Beginning to question the bible...

A group for members of all religions, or no religion at all, to talk about religion

  1. jk243

    jk243 Fapstronaut

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    He was not asking question tho.
     
  2. Hros

    Hros Fapstronaut

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    Perhaps not, but what he was saying was: X doesn't make sense to me. So instead of explaining X, you wrote something along the lines of how dare you question God.
     
  3. JoeinMD

    JoeinMD Fapstronaut

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    Just consider that the eyes of men are lenses that interpret God, whether or not God is really like that or not in his fulness, and even human biblical writers may only be able to write from the eyes of their own lenses, even when inspired, that can only rise to the level of their acquired spirituality. Therefore, God perhaps could not reveal the fullness of his true self to primitive folks in the Bible, who had more primitive lenses. God exposes himself little by little until our own spiritual lives catch up and are able to understand more and more. This is the whole of salvation history, perhaps, man's always learning more and more about a more perfect and pure God than his own little categories previously perceived. God does not do violence to his human, rational creation - he walks with it and teaches it as far as its capacity allows at any given time. On the other hand, we cannot consider ourselves so enlightened that we make God over into our own image of what God should be in our mind. Even this needs to be challenged, and such idols need to be smashed as we give way to a truer image of God despite even ourselves and our own need to have it otherwise. Then, our idols get smashed again, and a truer view of God comes to consciousness, etc. God is not the one who has changed in any of this - our limitations, our growth or lack thereof, is what evolves as we encounter the same divinity.
     
  4. uyrihcinetin

    uyrihcinetin Fapstronaut

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    Depends on what god you believe in. The Jewish and the Judeo-Christian god have both created you, but the idea is that you can earn your salvation from them in exchange for subservience, and if you don't make that deal then you will languish in suffering forever. But then again, that's also coming from an eccentric group of ancient, tribal freaks out in the desert that ritually cut off parts baby genitalia. But even if this random metaphysical model happens to be correct, how can you know that God has a vested interest in you whatsoever, to say nothing of the nature of your soul? I'm not saying these concepts are meaningless, and I'm not an atheist, but please view the entire picture. Those who can find spiritual meaning in Judaic concepts like a creator god are one in a million.
     
  5. Hros

    Hros Fapstronaut

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    Why ancient? We still do it to this day! :)
     
  6. SuperFan

    SuperFan Fapstronaut

    Yes, obviously. But the Bible is also very clear that following Jesus' teachings isn't what saves you from sin. Only accepting the free gift of grace, made available by his death on the cross, accomplishes that.

    You are missing something. You're missing that in addition to God being loving, he's also perfectly just.

    Let me ask you this: if there is a hell, who do you think should go? What should be the threshold of qualification? Obviously Hitler should go, but what about someone who only murdered 50 people, and not six million? How about someone who only murdered five? How about someone who never murdered anyone, but only raped several women? What about someone who only raped one woman? How about someone who never raped or attacked anyone, but spent most of his life lying and cheating people?

    Should someone only be accepted into heaven if at least 51% of their life was "good"? And good by what standard?

    The reality is that we've all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We all deserve hell. None of us deserve heaven by our own merit. But God, in his infinite love and goodness, provided a way for us to be accepted and to be washed clean of our sin. God doesn't send anyone to hell as much as people choose hell by choosing to reject Christ and his free gift of grace. God is heartbroken over every person who chooses to reject him, far more than we can comprehend.
    I agree with you that that's a pretty flimsy argument for faith. And I give you credit for requiring something more intellectually solid.

    I'd encourage you to consider the existence of morality--of the very existence of a distinction between right and wrong behavior. And I mean real right and wrong--not simply, "I don't like that", but actual objective evil. When a hitman for a Mexican drug cartel takes an innocent person, tortures and mutilates them, and hangs their body from a bridge to serve as a warning to others, that's pure evil. But the only way we can declare it as evil is if there's a perfect standard we're judging it against. That perfect standard is God.

    Without God, there is no objective standard for morality. At that point, morality simply becomes a matter of opinion. Without God, you could say you didn't like what the hitman did, but you couldn't claim he was wrong in doing it, because there would be no real standