & 34:14
    Deuteronomy 4:24

    And of course, He speaks of Himself regarding vengeance that it is His:

    Deuteronomy 32:35
    Ezekiel 25:14

    You also fail by continually trying to equate how we are to live as being a mirror of God/Jesus. This is arrogant to assume one could ever be like Him. Worse, to presume that He is anything like us and must live by rules He set for us. Nowhere in Scripture does it suggest that the rules He has laid down for us are for Him to follow as well, or that He even has to. Thus,

    “God expects us to forgive but won’t do it for us” is not only stupid on the face of it, but is explained in Scripture by the above verses wherein He claims vengeance for Himself. THAT is why we are to forgive without demanding punishment—because punishment is HIS job. These, again, are elementary elements of Scripture’s teaching that you reject or ignore, but they are both factual and rational. For your position to have any merit whatsoever, all that talk of sin and impurity and animal sacrifice is absolutely meaningless and…irrational.

    Simply put, you just don’t get it, and this after insisting you’ve put in the time in prayerful study. There is no contradiction in a loving God demanding punishment for sin, which is a direct offense against Him, and the death of Jesus to satisfy that demand. Regardless of whether or not God could forgive us without punishment for our sins, He doesn’t. What He did was to let us off the hook by accepting the punishment on Himself in the form of Jesus, which is the ultimate manifestation of His love. Punishment for sin is a fact, demanded by the One for Whom sin is a great offense. Jesus was punished for our sins.

    I don’t expect anything out of people who hear how this all works. I don’t even expect pseudo Christians to accept the truth of it. I certainly don’t expect anyone to take my word for any of it. But the truth is the truth regardless of whether or not it sounds touchy-feely enough for the likes of you and other people who don’t want to truly live for Him. It’s not the least bit important how it “sounds” to anyone. What is important is what it says and once again, as is so commonplace in our disagreements, I have not interpreted anything. I have only stated what Scripture actually says, and says so very clearly.

    • Remember marshall, dan has said he believes all the old testament passages where God commands thr Israelite nation into war didnt happen. They are just teaching lessons because God is a pacifist.

  84. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    You also fail by continually trying to equate how we are to live as being a mirror of God/Jesus. This is arrogant to assume one could ever be like Him.

    Jesus…

    Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

    St Peter…

    To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

    I believe we are to follow in the steps of Jesus, strive by God’s grace to be holy, like God is holy, to be perfect, like God is perfect. This is what we are called to do in the Bible.

    Beyond that, it makes sense, doesn’t it, that we should strive to live aright? I’m not sure of your point, here.

    Out of time…

  85. The point was right there in the third sentence you did not add to the excerpt you copied and pasted. I was leading up to the point and, just as you do with Scripture so routinely, you leave off what doesn’t help your case. It’s one thing to speak of following the example Jesus set. It’s quite another to equate man and God, assigning to God duties He laid out for us, and assuming that following His example makes us anything like Him. And one aspect that illustrates how different we are, a manifestation of the chasm that is that difference, is that we deserve punishment for being sinners, and He doesn’t because He is without sin. God meted out punishment for our sins and Jesus received it. That’s why we can receive God’s grace.

  86. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    He doesn’t because He is without sin. God meted out punishment for our sins and Jesus received it. That’s why we can receive God’s grace.

    Thanks for the explanation. I don’t think it helps make your case any more rational-sounding to me, but thanks. Marshall, I know that humans are not the same as God. Duh. But we believe that God has instilled in us notions of right and wrong. God’s Word and Law written upon our hearts and minds.

    And if even we poor humans recognize that it is wrong to assign millions to an everlasting torment based on an inability to understand or a lack of opportunity to hear the specific message we need to hear in order to be saved, well, clearly that isn’t Just, Moral or Good. Do you understand the problem that we are having with that line or reasoning?

    Also, IF it’s not enough to earnestly seek God and to accept Jesus and his teachings and walk in his way and accept salvation by grace, but we ALSO have to understand a very specific sort of atonement and agree to that Theory, even if it seems to us contrary to what we know about God and the teachings of the Bible, then that means we will be punished for a lack of understanding. And THAT indicates that salvation is at least partially by works, because WE have to have a good enough understanding to “get” that theory, even when it seems (to us) to be contrary to sound reason, biblical teaching and basic morality.

    Do you understand the rational and biblical problem I’m expressing? I’m not asking if you agree with me, I’m just asking if you can even understand what I’m saying – how your position doesn’t sound reasonable or moral or biblical, to me, and for THAT reason, I have to choose to follow God as I understand God, not as other humans tell me I need to understand God. Doesn’t that make sense?

    ~Dan

  87. paynehollow says:

    John…

    dan has said he believes all the old testament passages where God commands thr Israelite nation into war didnt happen. They are just teaching lessons because God is a pacifist.

    While I know you intend this as an insult and it’s off topic, I’ll just point out the problem with your reasoning here…

    1. We believe God is a perfect God of love and justice. This is sound biblical and rational teaching.

    2. We believe God is a God that watches out for the poor, widows and orphans… the least of these – and is opposed to those who cause harm to innocents.

    3. Thus, if we find a passage where it says, “And God said to kill them all, even the infants…,” we find a rational and biblical contradiction to that understanding of God.

    4. Additionally, since we rationally believe that not every line in the Bible is to be taken as literal history (some texts are obviously poetry, some are obviously parables and some are obvious myths and epic stories), there is no reason to assume that each line represents literal history. Thus, if we have a line that clearly contradicts God’s nature or God’s teaching (and killing children does contradict basic human decency that even we humans can understand), then why wouldn’t we say, “Oh, well, that sounds more like a part that is intended as epic hyperbole, not literal history…”?

    Again, I think part of the problem here is just in reading what was intended as imagery as literal, and passing up much that was intended fairly literally, and “spiritualizing it,” making it not literal.

    ~Dan

  88. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Scripture is very clear about God’s character and it includes those less than hippie aspects you pretend do not exist.

    First off, I don’t know that you even understand what my views of God are. Do I believe God gets angry? Sure, I think sins anger God. I think saying “God wants you to do this” when God has not told you to tell others to do angers God. I think failing to watch out for the least of these angers God. Oppression, rape, murder, cheating… all these things anger God. Slander, gossip, misrepresenting others, etc, all anger God.

    Secondly, yes, I DO believe that God is a God of perfect Love and Justice. Thus, God would not tell us to slaughter babies, as you all believe. I believe that slaughtering babies angers God, but you appear to be willing to defend it as something God might do sometimes, right? Well, I disagree, but I think that is only rational. We BOTH are looking at biblical texts, but you are taking some passages literally that don’t appear to rationally be literal, just as you make some passages metaphorical that I take pretty literally.

    If thinking God is opposed to the slaughter of the babies of our enemies makes me “hippie-ish,” so be it. I think it makes me rational and moral and biblical.

    Marshall…

    But the truth is the truth regardless of whether or not it sounds touchy-feely enough for the likes of you and other people who don’t want to truly live for Him. It’s not the least bit important how it “sounds” to anyone.

    I’m not sure that you mean any of this.

    First of all, it is false to say that people like me “don’t truly want to live for Him…” Just because I understand a passage or idea differently doesn’t mean I’m not striving to follow God. You are making the warnings against investment, wealth, war and meddling metaphorical, not literal. Does that mean it’s okay for me to assume that you “don’t want to follow God…”? OR does it just mean that we have a difference of opinion on how best to follow God? Do you see the problem with that line of reasoning?

    Secondly, if I’m seriously following God and I find teachings that I think are vital and important and Godly and, because I am trying to follow God, apply them in my life… and some human tells me, “You’ve got it wrong, here’s why…” and yet, their opinion is irrational, immoral and unbiblical, to me, WHO should I follow? What I think is Godly and Right, or what some guy tells me that sounds immoral and wrong?

    Of course it’s important how things “sound” to us – that is, how WE UNDERSTAND things. You hold your positions because how you understand them. Me, too. What are you advocating? That, regardless of how sinful or wrong we think a teaching is, if a human from some religious group tells us it’s right, we should do it?

    I know you don’t. This is why I don’t think you can really mean what you appear to be saying. Care to clarify? Or is all of this off topic?

    ~Dan

  89. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Simply put, you just don’t get it, and this after insisting you’ve put in the time in prayerful study. There is no contradiction in a loving God demanding punishment for sin, which is a direct offense against Him, and the death of Jesus to satisfy that demand. Regardless of whether or not God could forgive us without punishment for our sins, He doesn’t.

    I understand that this is your opinion, your take on Scripture and the part that you take literally. Not everyone agrees with that opinion. You understand this, right?

    Do you also understand that just because we disagree with your opinion, does not mean that we are not acting in good faith? That we are seeking God’s ways and/or to do the Right thing, live the Right Way, and we just disagree with your theory?

    If so, then is it the case that you think simply being mistaken on this point is sufficient cause to send someone to an eternity of torment?

    Or, if someone has never HEARD of the specific story of Jesus and thus, CAN’T affirm what he has not heard, do you think that simple accident of birth is sufficient cause to send someone to an eternity of torment?

    If you do, can you see how others find that position rationally and morally untenable?

    Re: “A loving God demanding punishment for sin…” agreed. People can be loving and at the same time think a punishment or response of some sort to sin is appropriate and just. BUT, we are speaking of proportionality. IF someone simply fails to understand something exactly right, is that cause for an ETERNITY of torture and torment? Or would a reasonable being say that was a disproportionate response, so much so as to be immoral and unjust?

    IF someone fails to even hear the story that one needs to affirm – and thus never know the specifics of how you think they need to repent and believe – is that sufficient cause to condemn someone to an eternity of torment and torture? Or would such a disproportionately harsh response be unjust and immoral, not loving and just?

    Consider: If Bob has a child who steals something, it is appropriate for Bob to punish that child/hold the child accountable. That is still loving and just and moral. However, if Bob chooses to punish the child for the rest of their life by daily beatings, THAT would be disproportionate and unjust and immoral.

    Do you see the rational problem we’re speaking of?

    ~Dan

    • This – the responses to me and Marshall Art – why I don’t continue dialog with Trabue (paynehollow). When you cite facts about what Scripture says, he says it’s just your opinion (even though Christians have taught our “version” for 2000 years). And then he always says the a “rational problem,” that we are not “rational.” And that is after he misrepresents what you said by “asking” if what he gives as a misrepresentation is what you meant.

      There is no rational reason to continue giving rational and factual teachings to Dan – he is unteachable, as he continues to worship a god of his own making.

  90. paynehollow says:

    No reason? How about to make your case?

    Despite your rather fanciful descriptions of me (connecting me to the Father of Lies! and that I am “unteachable…”), the truth is, I’m just a regular guy, striving to do the right thing, of at least average intelligence (“unteachable” has a definition and clearly, I’m not unteachable, by definition) and open to change. I have changed my position in the past and am open to change now, if someone makes a rational case. But you can’t just insult and demonize and otherwise try to bully people into agreeing with you, Glenn. You need to be prepared to answer questions, if you want to try to make sense to people.

    You seem to treat the asking of questions as some sort of crime or an indication of some evil. People ask questions to get answers, to get clarifications, perhaps to point out that your position has what at least seems like holes to others. There is nothing wrong in asking questions, friend.

    So, where you say, “when you cite facts about what Scripture says…” no one is disputing of the line, “it may almost be said that without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness…” (for instance), or “do not store up for yourselves treasures here on earth…” Clearly, these lines and others ARE in the text. No one is disputing that the lines are in there. But, how we interpret all these lines, their meaning, their application to our lives – if any… these are open to discussion. Marshall, John and you take figuratively some lines that I take more literally and vice versa. There is no harm in the disagreement, nor is there any suggestion of ill-intent. It’s just disagreement over unprovable opinions.

    I’m just saying three simple facts:

    1. I am sincerely seeking to do the Good and Right, as are most others, and sincerely seeking to follow God.

    2. When you state an opinion that I disagree with and find irrational and/or immoral and/or unbiblical, I will say so.

    3. Unless you can address what appear to me to be holes in your arguments, I have no compelling reason to change them.

    These are simple, rational facts.

    Glenn, Marshall, John… If someone is seeking the good and the right and you offer an opinion that they find to be irrational, immoral and/or unbiblical, is there any reason they should change their opinion? What would that be?

    ~Dan

  91. “And if even we poor humans recognize that it is wrong to assign millions to an everlasting torment …”

    Since when are “we poor humans” in any way qualified to pass judgement on the God of the universe?

  92. paynehollow says:

    ? I don’t know what that means, John. When have I ever just “told people what they want to hear so they don’t get upset…”? Glenn and you and Marshall are constantly getting upset with me, among others. Of course, I don’t think we should not offer our opinions even if it upsets someone.

    My question to you was: IF someone is seeking the good and the right and you offer an opinion that they find to be irrational, immoral and/or unbiblical, is there any reason they should change their opinion? What would that be?

  93. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Since when are “we poor humans” in any way qualified to pass judgement on the God of the universe?

    We poor humans are called upon to make moral evaluations. I’m not presuming that because SOME humans hold interpretations of God as willing to torment a person for eternity means that God is this way. My judgment is not upon God, but upon the humans who say things that seem rationally, morally and biblically incorrect.

    I would only be passing judgment on God if I were conflating the opinion of some to be equal to God’s opinion. I am not making that error.

    Are you?

    Craig, since you’re here: IF someone is seeking the good and the right and you offer an opinion that they find to be irrational, immoral and/or unbiblical, is there any reason they should change their opinion? What would that be?

    ~Dan

  94. paynehollow says:

    John…

    I wonder how many rapists, killers and thieves think their punishment is too harsh.

    What does that have to do with any conversation we are having here?

    Are you conflating the sins of the young gal who has led a relatively decent life – certainly she’s sinned by being gossipy, or lazy, or not as helpful as she should be for her family, maybe she’s lied several times to get out of trouble, smoked a cigarette once or twice, drove at 35 mph in a 25 mph zone several times, texted while driving once and, as a result, crashed and died at 18… this young lady who has committed “normal” sins – nothing exceptionally harmful to others, though – and, let’s say, never heard that she needs to “accept Jesus as her Lord” or never found the PS theory of atonement to be rational – are you conflating her sins to be comparable to the rapist and murderer? and that she deserves to be punished an eternity in torment for these sins?

    Do you not find that to be disproportionate to the “crimes” committed?

    People are saying that this Theory about God does not make rational or moral sense. Do you understand that?

    ~Dan

  95. paynehollow says:

    Why John? Because I hold different opinions on some topics than you?

    Why is it you never (rarely) answer questions that are asked of you, John? Why is it you just make these insulting innuendos and personal comments rather than talking about the topic? Are you afraid that your answers will sound immoral and irrational?

    Do you think that the, let’s say, 13 year old who never heard about the PS Theory of Atonement and thus, presumably never “properly” accepted Jesus/never believed the right thing about Jesus in order to be saved… that this 13 year old whose worst sins were speaking back to her mother 25 times, smoking a cigarette once, sharing some lie about 50 times in her life and a smattering of other similar “crimes…” that this 13 year old deserves to be punished an eternity in a tormented hell for those “crimes…”?

    If you answer “Yes,” you will sound crazy, immoral and irrational to a good number of people. Additionally, there are a good number who would find such a theory objectionable from a biblical point of view (while we acknowledge that there are some passages that COULD be taken that way, it’s rather a shallow view of biblical exegesis, it seems to us). A “Yes” answer seems to us to be wholly wrong.

    On what basis would we go along with that view, even when it seems wrong, immoral, irrational and not a little crazy?

    This is a reasonable question to answer, John.

    ~Dan

  96. paynehollow says:

    I suspect that you know how crazy and immoral that sounds to most people, and for that reason, you choose to just ignore the questions that arise rather than offer up your actual opinion. But maybe it’s something else, you tell me.

    ~Dan

  97. Dan,
    Your question to me makes absolutely no sense, so I have no idea how to even begin to contemplate an answer. If you’d like to try it again in some form that makes sense, I’ll try to answer it. You know I will because I know how important it is that you get answers to your questions. Of course, it saddens me a little to know that you are not quite as concerned about answering the questions of others. But, as usual, I try to answer as many as promptly as I can.

    If you read the quote I copied, there is no way it can be rationally interpreted as passing judgement on anyone but God. Another human does not have the power to “Assign millions to everlasting torment…”. This may be another instance where you’ve misspoken and are trying to walk back your original comment. If this is the case, then why not just be upfront about it and correct your statement and move on. Otherwise, we must accept your comment as you actually wrote it.

    ” Why is it you just make these insulting innuendos and personal comments…”

    ” immoral and irrational” ” crazy, immoral and irrational” “wrong, immoral, irrational and not a little crazy?” “crazy and immoral”

    I guess I don’t understand how words like crazy and irrational are somehow not insulting or innuendos.

  98. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Of course, it saddens me a little to know that you are not quite as concerned about answering the questions of others.

    You keep saying that, but I keep answering questions, so I don’t know what to make of that.

    Craig…

    If you read the quote I copied, there is no way it can be rationally interpreted as passing judgement on anyone but God. Another human does not have the power to “Assign millions to everlasting torment…”.

    Craig, I’m glad to clarify your misunderstanding. My quote you excerpted is speaking of the HUMAN opinion that God will send millions of people to hell for failing to understand the PS Theory of atonement or for having never heard the “right” gospel message or whatever other criteria HUMANS have for thinking (on their HUMAN part) that God will do this. I don’t think God does this. it does not make rational or moral sense, to me. I’m speaking quite specifically of this line of HUMAN opinion, not what I think God is like.

    Now do you get my point? In other words, do you understand that I know what I meant and I’m telling you now what I meant in other words so you can understand what I meant? And quite specifically, I did NOT mean that this is my opinion of God?

    Craig…

    This may be another instance where you’ve misspoken and are trying to walk back your original comment. If this is the case, then why not just be upfront about it and correct your statement and move on.

    I have not misspoke. I did not say that this was my opinion of God, I was speaking of human opinions of God. If I failed to make that clear to you, I apologize. Now I have. Now, do you get my point, now that the point has been clarified for you?

    Craig…

    I guess I don’t understand how words like crazy and irrational are somehow not insulting or innuendos.

    If someone says, “I think God wants me to kill little girls…” that statement is crazy sounding and irrational. It isn’t an insult, it’s a statement of reasonable opinion.

    In fact, there is no insult or innuendo intended when I or others say, “That idea of God you are describing SOUNDS TO ME rather insane, rather cruel, not loving, not rational.”

    The point is not to insult the speaker, the point is to express our opinion.

    Do you understand, Craig, how it is not an unnatural or irrational response to someone who says, “If a little child has reached the age of accountability and they understand that they need God and have heard the message of the PS Theory of atonement and not accepted it, then, BECAUSE they have sinned those dozens of times, telling their little lies and being disrespectful to their parents, that FOR THOSE sins, they deserve to suffer an eternity in torment in hell…” to say, “That does not sound reasonable. That sounds immoral…”?

    Are you not seeing how disproportionately awful a response that is, at least in normal human moral opinion?

  99. paynehollow says:

    As to my statement that you misunderstood, here it is, in context…

    And if even we poor humans recognize that it is wrong to assign millions to an everlasting torment based on an inability to understand or a lack of opportunity to hear the specific message we need to hear in order to be saved, well, clearly that isn’t Just, Moral or Good. Do you understand the problem that we are having with that line or reasoning?

    The point I was making was, “YOU BELIEVE God is good AND YET YOU believe that God will punish people for eternity for an inability to rightly understand… But even WE POOR humans can recognize how wrong THAT NOTION OF YOURS is… DO YOU understand the problem that we have with YOUR line of reasoning…?”

    Do you see now what my point actually was? How I was speaking of Marshall et al’s theory of how God punishes people, not of God’s Own Self?

    ~Dan

  100. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Your question to me makes absolutely no sense, so I have no idea how to even begin to contemplate an answer.

    My question:

    IF someone is seeking the good and the right and you offer an opinion that they find to be irrational, immoral and/or unbiblical, is there any reason they should change their opinion? What would that be?

    I’m not sure what isn’t clear. I’ll try it another way, using Bob, the Liberal Christian, as an example.

    IF Bob is a decent fella and he is trying to do the Right thing. He wants to be a good person, wants to follow God. Bob loves Jesus and embraces the teachings of the Bible as Bob understands it. Bob is trying to follow God and live a life of grace, love and justice.

    Joe tells Bob, “Bob, here is the Theory of Atonement that I, Joe, think makes sense. In fact, I’m so sure that it makes sense, I can tell you that unless you agree with me about it, you are not a Christian and you will suffer in torment for eternity for your sins unless you change your mind and agree with me on the PS theory of atonement.”

    Bob does not find that theory to be a biblically apt theory, and in fact, is not at all sure that we NEED to have a “theory of atonement” in order to be saved. Bob’s concern is that this theory lacks in grace and comes too close to a works-based approach to salvation.

    My question: Should Bob hold to what he thinks is right, EVEN IF Joe is assuring him that he, Bob, is mistaken and not only that, but he’s mistaken enough to end up in hell for his misunderstanding of/disagreement with the PSTA? Or should Bob change his opinion and agree with Joe, even if that makes no sense to him?

    And note: The “Theory of Atonement” example I gave was just an example. My question is about the larger idea of should we hold to what we believe is moral and just and right, or should we go along with someone else whose religion assures him HE is right and YOU are wrong?

    I hold that we are answerable to God and IF I believe something is right, I should hold to it, and not go with another view simply because a religious person tells me I’m wrong and hellbound for being sincerely mistaken. You?

    ~Dan

  101. “You keep saying that, but I keep answering questions, so I don’t know what to make of that.”

    Go back and re read the last thread, I’m sure you can find plenty.

    “Now do you get my point? ”

    Yes, however the quote I used gives no indication that you were referring to humans. I’m sure it was just a poor choice of words.

    “Do you understand, Craig, how it is not an unnatural or irrational response to someone who says, “If a little child has reached the age of accountability and they understand that they need God and have heard the message of the PS Theory of atonement and not accepted it, then, BECAUSE they have sinned those dozens of times, telling their little lies and being disrespectful to their parents, that FOR THOSE sins, they deserve to suffer an eternity in torment in hell…” to say, “That does not sound reasonable. That sounds immoral…”?”

    I agree that if someone was actually saying what you are suggesting, that one could make various unflattering judgements about that person. However, if someone was to significantly misrepresent the other sides position then to label it crazy or irrational, it could be argued that to do so could also be reasonably construed as irrational.

    “The point I was making was, “YOU BELIEVE God is good AND YET YOU believe that God will punish people for eternity for an inability to rightly understand… But even WE POOR humans can recognize how wrong THAT NOTION OF YOURS is… DO YOU understand the problem that we have with YOUR line of reasoning…?”

    I’m quite sure that you believe that you were making this point. I have two problems though; first, I haven’t actually seen anyone advance the line of reasoning that you purport, second, your original quote doesn’t communicate the same thing that you meant it to. It’s really OK to admit that you didn’t express yourself particularly well, and clarify your point. There’s no need to get so defensive. We all make mistakes, sometimes we admit them and move on.

    As to your somewhat strange question. I would suggest that for anyone to change their belief based solely on what someone else says would be foolish. For example, for me to change my belief that virtually the whole of historic Christianity is wrong in consider homosexual sex to be a sinful act, just because someone says so, would be foolish. Especially in the absence of any Biblical support for that position.

    But to get back to your example, I someone was suggesting that the ONLY way to be saved was to accept the PSA theory, I would argue that that person was putting a condition on salvation that there is no Biblical support for. To be clear, i have studied the issue and am satisfied that the PSA is the theory that has the most Biblical support. But, i also see that the other options have some areas of merit as well. I believe that none of the atonement examples completely explain the role Christ’s death played, and that it is more an instance that, (with the exception of the moral influence theory) each of the other three has some merit in trying to provide an explanation for something that is beyond human ability to completely comprehend.

    I guess that is a long way of saying that while I would consider the fact of the Atonement as a non negotiable issue for Christians, I would consider the explanation of the mechanics of the atonement as more of a secondary issue, and not something I would consider necessary for salvation (again, I’d be skeptical about someone who was overwhelmingly attached to the moral influence theory just because people committed to that theory tend to have other areas of questionable theology).

    Ultimately where I see the problem here is that I haven’t seen anyone who is saying that it is absolutely 100% necessary to believe in and articulate the PSA theory in order to be saved. Given that, I’m left with the impression that there is much time being waster on a straw man argument.

  102. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I have two problems though; first, I haven’t actually seen anyone advance the line of reasoning that you purport

    That is entirely possible. I keep asking clarifying questions, striving to get direct answers from folk here, and I just as steadily keep getting those questions ignored.

    But, having said that, I do believe that John and Glenn, at least, probably do believe that if a young person understands right and wrong and fails to “accept Jesus” the right way, that they think that person is hellbound for eternity for their sins, however meager those sins may be and however disproportionate such a response would be.

    But here, Craig, you can answer, at least for yourself: DO you find the notion of eternal punishment in torment for a few years of adult living that featured what may reasonably be described as “meager” sins to be irrational, unbiblical and/or immoral?

    Craig…

    Ultimately where I see the problem here is that I haven’t seen anyone who is saying that it is absolutely 100% necessary to believe in and articulate the PSA theory in order to be saved.

    I’d say at least Glenn probably does. John, too, has said, “I cant believe you call yourself a bible believer or a christian.” suggesting to me that he doesn’t think I’m a Christian NOT based on rejecting Jesus or God or grace, but rather, because I hold a different view of hell than he does (and likely other points).

    But, that’s probably an off topic rabbit to chase.

    The point I’m making (and I think some of our non-believing friends, as well) is this:

    You all are painting (it sounds like to us) a rather unjust and unloving and immoral picture of god.

    Not only do you have to “hear” the right message about God and Jesus and his resurrection, you also have to accept a very specific version of WHAT to believe about God and (apparently, not having any direct answers, yet) how to be saved, in order to BE saved.

    IF (“IF” indicating that I’m still waiting for clarification, but this SOUNDS like what they’re saying) the lack of an opportunity or sufficient personal reasoning to understand God just right can keep people from being saved, THEN people are condemned to an eternity of suffering for pretty slim reasons.

    IF that is the case, then the punishment is vastly disproportionate to the crime – so much so as to be horribly immoral and unjust.

    Thus, that picture of god is one that is inconsistent – a god you claim to be holy, perfect, loving and just and yet who acts (according to the theory SOME here appear to be suggesting) in ways that are the opposite of loving and just.

    Am I making sense? Even if you ultimately disagree, do you understand how many would find that description of God to be irrational, inconsistent and immoral?

    Craig…

    I would suggest that for anyone to change their belief based solely on what someone else says would be foolish.

    Then we agree on that point. I would encourage you to follow God and the Good as best as you understand it (until and unless it was actually causing harm to others, where I think we can draw a line) – even if I disagree with your opinions, and I will do the same. The problem is, I don’t think your comrades can say that same thing to us (maybe you, I don’t know, it sounds like you’re agreeing with me).

    ~Dan

    • Craig said: Ultimately where I see the problem here is that I haven’t seen anyone who is saying that it is absolutely 100% necessary to believe in and articulate the PSA theory in order to be saved.

      Dan said I’d say at least Glenn probably does

      I have no idea what PSA theory is, so don’t ascribe something to me when I have no idea what it is.

  103. paynehollow says:

    Penal Substitutionary Atonement, the medieval theory that Jesus HAD to die to “purchase” forgiveness from God on our behalf – without which God would not (could not?) forgive us. This has been a large part of the discussion here, Glenn, but I guess you may have not read all gazillion comments (and who could blame you?).

    That is, without believing, “Jesus had to die on my behalf because God requires a blood sacrifice to ‘pay’ for sins…” one can’t be saved. Is that your belief, Glenn?

    One of the suggestions being that this theory of atonement (and salvation) is vital to salvation and without consenting to/affirming this theory, one can’t really be saved. The problem being raised is that the need to affirm this theory – taken literally – would mean that a great large swath of humanity would be condemned to an eternity of suffering because they did not find this notion reasonable. And the suggestion that mere disagreement with a theory like this could condemn you/prevent your salvation… well, it just doesn’t sound moral or rational, not if we’re speaking of a loving, just God.

    ~Dan

    • I’ve never seen it referred to as PSA, although I have heard “penal substitution”

      And yes, Jesus did indeed die to pay for our sins. That’s why Hebrews 9:22 says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. I didn’t say that – the Bible does. I guess it’s another of those passages which can just be taken as figurative, or hyperbole, or really not there because it disagrees with Dan’s view.

  104. paynehollow says:

    Actually, Glenn, it says, “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness….”

    “one may ALMOST say…” “it is like…” “it is as if…”

    Metaphor. Analogy. Not literal. According to the text.

    But I’m not insisting that you must agree with me on this point to be saved, Glenn. I’m not saying that Because the text uses analogous wording, that I therefore am speaking for God and anyone who disagrees is wrong.

    I’m just noting the reality that yours is one interpretation – one opinion – about salvation. Mine is another.

    We both hold our positions sincerely, as we seek God and seek the Right and Good.

    Do you think either of us will be punished for an eternity of suffering if we’re simply mistaken, Glenn? If you are sincerely mistaken, Glenn, will you be doomed forever? I don’t think so. I think that is a wrong and irrational view of a perfect, just and loving God.

    You?

    Glenn…

    I didn’t say that – the Bible does.

    No, it was you. As I just demonstrated.

    Glenn…

    I guess it’s another of those passages which can just be taken as figurative, or hyperbole, or really not there because it disagrees with Dan’s view.

    “one may almost say…” Figurative, indeed.

    But again, the point is, IF I am mistaken (or, if YOU are mistaken) does being sincerely mistaken mean that we are condemned for eternity? If so, how is that just – condemned for a mere lack of understanding?

    ~Dan

  105. “I do believe that John and Glenn, at least, probably do believe that if a young person understands right and wrong and fails to “accept Jesus” the right way, that they think that person is hellbound for eternity for their sins, however meager those sins may be and however disproportionate such a response would be.”

    Whether you believe that or not is immaterial. the literal fact is that no one has said anything that you can point to as even coming close to the views you choose to ascribe to them. If you don’t have evidence for you belief doesn’t that make said belief irrational?

    What I find “rational” is also immaterial. It’s what God finds to be appropriate that concerns me. I’ve never seen a Biblical reference to “meager’ sins. Is that some mitigating category I’m unaware of? Are you trying to suggest that a holy God is cool with just a few “meager’ sins? Since anyone’s standards but God’s are immaterial, and I’m loath to pass judgement on the morality of God’s standards, I’m not sure that I’m in a position to provide you with any cover for your unsupported hunches about what people believe.

    “Am I making sense?” No.

    “Even if you ultimately disagree, do you understand how many would find that description of God to be irrational, inconsistent and immoral?”

    Since the description you are offering is one that you have created from what you think that others might be saying, I fail to see how it can be judged in any rational way, given that no one is actually literally saying what you claim they are. I’d guess it’s pretty irrational to continue to put forth this straw man argument as if it is real.

    “One of the suggestions being that this theory of atonement …”

    The problem with this entire line of thought is that YOU are the one suggesting this construct. You can’t or won’t provide any evidence to support your hunch, but you just keep insisting that SOMEONE is saying this. Since you’ve continued to put forward this hunch without any factual support, and since you’ve been told that this is a fabrication on your part, doesn’t that imply a little irrationality for you to keep pretending as if your hunch is real?

    Maybe you’ll get lucky and Glenn will prove me wrong. If that happens, I’ll apologize.

    I did notice that you’ve slightly moved the goal posts in your last comment to Glenn. Earlier, you were pretty insistent that the position being taken was that one had to “believe” in the PSA theory AND to “articulate” said theory in order to be saved.

    Quite clearly that construct is false. What I suspect Glenn will say is that the PSA theory is the one that has the most Biblical support and does the best job of explaining the mechanics the Atonement. It is quite evident from the Biblical witness that numerous people were saved without specific knowledge of any of the Atonement theories. I’d go so far as to suggest that what one believes about the particular mechanics of the Atonement isn’t a big issue for most. Where many on my “side” get concerned is when alleged ‘christians” deny the fact of the Atonement (which you, at times, have seemed to do), or to deny the need for someone to bridge the gap between a holy God and a sinful creation.

    So, if I may be so bold, it might be profitable for you to limit your comments to what people here have actually said, rather than to what you think they’ve said. Just because you don’t get that answers you say you want doesn’t give you license to make assumptions about people based on your preconceptions of what you think they might have said. Hey, if you’ve got actual literal quotes, that’s an entirely different matter, but in this case you’re just making stuff up.

  106. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    New Living Translation
    In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

    English Standard Version
    Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

    King James Bible
    And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    International Standard Version
    In fact, under the Law almost everything is cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of the blood there is no forgiveness.

    NET Bible
    Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    Aramaic Bible in Plain English
    Because all things are purged by blood in The Written Law, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation
    As Moses’ Teachings tell us, blood was used to cleanse almost everything, because if no blood is shed, no sins can be forgiven.

    Jubilee Bible 2000
    And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

    King James 2000 Bible
    And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    American King James Version
    And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    American Standard Version
    And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    And almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood: and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

    Darby Bible Translation
    and almost all things are purified with blood according to the law, and without blood-shedding there is no remission.

    English Revised Version
    And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    And almost all things are by the law cleansed with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    Weymouth New Testament
    Indeed we may almost say that in obedience to the Law everything is sprinkled with blood, and that apart from the outpouring of blood there is no remission of sins.

    World English Bible
    According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    and with blood almost all things are purified according to the law, and apart from blood-shedding forgiveness doth not come.

    Just a few translations that are pretty clear “without the shedding of blood there is no remission”, doesn’t seem to leave much room for figurative interpretation.

    “I didn’t say that – the Bible does.

    No, it was you. As I just demonstrated.”

    Actually no you didn’t. You cherry picked the ONE translation that “supported” your hunch.

    Seems that commentators don’t support your hunch either.

    “9:15-22 The solemn transactions between God and man, are sometimes called a covenant, here a testament, which is a willing deed of a person, bestowing legacies on such persons as are described, and it only takes effect upon his death. Thus Christ died, not only to obtain the blessings of salvation for us, but to give power to the disposal of them. All, by sin, were become guilty before God, had forfeited every thing that is good; but God, willing to show the greatness of his mercy, proclaimed a covenant of grace. Nothing could be clean to a sinner, not even his religious duties; except as his guilt was done away by the death of a sacrifice, of value sufficient for that end, and unless he continually depended upon it. May we ascribe all real good works to the same all-procuring cause, and offer our spiritual sacrifices as sprinkled with Christ’s blood, and so purified from their defilement.”

    “The essentiality of blood, which is “the life of all flesh,” for atonement and consequent remission, is emphatically asserted in Leviticus 17:11, which expresses the principle of the whole sacrificial ritual. The idea seems to be that the life of man is forfeit to Divine justice (cf. Genesis 2:17), and so blood, representing life, must be offered instead of his life for atonement.”

    “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood,…. All “except a few things”, as the Arabic version renders it; for some things were cleansed by water, and others purged by fire, Numbers 31:23. Some join the word almost with the word purged, as if the sense was, that all things were purged by blood, but not perfectly, only almost; but the former sense is best.

    And without shedding of blood is no remission; that is, of sin; there was no typical remission without it; and there can be no real remission but by, the blood of Christ; no instance can be given of pardon without it; if it could have been otherwise, the blood of Christ had not been shed; for so it would seem to be shed in vain, and his satisfaction to be unnecessary; nor is it agreeable to the justice of God to forgive sin without satisfaction; nor is it consistent with his veracity, and faithfulness to his word, Genesis 2:17. It is a common saying with the Jews, and often to be met with in their writings, , “there is no atonement but by blood” (k); by the shedding of blood; not by the shedding of it, as it flows out of the body of the sacrifice, but as it is poured out on the altar; for the pouring of the blood at the four corners, and at the bottom of the altar, were the chief rites required in sacrifices; nor did they reckon expiation to be expiation, unless the altar was moistened by the blood of the sacrifice (l).”

    I could go on, but I seriously doubt you’ll take the time to deal with this.

  107. Glenn,

    PSA= penal substitutionary atonement. Just an abbreviation

  108. paynehollow says:

    Glenn just confirmed that you are mistaken, I believe, but you can ask him to be sure.

    The thing is, Craig, these fellas keep hinting at the things I’m saying and I keep asking for clarification and they keep choosing to not clarify, but then come back and rebuff me for questioning their PSA views. So, I could very well be hearing them incorrectly. That is why all these questions of mine are formed in the form of QUESTIONS… “Do you mean…?” “Are you saying…?” or clarifying phrases “It sounds like you’re saying…” “What it seems to me you’re saying…”

    If I am asking questions and seeking clarification – specifically NOT making claims and declarations – then one can hardly say I’m misrepresenting anyone, not reasonably.

    I’m all in favor of them helping clarify by answering the questions I have asked, which I believe will point to holes in their theories… But maybe I’m not hearing them correctly. I am a poor imperfect human after all. Answers are always appreciated and conducive to communication.

    Craig…

    What I find “rational” is also immaterial. It’s what God finds to be appropriate that concerns me.

    And HOW do you know what God finds appropriate? Does God whisper it in your ears? Do you dream the answers? How do you know?

    Do you use your God-given reasoning to sort through what is and isn’t rational, as best as you understand it? Are you saying that all your religious views are, in your own estimation, irrational? Or their rationality is irrelevant?

    I think being rational is a good thing, Craig. Shoot me.

    ~Dan

  109. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I could go on, but I seriously doubt you’ll take the time to deal with this.

    No, I won’t. Because that is treating the bible like a child’s toy to beat about blindly and without reason. It is disrespectful.

    Clearly, “sin” is not LITERALLY “cleansed” by blood. CLEARLY, that is metaphor.

    But you tell me, Craig, HOW specifically does “blood” “clean” “sin…”? Does God get a paper towel, dab it in Jesus’ blood and wipe it all over your body? Over your door step? Does God pull out your soul and wipe down your soul with the bloody towel?

    How does that work? Literally? I’d love to know.

    You literalists (or sometimes-literalists, since you are only literal when it appeals to your interests) play with the Bible when you should strive to take it and reason seriously.

    IF you can demonstrate how LITERALLY, “blood” “cleanses” “sin,” – DEMONSTRATE it observably – I will gladly wade through the various translations to point out, again and again, how obviously, it is figurative language.

    But you won’t demonstrate it because you can’t. I think even you will admit to that, if you are being rational at all.

    It’s like when Jesus said, “If your eye offends you, pluck it out!” It’s OBVIOUSLY not a literal teaching.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, I used the NASB because that’s the one I was chastised into using by conservatives, who didn’t like me using the NIV.

    Jiminy Cricket

    ~Dan

  110. Look Dan, I told you, if Glenn of John or someone actually says what you say they mean, I’ll deal with the reality of that. Until then I’m not going to dignify you putting words in peoples mouths because of hunches or hints or something that you’ve imagined. If you can provide a reasonably clear unambiguous quote, fine, if not stop.

    As far as what what God finds appropriate, the whole series of “questions” just strike me as stupid. As with most of Cristiandom over the last 2000 years or so I believe that the best place to find out God’s view of things is scripture. Since you have chosen to obfuscate my point, I see no reason to dignify your foolishness with any further answer.

    I could have predicted your reaction to the wealth of evidence that your proof text was cherry picked. What has you pissed off is that you tried to use the Bible in exactly the manner you accuse me of, and it came back to bite you in the ass. You gloated when you thought you had Glenn trapped, but now that you’ve been trapped you decry the very thing you tried to do.

    As to your insistence that “sin cleansed by blood is a metaphor”, fine, don’t deal with it. Simply insist it is a metaphor even though I can’t actually demonstrate it. The shedding of blood to cover sin is one of those minor hidden things that just so happens to be a theme throughout the entire Bible. It starts in Genesis, comes back at the Passover, makes an appearance when God makes His covenant with Israel, then it shows back up in the gospels, Jesus even mentions it (I’ll give you a hint it’s the Last Supper which most of the Church still celebrates as communion), as of course does Paul. Beyond that I honestly don’t have the desire to follow you further and further off topic, John is usually pretty gracious about things meandering but this is neither the time nor the place for Christianity 101. Go do the research somewhere else.

    • Thanks Craig for posting all those passages and explanations of Hebrews – I love proving how wrong Dan is about what Scripture actually says. He rarely gets it right – but that’s what happens when one practices eisegesis. And yes, PSA has the most – and best – Biblical support.

      So how is a person saved? “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believer in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (NIV). No requirement to understand the mechanics. But the Jesus one believes in MUST BE the same one identified in the Bible, not a made up one like those of the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Word of Faith, and all other cults, as well as false teachers who claim a Jesus who sanctions homosexual behavior and same-sex fake marriage. Those fake Jesus’s can’t save – they are idols which don’t exist.

      Salvation is by grace, but the grace is given only to those who accept Christ’s atonement for themselves, i.e., confess that Jesus is indeed their Lord. Unbelievers receive no such grace. It is by grace we are saved through our faith. We must have that faith in Christ.

  111. wiley16350 says:

    @ Dan
    What is it about the PSA theory that you have such a big problem with? I think there is a logical reason for why God required a blood sacrifice and a logical argument to defend it. The willingness of Christ to take the lashes we deserve and to be humiliated and hung on a cross in the face of death should express to you the love he had for us and the love he had for God. I would think that would make you want to love God all the more knowing what was done for us. God could have forgiven us without it, but would we really know what true love is without it? Would we really know how much God loves us without it. When you don’t believe that what Jesus did was required then doesn’t it seem like you’re saying he did it all for nothing. That he kind of died in vain because God didn’t really need Jesus to do that. The most important event in the bible is what Jesus did and you’re kind of downplaying it as unecessary. Can you see the problem in that. Maybe i’m misunderstanding what you’re saying or maybe i’m misunderstanding what the PSA theory is.

  112. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    If you can provide a reasonably clear unambiguous quote, fine, if not stop.

    Stop what? Asking questions seeking clarification? Okay, I’ve asked, they can answer or not. Based on past experience, unfortunately, I suspect they won’t answer.

    Craig…

    Simply insist it is a metaphor even though I can’t actually demonstrate it. The shedding of blood to cover sin is one of those minor hidden things that just so happens to be a theme throughout the entire Bible.

    Yes, indeed, that metaphor is used throughout Scripture. Nowhere in Scripture, though, does it insist that somehow “blood” literally “cleans” “sin.” Because, obviously, it is a metaphor. Which is fine, it’s a great metaphor in many ways.

    Craig…

    As to your insistence that “sin cleansed by blood is a metaphor”, fine, don’t deal with it. Simply insist it is a metaphor even though I can’t actually demonstrate it.

    ? I’m not sure what you’re saying here. You appear to be saying it is literal, not metaphor. I ask you to demonstrate how something that so obviously sound figurative is literal. You say, “fine, don’t deal with it…”

    ? Aren’t you the one that’s not dealing with it? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be dealing with. I can see no way in which it is literally literal. If you can’t demonstrate how it is, I am still left without seeing any way how it is literal.

    ~Dan

  113. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    What is it about the PSA theory that you have such a big problem with?

    Nothing so much with the theory itself, as a theory. But some who would insist that it must be considered literally and that, in order to be saved and without consenting to a literal interpretation of PSA are not saved, that I have a problem with.

    Wiley…

    I think there is a logical reason for why God required a blood sacrifice and a logical argument to defend it.

    I’m entirely open to hearing it.

    Wiley…

    The willingness of Christ to take the lashes we deserve and to be humiliated and hung on a cross in the face of death should express to you the love he had for us and the love he had for God.

    Yes, it does. But that sounds more like the Moral Example theory of atonement.

    Wiley…

    God could have forgiven us without it, but would we really know what true love is without it? Would we really know how much God loves us without it.

    Seems so to me. But certainly, the moral example demonstrated by Jesus is a compelling object lesson for us. But again, that sounds more like the moral example theory.

    Wiley…

    When you don’t believe that what Jesus did was required then doesn’t it seem like you’re saying he did it all for nothing.

    Again, I think the moral example demonstrated by Jesus ARE a compelling demonstration of God’s love, so clearly, I don’t think it was all for nothing. Jesus, I believe, humbled himself to become part of our company and pour out his life sacrificially for us.

    But what do you mean “required…”? That God required Jesus to come? Well, God is Jesus and vice versa, so I’m not sure what that means.

    Do you mean it was “required” in the sense that there is no other way for God to forgive us? I don’t see how that is rational or required from the teachings of the Bible.
    Wiley…

    The most important event in the bible is what Jesus did and you’re kind of downplaying it as unecessary. Can you see the problem in that. Maybe i’m misunderstanding what you’re saying or maybe i’m misunderstanding what the PSA theory is.

    I’m not downplaying Jesus marvelous incarnation, life, teachings, death or resurrection. Indeed, he taught us by all of that just what Grace is. Saying that we are saved BY Jesus’ shedding his blood seems to me to be downplaying Grace. Do you see my point?

    ~Dan

  114. wiley16350 says:

    @ Dan
    The logical argument for God requiring a blood sacrifice is about love as I wrote in my last response to you. The fact that Jesus did it willingly takes away the immoral argument or problem of having one punished for the deeds of someone else.

    I’m saying that Jesus’s death was required for forgiveness of sins, if you don’t believe that it was required for sins then he did it all for nothing. I’m not saying that God himself was required to do it that way, i’m saying he chose to do it that way so it was required in that respect. He chose to do it that way for reasons as I said above (love). It doesn’t downplay grace because it was grace that God used to provide the needed sacrifice. He didn’t have to provide the sacrifice, he could have let us alone to die without any hope. In the person of Jesus, it is his grace to give us salvation even though we’re not worthy of it and allow his blood to pay the price for what we did. He purchased us with his blood, he can save who he wishes. He has said he will save those that have faith to believe that he can and will save them. Having the faith to believe that he will save us comes from believing that Christ in fact died on the cross to pay for our sins and in fact rose from the dead and has the power to resurrect us from the dead. If you don’t believe he died for our sins or that he rose from the dead how could you ever believe in his salvation, that is why believing in his death (reason included) and resurrection are essential for salvation. In this way it’s not the belief that saves you but the willingness of Christ to extend you Grace because you believe in what he did and can do.

  115. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    I’m saying that Jesus’s death was required for forgiveness of sins, if you don’t believe that it was required for sins then he did it all for nothing.

    Okay, if that makes sense to you, that’s fine with me. But for me, I don’t see that it was in any rational way a “requirement,” though. It was how God chose to express God’s love for us and show for us a model of what a life of sacrificial grace looks like. Which might be the same thing you’re saying.

    The point I’m making is that I can see no rational argument why sin can’t be forgiven (like I forgive my child when they mess up, poof! just like that) by force of will. What rational argument is there for the suggestion that Jesus “had” to die so his “blood” could literally “wash” our sins away? How does that work, literally?

    I can’t see how that is anything but a metaphor, are you saying it’s somehow literal?

    Wiley…

    He didn’t have to provide the sacrifice, he could have let us alone to die without any hope.

    Why, without a blood sacrifice, are we forced to die alone with no hope? That is the part that I can’t see a rational argument in support of.

    It’s not like we have two options: We can have Jesus die and God can use that blood to literally “pay” our “debt” so that we can be saved OR we can die in hell forever. Why not a third option: God can forgive us without a need for a blood payment?

    Wiley…

    If you don’t believe he died for our sins or that he rose from the dead how could you ever believe in his salvation, that is why believing in his death (reason included) and resurrection are essential for salvation.

    Why? Aren’t we saved by Grace? Aren’t you adding on to grace a Work-requirment? That we must ALSO believe not only that there was a Jesus, not only that he died and rose again, but ALSO that the “blood payment for sin” MUST be taken literally? And what if that doesn’t make rational or biblical sense to someone, will they be doomed for their lack of understanding? And if so, isn’t that adding a requirement of “right understanding of a particular religious tenet” to what we need for salvation?

    The part that I have not seen an answer for yet (keeping in mind, Wiley, that I grew up with this blood sacrifice thinking and it was prayer, reason and Bible study that led me away from it – because I just don’t see it as biblically rational) is that God CAN’T or WON’T forgive us UNLESS we believe that a literal blood sacrifice is needed to literally “pay” for sins or literally “wash” sins away.

    How? Specifically HOW does that work?

    Thanks for the thoughts, looking forward to perhaps an answer.

    ~Dan

  116. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    If you don’t believe he died for our sins or that he rose from the dead how could you ever believe in his salvation

    Because I believe in Salvation by Grace. I believe that God so loved us that God came and lived with us, sharing our humanity, knowing our pains and weaknesses, knowing us better than we know ourselves and who still loved/loves us, not in spite of knowing all about us, but because of knowing us. I believe that God taught us to forgive one another – including our enemies, in spite of injustices (and believe me, Jesus and the early church faced injustices, demonization, oppression, torture and murder) AND YET, we are still to forgive and love… and that is the Grace of God, that same grace by which we are saved, because just as we forgive others, so too, God stands ready to forgive us.

    Because I believe that it is by Grace we are saved – that God does not want our sacrifices, God wants mercy, love, grace. I believe in God’s salvation because of Christ’s sacrificial pouring out of his life, demonstrating to us what grace and love are all about. And I do believe that Jesus died and rose and even that he died “for our sins…” in a spiritual, metaphorical manner. But did he literally die to take his literal blood to literally pay for a literal debt we owe? No, that is all symbolic language. BEAUTIFUL symbolic language and language I accept AS symbolic, but I see no rational or biblical reason that would say “Unless you take this language that sounds symbolic as literal, you can’t be saved.” Do you think that is the case?

    ~Dan

  117. wiley16350 says:

    @ Dan
    I think we do agree with the first part in that God did it that way for expression of love. I don’t know why you need to continue with forgiveness being something God can do by will. It doesn’t matter, Christ accomplished the forgiveness of sins. I know the typical Christian loves to focus on sins and how the unbeliever needs to behave to be saved. That just means they’re still focusing on works. People aren’t denied salvation at the judgment because of their sins. They’re judged by the fruit of their spirit. The unrighteous love their sins and have no desire to give them up. The wicked are the ones that know God’s truth, portray themselves as a person of God and then live contrary to God’s ways and teach others to do the same. It’s not their sin that denies them salvation, it is their hatred of God and his ways.

    There is no third option because God required one option and he accomplished the goal in that one option. Sins are forgiven and we no longer need to worry about every little sin that we commit. Have faith that Jesus did in fact pay the price for your sins and look forward to the day that he will take away all your sin.

    I wouldn’t go as far to say that you have to believe it actively. I would say that if you know that Christ died for the forgiveness of your sins and you deny that he did then he won’t save you since it wouldn’t make sense to give you something you don’t believe in. I guess to explain it most clearly, it’s not something one would have to profess, it’s just something someone couldn’t deny. It seems as though you do believe that Christ died for our sins. The weird part is that you believe it symbolically even though it happened literally. I mean if you believe that Jesus did in fact die for your sins then you do in fact believe in the atonement as literal. I think where you’re stuck is in professing belief. I think it’s clear that the bible says those that profess faith and belief in Christ as their savior will be saved. That is basically written as a guarantee. Then I think the bible is clear that if you deny that Christ is your savior you will not be saved. That is basically a guarantee. Then there are people that have limited knowledge that we have no idea of how Christ will judge them. It will be his judgment and he will do what is right. Active belief Guarantees God’s grace, active disbelief/ wickedness or deliberate unrighteousness guarantees God’s wrath and limited knowledge guarantees nothing, he may grant you grace or send you wrath depending on the fruit of your spirit and not any specific sin. To put it another way; to believe is to know you are saved through Jesus, to disbelieve is to spit in the saviors face and to not know is to be without hope because you have no idea of what has been done for you.

    All in all I don’t think we’re that far apart if we are at all. We both believe that Jesus did in fact die for our sins on the cross. I see what you’re saying about the blood sacrifice being necessary as a symbol only and not one of the only possible way, which I agree with. But once God made it the necessary requirement, it became a literal requirement and was literally accomplished through Christ. Which is why I don’t believe that what Christ did is only symbolic.

  118. wiley16350 says:

    I could add that the debt is literal, the death is literal, therefore the payment is literal. The endurance of torture and humiliation are expressions of God’s love, the blood is the symbol of God’s love.

  119. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    But once God made it the necessary requirement, it became a literal requirement and was literally accomplished through Christ. Which is why I don’t believe that what Christ did is only symbolic.

    I’m not entirely sure you’re getting my point. The death was literal. The language about “paying” God with Jesus’ “Blood” in order to “purchase” forgiveness or to “wash” away “sin stain,” that is the symbolic part. And of course it is, unless you think Jesus somehow literally hands God (or the Devil, or whoever) actual blood and says, “Here, this is for Wiley. Paid in full. You are free to forgive him now…” or if you think Jesus literally (somehow??) “washes” your soul to “clean” off the sin with “blood…” but of course, that is all symbolic. That’s what I’m saying.

    The forgiveness is real, the death and resurrection, real – a real symbol and expression of God’s grace and love. But not the symbology of “blood payments…”

    Glenn…

    Salvation is by grace, but the grace is given only to those who accept Christ’s atonement for themselves, i.e., confess that Jesus is indeed their Lord. Unbelievers receive no such grace. It is by grace we are saved through our faith. We must have that faith in Christ.

    But you reject the Christianity of people like me who HAVE accepted Jesus’ lordship, who DO confess Jesus as Lord, who do believe in salvation by grace as the Bible teaches. We have faith in Christ.

    The one line in that where you appear to be having trouble is “only to those who accept Christ’s atonement…” I accept Christ’s forgiveness, Christ’s life, teachings, death and resurrection all on our part – thus making as At One with God… The only thing I would phrase differently is that I don’t think this “atonement” comes literally through a blood payment. It comes through Christ literally pouring out his life for us, but the blood sacrifice is more the language or earlier, more primitive peoples. It is symbolic, not literal.

    If you think it is literal, please tell us, HOW does that work? Does Jesus LITERALLY wipe our LITERAL souls with LITERAL blood to literally clean away sins? Or is that what happens symbolically, not literally?

    Of course it is symbolic, what else could it be?

    And so, IF I have done all this (and I have) by whose authority would you say someone who is a believer in the risen Christ, who accepts salvation by grace, who strives humbly by God’s grace to follow in the steps of Jesus… that such a person is not a Christian? Because we disagree on some issues? IF that is your measure, then aren’t you saying I have to have the “right knowledge” (ie, agree with you) in order to be saved and that I can’t be mistaken on these points on which we disagree? And isn’t that the heretical teaching of salvation by works?

    ~Dan

    • Never debate with a heretic. They are unteachable and don’t understand the Scripture.

      Dan does not believe in the Christ of the Bible – he believes in a Christ who is okay with same-sex fake marriage. Same for his god. Which is why Dan is a liar to say he is a Christian in the same way LDS and JW lie when they say they are Christians. All have a god and christ made up in their heads as they reject the true God and Christ of the Bible.

      And if I recall rightly, Dan also thinks abortion is okay in certain circumstances, which again makes him worship a different god.

      By the way, this passage: “And almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood: and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” when it talks about almost all THINGS are cleansed with blood is talking about the various items used for worship which blood sprinkled on them to make them ceremonially clean. But those objects don’t sin. The clincher is the last phrase which states uncategorically that WITHOUT SHEDDING OF BLOOD THERE IS NO REMISSION. (KJV), or as the NIV says THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS.

      Try reading context once in a while. Your citations from Hebrews all say the same thing – that the blood of Christ is what paid for our sins. But you don’t want it mean such literally because it goes against your worldview.

      I’m finished with Dan the heretic. Good luck with the rest of you guys.

  120. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    Thanks Craig for posting all those passages and explanations of Hebrews – I love proving how wrong Dan is about what Scripture actually says.

    The text says (in I guess your preferred translation)…

    And almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood: and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

    And a text from Jesus says…

    If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out…

    And both are obviously metaphor. I don’t need the passage itself to tell me it’s symbolic, figurative language, it obviously is. Literal “blood” doesn’t clean anything and certainly not something as ephemeral as “sin.” How could it?

    Texts like these are pointing to the Truth that sin has consequences. Wrong behavior causes literal disruptions in people’s lives and in the world. Here, look at some more from Hebrews…

    But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

    …How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

    Look at that – when Christ came as a “high priest…” – Jesus was not literally a high priest, it’s speaking figuratively…

    “he went through a greater tabernacle…” again, not literal, figurative. Speaking of, apparently, God’s Kingdom, God’s Realm, something like that, but not a literal tabernacle. Figurative.

    He did not enter with blood of goats, but “by means of his own blood…” This isn’t saying that Jesus “paid” God in his literal blood to enter “God’s tabernacle,” it is figurative language.

    How much more, it asks, will the “blood of Christ” – Jesus who offered himself unblemished, this is what it is speaking of.

    The figurative blood language is speaking of lives poured out sacrificially – Jesus, who led the way and set the example, but extending it on to ourselves – this sacrificial living, this GRACE-full living, a life of love and holiness (ie, set apart)… THIS is what the symbology of “blood sacrifice” is speaking of. The blood, symbolically pointing to the horror of sin – the cost of sin – and sacrifice, speaking symbolically of living lives of grace and pouring out one’s self in love for humanity.

    If you try to make this all literal, it becomes meaningless, pagan-sounding, blood sacrifices to an angry God. But if you look at the rich and TRUE symbolism involved, well it is quite clear and meaningful in the real world.

    If you can’t (and you can’t) point to specifically what it means to literally pay with literal blood a literal debt, then perhaps you will pause to consider how great and marvelous this symbolic language of Grace truly is.

    ~Dan

    • As a perfect example, this thread is very representative of the dynamic that has allowed for the christian religion to be altered/debated/morphed into countless branches, denominations, sects, flavors.

      Just 4 people on this thread and look at the disarray. Now allow for 2k+ years and billions of adherents, ministers, pastors, scholars, editors, redactions etc.

  121. Glenn,
    Thanks for you clear and unambiguous statement on salvation. I will, of course, be surprised if that will stop Dan from continuing to falsely represent what others think, but the effort is appreciated.

    Dan,

    I apologize, I “misspoke”. When I said “even though I can’t actually demonstrate it.”, I should have said …”even though you can’t actually demonstrate it.”. I hope this makes more sense.

    By all means keep asking questions, you need to stop making unsupported assumptions about what people may or may not believe. If you can support your hunch with actual literal quotes, that’s one thing, but to just assume in the absence of evidence is not a logical rational way of communicating.

  122. paynehollow says:

    Indeed, Nash. People disagree with one another. People have a lack of perfect knowledge on matters of ethics and spirituality.

    This is surprising?

    On the other hand, you could look to a congregation like ours (for example, there are many others, of course) that include people from Catholic, Quaker, Mennonite, Conservative Southern Baptist, Liberal Presbyterian, Pentecostal and None-of-the-above, Black, White, pagan-ish, gay, straight, lesbian, transgendered, conservative, liberal, libertarian, progressive, etc, etc backgrounds who all manage to get along just fine and you can see that, even with a lack of perfect knowledge on unknowable matters, people can love and live together in harmony pretty well.

    It’s all in how we love and live, it seems to me.

    ~Dan

    • So many types go to Trabue’s “church” because it is a goat-pen where the Bible is twisted and distorted to make everyone feel good. After all, why would they want to lose members by teaching the truth – that the social gospel is a gospel from hell, that those who practice homosexual behavior are in grievous sin, that abortion is the murder of an unborn child, etc. They don’t have a “pastor” (i.e. “shepherd”) but they do have a goat-herd. Real Christians wouldn’t be caught in such a cesspool of false teachings.

  123. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, embrace the grace, my man. That bitterness you carry is only hurting you.

    I’m quite sure you would be welcome and enjoy the company of the great family of believers at my local faith community. If you’re ever in town, stop by and meet these brothers and sisters whom you abuse so freely. Perhaps it won’t be so easy to be so spiteful when you’re talking to real people, face to face.

    ~Dan

    • My bitterness is against false teachers like you and your ilk who lead people astray. My grief is for those who don’t know better and follow people like you.

      God has no grace for false prophets/teachers (He had them stoned) – why should I?

  124. paynehollow says:

    Are you embracing stoning those with whom you disagree, Glenn? That’s hardly Christian, of you.

    We disagree on matters of opinion on various behaviors, Glenn. Salvation does not depend upon each of us getting each opinion “right.” We are saved by grace, not our perfect knowledge of sin.

    Embrace that grace.

    ~Dan

    • Dont be obtuse. Glenn was suggesting Jesus didnt countenance false teachers and false prophets and you know it.

    • Trabue always has to be obtuse, which is the only way he can claim to know that other people are saying what they don’t really say, and then claim innocence of doing it!

      I was merely pointing out that God does not like false teachers and false prophets leading people astray.

      We are saved by grace through our faith in the TRUE Christ of the Bible, and worship the TRUE God of the Bible, which is why those who follow made-up Christs and made-up gods cannot be saved.

      Trabue, we don’t disagree on matters of opinion, we disagree on matters of the truth. The truth is that God finds homosexual behavior to be an abomination worthy of capital punishment, while your ilk see nothing wrong with it as long as it is a “loving” relationship. The REAL God and Christ say marriage is for one man and one woman while people of your ilk promote and sanction same-sex fake marriage. The REAL God and Christ see abortion as murder. The real Christ taught gospel of salvation rather than the false social gospel taught by your ilk.

      You are a liar when you claim it is just about opinion. And you blaspheme the true God of the Bible with your teachings.

  125. paynehollow says:

    ? I don’t know what you’re speaking of, John. In our case, Glenn is saying that he and I disagree on matters like marriage and he thinks my disagreeing with him is equivalent to me being a false teacher. But having differences of opinions on debatable matters is not the same as being a false teacher.

    And I hope you know that.

    Craig…

    I will, of course, be surprised if that will stop Dan from continuing to falsely represent what others think

    Of course, I will point out that I have asked questions, not made claims nor falsely represented people. I’ve asked questions and said “It SOUNDS LIKE TO ME, you are saying…” by way of offering him an explanation to clarify what it sounds like he’s saying.

    I will, of course, be surprised if this will stop Craig from continuing to falsely represent what I have said.

    ~Dan

  126. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Thanks for you clear and unambiguous statement on salvation.

    I don’t suspect it’s nearly as unambiguous as you suspect. By the statement of faith that Glenn offers, I am a Christian. I affirm all those things, believe all those things, accept all those beliefs.

    And yet, Glenn (and maybe John?) reject my Christianity, NOT because of my disagreeing with the statement of faith he offered (since I don’t disagree with it), but because I disagree with him on the topic of marriage, the theory of PSA, how best to interpret some Bible verses, whether or not Christians should kill their enemies in war time and a few other ideas.

    IF he truly accepted the unambiguous statement he made and that was the end of it, he’d embrace me as a brother with whom he disagrees on some non-essential points. Instead, he believes I am not only not a Christian but a false teacher, a son of the devil.

    Do you see how it is not as unambiguous as the statement might seem?

    And once again, if you all would answer questions asked of you – and do so directly – there’d be much fewer miscommunications and more clarity on what we actually believe and don’t believe.

    ~Dan

    • There is nothing ambiguous about my statement. All one has to do is have faith that Christ is their Lord and believe he was raised from the dead. But the Christ one must believe in has to be the real Christ and not an imaginary one built by the likes of Dan, the Mormons, the JWs, et al.

      Dan keeps wanting people to accept him as a Christian when he continually identifies his Christ as his made-up idol. there is no salvation in a false Christ; if there were, then all the cults would be saved.

  127. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    Trabue, we don’t disagree on matters of opinion, we disagree on matters of the truth. The truth is that God finds homosexual behavior to be an abomination worthy of capital punishment, while your ilk see nothing wrong with it as long as it is a “loving” relationship.

    The truth is, Glenn, that you do not appear to understand the difference between matters of opinion and truth. You keep using that word (“opinion”), I don’t think you know what it means.

    Glenn, when you or I or Craig or Billy Graham offer an OPINION about something that is not known, that is not objectively demonstrable, it is an OPINION. You might think that God approves of investing money, of going to war, of driving SUVS, of taking a sip of Jim Beam Whiskey, of trying to create laws that stop gay folk from getting married and hold a hundred other opinions. I and Billy Graham and Craig all also hold opinions. On some of these we agree, and on some, we disagree. And we do so in good faith, honestly believing that our position is the most rational and moral one to hold.

    People who disagree in good faith, sincerely believing something to be good, this is not what the Bible speaks of as false teachers. Beyond that, it just isn’t rational and your application is inconsistent. Craig and John, no doubt, hold opinions on matters where you disagree, and yet, you don’t consider them false teachers. And rightly so. These are simple disagreements made in good faith on matters where we have no provable “right” position to hold.

    In the Bible, “false teachers” are those who are deliberately and knowingly spreading false beliefs, usually for reasons of power and money. People sincerely disagreeing on matters of opinions are not in that category.

    They just aren’t.

    Embrace the grace, Glenn, for it is by grace that we are saved, that we live, breathe and die.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      I know full well what “opinion” means. It isn’t my OPINION that God and Christ abhor homosexual behavior, it is a bald fact stated several places in Scripture. You are a liar, just like your father the Devil.

      So Mormons and JWs who think they are teaching truth are not false teachers?!?!?! YOu are a liar, supporting the Devil.

      We are done here. I’m tired of wasting my time with a fool

  128. paynehollow says:

    I understand, Glenn, that this is your very deeply held opinion about some passages in the Bible. Similarly, I have very deeply held positions at least partially based on some passages in the Bible. You disagree with those opinions.

    If it turns out I was right on some of these and you were wrong, , does that make you a false teacher? Or are you simply sincerely mistaken?

    Being wrong happens, my friend. People of good will sometimes make mistakes in their understanding and are just wrong. Sincerely so.

    But fortunately, we aren’t saved by being perfectly correct in our opinions. We are saved by Grace.

    Otherwise, rationally speaking, we all are doomed for none of us know everything perfectly, and unless you believe in a truly irrational and hopeless god and theology, it just isn’t rational to hold to the belief that being mistaken can doom you for an eternity of punishment and hell (returning, here, to the point of the post, at least partially).

    ~Dan

    • Dan

      Dont you wonder that if the bible (especially the OT) was permitting of some homosexual sex it would be less ambiguous as you sugest especially since it was a capital offense?

  129. Dan,
    I’ve already quoted your own words where you ascribe views to John and Glenn that you cannot demonstrate that they actually hold. If you can demonstrate that your hunches are true with evidence, feel free.

    As to Glenn’s unambiguous statement. I find it to be both clear and straightforward. The fact that you harbor suspicions unsupported by fact, is much more your problem than anyone else’s.

    John, good luck getting an answer to that one. I’ve asked Dan multiple times if he can provide any positive or neutral reference to homosexual sex from ANY text that is considered scripture by Christians, Jews or Muslims. Obviously that gives him a much larger pool to draw from, yet (to the best of my knowledge) he’s never done this. The bigger problem is the selective invocation of the “it’s not literal card”. For example, most Christians have historically understood the progression of the blood sacrifice from Genesis through to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. The problem with even bothering to lay out the progression is that (as we’ve already seen) the “it’s not literal” card trumps anything that anyone might offer as evidence. It seems strange to be having this kind of argument about what has been pretty much settled theology for the past couple of thousand years. Look, I get that some folks my prefer one theory of the Atonement over another, what I don’t get is this whole “well God didn’t need for Christ to Atone for sin…”. At that point it seems to at least start to head off the reservation. Again, I hope you get an answer to your last question.

  130. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Dont you wonder that if the bible (especially the OT) was permitting of some homosexual sex it would be less ambiguous as you sugest especially since it was a capital offense?

    No, I don’t wonder that at all. Why would I?

    The bible, you see, is not a Magic 8 Ball, for you all to play with, spin, pull out answers and say, “Ah, See! The answer is, ‘Yes, most likely…’!” It’s a book of truth, not a rule book. To treat it like a child’s toy is disrespectful to the deep and great abiding truths one can find in wisdom literature.

    The Bible is a product of its time. As such, it doesn’t speak of women’s rights, or gay equality, or of racial equality or of the nuclear arms race or of automobiles. That’s not the point of the Bible, to look to to find rulings on nitpicking questions of morality.

    It is a book of truths, where we learn “Whatever is good, noble, loving, pure… think on THESE things…” Where we learn how God is a God of love and justice. Where we learn about how greatly important it is to watch out for the least of these. Where we learn of how very entrapping wealth can be.

    It is not, on the other hand, a rule book that tells us how much we should earn, or how best to help out the poor, or what day is the “right” day to set aside for worship.

    So, no, I don’t think that an ancient text would speak of gay rights any more than I would expect it to speak of women’s rights. That doesn’t mean that either of those notions are wrong. Indeed, the Bible DOES speak to the truth that all are equal in God’s sight and that Truth sheds light on how we treat women and gay folk, for instance. But it’s not a rule book where we can pull out rules from ancient settings, devoid of text, and plop them into our lives and say, “Look! I found a rule. Let’s obey it!” (especially when the “rules” people find are rules for how other people are to live their lives, but the rules that might impact our own life – gossip, slander, misrepresentation, taking care of the poor… well, these aren’t hard and fast rules…).

    Repeating my short answer: No, I don’t.

    ~Dan

  131. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I’ve already quoted your own words where you ascribe views to John and Glenn that you cannot demonstrate that they actually hold. If you can demonstrate that your hunches are true with evidence, feel free.

    No, what you’ve done is quote my questions and questioning comments towards them. By asking them to clarify, I’m not stating they are true, I’m ASKING IF they are true.

    What I had said that you quoted…

    “I DO BELIEVE that John and Glenn, at least, PROBABLY do believe that if a young person understands right and wrong and fails to “accept Jesus” the right way, that they think that person is hellbound for eternity for their sins, however meager those sins may be and however disproportionate such a response would be.”

    Not to mention the greater context of repeated (unanswered) questions to them to try to get them to clarify their positions. Once again, Craig, when one is asking questions, saying “It SEEMS LIKE…” I DO BELIEVE that…” “It SOUNDS like…” etc, these are clarifying questions and statements.

    If you or Glenn misunderstood the questioning nature of my questions and statements, then I apologize. That was not my intent. As I have been repeatedly saying.

    Again, a question is not a claim.

    Craig…

    The fact that you harbor suspicions unsupported by fact

    By all means, Craig, get Glenn to answer the questions and clarify. Harboring suspicions based on repeated innuendos is not unreasonable. Harboring suspicions (ie, “IT SOUNDS LIKE you’re saying…”) is just reading what they have written and trying to get clarification, it’s not making an accusation.

    Clearly, Glenn thinks I’m not a Christian. That much is not in dispute.

    Clearly, I believe in God, in Jesus, in salvation by Grace, in repentance, etc.

    Clearly, I can affirm Glenn’s statement of faith.

    Clearly, that is not enough for Glenn.

    These are ALL facts, Craig. It’s not as if I’m making things up after meeting Glenn for the first time.

    In trying to figure out WHAT Glenn’s position is, I hope you can recognize that asking clarifying questions is the way adults handle that. It SOUNDS LIKE you have a problem with me not knowing Glenn’s position and asking him to clarify his position, but that would be irrational, so I’m not sure what your problem is here, since I’m sure you’re not irrational.

    Craig…

    I’ve asked Dan multiple times if he can provide any positive or neutral reference to homosexual sex from ANY text that is considered scripture by Christians, Jews or Muslims. Obviously that gives him a much larger pool to draw from, yet (to the best of my knowledge) he’s never done this.

    Well, just because, to your knowledge I have not answered doesn’t mean I haven’t. But here is the answer again:

    The Bible makes NO claims about “all gay behavior.”

    The Bible makes NO claims about two gay guys marrying one another, committing in a loving, faithful marriage.

    That is, NO claims positive or negative. Factually speaking, that is the case.

    But I’ll tell you what I told John: The Bible is no kids’ Magic 8 Ball. It’s not a funhouse palm reading booth. It’s a book of truth, not rules.

    Those who try to use the Bible as a rule book will get into the same trouble that the Pharisees did (because that’s just how the Pharisees treated it – although, at least in their case, they had this Jewish tradition they were part of that they were trying to hang on to. We don’t even have that.) and the Pharisees got beaten up as the religious zealots that they often were, by Jesus.

    So, since the Bible isn’t a child’s toy or a rule book, why would I look to it to try to set up rules about gay guy’s marrying? The Truth that the Bible teaches – one that we can see even if we don’t believe in the Bible – is that those things that are innately good, noble, pure, fair, loving, etc… that these things ARE good and to be supported. If we have an ancient ruling that we are trying to implement because TO US seems to call what is obviously Good, “bad,” then we have a faulty understanding of Moral Truth and, I say, of God.

    So, there is your question answered again.

    Craig…

    The problem with even bothering to lay out the progression is that (as we’ve already seen) the “it’s not literal” card trumps anything that anyone might offer as evidence.

    The problem is not a problem if you can make your case for it. Explain how literal blood can literally pay for a literal debt or literally “wash away” literal sins. How does that work?

    If you can’t explain it rationally, you can’t really fault people for saying, “That doesn’t make sense to me…”

    Where am I mistaken?

    ~Dan

    • Clearly, I believe in God, in Jesus, in salvation by Grace, in repentance, etc.

      Clearly, any Mormon can make the same two statements, and just as clearly it really all depends on defining the words used. Let’s take one area: Homosexual behavior. Dan wants to PRETEND the Bible isn’t clear and unequivocal that homosexual behavior is a rank sin, abominable to God. Christ being God in the flesh has the same attitude. Therefore anyone who is following a God and Christ which support homosexual behavior in any way, shape, or form, cannot be the same God and Christ of the Bible. So one can say they believe in THEIR OWN God, in their OWN version of Christ and still be eternally lost.

      The Mormon God lives on another planet and is an exalted man – so when they say they believe in God they sound like a real Christian but they are worshipping an idol of their own making. The Mormon God is a created being, and has as one of his siblings satan himself, so when they say they believe in Christ they are talking about that Christ.

      So defining the words we use is extremely important.

      Clearly, I can affirm Glenn’s statement of faith.
      Clearly Dan cannot affirm my statement of faith because I profess to believe in the God and Christ defined by Scripture, and one of the attributes of God is to abhor homosexual behavior.

      So Dan worships a different God and Christ than those in the Bible, in the same way as does a Mormon and a JW (the JW Christ was Michael the archangel first, and didn’t raise from the dead).

      Clearly, but worshipping a God and Christ of his own making, heretic Dan is not saved by definition of salvation being placing one’s faith in the Christ of the Bible and not a Christ of one’s own making.

  132. “I DO BELIEVE that John and Glenn, at least, PROBABLY do believe that if a young person understands right and wrong and fails to “accept Jesus” the right way, that they think that person is hellbound for eternity for their sins, however meager those sins may be and however disproportionate such a response would be.”

    So, in order to demonstrate that you’ve been asking question, you cut/paste something that is not a question. Your quote demonstrates exactly what I have been saying. That you believe that John and/or Glenn probably believe something for which you can provide no evidence. If you have evidence, show it, if not what purpose does it serve to continue this unfounded speculation?

    “Those who try to use the Bible as a rule book will get into the same trouble that the Pharisees did…” yet you seem quite intent on enforcing the no meddling rule.

    Jesus said “If you love me, keep my commandments”. Commandments seems to be a synonym for rules, so it looks like Jesus might disagree with you .

    “Well, just because, to your knowledge I have not answered doesn’t mean I haven’t. But here is the answer again:”

    That’s why I phrased it that way. You might have answered and I missed it. It’s called giving someone the benefit of the doubt.

    “That is, NO claims positive or negative.”

    really the Bible makes NO claims about gay behavior? The point is you can’t do what I asked, you have nothing to confirm your hunch, nothing. If you did, you’d whip it out and beat people up with it, but you have silence (except for the negative mentions, but as long as you can just explain those away, it’s like they really don’t exist), isn’t an argument from silence a logical fallacy?

    “Where am I mistaken?”

    You’re not. The way you’ve established the parameters, you’ve set up a situation where you can’t be. Even when confronted with your own words contradicting yourself, you somehow manage to avoid being wrong.

  133. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    The problem with even bothering to lay out the progression is that (as we’ve already seen) the “it’s not literal” card trumps anything that anyone might offer as evidence.

    Look Craig, I’m sure you can agree, part of serious Bible study is determining what style various passages are written in, what mannerisms and techniques are being employed. Is the passage sarcastic or serious? Is it poetic or a rule? Is it imaginative or literal? We all do this all the time, you all do this all the time.

    Marshall and others don’t accept that Jesus meant “blessed are you who are poor… but woe to you who are rich…” literally when he said, “blessed are you who are poor…. but woe to you who are rich…” He reads other passages, compares them to this passage and states (pretty confidently – way more so than the text supports) that this text should be taken figuratively/spiritually… that it MEANS “blessed are the poor in spirit and “woe to you who are rich in spirit (??)” and not the literal meaning of the words.

    We all sort through texts and draw conclusions as to whether it should be considered literal or figurative, accurate modern history or ancient mythic history and so on.

    So, if someone reads a passage that, TO THEM, sounds quite obviously figurative (and “paying” a “debt” with a “blood sacrifice” DOES sound figurative to many people – again what else COULD it be but figurative? literal doesn’t make any sense!) and you think it can reasonably be taken somehow literally, then making your case as to why it should be taken literally is just what adults do when they’re seriously studying ancient texts or sacred scripture.

    If my “How can it be literal” question is a problem, then all you have to do is address how it could be reasonably taken literally. You’re a rational adult. If the case can be made, I’m sure you can do it.

    I just don’t think the case can be made.

    ~Dan

  134. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    The point is you can’t do what I asked, you have nothing to confirm your hunch, nothing.

    I DID answer your question. Factually speaking, the Bible makes NO claims about ALL gay behavior. Neither good nor bad. That is an exact and direct answer to your question.

    Can I cite a verse that says, “Sometimes, some gay behavior is good…”? No, BECAUSE IT ISN’T IN THERE.

    Can you cite a verse that says, “All gay behavior, including two guys marrying, is wrong…”? NO, BECAUSE IT’S NOT IN THERE.

    That is an answer to your question and it has the added bonus of being the only observably factually accurate one there is.

    Craig…

    isn’t an argument from silence a logical fallacy?

    Yes, it is. You shouldn’t do that. I clearly am NOT doing that.

    If I said, “The Bible says nothing against gay marriage, therefore God endorses gay marriage…” that would be arguing from silence. I’m not making that argument.

    On the other hand, if you say, “The Bible says nothing about gay marriage or about all gay behavior, but it does say something negative about some gay behaviors, therefore all gay behavior is wrong and God hates it all…” that WOULD be an argument from silence that at least some here are making, if not you. So those who are arguing from silence should stop, as it’s irrational and unhelpful.

    My argument is, “Clearly, two people committing in a loving, healthy, faithful marriage relationship is a good and positive thing, therefore, it IS Good…” and that is not an argument from silence.

    See the difference?

    ~Dan

  135. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    but worshipping a God and Christ of his own making, heretic Dan is not saved by definition of salvation being placing one’s faith in the Christ of the Bible and not a Christ of one’s own making.

    But how am I worshiping a Christ of my own making? I’m reading the Bible and drawing my conclusions from the text, using my God-given reasoning. I assume that is the same thing you do.

    So how SPECIFICALLY am I doing anything differently than you? Are you saying you aren’t saved because you worship a Christ of your own making because you read the pages of the bible and draw conclusions? No, of course you aren’t.

    So, I don’t think your claim holds any rational water, Glenn. But if you can answer any of my questions, instead of throwing out all sorts of unsupported and unsubstantiated claims, please do so. I am very ready to consider any rational and moral arguments you can make.

    The ball is in your court, brother.

    ~Dan

  136. “Can you cite a verse that says, “All gay behavior, including two guys marrying, is wrong…”? NO, BECAUSE IT’S NOT IN THERE.”

    Yes it is. It’s in Lev 18:22. It is YOU who tries to assert that it does not speak to the behavior itself without regard to the context in which it takes place. It should be a solid hint that if the prohibition of the behavior, without any regard to when, how and with whom it takes place, then there is no reason to presume that maybe, just MAYBE, anyone can pretend God wasn’t talking about their particular situation. It is an absolute lie, therefore, to make a claim that the Bible speaks of only “some” forms of homosexual behavior, when you are sadly and completely unable to provide any spec of evidence from Scripture to suggest that it might be the case.

  137. “So, if someone reads a passage that, TO THEM, sounds quite obviously figurative (and “paying” a “debt” with a “blood sacrifice” DOES sound figurative to many people – again what else COULD it be but figurative? ”

    So all it takes is one person who arbitrarily decides that XYZ language is figurative simply because it sounds “TO THEM” “quite obviously figurative”, and therefore everyone must abide by that. So, if we agree with this construct, those who argue that the EXISTENCE of Jesus was figurative must be accepted.

    So, you’re argument is “The Bible says nothing about…”, yet you somehow expect us to accept that this doesn’t constitute an argument from silence. Which you just agreed is a logical fallacy.

    Finally, are you ever going to answer my questions about this new “meager” sin exception you seem to have come up with? I know I asked for some sort of Biblical support for this doctrine, but you must have just missed that or something. Frankly, it sounds much more like a Jewish or Muslin understanding of sin than a Christian one.

    I notice Glenn pointed out why he doesn’t consider you a Christian, I’m not sure I agree with him, but given some of what you have said I can see where someone could reasonably come to his conclusion.

  138. paynehollow says:

    Last time, Craig…

    you’re argument is “The Bible says nothing about…”, yet you somehow expect us to accept that this doesn’t constitute an argument from silence. Which you just agreed is a logical fallacy.

    MY argument is not “The Bible says…” or “the Bible says nothing… therefore, we should support it.” That is not my argument. Do you understand that?

    My argument is that loving, healthy, committed marriages are obviously a good thing, so why wouldn’t we support it?

    Do you understand that?

    That is not an argument from silence, it is an argument from observation.

    And if someone responds, “But I think the Bible DOES say something about…” I just respond, “You are mistaken. Factually speaking, it doesn’t.”

    Do you understand my position?

    Craig…

    are you ever going to answer my questions about this new “meager” sin exception you seem to have come up with? I know I asked for some sort of Biblical support for this doctrine, but you must have just missed that or something.

    I have not said that it’s a biblical doctrine. I’m asking a rational question, a question that you have to be able to answer if you want to sound convincing and not insane or immoral to people who don’t accept your biblical views as equal to God’s:

    Are you saying that the person who has lived a few years, died young, after committing these meager sins (and everyone recognizes that a life of small lies, sneaking a cigarette when you’re underage and a sip of beer… who has lived a basically decent life, with these relatively meager sins), that if they don’t “accept Jesus” (however you want to define that – Glenn and others seem to have a pretty specific way that needs to happen), that they DESERVE to burn and suffer for an eternity for those meager sins.

    Again, so you don’t miss my very clear, very specific answer: I AM NOT SAYING this is a biblical doctrine. I’m saying it is a reasonable question.

    Do you have an answer?

    • Lev. 18:22 by itself, let alone the the Bible passages which teach the same thing, says that homosexual behavior is wrong for all people for all time. I demonstrate this conclusively in my article at:
http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/09/bible-and-homosexual-behavior.html

      Those who deny it speaks to the behavior for all time and for all people would have to logically – and consistently say the same thing about incest, bestiality, and even adultery because they are all condemned in the same section. Without Lev. 18 you have no reason to deny the Germans their right to sex with animals (it is legal over there and they even have animal brothels).

      Those who claim “loving, healthy, committed marriages” of same-sex couples are not included in this passage are lying to themselves. There is no such thing as a “loving” or “healthy” same-sex relationship. True love wouldn’t subject a partner to that which God abhors and true love would not subject the partner to the proven medical and psychological effects of same-sex relations. Same-sex relations are never “healthy” and only in rare instances are they “committed.” That has been demonstrated by study after study after study.

      But false teachers, who pretend to be Christian, lead people to hell by teaching them they can do whatever they want as long as it is “loving” and God will just be thrilled.

  139. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    It’s in Lev 18:22. It is YOU who tries to assert that it does not speak to the behavior itself without regard to the context in which it takes place. It should be a solid hint that if the prohibition of the behavior, without any regard to when, how and with whom it takes place, then there is no reason to presume that maybe, just MAYBE, anyone can pretend God wasn’t talking about their particular situation

    No, Marshall, factually speaking, it’s not. That does not say, “God is telling you that throughout all history, for all people and all places, that gay behavior – even something as clearly moral as in a marriage relationship – is always wrong.” You are taking that snippet of a line (clearly speaking of pagan practices, by the way, in context) and extrapolating a rule for all time that does not exist and is not insisted upon in the text.

    Beyond that, even you recognize that it is place specific. The text (one of them) says, “Men should not lay with men. If they do, KILL THEM.”

    You are extrapolating out that “men should never, in any context, lay with men – ie, any and all gay sex anywhere ever” from the first line, but you are saying, “Well, the SECOND line – “kill them” – is place and time specific…”

    The thing is, there are all sorts of rules in the OT and none of us lives by all of them. You aren’t setting aside a portion of your property for the poor and foreigners in your land, you aren’t saying people shouldn’t have “menstrual sex,” you aren’t saying “No polyester or shrimp…” You recognize that, at least in rules that you don’t agree with, rationally, that they don’t apply forever and always.

    We’re not even different in thinking that these rules are all always applicable, you just draw a different line than I do.

    But beyond that, the Bible is not a Magic 8 Ball, where we childishly go to to cherry pick out rules for other people to live by. We need to be adult and rational about our morality and ethics. And if you can’t make a rational case for your opinions about what God wants – one that is convincing to people who don’t accept your opinions about God – then you can’t reasonably expect people to care about your opinions because, to us, they seem childish, irrational and immoral. If you can make your case, make it. IF not, accept that we don’t accept it as a moral argument.

    Seems to me.

    ~Dan

  140. paynehollow says:

    It does give a qualifier, John. It is speaking specifically to ancient Israel (look at the beginning of the text) specifically about pagan ritual practices.

    Glenn…

    There is no such thing as a “loving” or “healthy” same-sex relationship.

    Real world evidence undermines this opinion. You are welcome to your own opinions, Glenn, but not your own facts.

    Glenn…

    Without Lev. 18 you have no reason to deny the Germans their right to sex with animals

    Glenn, the problem with this childish Bible-as-magic-8-ball approach to ethics is that, well, it’s childish and a goofy way to treat a holy text. The Bible is a book of truth, not a rulebook to pick and choose which rules you think should apply today. Of course we can deny people the “right” to force sex on unconsenting animals. It’s cruel and inhumane.

    You know we can develop ethical opinions of morality outside the text of the bible, don’t you? If not, then you have no reason to condemn nuclear weapon usage, nor drinking and driving or a whole score of behaviors the Bible doesn’t condemn.

    ~Dan

    • And its placed between incest and sex with animals. So youre saying its ok to commit incest and sex with animals so long as youre not a Jew and its not in a pagan religious context?

    • Real world studies, many links to which I can bombard this page with, demonstrate that homosexual behavior is unhealthy medically and psychologically. You are welcome to your opinions about it Dan, but you are not welcome to disregard the empirical evidence. Your entire philosophy about homosexuality is not based on Scripture or on medical or psychological evidence, nor even on social studies. You attitude about homosexuality is based on emotions: “But they are a loving couple, and God is merciful to those who are in a loving relationship, and it just isn’t fair that they shouldn’t be allowed to marry,” etc etc etc.

      Grow up and think rationally and biblically – oh wait, that last part is impossible for you as long as you practice eisegesis and rebel against the true God of the Bible while worhshipping a God made in YOUR image.

      • Richard Nash says:

        Aren’t you all “interpreting” the text? Each denomination, branch, sect or flavor draws different conclusions. This continued subjective extrapolations leads to derision and many minor and some major difference in how the text is read and or used and applied.

        It’s seems confounding that this is still happening today, and sometimes with such abrasiveness.

        • It gets heated because of the importance of the issue.

          • Yes, John, I see it’s heated, but that sort of glosses over the “interpretive” nature of this process, never mind the editing and redactive processes.

            It would seem that this interpretive dynamic makes for the divisions between the different brands of christianity. This type of dynamic is mostly missing in judaism and Islam, buddhism and hinduism.

            • What major doctrines of christianity are difficult to interpret?

              • Major doctrines? We could start with all of the doctrines that separate your flavor of christianity from any of the 4 major catholic flavors. We could look at the differences between your interpretation and Dan’s interpretation on a number of seemingly important doctrinal questions. How about salvation? The Second Coming? Who and what is jesus/god? via the Trinity? Baptism? Speaking in tongues?

                How about literal reading of Genesis vs non literal? Literal reading of Revelations.

                I mean if we just stuck to this list alone, this causes gross disparity across all strata of christians the world over.

                These are more than heated discussions that led to Reformations/separations across different sects/denominations.

                This doesn’t include the endless list of more minor issues.

              • Theres no jeed to discuss them all. Paul says there is room for conscience on some matters. So which doctrines is the interpretation up for legitimately up for grabs.

  141. Yes Dan, I understand your argument. Your argument is that the Bible does not ever an any way mention homosexual sex in a negative way. Therefore, in the absence of any actual Biblical guidance on the matter, you are relying on your own personal observations of a small group of your “friends” on which you base your hunch that somehow your personal anecdotal experience allows you to form conclusions that extend beyond your observations. Further, you pull your usual switch again. The issue is whether the Bible condemns homosexual sex. Gay marriage is not and has never been the spiritual issue. If (as the preponderance of Christian though would suggest) homosexual sex is wrong, then the act of homosexual sex is wrong no matter what the context. Now you could argue that married gay sex is “less bad” than unmarried gay sex and maybe you’d have a point. But, you can’t simply change the context and expect everyone to just go along with you. In other words, until you can demonstrate that gay sex is not sinful, there is no point in changing the topic to gay marriage. I know you know the difference, I just think you know you can’t make the case for gay sex on it’s own, so you have to obfuscate by moving the goal posts.

    I’m glad you finally addressed this new “meager sin” construct. It seems as if you are saying that it’s OK if you just commit a few small insignificant sins, just as long as you don’t gossip, meddle or slander or anything major. Again, if you can point me to anything beyond your “experience” or “Reason” that would support this kind of stance I’d be happy to look at it. But as it sits this is a concept that is much more at home in a Jewish or Muslim theology than in any sort of Biblical Christianity. As always, I’m open to support, but your “experience” or “Reason” or “I know someone” , isn’t enough to convince me to rethink what seems to be pretty settled theology. You should know that the burden of proof usually lies on the person who is suggesting something different from historical thought. So, let’s see it.

  142. R Nash,

    I’d suggest that the eschatology stuff is pretty much a secondary issue and that there is plenty of room for disagreement within Orthodoxy. I’d say that for hundreds of years the issues of Jesus/God and salvation have been for the most part settled. Where it has gotten strange is that there are a new group of folks who want to use the name Christian while denying or redefining what it means to be a Christian. I can see where this would make it difficult for someone who is “outside” the discussion to understand. For example it seems logical that if one wants to be labeled a Christian, then one would, at a minimum, acknowledge the existence of Jesus the Christ. Yet we are seeing people who don’t yet want to be called Christians for some reason. Or as Glenn has pointed out the (R)LDS or JW’s, they so radically redefine the meanings of terms that they have moved beyond Christianity, yet for some reason it is important to them to be in the christian tent. Ultimately, most of the differences boil down to a couple of bedrock issues. Authority of scripture and the nature of God/Jesus. Most of the disagreement between Dan and I is ultimately about how much authority we give scripture, and what it means to take scripture literally. I’d consider mode of baptism and tongues as somewhat secondary issues, where I have some opinions, but wouldn’t get to involved in a discussion over them. I’d say that the Trinity is another one that there is some legitimate disagreement over, especially since more and more “big name” pastors” are heading towards modalism.

    Hope this helps.

  143. Dan,

    “No, Marshall, factually speaking, it’s not.”

    Yes, Dan. FACTUALLY speaking, it most certainly is a prohibition against a particular behavior or practice. It says nothing more. It says only:

    “22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” – NIV

    “22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” – KJV

    ” 22 And you shall not lie with a male as lying with[ab] a woman; that is a detestable thing.” – LEV

    ” 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” – NRSVCE

    “22 `And with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a woman; abomination it [is].” – YLT

    But unlike what you continue to falsely perpetrate, nowhere does it mention engaging in this behavior within the context of a pagan ritual practice. The best you can get is a mandate against engaging in the practices of the pagans. Pagans were those who followed false gods, but to tie the words “practice” and “pagans” the way you do is deceitful. He could have said “Canaanite practices” and the notion of not living as the Canaanites did would have gotten across. But that they were a pagan people does not in any way mean the the behaviors prohibited were specifically and/or exclusively tied to pagan religious rituals. There is nothing in Scripture that suggests this in any way.

    But more importantly, it is particularly ludicrous, to say nothing of being deceitfully self-serving, to suggest that there is any evidence that same-sex behavior took place ONLY within religious rituals, or ONLY took place in prostitution, shrine or otherwise, or ONLY took place in contexts of rape and or abuse, but NEVER took place between two consenting adults attempting to live in a marital scenario, and therefore God was not speaking to that particular possibility. Yet that possibility and all others are covered under the blanket prohibition of engaging in the behavior AT ALL. Lev 18:22 simply says, “Do NOT have homosexual sex—-PERIOD”.

    As to Lev 20: 13, to which you so readily default so as to more easily demonize those of us who don’t mess with the text, it says,

    “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” – KJV

    Chapter 20 deals with punishments for sin. Notice here (and all translations used above for Chapter 18 do the same) that it states “both of them”, which would preclude any hope of contending rape or abuse was an aspect of the prohibition. Obviously, a victim of rape could not be held accountable for being attacked.

    And of course, one has to be looking to muddy the waters to insist that these punishments were not a part of holding God’s holy people of Israel accountable for breaking His Law. So the punishments were indeed specific to these people of that time. It is also foolish to attempt to insist it is impossible, or even difficult to separate moral laws from laws of ritual or purity laws. This commentary backs that up, as do others.

    So once again, as if it hasn’t been made crystal clear over and over again with constant Biblical sourcing to support it, there is no extrapolating on my part, but only a faithfulness to what is clearly stated in Scripture WITHOUT lame attempts to insert meaning or history to which the text itself in no way makes any allusion. Indeed, even if you could produce authoritative evidence that the Egyptians and Canaanites engaged in homosexual behavior, incest, bestiality and/or adultery within their pagan religious services, that STILL would not mean that Lev 18 was only referencing behavior within that context and not the behavior itself, EVER. And the text refers only to practices, with some translations using the word “customs”, others using “work” and other such synonymous terms. It simply means practice in a generic way, as in, “Dan makes a practice of inserting into Scripture meaning the text itself does not intend”

    “But beyond that, the Bible is not a Magic 8 Ball, where we childishly go to to cherry pick out rules for other people to live by.”

    That might be a good rule of thumb were anyone here doing that. Worse, however, is childishly pretending the Bible does NOT contain rules in order to provide for one’s self room to pretend one’s own sinful behavior is not covered in any of the rules. No. You’d much prefer to keep Scripture as ambiguous as necessary to serve your purpose. You’d much prefer to insist that opponents must admit that they might be wrong so as to deflect the clear implications of their being right. It allows people like you to ignore Romans 1:32 “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

  144. Marshal,

    I agree with you on 99% of that, but I wouldn’t say a rape victim would OBVIOUSLY not be punished, in light of Deuteronomy 22:25-28. Seems like a variable area.

  145. Haven,

    I get your point, and Dan T would use this as an example of why we can’t use the Bible as a rule book. But it does forget that some of the rules mitigated bad behaviors at the time they were instituted, and later the bad behaviors were dealt with in a manner even more “reasonable”. To go one more verse, we see the woman is held by the rapist as a wife. But female rape victims were no longer virgins and that factored into their ability to get married. They’d be left out in the cold. The rapist is made to make good by supporting the woman he raped. While today we’d find the thought of making a woman remain with her rapist objectionable, at that time it was the lesser of two really bad outcomes for the victim of a rape.

    To take your point even further, a rape victim is punished regardless of the outcome for the lasting effect of having been raped. But that is different from the victim being under sentence by God as if guilty of a sinful act.

    • Isn’t working on the sabbath and eating shellfish also an abomination?

      I always find it more than curious that these along with gay sex never made their way into the 10 commandments. Further, I find it convenient that christians now virtually disown the OT when many of it’s more disturbing practices are brought to light. They tell me I am cherry picking when I seek answers about the abhorrent behaviors and social practices found there. But if it is the perfect word of god then it is to be followed as well, right.

      So why do christians mostly cherry pick the two entries about gay sex, yet avoid the rubrics that subjugate women, the a-ok rape of women, sex slavery, murder, pillaging, stoning of women, stoning of disobedient children, human sacrifice, etc, etc.

      Doesn’t Zech. 13 say to kill false prophets? Aren’t some of you not reading or “interpreting” your bible correctly when Dan is allowed to live? Glenn seems absolutely convinced that Dan is a false teacher……..then why aren’t they killed?

      If you are allowed to pull gay sex out of the OT, and look the other way or otherwise bury your head in the sand when it comes to the plethora usual barbaric psycho zealot acts, it seems like a glaring contradiction.

      What allows the 2 entries for gay sex to be used, while the ones for “burnt” human offerings, or the killing of false prophets is so easily dismissed?

      • Nash, are you aware of what the New Covenant brought and accomplished regarding the Old?

        • Yeah, fully aware of the new covenant and its use to obscure and apologize for the heinous acts of the OT.

          Are you aware that its “interpretation” continues to make room for all sorts of redefining?

          Further, what part of the covenant allows the use of the OT under some circumstances (that almost always benefits christians), but not in others? Where specifically in the new covenant does it say that jesus thought, that his own god being thought that stoning your child for disobedience was at first the “right” thing to do, but then he specifically says that this is, in hindsight, a bad idea?

          Further when you play this card it seems to pull the carpet out from under the “perfectness” of your god. It appears to be a plan fraught with incompetence.

          Doesn’t Heb. 8:10 speak of the grace of god and the graciousness of the new covenant?

          And how do you deal with the fact that many people outside your immediate denomination see, use and interpret the NC in such radically different way? The biggest issue being the difference in salvation models between the old and new.

          • You ask so many loaded questions in one comment. How about we break ot down a bit. Pick one to start and we’ll go from there.

            • Let’s start with the various degrees of relevance and various qualities of interpretation regarding the NC to begin with.

              1) How do you respond to the criticisms within modern and historical christianity regarding the NC? There are other interpretations other than your own, so how do you view them? Does your view so conflict with the others view that is more than just a passing difference and causes outright derision?

              • I respond by saying that just because there is disagreement it doesn’t mean someone isnt right.

                I look at views other than my own for consistency. I could have missed something. But differing views doesnt mean I’m wrong or right.

                My point is that there is in fact a correct interpretation of every bible passage. Whats important is not that people disagree, it’s why they disagree. How did they conclude what they did.

      • Sex outside of marriage is in the 10 commandments and marriage is one man one woman according to the bible, so it’s covered.

  146. Nash,

    It would probably work better if you provided an example of what you think constitutes disparate interpretations that divide Christians.

    In the meantime, your questions over the last few comments imply that your knowledge of Scripture is extremely superficial or many of your questions would not be asked. For example (see? an example), there is a difference between what God regards as an abomination and what He has instructed Israel to regard as an abomination. Homosexual behavior IS an abomination. Eating shellfish isn’t, but was to be regarded by the Chosen People as such. The former is a fact. The latter symbolism. Purity laws and dietary laws reflected the concept of sin and God’s response to it.

    And once again, advocates of the homosexual agenda are seeking to codify their depravity into law and eradicate the righteous opposition to it in the culture. This is why it is such a big issue amongst people of faith, reason, truth and logic.

    • RNASH,
      I just love how atheists keep bringing up the same old canards which have been responded to zillions of times – as if they’ve never been responded to!
      
Let’s play with the Sabbath first. The Sabbath was for the Jews only. While many Christians over the centuries claim it for themselves, all I can say is that they CAN celebrate the Sabbath if they choose to do so, but are not required. The Sabbath was a sign of the covenant between God and Israel – and no one else has that covenant. If you are interested in the details, you can read the article I wrote about it:
      http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/05/are-christians-required-to-keep-sabbath.html
      In this same article you will see that the most Laws given to Moses were also only for the Jews. However, as my article about the Leviticus 18:22 passage points out, that passage is part of a series of sexual sins for which God is destroying other nations – God gives as a reason for their destruction as their indulgence in such sins. The point being that God holds ALL nations accountable for sexual immorality.

      When it comes to shellfish, God didn’t say they were an abomination to Him, rather he said they were to be an abomination to the person eating them! And in the New Testament Jesus declared all foods clean, so even the Jews can now eat pork, shellfish, and other items previously denied.

      Nowhere does it say in the O.T. that rape is okay. If the woman is married, the violator was to be executed, while if she was a virgin he had to marry her – otherwise she would be left without any means of support.

      Your mention of Christians ignoring all the other laws in the OT has nothing to do with “cherry picking,” rather it has everything to do with proper exegesis of the relevant passages. These laws were for the nation of Israel and only for the nation of Israel, and were put in place to purify Israel as a holy nation, separated out from all other nations for service to God. That includes stoning for false teachers and adulterers. The only capital crime given to all people for all time is murder, and that was declared a capital crime for all of Noah’s descendants when he stepped off the ark.

      And we certainly don’t need to use the O.T. to say that homosexual behavior is a sin- all one has to do is read Romans 1 and 1 Corin.6:9-10.

  147. paynehollow says:

    Sorry, church retreat this weekend and I missed all this fun. I think I’ve said all I need to say for now. Just one response, to Craig…

    I understand your argument. Your argument is that the Bible does not ever an any way mention homosexual sex in a negative way.

    Then clearly, you have not understood my argument, because that is NOT my argument. I even clarified my argument for you, being quite specific and you still are not repeating back what my argument is.

    If you can’t understand my words in English, written from a very similar background in the same day and age, doesn’t that give you all pause for claiming you “know” the Right Interpretations and Opinions to hold?

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me. Otherwise, I think it’s all been said (well, except for the multiple questions I’ve asked that have gone unanswered, but that’s how it goes…)

    Well, one more thing, Nash said…

    Each denomination, branch, sect or flavor draws different conclusions. This continued subjective extrapolations leads to derision and many minor and some major difference in how the text is read and or used and applied.

    It does oftentimes lead to derisions, but it does not need to. IF we could all begin with the simple acknowledgment that, “This is MY interpretation of this text…” or “This is MY understanding of why that is a good or bad behavior, and here’s why…” and realize that all of these matters are questions of our own opinions – that we are not speaking for God, just offering our personal opinions (sometimes with very compelling reasons, but still our opinions), I think we could turn down the Crazy several notches.

    The problem, it seems to this fellow with an opinion) is when we’re so convinced that we’re speaking for God and because we are speaking for God, we can then justify telling mere mortals what they need to know from God (through our lips and brain, of course) with some bit of presumptuous authority.

    Being convinced of the soundness of your opinions is a good thing, it seems to me.

    Being convinced you speak for God is a dangerous thing. Seems to me.

    ~Dan

    Oh, and Marshall…

    it most certainly is a prohibition against a particular behavior or practice. It says nothing more.

    Yes, I know that is your opinion. Feel free to hold that for yourself. The rest of us will manage to try to figure things out the best we can without your assistance, thanks just the same.

  148. You don’t figure it out, Dan. You believe what you want to believe and inject into Scripture meaning and messages that just aren’t there. Once again, you run with this tired canard that I am speaking for God. You know this is a lie you perpetuate to further your preferred distortions of Scripture. This idea of speaking for God is patently absurd, unless stating exactly what Scripture plainly and clearly says is speaking for God. If I was to, like you, suggest what cannot be supported with Scripture, THAT would be speaking for God. Actually, it is worse. It is speaking what God never said or intended and daring to suggest that Scripture supports it. So once again, what you’ve highlighted is not my opinion. It is what Scripture actually says. It says “Thou shalt not…” without any hint whatsoever of a scenario by which anyone shall, could, should or might. THIS is what you’ve never been able to contradict with Scripture. Yes, I know you will once again suggest Leviticus is referring to pagan rituals, but you’ll need something from the text to support that notion. Those Baptist preachers you claim preached of Canaanite religious rituals won’t cut it. Only Scripture will do.

  149. “You are mistaken. Factually speaking, it doesn’t.”
    Dan’s words

    Your argument is that the Bible does not ever an any way mention homosexual sex in a negative way.

    Craig’s summary.

    The problem you’ve conveniently left unaddressed as you stalk off is you keep pointing to “gay marriage” as the issue, yet you haven’t or won’t address the underlying behavior.

    Someone says something like “Homosexual sex is wrong” and you respond with “My argument is that loving, healthy, committed marriages are obviously a good thing, so why wouldn’t we support it?”

    i cannot understand how you don’t see the non sequitur, or maybe you do, but you just ignore it. It’s two completely different arguments, you just choose to gloss over your opponents and move on to yours.

  150. paynehollow says:

    Because you still do not understand my position, apparently, for you Craig:

    Your argument, Craig, is that you read the Bible and reach the opinion that, in your opinion, God is opposed to any and all gay sex.

    Is that not your argument?

    If so, then I clearly undertand your opinion on the matter and clearly, I am not glossing over it.

    Do we agree on that much?

    My argument, then – the one that you have not demonstrated that you understand – is that the Bibe does not state ANY authoritative opinions about all gay sex. My argument is that CLEARLY, some gay sex actions are condemned (gay rape, for instance. duh, of course, that is wrong), but there are zero mentions of all gay sex, in all contexts. It is a topic that is not covered in the Bible.

    Further, my opinion is that seeing if something “is covered in the Bible and, if so, that is the end all and be all of ethics” is not the right way to treat the Bible or human ethics. That approach is demeaning to this Holy Book of Truth and it is irrational.

    My further argument is that, although the Bible is silent on the topic of “all gay behavior, in all times and contexts,” it does speak to some general truths about humanity and Good. One of those general truths is that, those things that are obviously good, noble, pure and loving, that these are things that ought to be supported.

    So, 1. While the Bible is silent on the topic of “all gay sex,” it is supportive of the obviously Good and Loving Things and, 2. That whether there is a negative mention of a behavior in SOME context somewhere in the pages of the Bible, that alone is not enough to say “that behavior is wrong.” I say that because the Bible is not a rule book and trying to treat it like one is a rather shallow way to approach seeking Truth.

    It seems to me.

    Thus, I, for one, am not glossing over anything. I understand your position (remember, I used to hold your position) and don’t find it rational or moral or biblical. And clearly, I AM speaking of at least two different arguments.

    One argument is addressing… “Is finding a line in the Bible that speaks against a behavior sufficient to say that behavior is always wrong?”

    Another argument is, “Does the bible – in those handful of places that speaks about SOME gay behavior (the attempted rape of Lot’s visitors, for instance) – come up with a moral imperative that tells us we MUST consider all gay behavior in all times and contexts wrong?”

    And also, “Is the suggestion that we should support those things that are obviously Good and Loving enough to justify supporting marriage – gay or straight?”

    I think, clearly, objectively, rationally and morally, the answer to the first two questions is No and the third, Yes, with the caveat that we keep in mind the Bible is not a Rule Book.

    So, clearly, I understand your argument.

    Do you now understand mine?

    ~Dan

  151. paynehollow says:

    Nash…

    Glenn seems absolutely convinced that Dan is a false teacher……..then why aren’t they killed?

    Thanks!

  152. NasH: Glenn seems absolutely convinced that Dan is a false teacher……..then why aren’t they killed?

    Dan Thanks!

    By responding that way, it is more proof that Dan is ignorant of proper Biblical hermeneutics, let alone having failed to read my response at 10/27 4:01 PM

    Dan: My argument, then – the one that you have not demonstrated that you understand – is that the Bibe does not state ANY authoritative opinions about all gay sex

    Yes Dan, we all know your stance, as well as how you totally ignore that fact that every time the Bible mentions homosexual behavior it specifically gives no exceptions.

    Looking at Leviticus 18:22 in context, the chapter starts with God saying, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. From this point on God lists all sorts of sexual practices which were done in Egypt and Canaan – including homosexual behavior – and which God found detestable. There are no other topics in this chapter; God just says don’t do any of these things because these are a reason why God is punishing the nations by having Israel drive the people out of the land. It was these practices which made the land unclean. The Scripture is very, very plain: God says all the listed sexual behaviors are an abomination to Him, and that those who practice these things are worthy of severe punishment. He didn’t limit it to pagan rituals, or to promiscuous “gays” (which the vast majority are by ever study available), or to rape – He just made a flat-out commentary about sexual behaviors which people practiced and which were a reason they needed to be destroyed.

    Now to Leviticus 20:23. At 20:10: God again lists numerous sexual practices which He forbids. And again, God gives the reason why at verse 23: And you shall not walk in the customs of the nations that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things and therefore I detested them. God said that the pagan lands where he was bringing them were detested – another strong word – because of these sexual practices. Again God gave no exceptions for “loving relationships.”

    Moving on Romans 1:26-27, again there are NO exceptions, and the context starts at v.24: Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    Who is the “them” that God gave over to their lusts? Verse 18 says it is those who “suppress the truth” about God. Continuing on in the passage Paul says God made Himself known to these people who suppress the truth about God and yet they do not honor God or thank Him. Instead of giving glory to God, they give it to animals and man, and worship created things instead of worshiping God (the way evolutionists do today). These people who suppress the truth about God did not just exist at the time Romans was written – these people have always existed. Everywhere you look you will see people who suppress and deny the truths of God.

    Then at vs. 24 it says “therefore,” which means it is because these people suppress the truth about God and refuse to honor Him and what He has revealed that he gives them up to sexual impurity which dishonors their bodies. God calls it “dishonorable passions.” And it is because they would rather accept a lie than the truth of God. Verses 26 and 27 then describe exactly what Paul means when he says they are given over to impurity which dishonors their bodies: homosexual behavior.

    This Scriptural passage is clear: homosexual relations for any reason are considered dishonorable and impure. There is no room for claiming that it is only about those whose “natural” inclinations are for members of the opposite sex and not about those whose “natural” inclinations are for members of the same sex. There is no such thing as “natural” sexual desires for members of the same sex.

    And it is the same situation with 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    Where does Paul make an exception for “loving relationships”? NOWHERE! When looking at the original Greek to know exactly what was said here, we find the first word is arsenokoites. Where does this come from and what does it mean?
    When looking at the Septuagint’s Greek translation of Lev. 18:22 we have the following: meta arsenos ou koimethese koiten gunaikos. Arsenos means “male” and koiten means “to have sexual intercourse.”

    Next, when looking at the Septuagint’s Greek for Lev. 20:13 we have this: hos an koimethe meta arsenos koiten gunaikos.

    Notice in both these passages the use of arsenos and koiten, and especially the latter passage where the two words are together. It becomes obvious where Paul got this word which means a man who has sexual relations with another man. He is referring back to the Levitical commands against homosexual behavior. It is this word which is translated as “homosexual offenders,” “homosexuals,” “sodomites,” and “abusers of themselves with mankind.” It’s meaning is “male bedder.”

    What about the word translated as “male prostitutes,” “effeminate,” and “homosexuals?” This is the Greek word malakoi, which literally means “soft ones.” Supposedly this refers to those who were usually a passive partner in homosexual relationships (or should we say, the one who plays the receptor?)

    Nevertheless, both terms are used by Paul to describe those who practice homosexual behavior, and he states without equivocation that these people will not inherit the kingdom of God. Again, it is very plain that Paul is here saying that those who practice homosexual behavior are among the “unrighteous.”

    There is nothing in any of these passages that allows for twisted interpretations to claim God permits homosexual relations as long as they are conducted in a committed relationship. The relations are not permitted at all.

    Anyone really thinking “clearly, objectively, rationally and morally” can come to know other conclusion that there is no way that God approves of homosexual behavior in ANY context! And, yes, in many ways the Bible is a “rule” book because only in it do we find God’s commands about proper morality.

  153. Dan,
    I’ve always understood your argument. repeating it doesn’t help. I understand that you have formed a hunch about the appropriateness of homosexual sex that is based on your (limited) observations of ( a small number) of people you know. You are clear that it is your hunch that the Biblical mentions of homosexual sex are limited to a few specific circumstances. You are also clear that in the absence of a specific general prohibition, that you are comfortable in asserting that your hunch is correct (at least fro you and your limited experience), and that anyone who comes to a different conclusion is somehow wrong (or irrational, or hateful, or or childish, or whatever). I get all of this. What you don’t seem to get is that unless you can actually make a positive case for your hunch there is no reason for anyone to actually take you seriously. If you are serious about allowing others to have a different interpretation, then stop the name calling and come up with a persuasive case, so that maybe you can influence people away from an irrational (etc.) view to your much more rational view.

    But as always, I appreciate you kind, gentle and loving tone as well as your copious supporting evidence to support you hunches.

    By the way, I did actually read the first part of Lev. 18 and I really don’t see any way that you can conclusively suggest that the behaviors listed are limited in any as to context.

    Before I go further, I am assuming that since you seem to be giving the Lev 18 text some measure of credibility that you consider this particular text to be “non mythical” and that you will not simply rebut any exegesis with your common “It’s a nice story, but…”

    Anyway the text clearly states (I’m paraphrasing here) “There are things the Egyptians and Canaanites do, don’t do those things.” I’m assuming we’d agree on that.

    However, then the text says, ” 4 You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.”

    Quite clearly God is saying “Don’t play by their rules, play by My rules.”

    Then we see a series of what are called “Laws of Sexual Purity”.

    1. Don’t take others clothes off.
    2. No incest
    3. Leave women alone during their period.
    4. No adultery
    5. Don’t sacrifice your children to Molech (actually to any local Gods)
    6. Men don’t have sex with men
    7. Don’t have sex with animals.

    “26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you ”

    “30 ‘Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God.’”

    Now the first thing that strikes me is the terms “statutes, ordinance, Judgements,” these all seem to be words that are synonyms with rules. So, it seems safe to say that that this is a partial list of rules to obey as they inherit the promised land.

    So, if you hunch is correct, then it seems rational and logical that everything on the list would be “situational” as you opine that homosexual sex is.

    By what standard to you suggest that homosexual sex is the only thing on this list confined to pagan rituals (or whatever other limits you choose to supply)?

    If you hunch is correct, why would homosexual sex be included on this list of behaviors to be avoided?

    Why wouldn’t the author have simply said, “Don’t go to the male temple prostitutes.” ?

    How can you accept the “Don’t do what other nations do” but not accept “here are the rules that I (The Lord your God) expect you to live by?

  154. Oh, and if the Bible is “not a rule book”, then why does God spend so much time laying out rules to live by?

    Why does Christ say “If you love me you’ll obey my rules’ (paraphrase)?

    Why does Christ lay out the 2 most important rules?

    I realize that Bible isn’t only a rule book, I’ve never suggested that it is. It does seem a bit irrational to pretend that there are not specific rules (actually commandments), and that if we love God, will will strive to live by His rules.

  155. paynehollow says:

    Glenn,

    1. when God gave those rules TO ISRAEL (and clearly, those rules were specifically for Israel at that time), God gave them TO Israel. We are not under these rules. You acknowledge this each time you don’t kill men laying with men, because that was the rule God gave to ISRAEL.

    2. I think the context is clearly speaking in response to the ritualistic pagan practices of the pagan people – practices that included various fertility sexual rituals in their temple. Given that, based on what we know of the people then, that this was the place they practiced any male-male sex acts (gay sex just has never been widespread regular in any culture I’m aware of, because people born straight don’t tend to want to engage in gay sex – and vice versa), it seems entirely reasonable to me that, in context the most logical conclusioin we can reach is that this is speaking of temple practices, temple prostitution, not any and all gay behavior. That is my opinion and I do not think it is an irrational one, indeed, it is the only hunch that makes rational sense to me. You hold a different opinion. That being the case, I would counsel you to not engage in male-male sex if you think it is wrong.

    3. Regardless, the Bible is not a rule book and cherry picking out rules (this one applies to all the gays, this one doesn’t apply, because it would affect me and I don’t like that rule… etc) and declaring, “There is a verse here in the Bible that clearly condemns wearing polyester, therefore, no one should wear polyester!” is not a good or respectful way to treat this Great Book of Truths. Indeed, repeatedly, one of the lessons taught in the Bible is picking out rules and interpreting them and telling people, “I speak for God and God doesn’t want you to do this!” is a sloppy approach to Bible study, very eisegestic and presumptuous and disrespectful to the Bible.

    You can’t rationally say, “There is nothing in these passages that allow for different opinions on their meaning.” You are not the author, you don’t get to speak for the author for everyone else. You are entirely welcome to your opinions about it, you don’t get to tell other people their opinions.

    Is that not reasonable? Or do you want to tell me what my opinion should be?

    ~Dan

    • Dan, so it is your hunch that God only commanded the Israelites to not engage in homosexual sex in a pagan ritual context? And the same with sacrificing their kids too? So in other contexts they could? Also sex with animals? The israelites could jave sex with animals as long as it wasnt a pagan ritual?

      The problem is your hunch leads to that absurdity.

    • Dan,

      God gave the rules to Israel, but he gave the REASON as the FACT that THIS what condemned the other nations to destruction. If God just didn’t want them to practice these sexual behaviors in the context of idolatry or promiscuity, then I’m pretty certain He would have gave the exceptions. But He didn’t – He just said that these sexual practices were wrong – PERIOD. And because the other nations were practicing such behaviors they were to be destroyed, and therefore Israel was not to imitate such behaviors or they too would be destroyed. There isn’t the least hint that it was in conjunction with ritualistic pagan practices of temple prostitution, etc – THAT is the irrational attempt to ease your own guilty conscience. And as have so many people plainly stated, if that is the understanding meant for homosexual behavior, then there is nothing wrong with bestiality, incest or adultery as long as it isn’t part of a pagan practice. THAT is YOUR logical conclusion. Of course the Jews always understood it to be a blanket condemnation so you have to explain why THEY have been wrong since the time of Moses!

      The punishment prescribed was to be employed by Israel as a theocratic nation. The fact that Christians still accepted homosexual behavior – as well as adultery – as sinful, and yet did not execute the practitioners pretty much demonstrates that they understood the sin to be unchanged but they weren’t given the authority to exercise such punishments. Punitive actions for sins/crimes are taken by governments, not individuals. And if the governments throughout history had executed those who practiced homosexuality, bestiality, and adultery were executed then we wouldn’t have such a corrupt society today! If the government determined that all such people should be executed, I would have no problem with it any more than I have a problem with executing murderers. God gave the penalty.

      And you then have to neglect or re-interpret the Romans and 1 Corinthians passages. They have nothing to do with talking about pagan lands or rituals.

      And NO, it is not reasonable for you to come to such conclusions. You only do that as an emotional response to not thinking it is right for God to condemn “loving” relationships. Again, YOUR god is NOT the GOD of the Bible.

  156. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    and if the Bible is “not a rule book”, then why does God spend so much time laying out rules to live by?

    Rules are found in the text of the ancient Hebrews. That is part of their story, part of what they believed God wanted of them. The ancient OT rules were never suggested that they were rules for all times and places and peoples. The Bible does not support that conclusion. Those rules, in text and context, were specifically for Israel, specifically for then.

    You believe this, too. You don’t believe we should stone “men who lay with men,” or disrespectful children or those who work on Saturdays. You don’t believe God thinks it’s wrong to work on Saturdays, or to wear polyester, or to eat shrimp, or to have menstrual sex or a whole host of other rules you don’t apply to yourself – you do cut the hair on the side of you head, don’t you? Contrary to the COMMAND of God… to Israel?

    I’m sure you do.

    So, clearly, we agree that the OT rules – even if we presume that you’re understanding them aright – were never intended for all peoples in all times and places. Let me know if I’m mistaken, but I suspect we agree on that much.

    Craig…

    Why does Christ say “If you love me you’ll obey my rules’ (paraphrase)?

    Presumably, you’re citing John 14…

    Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

    “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

    I think that Jesus is saying, “If you believe me, if you love me and my teachings and think they’re worthwhile, then you’ll follow my teachings…” But Jesus did not teach us to stone to death adulterers (indeed, he directly rejected that literal OT rule, in favor of saying, “Then neither then do I condemn you, go and sin no more…”), he taught us other things. Those of us who accept and believe his teachings, WILL want to follow them. Seems to me.

    Why do you ask?

    Craig…

    Why does Christ lay out the 2 most important rules?

    I think that Jesus is saying, “If you believe me, if you love me and my teachings and think they’re worthwhile, then you’ll follow my teachings…” Those of us who accept and believe his teachings, WILL want to follow them. Seems to me.

    Why do you ask?

    Craig…

    I realize that Bible isn’t only a rule book, I’ve never suggested that it is. It does seem a bit irrational to pretend that there are not specific rules (actually commandments), and that if we love God, will will strive to live by His rules.

    Well, clearly, Jesus laid out some ways that we should live in grace – principles moreso than rules, though. But Jesus did not teach us to heed the ancient rules given specifically to ancient Israelis, did he?

    Indeed, the ancient rules said, “Don’t work on Saturdays,” and yet, Jesus taught us that the Sabbath was made for us, not humanity for the Sabbath. To the extent that he acknowledges the Old Rules specifically for Israel, he tends to do it in a way so as to remind us that it’s not about rule following, it’s about love, it’s about mercy, it’s about justice, it’s about grace.

    If we become mindless rule enforcers (ie, hello, Pharisees? Jesus called and boy, are you in trouble), then we have missed the Truths of the Bible.

  157. paynehollow says:

    John…

    so it is your hunch that God only commanded the Israelites to not engage in homosexual sex in a pagan ritual context? And the same with sacrificing their kids too? So in other contexts they could? Also sex with animals? The israelites could jave sex with animals as long as it wasnt a pagan ritual?

    The problem is your hunch leads to that absurdity.

    Of course it doesn’t, John. It is your misunderstanding of my actual position that is leading you to that false conclusion.

    If I held the opinion that we can know what rules we need to follow about sex with guys, animals, our daughters and mothers or sacricing children from the Bible and nowhere else, THEN that might be a rather absurd notion.

    But that is not my position, that is your position – or maybe not, you tell me. But clearly, it isn’t my position.

    I hold that we can know that sacrificing children to idols is wrong APART from the Bible – it causes harm to innocents and that is, innately, wrong. Same for bestiality. Same for pagan sex rituals, in my opinion.

    I don’t think we need to have a holy text to tell us those things are wrong. Our atheist brothers and sisters can tell us it is wrong and they don’t accept the text (or your interpretation of it) as authoritative on moral matters.

    It is the suggestion that we can ONLY know moral right and wrong based on lines from ancient rules SPECIFICALLY to ancient Israel that is absurd. But that is not my position.

    Again, IF I were saying, “This text is not written for everyone, so therefore, we can KNOW that these rules are actually all okay and good things to do…” That would be absurd.

    I’m not saying that.

    Do you understand the difference between my actual position and that which you are incorrectly insinuating is my position?

    ~Dan

  158. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    God gave the rules to Israel, but he gave the REASON as the FACT that THIS what condemned the other nations to destruction.

    That’s a fine opinion to hold, if you want, Glenn. It is not my opinion, though. I personally find that to be rather hard to believe and irrational and unbiblical. But I do not have a problem if you want to hold that opinion for yourself.

    In the same spirit, may I hold my own opinions or must I agree with you?

    Glenn…

    If God just didn’t want them to practice these sexual behaviors in the context of idolatry or promiscuity, then I’m pretty certain He would have gave the exceptions.

    Again, that’s a fine opinion to hold, if you want. Similarly, if God didn’t WANT us to kill all the men who lay with men, the disrespectful children and the adulterers, God could have gave us that specific instruction. Apparently, though, you think it is okay to IMPLY that God did not want us to obey the COMMAND to ancient Israel, “If your kid is disrespectful, kill them.”

    Similarly, I think it is okay to imply that those rules are not for all situations, but specifically exactly what the textual and historical context – to me – supports.

    How is my implication wrong and yours right? What is the difference between how you set aside the one line as not a literal rule for all of us and how I set aside the literal rule as not for all of us?

    Glenn…

    There isn’t the least hint that it was in conjunction with ritualistic pagan practices of temple prostitution, etc – THAT is the irrational attempt to ease your own guilty conscience.

    You’re welcome to your opinion, Glenn. I think CLEARLY the context is clear. As to my “guilty conscience…”? What am I guilty of? when I changed my position from one very much like yours to the one I now hold, I had no gay friends, I was not gay, I had nothing to have a guilty conscience for. It just seemed to me to be the better biblical and rational position to hold. What “guilty conscience” am I easing?

    Don’t answer that, since you don’t know me, any speculation on your part would be worthless and – if past history is any indicator – simply crazily wrong.

    Speaking of crazy wrong…

    And you then have to neglect or re-interpret the Romans and 1 Corinthians passages. They have nothing to do with talking about pagan lands or rituals.

    In Romans 1, Paul is speaking about, and I quote…

    Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    Paul is speaking of people who worship idols of birds and four-footed animals… Paul is speaking here of the folly of the Gentiles of the region, and how they were involved in pagan rituals being a sign of their folly. We know historically speaking that there were abusive male/boy relationships common in Rome, we know historically speaking there were male temple prostitutes in Rome, in the pagan temples where they worshiped idols like the ones Paul mentions here.

    Clearly, the Romans text does appear to be speaking of pagan lands and rituals. In textual and historical context.

    The Corinthians cherry picked text (which is not necessarily speaking of all gay behavior – we don’t know the context of the specifics being mentioned) was written to a people at the crossroads of many cultures and religions, including pagan ones. It is not unreasonable think that some in Paul’s audience were pagans or formerly pagans.

    Glenn…

    And NO, it is not reasonable for you to come to such conclusions.

    Well, fortunately for me, you don’t get to decide what is reasonable or not for me. I think you are entitled to all the opinions you want to have. I insist that you recognize the same for everyone else. Whether you “want” to “allow” us to think for ourselves or not, we will.

    Tough luck.

    Glenn…

    You only do that as an emotional response to not thinking it is right for God to condemn “loving” relationships.

    An emotional response? I got to this position through prayer and bible study, using my God-given reason. I can see that, on the face of it, loving, healthy relationships are good. I have no reason at all, in the least, to think that God would condemn something that is good and loving.

    Do you think that God sometimes condemns what is good and loving?

    I don’t think there is anything emotional about it. I reached this opinion rationally, prayerfully, biblically. You are free to disagree with it, but you aren’t free to take it away from me. If you think being in support of healthy, good, loving relationships is “emotional,” you are welcome to that opinion. I find it rational.

    ~Dan

    • Dan,
      Since God condemns homosexual behavior in no uncertain terms, then same-sex relations are NEVER “good.” And “loving” is also false, because real love would not subject someone to a perverse and dangerous relationship.

      Since you are unteachable and a rank heretic by blaspheming a Holy God by claiming He is okay with homosexuality, this conversation is over between you and me.

  159. “1. when God gave those rules TO ISRAEL (and clearly, those rules were specifically for Israel at that time), God gave them TO Israel. We are not under these rules. You acknowledge this each time you don’t kill men laying with men, because that was the rule God gave to ISRAEL.”

    So now you agree that the rules against sacrificing children, bestiality, and incest are also just for Israel at that time.

    “Rules are found in the text of the ancient Hebrews. ”

    As well as in the words of Jesus.

    To be crystal clear. I believe that there are some OT rules which are non context specific (Don’t kill, lie, live lives of sexual purity, tec.), I believe that there are some rules that were specifically for the context of the Israelite theocracy. For you to simply take the wooden literal approach as shown in the first quote doesn’t do justice to the text.

    So, your hunch is that when Jesus said “If you love me keep My commandments” (Of course you realize that Jesus was the author of the OT commandments as well) he actually meant ““If you believe me, if you love me and my teachings and think they’re worthwhile, then you’ll follow my teachings…” . OK I guess you can have that hunch, there’s not much support for it but you’re welcome to it.

    “But Jesus did not teach us to stone to death adulterers…”

    Unless you are suggesting that Jesus is NOT a part of the Godhead, and Jesus is NOT the eternally existent second person of the Trinity, then the only way you can suggest that Jesus was NOT the author of the OT commandments, is to suggest that these commandments were made up by the authors, not from God.

    “…principles more so than rules, though.”

    The specific word used is commandments, are you suggesting some alternate definition for commandments?

    “But Jesus did not teach us to heed the ancient rules given specifically to ancient Israelis, did he?”

    No He didn’t. He did however affirm that there are OT rules that are universal, and that we should follow them. Remember, He gave the rules in the first place.

    “Why do you ask?”

    Because you keep insisting that the Bible isn’t a rule book, and I keep pointing out to you that there are a number of rules in the Bible. Further, that Jesus expects us to follow His rules.

    ” Otherwise, I think it’s all been said (well, except for the multiple questions I’ve asked that have gone unanswered, but that’s how it goes…)”

    Says Dan who then promptly proceeds to ignore questions he’s been asked.

    Hint 3:48

  160. paynehollow says:

    Craig, I still don’t think you’re getting my points…

    I believe that there are some rules that were specifically for the context of the Israelite theocracy. For you to simply take the wooden literal approach as shown in the first quote doesn’t do justice to the text.

    The text of those rules says, in introducing them…

    The Lord said to Moses, “Speak TO THE ISRAELITES and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. YOU must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and YOU must not do as they do in the land of Canaan

    Literally speaking, these are quite specific rules to a specific people and in a specific time and place. Why would you all take the line “men must not lie with men” as literal, presume it means ANY men in ANY time and place, but NOT the introduction? Why not the next line, “…IF they do, kill them…”?

    I’m glad to hear you affirm basic traditional thinking: NO, these are not universal rules for all time and places… at least that much you have right. So, we ALL agree that these verses – at least not all of them – are all universal. Of course, no question there.

    The question, then, is where and why and how you all decide to say, “Okay, NO to verse 1, NO to verse 2, YES to verse three, YES to verse 4… but just the first part, but NO to verse 4, the second part…”?

    MY position – what I think you are not getting – is that these behaviors that are wrong, are wrong because they are wrong. And you all seem to have a problem with that because, well, if we just decide which ones are wrong, then how do we KNOW which ones are wrong? It’s better if we have somebody tell us…

    Bestiality is wrong because there is no mutual consent.
    Rape is wrong because it causes harm and there is no consent.
    Murder is wrong because it causes harm and there is no consent.

    On and on. These behaviors aren’t wrong because they appear in the OT (next to “don’t cut the hair on the side of your head…” but THAT isn’t wrong…), they are wrong because they cause harm, because they are abusive, or arrogant, or malignant. It’s sort of the opposite of “Whatsoever things are good, noble, true, pure, loving… think on these things…” Those things are good BECAUSE they are healthy and good, not just because they appear in the NT’s pages.

    Is that an exact science? No, of course not. But neither is your approach to Bible study, is it?

    In the end, I really don’t think that it’s that hard to recognize much of what is right and wrong – at least in the broad strokes. When it gets down to the twists and intricate turns of daily human life, can it be difficult? Sure, but that’s true whether you are looking at the Bible as a guide, as a rule book or not at all.

    ~Dan

    • Guys, this is just too funny to watch!

      Again Trabue copies the atheists when he makes his moral values based on consent. Since there is no mutual consent, bestiality is wrong according to atheists and Trabue. But they are inconsistent, because if consent was required to be morally right, then no one could have a pet, no one could use an animal for meat, no one could use animals for scientific studies, or keep them in zoos because no one gets consent from the animal to do so!

      Trabue, atheists, and others of their ilk don’t seem to understand that behaviors are wrong because God says so, not because of some arbitrary opinion as to whether it causes harm or whether consent was given.

  161. paynehollow says:

    Going back to answer some questions of Craig’s…

    By what standard to you suggest that homosexual sex is the only thing on this list confined to pagan rituals (or whatever other limits you choose to supply)?

    I don’t.

    If you hunch is correct, why would homosexual sex be included on this list of behaviors to be avoided?

    ? The pagans engaged in ritual temple prostitution and orgies that involved male-male sex. The Hebrews were emphasizing that this is something they should not be part of. They were to be distinct and different.

    Why wouldn’t the author have simply said, “Don’t go to the male temple prostitutes.” ?

    Because that is not how the author wrote it. Perhaps because, in that context, it would be clear to everyone what was being spoken of. I mean, guys just didn’t go around having sex with other men in most cultures. Why? Because most men aren’t gay, why would they? And there’s another likely explanation.

    I expect that this is normal for most styles of writing, that people don’t explain what is obvious to people of their culture, for the sake of cultures that might hear these stories centuries later. If someone is writing about a phone conversation today and they said, “So, I was out by myself in the forest, miles from anywhere, and I got a call from Craig and we talked for hours as I hiked…” the author would explain that the “call” was on a cell phone, it’s obvious to people reading today.

    That is just a guess, though, just as you’ll have to guess when you answer the same question (see below) (assuming you’ll answer).

    Why wouldn’t the author have made it clear that “men should not lay with men. If they do, kill them…. BUT, I’m just speaking of Israel on that last part, y’all. Other people besides Israel in this particular time period should not do that because it would be wrong, wrong, wrong outside this context…” The author could have done the same for cutting the hair on the side of your head (made it clear that was JUST for Israel, not for 21st century US dudes) or that menstrual sex was only “wrong” for those particular Israelites.

    My answer: It’s not written that way because that’s not the way the author wrote it. Beyond that, the author (or Author, if you prefer, or authors, if you prefer…) has not told us so we simply don’t know. Isn’t that obvious?

    I told you my answer, now you: Why do you think the author didn’t make all these things clear?

    How can you accept the “Don’t do what other nations do” but not accept “here are the rules that I (The Lord your God) expect you to live by?

    Unless I’m mistaken, this text is from a time and culture that told histories in an epic fashion. This appears to THIS non-professional history buff to be written in that style. So, it sounds like, to me, they are telling an epic history – being based at least partially on real events, but not holding slavishly to facts.

    Beyond that, throughout Israel’s history (as seen in the Bible, but also other texts), they had an ongoing struggle with being either overcome by neighboring nations or assimilated by neighboring nations. Finding those things that helped make them unique, distinct, set apart… this is an ongoing theme in Israel’s epic history stories. So, the need to set themselves apart rings true to what we know from history and other reports. It seems rational in this context.

    But, God thinking that shrimp is evil or really caring deeply about the morality of polyester or a fella’s haircut, that does not seem rational, nor in keeping with the whole tone of the Bible.

    As to not accepting “here are the rules that I expect you to live by…” I don’t NOT accept that Israel felt like they needed to live by them or that this is what God wants. I have no way of knowing one way or the other, do I? But I also have no reason to think that these are all universal rules – just as you don’t think they are all universal rules.

    So, what is the problem with ME and mine deciding “These rules are not universal in nature” but not you and your deciding the same thing with different rules?

    I imagine you disagree with farmers being required to set aside a portion of their land specifically for the poor and foreigners? I imagine you do cut the hair on the side of your head and have other OT rules that you flagrantly don’t accept as universal.

    On what basis is your “setting them aside” okay and not mine?

    More questions of yours answered. Hoping you’ll do the same (with apologies to John again, for all this rambling).

    ~Dan

  162. Dan,

    See how liberating it is to answer peoples questions? I appreciate the effort that went into spinning that fanciful yarn. Unfortunately, you have failed to provide anything other than your own hunches with nothing beyond your own imagination and experience to validate your hunches.

    I do feel compelled to mention that you chose to leave out the second half of the introduction to Lev 18. I’m sure it wasn’t because it undermines your point in any way.
    Just so we all know here’s the part you chose to omit.

    “4 You shall observe MY judgments and keep MY ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall therefore keep MY statutes and MY judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.”

    It is quite clear that God is NOT simply saying “Don’t do what others do.”, He is CLEARLY saying “Here are the rules that I expect you to live by.”

    As to your contention that everything on the list is bad simply because it’s bad, while homosexual sex is bad because it’s in the wrong context is completely unsupported by any shred of evidence.

    As to the rest, it’s just more of the same “It’s an epic style… It’s a revenge fantasy…It’s not factually based… yada yada yada.” Again, it’s creative, just not compelling.

    Just to forestall the complaints.

    ” Why do you think the author didn’t make all these things clear?” I do think the author made it clear.

    “But, God thinking that shrimp is evil or really caring deeply about the morality of polyester or a fella’s haircut, that does not seem rational, nor in keeping with the whole tone of the Bible.”

    I’m confused, either God set rules that set Israel apart or He didn’t.

    “So, what is the problem with ME and mine deciding…”

    If you and yours decide not to obey the rules I have no problem with that, the consequences will fall on you and yours. However, I don’t think that you and yours are qualified to pass judgement on rules set down by God.

    This raises the question I was a little leery to ask earlier so here goes.

    I (and others) are proceeding on the assumption that God literally did communicate to Moses, and that He (God) did literally set down that laws that governed the Israelite Theocracy as well as the Universal moral laws that we are all accountable for. Also, that those laws have been accurately communicated to us through the Bible.

    You seem to be operating under a different impression.

    So, here goes.

    Did God actually speak to Moses and communicate to Him the laws that are attributed to God?

    Did Moses accurately communicate the laws handed down by God to the Israelites?

    Were those laws accurately passed down?

    Were the laws attributed to God actually made up by someone else?

  163. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Just so we all know here’s the part you chose to omit.

    “4 You shall observe MY judgments and keep MY ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God.

    I don’t see how emphasizing “MY” helps your argument a bit. You are missing the very first word – “YOU.” Who is this rule for? “YOU,” in this case, specifically the ancient Israelites who were specifically being given these rules.

    Do you think God was speaking to everyone for all these rules, then? If so, please post a picture of you with your hair uncut on the side of your head.

    ~Dan

  164. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    As to the rest, it’s just more of the same “It’s an epic style… It’s a revenge fantasy…It’s not factually based… yada yada yada.” Again, it’s creative, just not compelling.

    Factually speaking, Craig, historically, in the real world, people in that time passed down stories told in mythic and epic styles. Do you have any hard evidence to support the suggestion that these stories are different? I’m not sure what is “creative” to base opinions based on known facts.

  165. paynehollow says:

    You keep stating things as if they are complete ideas and need no support…

    He did however affirm that there are OT rules that are universal, and that we should follow them.

    ? So, you DO obey God’s command to not cut the hair on the side of your head? You don’t eat shrimp or you believe polyester is an affront to God? You DO kill “men who lay with men,” disrespectful children, adulterers and people who work on Saturdays?

    I hope you do not actually believe that and, if so, that you don’t have the courage of your convictions and actually live it out. I’m quite sure you don’t.

    ~Dan

  166. I guess you’ve stopped answering questions again.

    Re:epic style. You’re the one making the claim outside of what historic Christianity has believed, so the burden of proof is on you not me.

    Of course if you’d answer the questions it would help.

  167. paynehollow says:

    No, I have not stopped answering questions. I thought it would make sense to shorten my questions and give you a chance to actually answer the questions I raised (in a complete manner) before moving on to other questions of yours.

    Finish answering my questions and I’ll finish answering yours.

    Re: epic style, you are the one claiming something contrary to the known historical evidence. The burden of proof is on you, not me.

    Besides, I’ve offered actual evidence: There IS NO historical record of people writing modern-style histories from this time period. Just like there is no historical record of unicorns. Now, if you want to claim that something existed that there is no hard support for, that’s fine, but you can’t ask us to agree with your opinion simply on the strength of “it’s my opinion,” or even on the strength of, “it’s what most Christians have believed…”

    Despite any evidence, COULD it be that this story was written in a modern history style? Sure, and it’s possible it could have been written in a drug-induced Hunter S Thompson style and it’s possible it could have been written in fantasy fiction style. Anything is possible. But is there any reason (beyond the tradition of some) to guess that it might be?

    That ball is in your court.

    • Another fine example proving Trabue to be a rank heretic. Not only does he make up his own God and Christ, and has his own view of salvation, but he also has absolutely no respect for the Word of God as he considers it to by myths, stories, legends, hyperbole, etc, etc,. No wonder having Christian discussions with him is like doing so with atheists!

  168. I (and others) are proceeding on the assumption that God literally did communicate to Moses, and that He (God) did literally set down that laws that governed the Israelite Theocracy as well as the Universal moral laws that we are all accountable for. Also, that those laws have been accurately communicated to us through the Bible.

    You seem to be operating under a different impression.

    So, here goes.

    Did God actually speak to Moses and communicate to Him the laws that are attributed to God?

    Did Moses accurately communicate the laws handed down by God to the Israelites?

    Were those laws accurately passed down?

    Were the laws attributed to God actually made up by someone else?

    Re: epic literary style. Are you actually suggesting that there are only two possible styles the historical books of the Bible could have been written in? It seems as though you have drawn an arbitrary line saying that if it’s not a “modern historical style” (although you have not demonstrated that it couldn’t be or isn’t), or it must be epic mythical style. On what basis do you draw the conclusion? Can you provide any semi reputable scholars that support your hunch? If you can provide said scholars, will you actually provide them? I know, I know, you’ll talk about “truths” and all that same old crap that doesn’t actually mean anything more than whatever you want it to mean at any given moment. What would be helpful is any reference to any reasonably serious scholar who agrees with your hunch (simply referring to Anabaptist tradition doesn’t count, unless you can actually point to specific people and doctrines).

    Echoing John, if I’m forced to choose between literally the entire history of Judeo/Christian theological consensus, and Dan’s unsupported hunch, I’ll take my chances with the overwhelming consensus. Just to head you off, because I know what you’ll say. Just because virtually every serious adherent (and most not so serious) of Judaism and Christianity accept the historical books (you do know that what they’re called the historical books, not the epic mythical books, right?), as an accurate representation of actual events, doesn’t automatically make them right. However, the likelihood that some random guy is going to come up with a hunch that literally turns three thousand years of Jewish and Christian scholarship upside down is pretty slim. So, absent some actual evidence (and no the existence of other epic stories from other cultures is NOT evidence of what a different culture did), I’ll go with the 99% on this one.

    Oh, had you actually answered the questions I re asked at the beginning of this reply, you probably could have saved us all some time.

  169. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    he also has absolutely no respect for the Word of God as he considers it to by myths, stories, legends, hyperbole, etc, etc,. No wonder having Christian discussions with him is like doing so with atheists!

    Would someone please address this?

    Is it disrespectful to consider that a portion of the Bible might be fiction? To consider a portion to be poetry?

    These are simple writing styles. There is nothing disrespectful about striving to understand the writing style a piece of literature is in. Indeed, it is disrespectful and a bit shallow to NOT strive to understand a text, sacred or not.

    This is just simple logic, friends. I’m sure we can agree (except for maybe Glenn and Marshall) that there is nothing inherently disrespectful about identifying textual styles based on literary clues and historic knowledge.

    Is your god so powerless that he is unable to use metaphor? To use myth if he wanted to? Is there any textual reasons to think this is not only impossible to consider, but disrespectful? I can think of none and I’m willing to bet that no one here will even try to offer any biblical reasons for your hunches.

    [The closest that anyone I’ve ever seen come to it is “Well, Jesus and other later writers seemed to take it as literal history…” and there might be a nugget of possibility in thinking along those lines. The trouble is, your “evidence” that Jesus or others considered these stories literal in the modern sense is, “Well, Jesus referenced Jonah, so he must have considered him literal and his story factually historical…” The problem with that line of thinking is that people like me will also reference Jonah or the Creation, NOT because we think the stories are supposed to be taken literally, but because we love the stories and the Truths they contain.]

    ~Dan

  170. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    you do know that what they’re called the historical books, not the epic mythical books, right?

    You do know that calling them historical books is not biblical, but a modern construct?

    Craig, I’ll be glad to answer your questions as soon as you answer mine. Really, if you think about it, you should be able to guess my position, I’ve talked all around it. Note: Knowing you all, you can’t guess my position, not exactly, based on past history.

    But I’d ask that you answer mine, thanks.

    ~Dan

  171. “But I’d ask that you answer mine, thanks.”

    Did, thanks. Nice dodge.

  172. paynehollow says:

    No, you did not. Nice dodge.

    Your turn.

  173. paynehollow says:

    To repeat:

    You keep stating things as if they are complete ideas and need no support…

    He did however affirm that there are OT rules that are universal, and that we should follow them.

    ? So, you DO obey God’s command to not cut the hair on the side of your head? You don’t eat shrimp or you believe polyester is an affront to God? You DO kill “men who lay with men,” disrespectful children, adulterers and people who work on Saturdays?

  174. Dan,

    I’ve dealt with these silly “questions” before, but in the hopes you’ll answer mine, I’ll do so again.

    Re: Hair, no it’s a ceremonial law for the Israelite theocracy. Shrimp, don’t eat ’em. Although the dietary laws were specifically rescinded in the NT. Polyester, again ceremonial for the Israelite theocracy. I kill no one. Again, those punishments were time specific to the Israelite theocracy. However, just because the punishment is not enforced in the same way does not somehow make gay sex, disrespectful children, adultery, or failing to honor the Sabbath somehow OK now. PS as I’ve pointed out to you before you’re painting the disrespectful children thing as if it is suggesting that every time your 5 year old talks back they should be killed. The problem is that the actual command is very specific about what is meant and is not nearly as capricious as you try to make it sound.

    I will say, that with you challenge to everyone to guess your position, you’ve laid out a really well planned diversion. I’m impressed.

    In stead of simply answering the questions, (which BTW you asked AFTER I asked you the questions you are dodging), and setting the matter straight in a clear an unambiguous way, you took a much cleverer path.

    If we don’t guess, you can bob and weave and hint and talk around your position while providing as little clarity and as much obfuscation as possible.

    If we do attempt to guess your position, you can then seize on some trivial aspect that is “wrong” and focus on that. That way you can shift the focus away from your actual position and onto the mean conservatives who are telling lies and slandering you. Well done. However, I see no reason to play that game. So, let your yes be yes and your no be no. Answer the questions (did I mention that I posed those questions before the ones you used as an excuse not to answer the questions I had already asked), be own your hunches about these things.

    Stop dodging.

  175. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Again, those punishments were time specific to the Israelite theocracy. However, just because the punishment is not enforced in the same way does not somehow make gay sex, disrespectful children, adultery, or failing to honor the Sabbath somehow OK now.

    BUT, how do you KNOW that? The text absolutely does not say that. IF God wanted it to be only for that time and those people, wouldn’t God just state it that way?

    That was your question to me. That is the question that I’ve answered for myself, I’m waiting for you to answer THAT question.

    ~Dan

  176. Dan,
    Despite the fact that you have yet to provide clear and concise answers to the questions I asked you prior to you asking the questions I already answered, not to mention this new question, I will answer this one last question.

    If your question is do I KNOW this to an absolute 100% certainty, the answer is obviously no, no one knows anything to that degree of certainty.

    The reason I believe that the ceremonial and theocratic laws and punishments are no longer in force is pretty simple, Jesus. When Jesus lived, died, and rose again He was the ultimate fulfillment of the OT sacrificial system and temple worship , which rendered the ceremonial laws moot as there was no longer any need for them. Further, Jesus changed the focus of the Kingdom of God on the earth from the Israelite Theocracy, to the Church. One of the things we see in the NT is the Jewish believers and the gentile believers trying to work out what if any of the Jewish law was required of followers of The Way. The end result was that both the ceremonial laws, and the theocratic laws and punishments were superseded by the new covenant. However, it seems abundantly clear that behaviors that were against the moral law of God (you know sin), continued to be sins even in the new covenant.

    Now that I’ve played your little game. I will not be answering any further questions until I get clear, unambiguous, and concise answers to the questions I posed earlier.

    I understand your reluctance to answer in a forthright manner, I’m sure it’s easier to hint around your position. I also understand that you are probably hoping that by continuing to obfuscate you will by enough time to say that you just can’t go back and find the questions, so you’ll just pass. Well, I see no reason to enable you any further in your obfuscation so in the spirit of grace I’ll repeat the questions below.

    (and others) are proceeding on the assumption that God literally did communicate to Moses, and that He (God) did literally set down that laws that governed the Israelite Theocracy as well as the Universal moral laws that we are all accountable for. Also, that those laws have been accurately communicated to us through the Bible.

    You seem to be operating under a different impression.

    So, here goes.

    Did God actually speak to Moses and communicate to Him the laws that are attributed to God?

    Did Moses accurately communicate the laws handed down by God to the Israelites?

    Were those laws accurately passed down?

    Were the laws attributed to God actually made up by someone else?

    Re: epic literary style. Are you actually suggesting that there are only two possible styles the historical books of the Bible could have been written in?

    It seems as though you have drawn an arbitrary line saying that if it’s not a “modern historical style” (although you have not demonstrated that it couldn’t be or isn’t), or it must be epic mythical style. On what basis do you draw the conclusion? Can you provide any semi reputable scholars that support your hunch? If you can provide said scholars, will you actually provide them?

    I count 8.

  177. “Craig, I’ll be glad to answer your questions as soon as you answer mine.”

    Obviously not.

    “But I’d ask that you answer mine, thanks.”

    You’d ask, I’d answer, you’d ask more, while still not answering.

  178. I could probably do a book on how Dan, and those like him, will try to have their cake and eat it too (a saying that I never found logical—I often have my cake and then eat it, too). On one hand he will insist that ancient people indulged in homosexual acts for their pagan rituals, that they’d engage in homosexual rape, that they’d serve as prostitutes, but somehow never, EVER was there ever any possibility of the “loving, monogamous” homosexual relationships he finds so compelling. No REAL homosexuals. Only straight guys doing nasty things to other guys with their genitalia. And while he insists that only these pagan rituals held instances of homosexual behavior, he provides no Biblical support for this hunch, nor does he ever provide any other solid archeological evidence that suggests ONLY homosexual behavior in the contexts he chooses to believe were the only forms possible at the time, and THUS, the only forms to which Lev 18:22 makes reference. One must really suspend all logic to buy into that crap.

    Another fave is that wacky notion that “whatever is loving, noble, pure, etc” includes homosexual/lesbian relationships that he finds compelling and romantic, as if God’s notion of loving, noble and pure includes what He clearly referred to as an abomination. How does this work, exactly? Well, again, it is based first on what DAN finds loving and all and THEN he decides that, by golly, God will be good with it, too.

    He does it again in ascribing right and wrong. If we can come to hold a behavior as wrong apart from God or the Bible, then by golly, that proves it must be wrong! This again assumes something about God that is a little bit arrogant to say the least. Right and wrong has nothing to do with how we, as human beings, feel about it if the issue has already been adjudged as right or wrong by God. Though a behavior might impress any of us, for whatever reason (harm or whatever) as wrong does not confirm it as sinful or wrong in the eyes of God. What’s more, most of what most of mankind has regarded as wrong is because God had first proclaimed it so, even among the non-believers.

    Dan so often drags God down to our level, as if should we find something abhorrent, then God must also find it abhorrent. “Why would a loving God do EKS (XYZ is cliche)?” Because He’s God and He doesn’t operate the way we do or as we are supposed to or as He wants us to operate. Nor does He have to, being God and all.

    So when God says, “Thou shalt not” about ANY behavior, it is up to Dan and his ilk to PROVE that whatever behavior they intend to support can also be explicitly supported by Scripture considering how explicit “Thou shalt not” is. And as far as those behaviors (practices) of the Egyptians and Canaanites listed in Leviticus 18 (haircuts and polyester were not part of it), God found them detestable and the reason He was opposing those nations. Perhaps Dan can provide us with the passages where God changed his mind about any of them.

  179. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    You’d ask, I’d answer, you’d ask more, while still not answering.

    The issue is, you are not answering the questions I have asked. You answer all manner of other questions, but not the ones that I am actually asking. Case in point:

    If your question is do I KNOW this to an absolute 100% certainty, the answer is obviously no, no one knows anything to that degree of certainty.

    My question was NOT “Do you know this with an absolute certainty…?” My question was THE SAME question you asked me.

    You asked, “Why wouldn’t the author have simply said, “Don’t go to the male temple prostitutes.” ?”

    I’m asking YOU the same question, in inverse: Why wouldn’t the author have simply said, “This half of the rule (ie, ‘men shouldn’t lie with men, if they do, kill them…’) is only applicable to ancient Israel…”

    I directly answered your question to me. Your response to my question was, “It is clear.” But I’m asking why wouldn’t the author have stated it the same way you asked me. Why didn’t the author make it perfectly clear in THAT way.

    Again, I’ve been asking you THE SAME question you asked me. You have not answered that question. Perhaps it’s my fault, perhaps I was not clear enough that I’m asking you THE SAME question you asked me.

    Here is the place I asked the question, again…

    That is just a guess, though, just as you’ll have to guess when you answer the same question (see below) (assuming you’ll answer).

    Why wouldn’t the author have made it clear that “men should not lay with men. If they do, kill them…. BUT, I’m just speaking of Israel on that last part, y’all.

    You seized only on the part of the question “Why didn’t the author make it clear…” with your response “it IS clear…” without touching on the actual question.

    And the reason I am holding back my answer is quite clear: You all have this habit of ignoring my questions or, as you have done, answer all manner of OTHER questions besides the ones I asked – in this case, even when it was the EXACT same question you asked me, in reverse – and asking question after question of me that I strive to answer (and sure, I miss some, but it’s nothing like reciprocal).

    For instance, THIS question was never answered, despite all manner of discussion all around the topic: In what way does God literally use literal blood to literally pay a literal debt, or to literally wash away literal sins…”? Asked repeatedly. Never answered. Just moved on to other points and questions to me that I answered.

    All I’m doing is trying to take this in rationally and in order and get an answer to my question before moving on to the next one. If I don’t insist, you all almost certainly won’t answer.

    But because you are complaining so much, I will answer your question (although, again, the courtesy will almost certainly go ignored and you still won’t answer the question I have asked.)…

    ~Dan

  180. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I understand your reluctance to answer in a forthright manner, I’m sure it’s easier to hint around your position.

    …I also understand that you are probably hoping that by continuing to obfuscate you will by enough time to say that you just can’t go back and find the questions, so you’ll just pass.

    No, that is BS, Craig. I have TOLD you exactly why I haven’t answered your question yet, it’s because you haven’t answered mine. There is no need for you to GUESS at my motives when I have TOLD you my motives. Almost without fail, anytime you all guess at my beliefs or motives, you don’t have them right. It’s happened dozens of times in this one (very long) thread. You can make up all sorts of fantasies in your head, Craig, and repeat that slander and rumor out loud, but it still won’t be factual or reality-based.

    The reason I have yet to answer is EXACTLY just as I have said.

    Now that that misrepresentation has been dismissed, I will answer your questions (and in so doing, fully expect you to answer the actual question I’m asking above, as well as the questions I’m asking below – in bold – if you want to show yourself to be interested in respectful, adult conversation)…

    Did God actually speak to Moses and communicate to Him the laws that are attributed to God?

    Short answer: I don’t know. You don’t know. None of us knows.

    Longer explanation: The Bible claims that all Scripture is the inspired Word of God, profitable for teaching and correction, etc. I believe that. I believe the OT stories are inspired.

    Do I think they are representing literal history? Clearly not, in some cases, probably not, in others. Maybe so, in some. At least “history” in the way that history was passed down back in that time period.

    I hold the very traditional, very common sense and rational opinion that we must understand a text’s literary style before we can best understand its meaning.

    We can agree on this, correct?

    Clearly, the early parts of Genesis appear to be written in a mythic style. And a God who is able to inspire poetry and fiction/parables and songs to pass on Truths can also use myth.

    Is there ANY rational reason to think that God can’t and wouldn’t use myth or epic storytelling?

    Do I know with any certainty where a biblical story is using a mythic style or an epic style or something representing more modern history telling style? No, not me. So, no I do not know that God actually spoke to Moses in the way the story literally reads.

    Do you? If so, how specifically do you “know” that?

    Do I think the laws attributed to God are literally what God wanted Israel to do?

    I don’t know that, either. Some of them certainly would seem hard to believe – that a rape victim would marry her assailant??! That God has a very specific opinion about hair cuts? That we should kill “men who lay with men” and adulterers? I don’t know why God would literally want that of ancient Israel, but neither can I prove that God didn’t literally command that. But clearly, these are not rules for all times. Jesus very specifically and directly stopped a bunch of religious zealots, for instance, of trying to carry out the literally “kill the adulterer” COMMAND from God.

    Craig…

    Did Moses accurately communicate the laws handed down by God to the Israelites?

    Similarly to above, I simply do not know that.

    Do you? If so, how specifically do you “know” that?

    Craig…

    Were those laws accurately passed down?

    Ancient Israel had very affective storytelling traditions and they very successfully passed down stories from generation to generation, keeping the stories consistent over the years. But were the original stories inspired EPIC-style stories? Inspired mythic-style stories? Other styles?

    Well, we can’t know for sure, can we? But certainly at least some of these stories have the characteristics of myth and epic, and those were the storytelling styles that existed back then – with no -zero – historical record of any more “modern style” history telling in existence. So, I have very little rational reason to suspect that these people told stories in ways that were outside of their cultural norm any more than I have reason to think that Genesis was written in a modern scientific style. Why WOULD God inspire people to write in ways that were foreign to them? If God was only writing the Bible for modern Americans, God COULD have inspired the authors to write in English, but God didn’t do that.

    Why would God inspire people to write in languages and styles unknown to the culture of the time?

    Craig…

    Were the laws attributed to God actually made up by someone else?

    Again, I believe the Bible to be God-inspired. So clearly, according to Christian tradition, God inspired HUMANS to write things down. So, “Made up by someone else,?” No, that is not my opinion. Written/told by humans in their language and style and way of understanding? Yes, that is what appears to have happened.

    Now, here’s hoping you’ll start answering the questions I have asked – and the actual questions I’ve asked, not some tangential questions.

    ~Dan

  181. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    On one hand he will insist that ancient people indulged in homosexual acts for their pagan rituals, that they’d engage in homosexual rape, that they’d serve as prostitutes, but somehow never, EVER was there ever any possibility of the “loving, monogamous” homosexual relationships he finds so compelling. No REAL homosexuals. Only straight guys doing nasty things to other guys with their genitalia.

    Well, I have never said that there were no real homosexuals in the mix, have I? There MAY have been, we don’t know.

    BUT, what is being described – as in the instance of the gang rape attempt in the Lot story – are almost certainly speaking of straight men using rape against other men as torture/torment/perverse pleasure. In Lot’s story, the story goes that ALL the men in town came out to demand Lot give up his visitors so they could take them sexually (ie, rape them). Since – as you all point out repeatedly – homosexual orientation is such a small percentage of the population, 2-10% – this attack was almost certainly done mostly by straight men.

    I imagine, rationally speaking, that the same was true for pagan ritual sex ceremonies.

    Can we agree that, at least in the story of Lot, the rape attempt was at least mostly carried out by straight men, not gay men, given the evidence at hand?

    Of course it was (if you take the story as literal history in the real world, anyway).

    Marshall…

    And while he insists that only these pagan rituals held instances of homosexual behavior, he provides no Biblical support for this hunch, nor does he ever provide any other solid archeological evidence that suggests ONLY homosexual behavior in the contexts he chooses to believe were the only forms possible at the time

    Well, it is entirely off topic here (as is much of this), but you can do some research on Moloch and pagan rituals in ancient Canaan and find out for yourself. Here’s a starter I found at random (I tried to avoid any “gay websites” and stick to more traditional ones, for your sake)…

    http://www.gotquestions.org/who-Molech.html

    Moloch was one of these pagan gods that demanded blood sacrifices (in addition to sex rituals to ensure fertility of the land), but clearly, the notion of blood sacrifices is not a rational or moral approach to worshiping a god, right?

    But, to be sure, the Bible does NOT say specifically, “This is speaking of ALL gay behavior” or “This is speaking specifically of only pagan rituals.” It just doesn’t. Reasonable people have to make sense of ethics apart from any specific direct teaching from God on this point.

    But just as I can not demonstrate that this is (as it rationally appears to be) speaking ONLY of sex ceremonies, neither can you demonstrate (as I once believed, and you still believe) that it is speaking of all gay behavior, in any day and context.

    Can we agree on that obvious fact?

    Marshall…

    as if God’s notion of loving, noble and pure includes what He clearly referred to as an abomination.

    Ah, ahh, begging the question. This has not been established at all. You HOLD THE HUNCH that this text in Leviticus speaks of all gay behavior, in all contexts and times, but that is not what the text says or the Bible teaches.

    You can’t say, “I think this text means X is an abomination, therefore, we can know that X is an abomination…” Poor reasoning, irrational.

    Can we agree on that obvious fact?

    As to the remainder of Marshall’s comments, ironically, he is doing exactly what he is accusing me of doing. He is expressing HIS opinion of what God wants and then, conflates HIS (Marshall’s) opinion with what God wants as evidence that he is right.

    Marshall, one more…

    Perhaps Dan can provide us with the passages where God changed his mind about any of them.

    Clearly, the COMMAND was “kill adulterers” in this section of the Holiness Code FOR ISRAEL. And yet, Jesus stopped religious zealots from obeying God’s literal law found in these passages when he saved the woman accused of adultery from the religious zealots who were intent on obeying the letter of the law, and following the levitical COMMAND to kill her.

    Did God change God’s mind? Was that understanding and/or application of these rules a mistaken understanding?

    Clearly, one or the other. I tend to lean towards the latter.

    In a similar way, I think the modern zealots who would wrongly try to apply OT text to situations and contexts that are different also err, just as those earlier zealots did.

    ~Dan

  182. paynehollow says:

    Craig, to the question you did answer…

    Hair, no it’s a ceremonial law for the Israelite theocracy. Shrimp, don’t eat ‘em. Although the dietary laws were specifically rescinded in the NT. Polyester, again ceremonial for the Israelite theocracy. I kill no one. Again, those punishments were time specific to the Israelite theocracy.

    And who says it’s a ceremonial law? Who says “THESE rules about punishments were specific to the Israelite theocracy…”? [By the way, if I’m not mistaken, those rules were still in effect, textually – in theory – long after Israel became a monarchy and was no longer a theocracy…]

    The thing is, on this line of thinking, that you all are using your reason to draw lines between universal rules, ceremonial rules and rules specifically for the theocracy. Which is fine, as long as you acknowledge, “This is not in the text, it’s something we decided was reasonable…” But when you acknowledge that, you should be more able to acknowledge, “Oh, and that is the same thing that Dan and his tribe are doing, too… We’re just disagreeing on where to draw the lines and/or how to parse this out…”

    On some more of Craig’s questions…

    epic literary style. Are you actually suggesting that there are only two possible styles the historical books of the Bible could have been written in?

    No, there are also historical records of early writings of lists. The lists of foods or crops, the list of sacrifices, etc. But as far as I’m familiar with, the historical record of early writings pretty much stops with those three. I could be mistaken, of course, I’m not an expert, just going by what I’ve read. But short of you providing some examples – especially of the more modern style of history-telling you seem to think might be happening in the Bible – on what basis would I think that early storytellers told stories in anything beyond what we know? That’s sort of similar to saying, “Well, early man COULD have been riding bicycles around built of bamboo frames and stone wheels… We have no historical record of it, but it COULD have happened…” well, yes.

    But why would we guess so, with no evidence?

    Craig…

    It seems as though you have drawn an arbitrary line saying that if it’s not a “modern historical style” (although you have not demonstrated that it couldn’t be or isn’t), or it must be epic mythical style. On what basis do you draw the conclusion?

    On the basis of my being entirely unaware of any examples of early storytelling that isn’t more mythic or epic. Again, I’m not an expert. If there are examples, please show me and we can all learn.

    But if there are no examples, on what basis would I presume to guess that this might be something new and modern?

    Craig…

    Can you provide any semi reputable scholars that support your hunch? If you can provide said scholars, will you actually provide them?

    No, not off hand. I’ve certainly read some in the past to help inform my position, but I don’t have any on hand.

    Same question right back to you:

    Do you have any reputable scholars to support the hunch that there were storytelling styles besides epic and myth in prehistory?

    I’m sure you remember from school that Herodotus (~485-425 BC) is considered the father of history, or sometimes, Thucydides (~455/460 B.C. 399 B.C.). Before them, historians generally agree that history telling tended to be less fact-centered and more creative – while still telling a history, to be sure, just not in the more modern sense.

    And since these texts were speaking of came from before that time, that places these stories prior to the era of modern history telling in a time that, to my knowledge, stories tended to be epic and mythic.

    But beyond that general knowledge from school days, no, I have no one. You are free to look it up yourself and/or provide some of your own research to contradict my opinion/understanding. But as it is now, this IS my understanding from what I know of history/the historical record. Short of some evidence, I will likely keep my understanding, thank you very much.

    ~Dan

  183. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    The end result was that both the ceremonial laws, and the theocratic laws and punishments were superseded by the new covenant. However, it seems abundantly clear that behaviors that were against the moral law of God (you know sin), continued to be sins even in the new covenant.

    Just to ask this a different way:

    Where is the list that divides which commands of God to the ancient Israelites were ceremonial, which were for the theocracy only, and which were universal?

    Does such a list exist?

    Of course, those are mostly rhetorical questions. Obviously, there is no list. None. At all. Rather, you have used your reasoning to guess that “if a woman is raped, she shall marry her assailant” was, what? ceremonial? Specific for ancient Israel? – and that “Thou shalt not wear polyester (ie, “mixed fibers”) is, what? Specific for ancient Israel? – whereas “thou shalt not get a tattoo” is universal (or is that also ceremonial? or cultural??).

    So, you use your reasoning to sort through all these laws and you have found some that you think still apply, but on what basis are you deciding that some rules that were valid specific for Israel are valid today? What specific criteria helps you sort that out?

    Looking forward to answers. Direct and specific to the question asked, please.

    ~Dan

  184. As far as why God didn’t inspire the writers to specifically say “don’t go to the male prostitutes”, or whatever. I would suggest that He didn’t need to. EVERY PLACE in the Bible where God talks about issues on marriage and sex He ALWAYS refers to it in the context of male and female. Given the fact that He ALWAYS refers to sex in that context, the readers then or now would have no reason to expand His parameters to include anything else. Further, if God was commanding that men should not have sex with men as the text clearly says that prohibition would INCLUDE all permutations of sex with men. There wouldn’t be any reason to spell specifics out.

  185. “We can agree on this, correct?”
    Yes we can agree that correctly determining literary style is important in determining meaning. However, I think we could also agree that if the determination of literary style or of content runs counter to the vast majority of scholarship over the course of thousands of years that the counter interpretation might be subject to a fairly high degree of skepticism, scrutiny and standard of proof.

    “Is there ANY rational reason to think that God can’t and wouldn’t use myth or epic storytelling?”

    Rational by who’s definition? Of course, God could have used flannelgraphs if He wanted. Just because He could doesn’t necessarily mean He did. Is there any rational reason why God should be bound by what you believe to be the literary conventions of the time?

    “Do you? If so, how specifically do you “know” that?”

    Again I don’t “know” that with 100% certainty, but I’m willing to take my chances siding with 4000 years of Jewish and Christian scholars, against some semi anonymous guy on the internet. If you wish to go against that feel free, just don’t pretend that yours in anything more than your own personal hunch, or that anyone should take yoru hunch remotely seriously.

    “Why would God inspire people to write in languages and styles unknown to the culture of the time?”

    Well let’s start with the glaringly obvious, He’s God and after speaking the universes into existence, inspiring the writers of His magnum opus to communicate His message to the entire human race in a historically accurate style seems a bit trivial. Also, let’s consider, the Bible is a singular collection of writing throughout all of human history, given that it seems rational to at least entertain the thought that it is written in a singular manner. Also, let’s consider, that it seems a bit presumptuous to confine God to what you perceive to be the literary conventions of the cultures He specifically warned the Israelites NOT to copy.

    • If God actually commanding the things in the OT runs contrary to the nature of God, isnt claiming that he did, even if just story telling, constitute blasphemy because it sullies the name and character of God?

      For example, if God would never order Israel to kill a group of people, what lesson do we learn by a myth claiming he did?

      Its like me saying Dan Teabue ordered his siblings and children to rape and kill their neighbors. Doesnt this bismirch your good name, even if I claim im trying to teach a lesson?

  186. paynehollow says:

    I’ll be glad to answer these questions, but I’m wondering, are you still getting back to my original question? No rush, I just wasn’t sure if that first response of yours was an attempt to answer my question because, of course, it is answering a different question that the one I asked. So, no rush, I just wanted to verify you understood the question and are getting to it.

    ~Dan

  187. paynehollow says:

    No, it’s not like that. In that time, such a treatment of a god or gods was typical of how people told stories. I don’t judge previous cultures harshly because they hold different literary standards than we do today, why would I?

    The Bible is a product of its time. If we don’t understand that right up front and we treat the Bible as a modern text, we are beginning with a confused understanding of the Bible, it seems to me.

    Jesus, at a much later time, used a piece of fiction – the parable of the shrewd manager – to make a point. In that story, the God figure is seen praising a man who swindled and cheated to improve his position. Is that “sullying” the name of God and, therefore, blasphemy? Or is it okay if people use a variety of ways to describe different aspects of morality and God?

    I say the latter.

    Now, if someone were today to write a thinly veiled biography of Dan Trabue where he engages in immoral behavior, in OUR context, that would be besmirching. But different literary genres and times, different standards.

    ~Dan

  188. “…but clearly, the notion of blood sacrifices is not a rational or moral approach to worshiping a god, right?”

    Of course it is, what were those Israelites thinking when they followed the instructions of YHWH in setting up that whole sacrificial system.

  189. Since I’ve already answered your “original question”, I really see no need to play this silly game. I’ve given you answers to several of your question, and just had a comment with the rest of them disappear, so chill the hell out, and stop whining.

  190. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I really see no need to play this silly game.

    Just to reiterate the still unanswered question…

    Why wouldn’t the author have made it clear that “men should not lay with men. If they do, kill them…. BUT, I’m just speaking of Israel on that last part, y’all. “

    I’m not asking you if you think the instructions are clear. I’m not asking you why God didn’t say don’t go to the male prostitutes. I’m asking that question above. Just stating “it IS clear…” is not an answer. Clearly, the author did not state, “This part is for all time, THAT next sentence is only for old Israel.” It’s not clear in that sense. Why wouldn’t the author do that? It’s the same question you asked me and that I answered.

    As to WHY you should answer these questions: Because you kept saying I should answer your questions first and I said the reason I wasn’t is because you all have a history of not answering my questions, so I was waiting for you to answer first. But then, I went ahead and answered your questions – all of them – in good faith, presuming you’d answer my questions. My exact questions, not some other questions that I did not ask.

    Why you should do it? Because you want to show yourself an adult capable of conversing respectfully, on an adult level, addressing problems/holes/questions in your arguments.

    Here’s hoping.

    ~Dan

  191. “But why would we guess so, with no evidence?”

    I’ll start with saying that if Jesus treats the OT as historical fact who am I to disagree with Him. If that weren’t enough, I’ll stand with literally the entirety of Christian and Jewish history in affirming the historicity of the OT historical books.

    “But if there are no examples, on what basis would I presume to guess that this might be something new and modern?”

    I’ll start by saying that you’ve provided no basis for your hunch, beyond “From what I remember from back in school…”. So, I have nothing to judge what you consider to be an adequate basis for anything.

    Again, I’m perfectly comfortable with the prospect that if God chose this method as His primary method to communicate with thousands of years of humanity then He is more than able to ensure that it gets communicated correctly. I’m not comfortable with limiting God to only being able to use the literary styles used by cultures that He specifically told His chosen people to stay away from.

    “Do you have any reputable scholars to support the hunch that there were storytelling styles besides epic and myth in prehistory?”

    Let’s leave aside that you have not actually demonstrated that epic and myth were the only literary styles available to writers when the OT was written.

    So, again, let’s start with Jesus. Every time He referenced the OT, He treated it as history. Really that should be enough. But since that probably isn’t, we’ll mention that I don’t think God is limited to human constructs of literary genre when communicating His magnum opus to all of humanity. If that’s not enough, I could (actually if you were really interested you could) fairly quickly come up with a list spanning the last couple of thousand years of folks who treat the OT histories as history. Although, past experience with you suggests that you will simply dismiss anyone I might come up with so I’ll probably pass.

    “Where is the list that divides which commands of God to the ancient Israelites were ceremonial, which were for the theocracy only, and which were universal?

    Does such a list exist?”

    Since I’ve never suggested the existence of some sort of all encompassing list, I see no reason to defend or support something I’ve never advocated. Surely it would be unreasonable to ask someone to argue for something they’ve never actually advocated. I have already provided you with the information that should answer your question in an earlier answer. Is it reasonable to expect me to simply repeat what i’ve already said?

    “…but on what basis are you deciding that some rules that were valid specific for Israel are valid today? What specific criteria helps you sort that out?”

    I’m not sure why you think it makes sense to simply re state the same question a second time. So, consider my previous answer as the answer to this as well.

  192. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I’ll start with saying that if Jesus treats the OT as historical fact who am I to disagree with Him.

    Begging the question.

    Who says that Jesus treats the OT as a historical piece of literature in the modern sense?

    That Jesus refers to Jonah or Moses is not, in itself, evidence that he believed or endorsed the “This is a piece of history in the modern sense.” I refer to the stories of Moses and Jonah, but don’t think they appear to be modern histories.

    Craig…

    I’m perfectly comfortable with the prospect that if God chose this method as His primary method to communicate with thousands of years of humanity then He is more than able to ensure that it gets communicated correctly.

    Begging the question.

    It’s not, “God said it this way, using this method, why should we disagree?” The question is, “What is the literary style being used?”

  193. “Why wouldn’t the author have made it clear that “men should not lay with men. If they do, kill them…. BUT, I’m just speaking of Israel on that last part, y’all. “”

    How many damn times do I have to answer this

    First, it doesn’t say “men who lay with men. If they do kill them.”. You’ve quite clearly conflated the list of offenses which occurs in one location with the list of punishments which occurs elsewhere.

    Second, how much more clear could it be than, “22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”. I don’t see any ambiguity in that simple declarative sentence.

    Third, as you have noted EVERY SINGLE THING in the list in Lev. 18 is wrong independent of God’s command or not. (For now let’s leave aside if there is right or wrong aside from God, a position which assume to be the case without evidence beyond your experience) Why would anyone assume that ONLY ONE thing on that list has conditions? By what standard to you parse the list and pass judgement on the conditions that apply, conditions that are certainly not explicit.

    Fourth, as I noted earlier, under the old covenant the entity that punished these transgressions was essentially the state. God charged the leaders of Israel with administering the punishment of Gods law. Under the new covenant, Israel was supplanted by the Church (if you would have only read my previous comments I wouldn’t have to repeat this). Therefore there was no need for the dietary, ceremonial or temple laws and regulations. This also eliminated the need for a state entity to enforce the punishments required during the old covenant.

    Essentially what you are asking is “Why couldn’t the OT writer have been able to see into the future and see the fulfillment of the OT law in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, so that he could have specifically laid out a time limit on these things.”. The answer to that is I’m not God,

    The problem here is that you still have provided nothing to suggest that the “men who lay with men” part is the only thing on that list that has unwritten exceptions.

  194. “Who says that Jesus treats the OT as a historical piece of literature in the modern sense?”

    This only makes sense if you presume that the only way of expressing accurate factual historical information is in the “modern sense”.

    “What is the literary style being used?”

    No, the question is did God inspire the writers of the text to communicate His message in an accurate factual manner. If you want to overlay some human construct onto the text, I can’t stop you. But if the presumption is that God was limited to the literary styles used by other cultures, then you might have the point. I see no reason to presume that God is limited by anything.

  195. I’d love to come up with some questions to try to make sense of the volumes of smoke you’ve blown, but honestly I’m just not motivated.

    You’ve laid out your hunches and made it clear that your experience is all you need to uphold your hunches. You’ve provided nothing that would lead any reasonable person to suspect that your hunch represents any sort of significant strain of anything resembling considered within orthodox christianity ( yes I intentionally did not say Orthodox Christianity). If your there were any significant number of people who shared your hunch you would not have a problem pointing them out.

    So, you’re welcome to your hunch, just don’t expect anyone to take you seriously as representing anyone but yourself.

    • Dan,

      Why wouldn’t the author have made it clear that “men should not lay with men. If they do, kill them…. BUT, I’m just speaking of Israel on that last part, y’all.

      I’ve already responded to that last part. The punishment allocated was NOT to be performed by individuals – it was to be performed by the governmental system, and at the time Israel was a theocracy. God has given the governments, not individuals, the duty to punish for crimes. The fact that governments, for the most part, no longer execute those guilty of homosexual behavior does not mean the punishment is no longer valid. And as I have stated previously, if capital punishment for homosexual behavior and adultery was still in force, or society would be a lot better off without all the sexual immorality which destroys cultures.

      You keep suggesting that it was only “male prostitutes,” etc which God meant, but his command was ALL homosexual activity. NO exceptions.

      As for the Torah, all five books are literal history, and that is the genre they are written in. To pretend otherwise is foolish and in contraction to the understanding of Jews and Christians for 4000 years!

      Oh, so Jesus treated the OT as history but not in the “modern sense”!?!?! God isn’t bound by time, and Jesus referred to it as history from EVERY sense!

      It has been proven over and over that the sexual immorality listed in Lev. 18 as being practiced by the other nations were to be condemned and were a reason for the destruction of those nations. It was the behaviors period, with no exceptions. Lev. 18 is a stand alone chapter in its context. But YOU don’t understand context – or, I think you do but you pretend not to so you can justify your supporting of wicked and perverse sexual behavior. Chapter 18 starts a new subject from 17, and Chapter 19 starts another subject. With none of these sexual practices does he at this point give punishments – He only tells that they are wrong and are a reason for the destruction of the nations practicing them (which means that they are wrong for ALL nations). In Chapter 20 God gives ISRAEL the punishments to mete out as a theocracy. See the difference? In 18 he says those sexual sins are wrong and a reason for destroying the nations. In 20 He not only says how detestable they are, but He also says how Israel is to punish such sins if found in ISRAEL.

      I quit. Craig, you are dealing with a bonafide heretic who will keep you swinging back at every ball he throws trying to get you concede something to him. If he was living in Israel in OT times, HE would have been stoned as a false teacher and blasphemer.

  196. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    How many damn times do I have to answer this

    Just once would be nice.

    Craig…

    First, it doesn’t say “men who lay with men. If they do kill them.”

    The text of Lev 20…

    If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death

    The text says “IF a man has sex with a man, it’s wrong. Kill them.” How is my paraphrase mistaken in spirit?

    Craig…

    You’ve quite clearly conflated the list of offenses which occurs in one location with the list of punishments which occurs elsewhere.

    ? I’m not sure what you mean. Lev 18 says “men shall not lie with men.” Lev 20 repeats the same command to ancient Israel and adds the follow up command, “IF they do, kill them.” Are you suggesting that chapter 18 is a list of universal rules and chapter 20 is a list of rules specific to Israel? Or that 20 is mixed with HALF universal and HALF Israel specific punishments? If so, WHY? Where does the text say that?

    Craig…

    Second, how much more clear could it be than, “22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”.

    Yes, textually and contextually, those pagan Canaanites with their ritual sex orgies having men sleeping with me, that does seem quite clear to me to be wrong and abusive of one’s sexuality. It is, it seems to me, clearly why God specifically told specifically ancient Israel not to mimic those pagan practices. But that is no more a universal rule against all gay behavior than the “don’t cut the hair on the side of your head” is a universal rule against all hair cuts.

    Why would it be?

    Craig…

    as you have noted EVERY SINGLE THING in the list in Lev. 18 is wrong independent of God’s command or not.

    Ah, but Lev 18 is not a standalone chapter. Indeed, as it was written, there WERE no chapters, that’s an addition that came later. Lev 18 is part of the Holiness Code that, as a group, were rules specifically for ancient Israel, NOT anyone else. And not everything in the HC IS wrong independent of God’s command – not everything even in chapter 18 is observably wrong.

    The holiness code includes the “men don’t lie with men, if they do, kill them” rule but it also contains…

    Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight. (According to this rule, people MUST be paid everyday, if we are making the HC a set of universal rules – do you pay your employees daily?)

    Do not make polyester (ie, do not wear clothing woven from two types of material)

    Do not cut the hair on the side of your heads or clip the edges of your beard.

    The foreigner in your land must be treated as your native-born.

    Do not have menstrual sex (also in Chapter 18, by the way)

    And a whole host of other sexual and other rules that were given specifically to Israel. Many of which I might still agree (not because they are on the list of rules specifically for ancient Israel, but because they are rationally harmful and we ought not harm others) but many of which neither one of us agrees that they are universal rules.

    Craig…

    Why would anyone assume that ONLY ONE thing on that list has conditions?

    I don’t presume that. I read in the text and context that these were rules specifically for ancient Israel and I don’t presume that they should all apply today. Why would I?

    You don’t presume they all apply today either, why would anyone presume that? They are rules that, by your own interpretation, were clearly for ancient Israel.

  197. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    The punishment allocated was NOT to be performed by individuals – it was to be performed by the governmental system

    Says who? I don’t see it in the text, which says…

    If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. and then moves on to the next rule.

    Glenn…

    You keep suggesting that it was only “male prostitutes,” etc which God meant, but his command was ALL homosexual activity. NO exceptions.

    Says who?

    So, are you saying each line in the HC is a rule for all time? Do you shave your beard and cut your hair on the side of your head, Glenn?

    YOU do not believe that these are universal rules. You pick and choose. On what basis is one rule universal and another not?

    Asking reasonable questions is NOT called heresy, Glenn, it’s called Bible study or textual research, but asking questions is not heresy. Disagreeing with Glenn is not heresy. Last I checked, Glenn is still no god and we are not bound to agree with Glenn.

    Sorry about that.

    Glenn…

    If he was living in Israel in OT times, HE would have been stoned as a false teacher and blasphemer.

    Source? Well, blasphemy, sure, IF I were blaspheming. But disagreeing with Glenn and asking reasonable questions simply isn’t the same as blasphemy. For what it’s worth, Glenn, since you presumably break the Sabbath, I would assume you, too, could be stoned by OT law.

    Are you calling for a return to those good ol days?

    ~Dan

  198. Regarding the difference between 18 and 20 i was simply making the point that 18 is a list of rules for moral purity, while 20 is the punishment for violating those rules, sorry if there was confusion.

    “Yes, textually and contextually, those pagan Canaanites with their ritual sex orgies having men sleeping with me, that does seem quite clear to me to be wrong and abusive of one’s sexuality. ”

    OK, I actually copy/pasted the actual literal text of Lev 18:22, I’ve also copy/pasted the actual literal text of the introduction to Lev 18. Nowhere in those actual literal texts is any actual literal reference to ‘ritual sex orgies” or “abuse of one’s sexuality”. Since these terms don’t actually appear in the text, it seems quite bizarre to argue that they appear in the text. Can you quote the text where these things appear?

    “Why would it be?”

    Well, as I look at the actual literal text of Lev 18 and 20, I see no reference to hair. So I would conclude that the hair issue is of a different category than the sexual purity issues and shouldn’t be introduced into this conversation as it only provides more obfuscation.

    “I don’t presume that. I read in the text and context that these were rules specifically for ancient Israel and I don’t presume that they should all apply today. Why would I?”

    Since you are clearly arguing that the holiness code rules do not apply today, then you have three options if you want to be consistent.

    1. The entire holiness code is still in effect. The standard you expect us to adhere to.
    2. The entire holiness code was ONLY for ancient Israel. The standard you are actually arguing for.
    3. That there should be some selective application of the holiness code.
    3a. That there is some “standard” which allows people to decide which apply based on things like Reason, experience, or some other arbitrary measure. The standard you say you are arguing for.
    3b. That the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus changed the entire paradigm and that there are certain aspects of the holiness code that are explicitly or implicitly abrogated in the new covenant. The standard that the folks in this discussion and the vast majority of Christendom and Judaism have advocated for two thousand plus years.

  199. paynehollow says:

    Yes, textually, number two is correct.

    We are not under the HC, that was part of Israel’s understanding of what God required specifically for them. No where does the text say this is a code for all times and all people, in fact, it specifically is specific to Israel in that time and place. Period.

    I think this is the problem that you all are having, like this:

    My town passed some laws. Those laws included Don’t Litter, Don’t Kill and Don’t Drink 48 oz Coca Colas.

    I moved away from that town to a new town. In this new town, ALL the laws MUST be the same. But somebody tells me, “No, it’s not illegal to drink 48oz Cokes here.” I scoff at him. IF you say, “That law for that other town about the cokes is not valid or true here, then you MUST be rejecting ALL the laws. Do you support MURDER, then??!!”

    Rules change. Times and places change. Rules against harm are valid regardless of whether or not they appear in the Bible. We might be informed by some of what we learn from ancient Hebrew history, but we are not under their rule set.

    Do you think we are under the HC?

    No one has ever told you that each of those laws is for all time and people. The Bible does not tell us this. INDEED, YOU DON’T believe it is for all time and people since you cut your hair. And speaking of that…

    Craig…

    Well, as I look at the actual literal text of Lev 18 and 20, I see no reference to hair. So I would conclude that the hair issue is of a different category than the sexual purity issue

    Why?

    THERE IS NO Lev 18 and 20 separators. That is a modern construct. Do you understand that? In the original, it just all flowed one from the other, with all of the passages in Lev 17 – 26 being The Holiness Code for Ancient Israel.

    So, on what basis would you lift Lev 19 out of the HC and make it a different category of rule?

    Or, looking within Lev 18, there is a rule against menstrual sex. Do you think God condemns menstrual sex? Really?

    Craig…

    That the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus changed the entire paradigm and that there are certain aspects of the holiness code that are explicitly or implicitly abrogated in the new covenant.

    On what basis – what rubric do you use for saying, THIS rule is not for me.THAT rule is for me. THAT rule was a ceremonial rule. THAT rule was specific to ancient Israel…?

    Do you have ANY rubric that is consistent or is it entirely based on whim and tradition (with the tradition not having any consistent rubric, either)? Do you do it based on Even/Odd chapters, with Even Chapters being universal?

    What is your basis/rubric for making these decisions, since it is not specified in the text?

  200. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Since these terms don’t actually appear in the text, it seems quite bizarre to argue that they appear in the text. Can you quote the text where these things appear?

    My apologies for being less than clear. Textually, Ancient Israel was moving into land near the Canaanites. CONtextually, historically, we know that the Canaanites were known for these practices. That’s what I meant. I’m sorry if that was unclear.

    ~Dan

  201. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    “What is the literary style being used?”

    No, the question is did God inspire the writers of the text to communicate His message in an accurate factual manner.

    ? That’s not the question I’m wondering. That might be YOUR question, but if you are going to look at a sacred text and try to take it seriously, “what literary style is being used?” is a rational question.

    Beyond that, you are presuming/insisting that God can only communicate his message in an accurate, literally factual manner. Why must it be that way? If you look at the parables, is the question (for you) still “Is God communicating the message in an accurate factual manner..?”? Because, obviously, if it’s a parable, it’s not factual. Knowing the literary style being used would be important, wouldn’t it?

    Regardless, your position is begging the question. You and I are agreed in our opinion: God inspired Scripture. Now, a next reasonable question: What literary styles are being used to communicate the messages? What is wrong with that question? You’ve already agreed it’s important to know the literary style, so… why not?

  202. Despite your protestations, there is NO textural evidence of your contention.

    “That might be YOUR question, but if you are going to look at a sacred text and try to take it seriously, “what literary style is being used?” is a rational question.”

    Since I’ve already agreed that the literary style is an important consideration, the fact that you need to make this a point of contention seems strange.

    “Beyond that, you are presuming/insisting that God can only communicate his message in an accurate, literally factual manner.”

    The problem here is that you are presuming to attribute to me a position which I have not taken. For you to make statements like this distracts from rational conversation.

    “Why must it be that way?”

    Since I’ve never said it must be that way, I wonder why you ask.

    The interesting thing is that you have ruled out the possibility that God could have chosen to inspire the writers to record actual factual history, based on absolutely no evidence beyond something that you vaguely remember from school 30 years ago. So I guess it is reasonable to ask. Why must it be that way? Why would you presume to limit God’s communication style?

    “If you look at the parables,…”

    Of course the parables don’t depict actual events. They’re parables. A fictional story designed to make a specific point. The problem is that parables are presented as parables, not as history. The OT historical books are not presented as parables. When Jesus refers to OT events He treats them as history, not fiction. You are trying to suggest that because two different literary styles exist, that they must therefore be the same or something equally foolish. If literary style is such a major issue, why would anyone apply the rules for one style (parable) to a completely different style (history)?

    “Regardless, your position is begging the question.”

    Just repeating something doesn’t make it true.

    ” What is wrong with that question? ”

    What planet are you on? I’ve already said multiple times that literary genre is one important piece of the puzzle Why would you ask such a stupid and pointless question?

    Why would you presume that God is limited by to certain literary genres?

    I will say that I can see why Glenn and others question your orthodoxy. I can also see that there is some merit to Glenn’s comparison between you and JW’s or (R)LDS. You say we agree that scripture is inspired by God, yet, I’m not sure that what you mean by inspired is in line with what the vast majority of Jews and Christians have meant by inspired for thousands of years. It’s pretty clear that you say scripture is inspired, yet than you argue that God’s ability to inspire is somehow limited by His use of humans. You say scripture is inspired, yet that inspiration is somehow limited by literary genre. Somehow God can speak the universe into existence, yet can’t inspire His chosen writers to accurately write down His message to humanity. Somehow God can inspire people to write this stuff down, but He can’t seem to prevent them from adding in their own personal biases.

    I guess I just have this strange view of God that sees him as, oh I don’t know, omnipotent or something. It’s just too bad that my view of God is so far off the reservation. I guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with a God that can be limited by things like literary genre and peoples personal biases.

  203. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Despite your protestations, there is NO textural evidence of your contention.

    ? I thought I clarified my point quite clearly Craig. I made it clear that my contention is that the text speaks directly of the people of Canaan. (“you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan”). Thus, the TEXT does support my CONTENTION. It just does.

    Beyond the text, in the context of history, we know that the Canaanites had these pagan practices of which I spoke, or at least that’s what I read.

    In what way am I mistaken? IS Leviticus speaking of the people of Canaan and their ways? Yes, that’s a simple fact. DID the people of Canaan partake in these pagan rituals that involved fertility sex rites, including between men? That’s what I’ve always heard. Where am I mistaken?

    Craig…

    the fact that you need to make this a point of contention seems strange.

    I didn’t make it a contention, you did, or at least it sounded like that. In response to my comment about the question of literary style, you said…

    No, the question is did God inspire the writers of the text to communicate His message in an accurate factual manner.

    Seemingly saying, “NO, the question is not what the literary style is, but did God communicate in a factual manner…” which sounds like you’re saying that a literary style that isn’t factual isn’t possible. Perhaps I misunderstood you. Did you mean that God CAN and DOES use non-factual manners of writing/communicating?

    Craig…

    Since I’ve never said it must be that way, I wonder why you ask.

    Apparently I have misunderstood you. For that, I beg your pardon. But perhaps you can understand that when you said, and I quote:

    the question is did God inspire the writers of the text to communicate His message in an accurate FACTUAL manner. [emphasis mine]… that I took it to mean that you were “insisting that God can only communicate his message in an accurate, literally factual manner.”

    So, when you say, the question is “does God communicate in an accurate, factual manner,” what did you mean, if not “factual…”?

    Craig…

    The problem is that parables are presented as parables, not as history.

    Many of the parables are NOT presented as parables, Jesus just starts telling a story. JUST LIKE the OT does not present itself as a history or an epic, it just starts telling a story. On what textual basis must we consider it a history? Does the poetry identify itself as poetry? Does each metaphor identify itself as metaphor? Is that what you’re saying, that the Bible always tells us what literary style is being used? If so, clearly the Bible does not do this, so I doubt that is what you’re saying, so what are you saying?

    On what basis do you think it must be counted as history, in the modern, more literal sense?

    When Jesus refers to OT events He treats them as history, not fiction.

    Again, says you. Jesus does NOT literally say, “And as the literal history story found in Exodus says…” He just doesn’t. Factually speaking. Rather, he starts talking about the story of Moses or Jonah. But I do that all the time, yet I don’t consider each story literal history. Is that your complete “evidence” that they are “history,” that Jesus references the story? If so, isn’t that evidence undone by the fact that people reference stories all the time without considering them history?

    Craig…

    Why would you presume that God is limited by to certain literary genres?

    I don’t. I look at the literary and historic evidence to strive to determine the literary style, just as, I presume, you do… and if I find evidence that story X is done in a poetic style, I tend to think of it as poetic, and if I find evidence that story Z is done in an epic style, I tend to think of it as epic, short of any evidence to the contrary. It’s all about the evidence. Do you have any evidence that these are not written in the style they appear to be written and that, historically speaking, would be apt?

    It sounds like you think that God would be wary of inspiring myth or epic, but I don’t see why, beyond it sounds like your tradition is wary of myth or epic storytelling (look at Glenn’s response, as if the mere suggestion that a story might be written in a mythic style is, itself, a sign of disrespect, as if there were something innately “bad” about a certain literary genre.)

    Craig…

    It’s pretty clear that you say scripture is inspired, yet than you argue that God’s ability to inspire is somehow limited by His use of humans.

    I’m just being rational about it Craig. SURE, God could have inspired ancient Israelites to write their text in modern English or using modern scientific jargon, but why WOULD God do that? Is there any evidence that God SHOULD have done that? No, I can think of none. Similarly, is there any evidence that God SHOULD have had the people of a time period pass on stories in a style not typical of their time? None that I can think of.

    Craig…

    You say scripture is inspired, yet that inspiration is somehow limited by literary genre.

    I have not said that. If anything, it sounds like YOU are saying that. I’ve said quite the opposite, God can use any literary genre. I’m just talking about the evidence… is there ANY evidence that God inspired stories in the style that you are speaking of, which historians would call a more modern style of history telling?

    Craig…

    Somehow God can speak the universe into existence, yet can’t inspire His chosen writers to accurately write down His message to humanity.

    I have not said that. I DO think the OT stories are passed on in an accurate manner, just not a modern historic or scientific manner. The Genesis story is told in a mythic manner, common to the people of the day, originally told in Hebrew. I don’t see any evidence that it was or should have been written in English in a modern scientific manner.

    Again, it’s about the evidence. And I was questioning your dependence upon literary style because you seem to have an aversion to non-factual styles of writing, as if they were somehow inherently wrong.

    IF God inspired a mythic style Creation story, would that be innately wrong, in your opinion? Do you have any evidence to support that it isn’t written in a mythic style?

    Craig…

    Somehow God can inspire people to write this stuff down, but He can’t seem to prevent them from adding in their own personal biases.

    Of course, God can inspire whatever God wants. I have not said this. I’m talking about the evidence, Craig. In serious scholarship and Bible study, you go where the evidence goes and, because I take the Bible seriously, that is what I’m trying to do.

    Do you have any evidence to support your apparent bias against myth and epic storytelling? On the one hand, you appear to agree with me that understanding the literary styles is important and that God can use any literary style God wants, but at the same time, you seem to disdain certain literary styles. Why? Or are you?

    ~Dan

    • Dan the heretic now has a God who lies. A God who gives myths that people would mistakenly accept as true stories. The Creation account is 100% historical, as is everything in Genesis, and yet the heretic says it just a myth. So when Jesus talked about Adam & Eve being literal when he talked about what marriage has been from the beginning (Adam & Eve; and not Adam & Steve or Madam and Eve), he knew it was nothing but mythology, so he was lying also when he was pointing to it as truth.

      Satan is the father of lies, and Dan is one of his minions. He even lies about what Lev. 18 says in context, the real context of which has been given numerous times, and yet Mr. Trabue-in-denial-liar heretic reinterprets the entire Bible to fit his agenda, just like every cultist out there. Mr. Leopard theology only chooses parts he wants to believe and then relegates the rest to “culture” or someone horse-crap claim, with absolutely nothing but his demonic “hunches” to back him up.

      It is crap like this which got him banned from my site.

  204. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, I’m a serious student of the Bible, I take it seriously and am striving to walk in God’s paths, using the Bible as a great learning tool. Even if you disagree with my opinions, that does not change my motives and intent.

    Are you saying that God can not and WOULD not use a mythic style to pass on a story? Do you think that myths are inherently evil and/or wrong/bad?
    That anyone who would tell a myth is, by definition, lying?

    Do you not see how that is irrational and that there are, in fact, many sincere people of good faith who look to the text and honestly just think that the most biblically correct way to view this writing style in the creation story is as myth? NOT because they want to “lie” or to “side with the devil” or because of evil intent, but simply because that seems the most rational and biblical explanation, at least to them?

    Are you saying that if people are (in your presumed estimation) too stupid not to recognize the presumably evil nature of myths, that they can’t be saved because of their stupidity?

    Or do you recognize that sincere Christians of good will and intent sometimes simply disagree?

    Craig, would you agree with me on that – that sometimes (on topics like this) Christians of good will and intent sincerely disagree? Do you think Glenn is perhaps over reacting a bit?

    Just curious.

    Dan

    • Dan “a serious student of the Bible”?!?!??!?!?!

      That is one of the most hysterical things I’ve read in a long time. A rank heretic who practices eisegesis and leopard theology, blasphemes God on a regular basis, has no clue as to the particular genre of text he looks at, and yet claims to be “a serious student of the Bible”!!!

      Oh, my side aches from laughing so much at such a fool.

  205. paynehollow says:

    I am very glad to bring some joy to your day. You seem like you probably need a bit of laughter and joy.

    But factually speaking, Glenn, what do you call someone who has studied the Bible their ENTIRE life, for 45 years now since I’ve been reading, and even before that when my parents and Sunday School teachers taught me songs and read me stories and verses; who has read the Bible all of his adult Christian life, praying over, spending hours contemplating these great Truths; who has gone to Bible studies, read Bible teachers, gone to camp and retreats to study the Bible, every year for all my 45 reading years; who has memorized verses and researched historical context and information; who reads the poetry and prose of the Bible for the sheer joy and glory of it; who laughs at the Bibles little jokes, cries at its heartbreaking stories and is inspired to be a better person by its Truths… and has shared all of this with his children, family and others?

    I mean, again, disagree with me all you want, call me an idiot who is unable to understand if you want, but I don’t see how you could possibly say, given the facts, that in the real world, I’m not a serious student of the Bible. What would it take to be a “serious student of the Bible” in your estimation? Simply agreeing with you and others who try to bully their opinions on others? No, I respect the Bible too much to simply bow to peer pressure to agree when I don’t think their position is rational or biblical.

    If nothing else, I would think a fellow Bible student would respect that biblical tenacity.

    Come, let us reason together, Brother Glenn.

    ~Dan

    • A “serious” student of the Bible wouldn’t have such a low view of Scripture as you do, nor would he be a heretic as you are.

      Length of time and all the things you claim to have done in the religious realm does not make you a “serious” student. You are a “student” who only seeks ways to make the Bible agree with you. A “serious student” is a good exegete, something you are far from.

      Go away you foolish little man. I have no respect for your claims, and really have no respect for you false teachings and beliefs. Just like I have no respect for Mormon or JW teachings and beliefs. We are not called to respect false teachings.

  206. paynehollow says:

    What specifically do you mean by a “low view…” of Scriptures? Because it sounds like you’re conflating “I disagree with Glenn’s opinion on the best interpretation for a passage…” with “I don’t value the Bible.

    Glenn…

    You are a “student” who only seeks ways to make the Bible agree with you.

    But Glenn, I have changed my views to agree with my understanding of the Bible several times. So, demonstrably, that is not what has happened, as a rule, here. I’m just talking about facts. Factually, I held the “gay” position that you hold now, or something like it. I changed my position to be more respectful of and hold closer to my understanding of the Bible.

    Are you saying that I should move AWAY from what I think the Bible teaches to align more with what you believe? Wouldn’t THAT be exactly a low position of the Bible?

    “I honestly think the Bible teaches X, but Glenn and many others give me grief over my understanding. They call me names, they call me heretical, they call me stupid or ignorant… maybe I’ll just change my view to align with theirs, just to avoid that grief and harassment…”

    Wouldn’t THAT be the true “low view” of the Bible, to place my understanding of it beneath human tradition and opinion?

    ~Dan

  207. paynehollow says:

    John, does “bless you who are poor… but woe to you who are rich…” does that mean JUST what is written on the page, or do you interpret that to mean, “Well, not LITERALLY poor… nor LITERALLY rich…”?

    When Jesus commands his followers to sell their belongings and give to the poor, do you take that literally or interpret it a bit? Maybe even to mean something contrary to the literal words?

    When James says, “It is the rich who are oppressing you,” do you take that literally?

    When Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle…” do you take that literally?

    When, in the OT laws, it says, “Don’t cut the hair on the side of your head or trim your beard,” do you take that literally? I can see from your photo that you don’t (or if you do, you are defying at the literal interpretation).

    Jesus says, DO NOT store up treasures, do you take that literally and refuse to save money and stuff?

    The OT says, “IF a man rapes a woman, he must marry her…” do you think it right to force our loved ones to marry a rapist? Do you KNOW how crazy and immoral that would be?!

    The thing is, we ALL interpret the Bible. You don’t take each line literally, nor do I, nor does Glenn. Regardless of whether we agree with each other, one is LITERALLY a serious student of the Bible IF one studies it.

    Have you studied the Bible for 45 years, John, spending hours a week reading it, praying over it?

    I may not be a PERFECT student of the Bible, but I do factually take it seriously and study it seriously. If one flawed student of the Bible disagrees with an interpretation of another flawed student of the Bible, it doesn’t mean that neither one is not a student of the Bible.

    ~Dan

  208. “Did you mean that God CAN and DOES use non-factual manners of writing/communicating?”

    No, I am suggesting that God (who is actually God by the way), can communicate in any way he chooses. He is not bound by human constraints like literary genres. For you to keep suggesting that He is is just strange.

    “Do you think we are under the HC?”

    Do you somehow think it moves the conversation forward to ask questions I’ve already answered.

    “…that I took it to mean that you were “insisting that God can only communicate his message in an accurate, literally factual manner.””

    The first problem is that you took it wrong. You could probably have figured it out by seeing that I said “No, the question is did God …”. Or you probably could have figured it out because I didn’t use words like “insisting or insisted”. But since those subtleties escaped you, maybe you could try it again and read what I actually wrote, rather than what you took it to mean. It’s a little strange that you are the one insisting that God couldn’t have inspired the writers to write in a “accurate, fact based manner”, while accusing me of doing exactly what you are hanging your whole hunch on.

    “Many of the parables are NOT presented as parables,”

    Really, are you suggesting that Jesus’ audience was unaware of His telling parables? Are you suggesting that when Jesus told people what the parables meant, that they were somehow confused as to the nature of the story? Are you suggesting that Jesus intentionally misled people by presenting parables as something else? I think that you are assuming that it is somehow difficult to identify metaphor or poetry or parable, yet I don’t think it’s nearly as difficult as you seem to think.

    “On what basis do you think it must be counted as history, in the modern, more literal sense?”

    On what basis do you continue to ask this question which has been answered.? On what basis do you inject these irrelevant qualifiers to the term history? On what basis do you suggest that God is unable to inspire the writers of this “inspired” work to write in a manner that accurately reflects events as they actually happened? Are you suggestion that the uneducated “bronze age” writers were incapable of accurately reporting events? That they just didn’t care? That their audience was so unsophisticated that they wouldn’t know the difference? That God’s story just wasn’t compelling enough and needed to be punched up a little? Do you have ANY actual evidence AT ALL that people NEVER EVER communicated events in an accurate factual manner before some arbitrary date?

    “On what basis do you think it must be counted as history, in the modern, more literal sense?”

    I’m not making that claim.

    “Rather, he starts talking about the story of Moses or Jonah.”

    Yes, He talks about that and references the events as if they happened “As Jonah spend 3 days… So must the Son of Man…”.

    ” But I do that all the time, yet I don’t consider each story literal history.”

    So, I wasn’t aware that your behavior was the standard by which things are judged. In other words who cares what you do.

    ” Is that your complete “evidence” that they are “history,” that Jesus references the story?”

    If you had read what I literally factually wrote, you would know that this is not literally factually true. You would know this because I didn’t say this. I said that for me this is plenty, but then I listed other things. Again, had you read what I wrote, I would have been spared responding to this tripe.

    “Do you have ANY rubric that is consistent or is it entirely based on whim and tradition…”

    Asked an answered, do you get some sort of jolllies by asking the same things over and over again?

    “If so, isn’t that evidence undone by the fact that people reference stories all the time without considering them history?”

    No because Jesus is not just any “people”. Again, I was unaware that what “people reference” is somehow the arbiter of what is true.

    “I don’t. I look at the literary and historic evidence to strive to determine the literary style,…”

    You say you don’t limit God to any literary genre, then you promptly contradict yourself. If as you say (again without providing any real evidence) , that the ONLY literary genre(s) available to the writers that God inspired to record the OT were myth and epic, then by definition you restrict God to the two genres that you allege were the only options. Why would you insist that God’s revelation was confined to only the literary genres that YOU recognize? I’ve acknowledged that God “could” have used any literary genre the he wanted. Really, isn’t God ultimately the author of ALL literary genres anyway? Further, you say you follow the “evidence” (that you haven’t provided), yet you a priori exclude one possible literary genre (accurate fact based reporting of events) before you even start. How is that open minded inquiry?

    “It sounds like you think that God would be wary of inspiring myth or epic, but I don’t see why,…”

    I don’t see why it would sound like that since I’ve specifically, accurately, factually said the exact opposite. Perhaps the fact that you either interpret what I say in a way that is the opposite of what my words say, or you don’t feel like differentiating between what different people say.

    “I have not said that. If anything, it sounds like YOU are saying that”

    I find that shocking since I’ve quite clearly said exactly the opposite of what you claim you think I’ve said.

    ” I’ve said quite the opposite, God can use any literary genre. I’m just talking about the evidence… ”

    Really, you’ve been quite clear that God couldn’t have used accurate factual retelling of actual events. You keep talking about evidence, yet you never provide anything beyond some generic “this is what I learned in school” or “Well my logical Reasoning, blah blah blah…”. Do you know what evidence means?

    I can’t believe that you don’t see that this ” I DO think the OT stories are passed on in an accurate manner,…” and this “The Genesis story is told in a mythic manner, …”.

    “… just not a modern historic or scientific manner.” “I don’t see any evidence that it was or should have been written in English in a modern scientific manner.”

    Thank God, since no one is saying that either of these are the case.

    “Again, it’s about the evidence.”

    Or lack of evidence.

    “And I was questioning your dependence upon literary style because you seem to have an aversion to non-factual styles of writing, as if they were somehow inherently wrong.”

    i don’t have a dependence on literary style. You can tell this by what I’ve said. I don’t have an aversion to non factual literary genres, I love fiction. I do have an aversion to one individual making the pronouncement that all of a sudden literally every Christian and Jew for the last several thousand years is somehow wrong about the nature of the historical books of the OT.

    “IF God inspired a mythic style Creation story, would that be innately wrong, in your opinion?”

    No, I’ve already told you this, why must you ask again?

    “Do you have any evidence to support that it isn’t written in a mythic style?”

    I have a least as much evidence as you have to suggest that it is.

    “IF God inspired a factually correct 100% accurate Creation story, would that be innately wrong, in your opinion?”

    More importantly IF the creation story as reported in Genesis is an accurate factual recounting of the actual events would that damage your faith somehow?

    “Of course, God can inspire whatever God wants.”

    Except for factually accurate history. Why would you imagine that God (you know The Truth) would be satisfied with factually inaccurate history? Why would He set the bar so low?

    “I’m talking about the evidence, Craig. In serious scholarship and Bible study, you go where the evidence goes …”

    Yet somehow that evidence never actually appears to buttress your hunches.

    “Do you have any evidence to support your apparent bias against myth and epic storytelling?”

    Why do you keep insisting that I have a bias against myth, when I’ve said that I don’t? Are you incapable of understand simple English?

    “On the one hand, you appear to agree with me that understanding the literary styles is important and that God can use any literary style God wants,…”

    I have been quite clear that God can use any literary style He wants (Yet you say “appear”) I have also been very clear that God is not limited by human constructs like literary genres. Why do you appear to have so much trouble grasping a simple point which I have clearly articulated time and time again?

    “… but at the same time, you seem to disdain certain literary styles.. Why? Or are you?”

    Since I don’t disdain any literary genres, this question is officially stupid.

    “Craig, would you agree with me on that – that sometimes (on topics like this) Christians of good will and intent sincerely disagree?”

    I think it’s possible. However, I’m becoming less convinced of your goodwill and good intent.

    “Do you think Glenn is perhaps over reacting a bit?”

    At one point I might have said yes he is, but now I’m less sure. I actually think that he’s made two really good points about you. It does seem that more and more often the following things seem to be the case.

    1. That your arguments are much more similar to the atheists who comment here than they are to the folks who you call “brothers”.
    2. Your theology (I’m not really sure your collection of hunches constitutes a theology but…), seems much closer in nature to the JW and (R)LDS folks than to Orthodox historic Christianity.

  209. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    are you suggesting that Jesus’ audience was unaware of His telling parables?

    No, I’m not. I think that the parables and myths and epic stories and poetry within the Bible are all pretty obvious.

    Craig…

    It’s a little strange that you are the one insisting that God couldn’t have inspired the writers to write in a “accurate, fact based manner”, while accusing me of doing exactly what you are hanging your whole hunch on.

    This whole conversation is strange. I am not the one saying that God is limited in inspiration. You APPEAR to agree with me, then, that God certainly could inspire myth and that this would not be false or wrong. So…

    If Jesus’ parables were obviously parables and there is nothing wrong with thinking of them as parables, then why wouldn’t we think of them as parables?

    SIMILARLY, If Genesis is obviously mythic and there is nothing wrong with thinking of it as mythic, then why wouldn’t we think of it as mythic?

  210. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    On what basis do you inject these irrelevant qualifiers to the term history?

    1. We have AGREED that understanding the literary style employed is important for textual study.

    2. We know, historically, that “modern history” style of telling history began – as far as we know, based on the evidence – BEGAN becoming more normative circa 500 BC.

    3. Therefore, the qualifier, “modern history telling” is an important part of the discussion, when looking at the literary style.

    On that basis.

  211. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    On what basis do you suggest that God is unable to inspire the writers of this “inspired” work to write in a manner that accurately reflects events as they actually happened?

    I haven’t said this, I don’t believe it. God can do anything. I’m talking about evidence. IS there ANY evidence that God had the bronze age writers write in English, to describe physics or to write in a modern history style? No, there is not.

    Craig…

    Are you suggestion that the uneducated “bronze age” writers were incapable of accurately reporting events?

    I’m saying quite clearly that there is no historical record or evidence that they did. Cultures have styles, customs, approaches to storytelling and it is presumptuous and a mistake to believe that a culture 4,000 years ago would feel compelled to write in a style that makes you feel comfortable.

    It’s about the evidence, or lack thereof. That, and not trying to presume an ancient culture would think or record just like we would.

    Craig, we use the number 0. It is an indispensable part of our mathematics. Therefore, ancient hebrews also obviously used 0, too, right? I mean, of course they did, because we do…

    Do you get my point?

  212. If I may summarize.

    My position is that God could inspire the writers of the OT histories to write in a genre that was not common according to you during this time period.

    You appear to agree that God can do anything He wanted except this.

    You have provided no evidence to support your claim that the ONLY genres of history pre 500 BC are epic and myth. You keep saying that you followed the evidence, yet somehow won’t share the evidence you followed. You seem to confuse Dan’s idea of what is rational or reasonable with actual evidence. I understand that you find this rational and Reasonable, it seems like one person’s hunch is setting the bar pretty low.

    Look, at this point I honestly just don’t care. If you want to stand alone with your hunches that’s fine by me. I’ll stand with the vast majority of Jewish and Christian thought and can rest comfortably there.

  213. paynehollow says:

    Thanks for trying to summarize, but you still don’t understand my position…

    You appear to agree that God can do anything He wanted except this.

    I can see how you got that because that is NOT what I said… so I guess I don’t really see how you got that. Indeed, I SAID THE OPPOSITE. Funny.

    No, I do not believe and have not said that. I said, “God can do anything. I just see no evidence that he caused people to write in a style not common to the day, in a language not theirs, using scientific terms that they didn’t know. God COULD do it, but why would God?” That is what I have said.

    Again, I simply see no evidence. The only reason I can see to even guess that God might inspire people to write in a different style is cultural bias – presuming that other cultures should do what is normative for us, today… that there style is “bad” but our style is “right” and “good” – but that does not seem rational to me and I see no evidence for it, so I don’t see any reason to believe it.

    Craig…

    you have provided no evidence to support your claim that the ONLY genres of history pre 500 BC are epic and myth.

    Again, not my position. I have not said that the ONLY genres of history were epic and myth. I am saying these are the only known genres – these are the styles used in that time period. It could be that there were other genres, but we have no evidence of it, not that I know of.

    IF you have evidence for it, or for unicorns or for flying dragons, I’d honestly love to see it. I would become more informed and more knowledgeable. But with no evidence, I have no great reason to presume that it existed. COULD it have? Sure, but there is no evidence for it. Just like unicorns or flying dragons could have existed, but I see no evidence for them.

    Do you understand the difference between “He’s claiming they don’t exist” and “he’s saying there is no known evidence that they exist…”?

    And if you are not familiar with the concept of “modern history” telling versus earlier history telling, here is the wiki page on it to help…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History#Historical_methods

    ~Dan

  214. Dan,

    What part of I just don’t care about your hunches any more do you not understand. Feel free to stand alone with you hunches, I just stopped caring after answering the same questions over and over. I get it, you are committed to your hunch despite, it apparently being shared by essential no one. So, please by all means keep your precious hunches, I’m just beyond caring.

  215. 300+ comments
    Numerous requests for evidence
    The best you can do is Wikipedia

    Priceless just priceless.

    • Wikipedia is fine if he uses it as a source, but we must produce clinical research with multiple supporting reports and none can be from a conservative. …also priceless.

  216. ““Hittite” refers to an Indo-European lan-
    guage or a multilingual written culture of
    Anatolia of the Middle and Late Bronze Age
    (survey in Beckman 2009; anthologies in Hallo
    1997: 147–235; Hoffner 1998; Singer 2002).
    Hittite literature had a highly developed
    tradition of historical narrative, in the form
    of chronicles, deeds of specific kings,”

    “Reading the Hebrew Bible as a composite
    literature rather than as a unified scripture
    identifies genres such as HISTORICAL NARRATIVE,
    myth, poetry, wisdom and proverbs, laments,
    stories, love songs, and prophecy”

    ” As early as 5000
    b.c.e.
    , the Sumerians in southern Mesopotamia were building large cities complete with public water
    supplies and drainage, and by around 3100
    b.c.e.
    the Sumerians had pioneered the use
    of written notations to record their dealings”

    “By contrast with the universality of lyric poetry, epic poetry is found in some
    ancient cultures (Babylonia, India, Greece, and Rome) and not others (Egypt, China)”

    “There were historical traditions and sophisticated use of historical method in ancient and medieval China. The groundwork for professional historiography in East Asia was established by the Han Dynasty court historian known as Sima Qian (145–90 BC), author of the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian). For the quality of his written work, Sima Qian is posthumously known as the Father of Chinese Historiography. Chinese historians of subsequent dynastic periods in China used his Shiji as the official format for historical texts, as well as for biographical literature.. ”

    It would appear that this is not as cut and dried as some might think.

    John well said, but didn’t you know that Wikipedia is a peer reviewed scientific journal.

  217. paynehollow says:

    I pointed to wiki because this is so well known, just basic recorded history information, that I didn’t want to bother going back to research high school history books for you.

    As to your quotes, I’m not sure what point you’re making. Indeed, the texts in the Bible are historical narratives, that’s what I’ve been saying, just written in a more epic style, not in the more modern sense, which historians tell us didn’t begin until about 500 BC.

  218. No Dan, the point with the quotes is that it is possible to, without a burdensome amount of effort, find some evidence that what you insist on calling “modern” historical writing existed before you suggest it did. Further, that epic poetry was not nearly as universal as you suspect.

    As to using Wiki , fine, just stop asking for peer reviewed clinical research from others if you’re not willing to provide it yourself.

    In fact, how about in general, if you hold yourself to the same standards you expect of others.

  219. paynehollow says:

    Craig, does God hate it when people have menstrual sex?

  220. paynehollow says:

    So, do you think that mentrual sex is a sin? And that all the Christians out there (I’m guessing this will hit most married Christians, but that’s just a guess) are out there sinning on a pretty regular basis? And that really, they don’t care about the Bible or following God because they don’t follow this OT rule specifically to Israel?

    Where is the uproar about all this God-hating menstrual sex sinners? I mean, you KNOW this has to be a MUCH larger number of people who call themselves Christian out there flagrantly ignoring this rule, indeed, who don’t think this rule applies to them, at all.

    How about creating a post denouncing mentrual sex, Glenn, is that forthcoming?

    Can Christians of good faith disagree about menstrual sex or do they all need to agree with you on this one, too?

    If Christians of good faith CAN disagree on this topic (and it really is quite clear in that rule specifically to ancient Israel), then why on this one and not on your opinion about marriage for gay folk?

    Craig, I’d welcome your answer to any of these, too.

    ~Dan

  221. paynehollow says:

    Craig, Re: Your hunch that the OT passages in question represent a more literal, modern-style history and John’s…

    views are held by the small group of people in his circle. Becsuse there is so much affirmation he thinks his views are the majority view.

    I don’t really have time to research this and demonstrate sources. It is my opinion that this is the majority opinion amongst literary researchers and historians. A quick search on my part has not uncovered any easy sources I can show you to support it, just as you have not produced any research to support the hunch that these texts represent a historical narrative in the modern, more literal sense.

    So for now, I’m leaving it there for now, maybe another day when I have more time or when you produce something to support your hunch, we could discuss it further.

    So, just to reiterate my position on this – one which you have not demonstrated is mistaken with any evidence…

    I have not said that the ONLY genres of history were epic and myth. I am saying these are the only known genres – these are the styles used in that time period that I am aware of. It could be that there were other genres, but we have no evidence of it, not that I know of. And just to clarify – my reference to myths and epic is speaking of the general style of telling history that is not strictly factual and strictly chronological. There are historical narratives extant from ancient times, but they all fit in the less literal, more fanciful style that seems to have been the common manner of passing on stories. AS FAR AS ANY EVIDENCE THAT I HAVE SEEN demonstrates.

    THIS is my understanding. Until such time as you produce some evidence to discount what I understand just from all the basic history readings I’ve had over a lifetime, I’ll stick with my understanding, because I would have to have evidence to change my opinion, and you have provided zero evidence to the contrary.

    ~Dan

    • I am saying these are the only known genres – these are the styles used in that time period that I am aware of. It could be that there were other genres, but we have no evidence of it, not that I know of
      The Bible is evidence of FACTUAL history. It is not epic or myth. It was written in a language style which anyone without a bias would understand as literal history.

      Why do other sins besides homosexuality not get the press and attention that homosexuality does? Well, no one is forcing us to sanction lying, gossip, fornication, adultery, menstrual sex, blasphemy, covetousness, etc, etc. No one is trying to redefine these sins as something God approves of. No one is trying to force our children in the government schools to accept them as normal. NO one is trying to force us to sanction these sins or else punish us with fines, jail, lawsuit settlements, forced indoctrination classes, etc. BUT those who practice homosexual behavior do every one of these things. Homosexualists are in our faces 24/7 demanding that their perversion be sanctioned and our children indoctrinated. And YOU KNOW that’s the reason.

  222. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    The Bible is evidence of FACTUAL history

    Clearly, the Bible is passing on stories of a historical nature. The question that serious, reasonable Bible students will ask is, “What genre of history-telling is this story in…?”

    The storytelling styles of the time were not literally factual, chronologically literal histories and there is nothing wrong with that. That is the style of the day and it would be silly to say that style was “wrong,” any more than to say, “To suggest they spoke in Hebrew is wrong!” It’s just the style and the language that were common to the day. Do we have any reason to think that these Hebrews told their stories in a different style than what is apparently the norm for the day?

    I think this is the problem that you all are having – presuming that there is something “wrong” about a simple genre style. “WHY, if God wanted to tell stories in the modern style with an emphasis on factual accuracy and literal history, then God would have! And, by God, of COURSE He would have because why wouldn’t He??!”

    That is the logical error or begging the question. Would God use the language of the day? Sure, why not? Would God use the literary styles of the day? Sure, why not? Is there any suggestion that God would defer to a style used in a different culture? What is that suggestion?

    I just don’t think you all are even getting the point in this regard.

    Again, you are free to believe what you want. But unless and until you provide some sort of rational, biblical reason why I should change my opinion, I can’t see why I would.

    Glenn…

    It was written in a language style which anyone without a bias would understand as literal history.

    I would just point out that I HAD a bias – a bias towards treating the Scripture the same way as you do, as literal history in the more modern sense of history telling. But even with that bias, factually, in the real world, I had to change my opinion because I didn’t think reason or Scripture supported that bias. So, clearly Glenn, people without that bias you speak of DO have a different opinion than you do.

    ~Dan

  223. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    Why do other sins besides homosexuality not get the press and attention that homosexuality does?

    ? Who asked that?

    I asked you, DO you consider menstrual sex a sin?

    Will you be writing posts, condemning all those – even so-called “christians” – who disagree with your take on this passage?

    Do you consider Christians who disagree with your opinion on this topic to be false teachers and heretics, because they disagree with your opinion?

    Those are the questions I asked, Glenn, Craig, John… anyone who wants to answer the questions I actually asked.

    ~Dan

  224. paynehollow says:

    John, I have never misrepresented your positions. I have ASKED questions about your positions and then said things like, “So, are you saying…” and summarized what I was hearing. To the degree that I have misunderstood any of your positions, I have apologized for the misunderstanding.

    It is, ironically, a misrepresentation of what I have said to make this false claim that I have misrepresented your positions. IF you can offer even ONE place where I have misrepresented your position, you will get a deep and sincere apology.

    If, on the other hand, you can not support that demonstrably false claim, I would suggest that you are the one who ought to step down and be a bit more humble.

    As to WHY you should answer these questions that I ask? Because they are reasonable questions, that’s why. If you are making the case “I believe X” and someone asks questions, “But does that mean…?” and “Can you see the problem here…” then, IF you are trying to, in good faith, make your case, you will want to answer the questions, if you can.

    If you can’t answer the questions and you are an honest person, you will at least admit that you can’t answer the questions.

    That’s why, because you all are good, honest Christian men, you should be prepared to make your case for your beliefs.

    Or do I believe in you all even more than you do?

    ~Dan

  225. Why do other sins besides homosexuality not get the press and attention that homosexuality does?

    Your question about menstrual sex not getting attention was answered by this response, because all you homosexualists have that as a constant refrain – “why don’t you complain about divorce, or adultery, or gambling,” yada, yada, yada, My response answered that canard of asking why no one talks about other sins.

    Yes, Dan, everyone has a bias.. The question is, which bias is the best bias to be biased by? Which is from a bias of truth? Ours is when it comes to reading the Bible. You call accurate historical records nothing but “story-telling” and then you want to decide what type of “storytelling” it is.

    YOu are a heretic. You are also extremely ignorant about all things regarding Scripture.

    Yes, John, we shouldn’t be feeding this troll. YOU have the accurate statement about how he always misrepresents us, builds straw men, obfuscates, equivocates and just plain lies.

    That’s why you’ll never see him on my blog.

  226. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    You call accurate historical records nothing but “story-telling”

    1. It IS literal story telling. These people passed down their stories. no one is arguing that and there should be no offense in noting a simple fact that yes, these people passed down stories. Agreed?

    2. re: “accurate historical records…” you’re begging the question, a logical error. The question is, “Are these stories passed down in a literally factual manner similar to how modern history is told…?” You are presuming the answer is Yes, then condemn me for daring to ask the question that is being asked. It is a reasonable question. Are you not able to answer the question without presuming the answer?

    3. That is, “How do we KNOW in what literary genre and storytelling mechanisms are being used…?” You can’t say, “These are factually literal historical narratives in the way we tell history today and we can KNOW this because they are factually literal historical narratives in the way we tell history today…” That’s begging the question.

    SO, on what basis do you presume to say these are factually literate histories in the modern sense? Do you have any answer to that question that doesn’t beg the question?

    re: the menstrual sex question: are you not going to ask those reasonable questions, too?

    What is it you all have against questions?

    ~Dan

    • This is my last comment here, as I am tired of dealing with foolish, heretic, non-Christian Dan.

      I was not “begging the question” by saying the Bible IS literal accurate historical records any more than it is begging the question to say 2+2=4. I don’t think you understand what begging the question is.

      For whatever reason (I know, you are the only reasonable and rational person here) you have decided that there are two kinds of history (at least), that being “history as they knew it” and “history as we know it today.” THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE when it comes to accurately recording history. I suppose in your view Luke also wasn’t telling history in the way we tell it today, and therefore Luke/Acts must be some sort of epic storytelling the way we tell history today.

      I presume that Genesis is factually literal histories in any age sense for the same reason I presume a book written about D-Day in Normandy is factually literal history; BOTH were written by people whose intent was to record factual literal history. DUH!!!

      OOPS, I forgot. In Dan’s view, God had no control as to what and how men wrote down what was to be passed down through history.

      And, by the way, there are many, many good theologians who believe that the records in Genesis are written in first hand, identified by the toledoths . E.g., God told Adam the creation narrative, explaining all the HE did to make Adam and Eve. Then Adam added his own story to the writings, ending at Gen.5:1a. From 5:1b to 6:9a the records by Noah were added; 6:9b to 10:1a by all three sons of Noah; 10:1b to 11:10a by Shem; 11:10b to 11:27a by Terah; 11:27b to 25:19a by Isaac; 25:19b to 372a by Jacob; and 37:2b to Exodus 1:1 by the sons of Jacob. Moses then took the records and compiled and edited them as he then took over writing the history of Israel until the end of the Torah. The evidence is compelling to any but evolutionists and liberals, who don’t want to be bothered by facts.

      Goodbye.

  227. “Craig, does God hate it when people have menstrual sex?”

    I don’t know.

    Does god hate it when people ask stupid questions?

  228. “And that all the Christians out there (I’m guessing this will hit most married Christians, but that’s just a guess) are out there sinning on a pretty regular basis? ”

    First, all Christians sin on a pretty regular basis.
    Second, made a little leap of logic there Skippy.

    I’ll regard this as an incredibly poor attempt at making another completely stupid point unless you can provide some actual scientific studies that confirm your WAG.

    “I don’t really have time to research this and demonstrate sources.”

    Which we all understand is code for “I did a quick Google search and realized that there weren’t any easily accessible real sources to support my hunch.”

    “It is my opinion that this is the majority opinion amongst literary researchers and historians.”

    So, we’re supposed to find your hunch about someone else’s hunch, for which you cannot provide any evidence, to be a credible hunch. You realize you’ve been very adamant that you’ve “followed the evidence”, yet when pressed can’t provide any. Now it all makes sense.

    “A quick search on my part has not uncovered any easy sources I can show you to support it,”

    As I just said.

    “just as you have not produced any research to support the hunch that these texts represent a historical narrative in the modern, more literal sense.”

    Actually I did provide you with a list of quotes that at worst cast doubt on your hunch about some other people’s hunches. There are two reasons why I haven’t provide you any thing.
    1. Your past history strongly suggests that you will either dismiss out of hand any source that somehow you don’t consider worthy.
    2. Over a period of several years I have given you copious references, sources, and quotes to support my positions. The vast majority of the time you fail to respond in any meaningful way .

    This has convinced me that it is a complete and total waste of my time to do your research for you. It’s not like this is some wild hair, fringe, position. I’m guessing that it would be easier for you to find support for the OT histories as history position, than the hunch you cling to. I just don’t think you’ll put forth an honest open minded effort to look at what’s there.

    “I have not said that the ONLY genres of history were epic and myth. I am saying these are the only known genres”

    This is a distinction without a difference.

    “– these are the styles used in that time period that I am aware of.”

    Which is a significantly different position than the one you took in the first half of this sentence. This is also why I feel that it is a waste of time to provide you with any sources. You have been abundantly clear that the linchpin in your entire hunch is “that I am aware of”. It has nothing to do with what actual evidence may or may not be there, as long as you don’t look for it, then you won’t be aware of it, and you can maintain your protect your precious hunch.

    “AS FAR AS ANY EVIDENCE THAT I HAVE SEEN”

    Again, since the only evidence you appear to look at is that which supports your hunch, this isn’t a very impressive standard of proof. Once more the focus is “I” not the actual evidence. You are clearly claiming to have “SEEN EVIDENCE” , yet for some reason you can’ or won’t let anyone else in on this compelling evidence.

    “It could be that there were other genres, but we have no evidence of it, not that I know of.”
    “not that I know of.”

    “i”

    Although i did provide you with enough quotes earlier to cast some doubt on this hunch, but I haven’t provided you with any evidence or anything.

    “THIS is MY understanding.”
    Really, I would never have guessed. Note the ‘MY”.

    “Until such time as you produce some evidence…”

    Until you show the least bit of interest in acknowledging the quotes I’ve provided (or debunking them. or in actually giving serious consideration to any evidence that is contrary to your hunch, I’ll pass on doing your research for you.
    “…to discount what I understand just from all the basic history readings I’ve had over a lifetime,”

    Readings that you can’t or won’t, reference. I guess we’ll just have to trust Dan’s memory, right?

    “I’ll stick with my understanding, because I would have to have evidence to change my opinion, and you have provided zero evidence to the contrary.”

    If you’d take even a cursory look at classic, historic Orthodox Christian and Jewish thought over the last few thousand years, I’ll bet you could find something.

    “? Who asked that?”

    ?Glenn did, will you answer?

    John,

    It’s a good question why we keep feeding him. At some point it’s just kind of fun to point out the inconsistencies.

    You know, the “You MUST PROVIDE ME WITH PROOF of every thing that I disagree with, and it MUST be proof that meets MY standards…” . Of course e’ve seen how much evidence Dan has brought to the table.

    • The thing that annoys me most about Dan is when he acts as though we’re going over something for the first time even though it’s been hashed out multiple times..

  229. That, and he pretends as though his hunches are some how in the “mainstream” of Christian thought, when they clearly are not. While acting like a simple premise that is overwhelmingly accepted by Orthodox Christians everywhere is actually some wacky out of this world suggestion.

  230. paynehollow says:

    Like I said, you provide some sort of evidence to support your hunches, I’ll consider them. But you can’t ask people to take you at your word.

    And I notice you all just refuse – over and over – to answer the questions that are asked (the ones that, when you can’t answer them, point to the holes in your logic) and choose to either ignore them altogether or answer OTHER questions that weren’t asked.

    You should note that your inability to provide evidence to support your positions and your repeated inability to answer the questions that poke holes in your guesses and opinions as a cause for a bit of humility on your part, and perhaps that will lead you on the path to trying to find answers, rather than killing the messenger.

    ~Dan

  231. paynehollow says:

    No, John, I don’t accept anything without evidence.

    For instance, you made a pretty wild accusation earlier, that I “have never NOT misrepresented my positions. That’s all you do.”

    I responded that I do not think I do, BUT, if you could point to even ONE place where I have done so (and it should be easy since I have “never” not done so), that I would gladly apologize. You have produced zero support for that claim. IF there was some evidence of it, I could apologize or explain your misunderstanding (more likely) and we could straighten that out, but if you produce no evidence, well, I have to sort of assume you are mistaken.

    Or, for instance, earlier Craig was pointing to Lev 18 as a whole chapter full of rules about sexual misconduct – rules that were universally wrong, if I understood him correctly. I asked him about the rule against menstrual sex, and he blew it off.

    I also asked if he realized that the HC was not broken down into chapters and did he have some reason to say that Chapter 18 were universal rules, but the rules in Chapter 20, which included commands to punish people, were somehow separate from the HC? Or if that the menstrual sex rule was separate?

    …and he did not answer. Again, if there is no support for his position – if these biblical examples undermines his position as I believe they do – then I have no reason but think his position is neither rational or biblical.

    You have to have support to make a rational argument. Provide support and you can make your case and change minds. Provide no support – or fail to answer the questions about holes in your argument – and you are not making a case, you’re offering unsupported opinions.

    ~Dan

  232. “Like I said, you provide some sort of evidence to support your hunches, I’ll consider them. But you can’t ask people to take you at your word.”

    You expect this of us , but you can’t or won’t live up to what you expect of others. I just love your consistency.

    “And I notice you all just refuse – over and over – to answer the questions that are asked (the ones that, when you can’t answer them, point to the holes in your logic) and choose to either ignore them altogether or answer OTHER questions that weren’t asked.”

    I’ve directly answered question after question. If I missed some, sorry. If you don’t like my answers, sorry. If you have something specific, demonstrate it. Although, show me the same courtesy you expect from others and answer the questions asked of you.

    “You should note that your inability to provide evidence to support your positions and your repeated inability to answer the questions that poke holes in your guesses and opinions as a cause for a bit of humility on your part, and perhaps that will lead you on the path to trying to find answers, rather than killing the messenger.”

    Pot meet kettle. I’ve provided you with a few quotes that call your entire premise into question. Have you responded to them directly? No. Have you provided evidence to refute them? No. Have you provided any evidence at all to support your position? No. Have you continued to pretend that your hunch is not some fringe hunch that literally no other Christian shares? No. Why won’t you provide evidence for your departure from historic Christian thought? You’ve already told us. It’s because you can’t find any. Doesn’t that surprise you? Seriously, If your hunch is at all reasonable, you should be able to find something, but no you can’t. But you expect others to do your research for you.

    “No, John, I don’t accept anything without evidence.”

    Since you won’t provide any, it seems you’ve accepted your current hunch without evidence. But, of course that’s different, you only had to convince you that your Reason is rational. Which doesn’t seem like much of a challenge for you.

    “I asked him about the rule against menstrual sex, and he blew it off.”

    Actually, this is a complete and total misrepresentation right here. I clearly did address your “point” with the amount of seriousness it deserved.

    To be factually literally accurate, you asked me ” Does God hate people who have menstrual sex.”. So, the best example you can come up with is that I “blew off” an unanswerable question. How the hell do I know if God “hates” menstrual sex?

    I guess that apology will be forthcoming now. But we both know you’ll just weasel out of doing what you said you’d do.

    ” BUT, if you could point to even ONE place where I have done so (and it should be easy since I have “never” not done so), that I would gladly apologize”

    Jut a reminder since you seem to forget what you say sometimes, although you have bizarrely accused me of slander when I quote you.

    “I also asked if he realized that the HC was not broken down into chapters and did he have some reason to say that Chapter 18 were universal rules, but the rules in Chapter 20, which included commands to punish people, were somehow separate from the HC?”

    Oh, but I actually did address this several times. I might not have done it in a direct answer to your direct questions, but I’ve clearly outlined my position on this topic. Also, Glenn did a fine job dealing with the punishment issue, I couldn’t add anything so why would I? I’m sure that your superior Reasoning skills demolished Glenn’s point, but I just must have missed that.

    “Or if that the menstrual sex rule was separate?”

    Again, I’ve addressed this in principle elsewhere. However when I (and others) have asked you essentially the same question, you’ve bobbed, weaved, and dodged giving a direct answer. You agree that everything on the list in Lev 18 is still wrong EXCEPT homosexual sex, yet you can’t give any reason why beyond your own “observations”.

    “You have to have support to make a rational argument. Provide support and you can make your case and change minds. Provide no support – or fail to answer the questions about holes in your argument – and you are not making a case, you’re offering unsupported opinions.”

    The sad thing about this repeated rant is that I honestly don’t think that Dan understands that he has just described his own position. He’s made claims that contradict thousands of years of Jewish and Christian thought, yet can’t or won’t acknowledge this, nor will he provide any evidence. He’s admitted that he can’t or won’t invest the time because his cursory search yielded absolutely nothing to support his hunch. He’s ignored, a series of quotes that call his hunch into question, but essentially ignored actually responding (other than some minor tangential semantic complaint). His past actions have made it abundantly clear that he will dismiss literally anything that he doesn’t like for the flimsiest of reasons (He dismissed something by Francis Schaeffer because he thought Schaeffer was “too Calvinist” and therefore unworthy of consideration. Not that the specifics of what I provided were “too Calvinist”, just that some blurb somewhere convinced him to ignore one of the greatest thinkers of the past century.), yet he continually expects us to provide “evidence”, yet dismisses anything that doesn’t meet his (unspoken) standards.

    But, he’s got enough gall to call us out for simply expecting him to abide by the same things he expects others to.

    Dan, I’ve said it time and time again, if you have evidence bring it on. I’ve admitted when I’ve been wrong before, no doubt, I’ll do it again. Now it’s your turn. You have the opportunity to show us all up. To demonstrate the superiority of your Reason. You could easily demonstrate that you are a much better person, by rising above the behavior you decry and just laying out an evidence supported case, answering questions, and rebutting contrary evidence.

    Instead, you just blame other people for behavior that you engage in.

  233. Dan,

    I said I wouldn’t, but I changed my mind. I’m going to give you an opportunity to demonstrate your openness to support for our position.

    I’m going to post a link or so and you can have as much time as you like to study, research, and debunk the claims made.

    I’d be willing to bet that John would start a new post just so you could do this. If he won’t then i would be happy to.

    I do have a couple of ground rules.
    1. You actually have to engage with what is said
    2. You can’t simply dismiss the content because you don’t like the source
    3. You need more than “My experience shows…” or “What I learned in High School..” or “It’s just not rational…” in order to be taken seriously.

    http://www.equip.org/articles/presumed-innocent-until-proven-guilty/
    http://www.equip.org/articles/biblical-archaeology-factual-evidence-to-support-the-historicity-of-the-bible/
    http://www.equip.org/articles/biblical-history-the-faulty-criticism-of-biblical-historicity/

    John,

    Thanks, I didn’t think I’d completely lost my mind. I guess I just kind of committed you to something, I hope that’s OK?

    • I think at the top of the page is a tab “discussion”. Post whatever you want up there. But I’d bet all the money I could borrow that you get no substantive response. Dans views are founded in feelings and what seems right. He has shown that he doesn’t think there are objective truths when it comes to the bible. IF anyone else (good intended folk, as he likes to say) has a different interpretation then that is enough for him to discount any others. If it is possible that his interpretation is correct that’s all he needs to latch on.

  234. I’ll see what happens, but thanks.

    I had a thought today about an earlier question in this thread and thought I’d do some checking and found a few things.

    1. Dan said “…“I’m striving to side with Truth, as I understand it…”. I find this interesting. Most would say “I’m striving to side with Truth.” and leave it at that. Dan feels compelled to add that he follows Truth only in so far as he understands it. It appears that he is denying any sort of transcendent Truth that is independent of anyone’s personal understanding. Instead seeming to predicate Truth on his understanding.

    2. Dan said the following.
    “…not salvation by blood payment for a sin,…”
    “…without a literal blood sacrifice…”
    “ But the Bible no where insists that this means that Jesus literally had to be a blood sacrifice…”
    “The blood sacrifice is a remnant of a more primitive time…”
    “…since we rationally believe that not every line in the Bible is to be taken as literal history…”
    “Why is it you never (rarely) answer questions that are asked of you, John?”
    “Clearly, “sin” is not LITERALLY “cleansed” by blood. CLEARLY, that is metaphor.”

    Yet Jesus clearly said this.

    28 For this is MY BLOOD of the new[a] covenant, which is SHED for many for the REMISSION OF SINS.
    24 And HE (Jesus) Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in MY BLOOD, which is SHED FOR MANY.
    20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in MY BLOOD which is SHED FOR YOU..

    Emphasis added.

    Two things jump out here.
    1. Jesus clearly said that His blood was shed for the remission of sins.
    2. That this remission of sins is clearly not for all

    I realize at this point I may be just making things worse, but this just hit me this morning.

  235. paynehollow says:

    Just a moment for a quick response…

    Dan said “…“I’m striving to side with Truth, as I understand it…”. I find this interesting. Most would say “I’m striving to side with Truth.” and leave it at that. Dan feels compelled to add that he follows Truth only in so far as he understands it.

    1. We ALL (who seek to side with Truth) side with Truth as we understand it.

    2. (Except, I guess, for those who side with Truth as someone else understands it.)

    3. By pointing out “as I understand it,” I’m just trying to keep me and us honest.

    4. WHOSE understanding of Truth do you side with, if not your own? Are you siding with Truth as your pastor tells you to understand it? As some televangelist understands it? Or your own understanding of Truth?

    5. And before you even go there, saying, “I’m siding with the Truth of God – NOT as I understand it, but as it is…” begs the question, “and how do you know the Truth of God, if not YOUR understanding? Has God decided it for you and told you specifically what to believe on all these points?

    6. And before you go there, saying, “The Truth as revealed in the Bible!” that begs the question, “And WHOSE understanding of the Bible are you relying on, if not your own?”

    7. Thus, as noted, we are ALL striving to understand Truth AS WE understand it.

    I don’t believe you can seriously have a problem with that.

    That seems more of a rabbit to chase than any real difference.

    One more…

    Two things jump out here.
    1. Jesus clearly said that His blood was shed for the remission of sins.
    2. That this remission of sins is clearly not for all

    And no one is disputing that the text says “blood shed for remission of sin…” Do you understand that? No one is saying, “nu uh, that ain’t what the text says…”, right?

    No, the question that needs to be addressed is, “But did Jesus mean that literally or metaphorically? And if literally, what in the world does that mean? Jesus literally gathers up a handful of his blood and gives it to God and says, “I’m paying that guy’s way…”?

    Or, is it not clearly a metaphor?

    The text also says that Jesus blood washes away our sin, and again, no one is disputing that this is literally what the text says. The question is, IS this metaphorical or literal? If literal, HOW does Jesus use his blood to “wash” away “sin” and “clean” our “souls…”??

    Taken literally, neither of those ideas means anything. It is obviously symbolic. A point that I think you must concede at least on some level by your refusal to answer the questions, “HOW does it ‘pay’ for sin?” “HOW does blood ‘wash away’ sin?”

    One more, from John…

    Craig didn’t blow off the menstrual sex question. He said he didn’t know.

    Craig clearly said or suggested earlier that Lev 18 was a list of sins, and I think he was intending to say that they were all universally sinful (he can let me know if that is his intent or not). Thus, if so, he has previously staked out a position that menstrual sex IS sinful. I was just trying to get him to clarify.

    If it’s not sinful, then he agrees with me that the HC is not a list of universal commands. Or at least, that would seem to follow, but he could tell me.

    ~Dan

  236. Dan,

    Your self serving response to your Truth comment doesn’t surprise me. I still find it interesting that you dance around the notion of objective Truth. The fact that there are things that are True despite our ability to understand them. Although you are right, it’s not really a major point, just something that jumped out at me.

    You hunch about the metaphoric aspects of Jesus blood would be more effective with some evidence. It would also carry more weight, if it wasn’t in the context of Jesus death and resurrection. I find it interesting that Jesus words in context were devoid of the terms “wash” or “away” , what was actually said was “for the remission of sins”. For you to attempt to divert the focus by inserting metaphorical language where none exists simply undermines your remaining shred of credibility.

    ” A point that I think you must concede at least on some level by your refusal to answer the questions, “HOW does it ‘pay’ for sin?” “HOW does blood ‘wash away’ sin?””

    I’ll concede that (just like your idiotic question about God hating people who have menstrual sex), you have asked a question that can’t be answered in a way that will satisfy you. I’ll say this, i don’t necessarily have to understand the mechanism of how Jesus blood remits sins in order to accept that it does. It is possible that the use of “wash away” language (although not used in the citations in question) is metaphorical language to describe a literal transformation. Jesus shed His blood as the final and ultimate sacrifice that fulfilled the sacrificial system. Instead of a repeated shedding of animal blood to cover (or remit or pay for or wash away or whatever), Jesus blood was shed as the once and final sacrifice. The problem is that you seem to be conflating metaphorical LANGUAGE with metaphorical ACTION. The reason why, there has been minimal engagement with you on this is the fact that you seem to assume that the rest of us are incapable of differentiating metaphoric language from what the language is describing.

    Now that I’ve removed one more nitpicky thing for you to bitch about, I’m sure you’ll get to some substance supported by evidence soon. Or must we suffer through another 300+ comments of misrepresentation and avoidance?

    With your continued misrepresentation of my response to your stupid menstrual sex question, you lose even more credibility. The fact that you ignore my direct responses to your “question” in favor of whatever you choose to read into my earlier comments says more than I ever could. To be even more clear, unlike you, I’ve given you a detailed explanation why I’m not simply jumping through your hoops to answer every single off topic and obfuscatory questions. So, again unlike you, it’s not simply a matter of my pretending that your questions don’t exist, it’s a matter of trying to skip the pointless diversions and focus on the ones worth dealing with.

    Finally, your complete ignoring of my 10:41 and 11:45 comments, really gives the lie to your claims that everyone just ignores you, and that no one has given you any support for the historic Christian position. Not surprising in the least.

  237. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Dans views are founded in feelings and what seems right.

    This is funny coming from the guy who won’t answer simple questions and prefers to just say, “nu uh,” or just ignore the questions/holes in your argument. For instance, you make a claim that I have misrepresented you. I respond by saying I don’t think so, but if there is even one time that you can show me where I have done so, I will gladly apologize… only to have that ignored.

    Time after time, I repeatedly ask for some evidence for the claims you all make. Time after time, the requests either get ignored, or you answer another question besides the one I ask, or provide “evidence” for some claim besides the one I asked.

    Again, it’s all about the evidence. If you have none, don’t ask people to accept your feelings and emotional hunches.

    ~Dan

  238. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I still find it interesting that you dance around the notion of objective Truth.

    It hasn’t happened. I believe in objective truth. Never said otherwise.

    But just to make sure you understand…

    I BELIEVE IN OBJECTIVE TRUTH.

    Craig, do you understand that I believe in objective Truth? That is, ALL Truth IS objective. If something is true, then it is true, objectively, with no doubt.

    IF it is true (as I suspect) that God supports and rejoices in loving, faithful, committed marriage relationships – gay or straight – then it is objectively true. IF it is true that God does not want us to kill each other, then it is objectively true that God does not want us to kill each other.

    IF it is true that God wants us to sometimes kill the children of our enemies, then that is objectively true.

    I believe in objective truth.

    I have never stated otherwise.

    Do you now understand my position about objective Truth, Craig?

    Craig…

    The fact that there are things that are True despite our ability to understand them.

    Again, of course, that is the case. IF you fail to understand that God didn’t create the world in six literal 24 hour days about 6,000 years ago and it turns out that God didn’t do so, the facts remain true, whether or not you understand them.

    Never said otherwise.

    Do you understand my position, there?

    Craig…

    I find it interesting that Jesus words in context were devoid of the terms “wash” or “away” , what was actually said was “for the remission of sins”. For you to attempt to divert the focus by inserting metaphorical language where none exists simply undermines your remaining shred of credibility.

    What in the name of all that is holy are you talking about? You offered one commonly used text in reference to salvation/forgiveness of sin. That text says literally, “this is MY BLOOD of the new covenant, which is SHED for many for the REMISSION OF SINS.” SIMILARLY, there is another NT text that says, “the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin…” TWO texts that speak of forgiveness of sin. Both use what appear to be symbolic or metaphoric language. I pointed out that an entirely reasonable question to ask is, “Is this text literal or metaphoric?” for each of those texts.

    There is no attempt to divert the focus: The discussion was about how do we sort out literal vs figurative texts. I looked at your text and I raised you one. TWO very similar texts, both on the same topic of forgiveness. WHAT diversion?

    I don’t know what in the world your response is about. I think things would go more smoothly if you would just address the questions asked of you rather than get all emotional, make smug false charges (“self-serving…”? Where in the heck is that from?!) and dodging the questions. This comment thread is a sprawling mess.

    You said…

    You hunch about the metaphoric aspects of Jesus blood would be more effective with some evidence.

    I said that these SEEM TO ME to be clearly metaphoric. They seem to lose all meaning if you try to make them literal. I don’t know what evidence you want? You want me to provide evidence that this SEEMS metaphoric to me? Okay, how about this? MY testimony is, “THIS seems metaphoric to me… I don’t see how it makes sense as a literal reading…” THAT is my evidence that I, indeed, find this to be reasonably metaphoric and not reasonably literal.

    What evidence are you asking for? To prove what, that I think what I think?

    This line of reasoning is not making any sense to me (and in case you want me to provide evidence: I, Dan Trabue, testify that, indeed, this line of reasoning does not make sense to me…)

    ~Dan

  239. paynehollow says:

    Okay, here is something substantive to AAALLLL this that I think we can begin to agree upon.

    Craig…

    I’ll say this, i don’t necessarily have to understand the mechanism of how Jesus blood remits sins in order to accept that it does.

    Well, okay, that’s fine. I have NO problem that you accept it as literal, even though you can’t explain it.

    But can you see that I see no reason to accept what you accept – even though you can’t explain it – just because you accept it? Can you accept that not everyone may accept it as literal, but they/we can still be Christians of good faith who simply see no reason to accept as literal something that even you can’t understand or explain how it works?

    Craig…

    It is possible that the use of “wash away” language (although not used in the citations in question) is metaphorical language to describe a literal transformation.

    Indeed, I think it is possible, too. We agree on that. My only difference is, I think it is not only possible, but likely, if for no other reason than it just seems to make no sense if you try to take it literally.

    Craig…

    Jesus shed His blood as the final and ultimate sacrifice that fulfilled the sacrificial system.

    And to this, I would just note that I do not believe we are living under a sacrificial system. I believe we are living under Grace. For God desires mercy, not sacrifice. I think the sacrificial system was what ancient Israel was used to and it has some incredibly rich (if troubled) symbology. Beautiful metaphors, I think, and this metaphoric symbology for grace (which is the system that we are under, have always been under, I think orthodox Christianity would teach) was no doubt especially meaningful to ancient peoples, steeped in sacrificial lore and ideology, and no doubt, still meaningful to many people today.

    But it is by grace that we are saved, not sacrifice. We are under a system of Grace, seems the more appropriate, logical, biblical and orthodox way of considering it.

  240. “Dans views are founded in feelings and what seems right.”

    “I said that these SEEM TO ME to be clearly metaphoric”

    And this sentence sums up the entire difficulty. Dan can’t or won’t say it IS metaphoric, he just hides behind “seems to me”, once again putting the focus squarely where he’s comfortable, on him. As long as it seems right to Dan, that’s all he needs. Enough said.

    “But can you see that I see no reason to accept what you accept…”

    But can’t you see that what you have reason accept has no objective meaning. But can’t you see that I don’t care what you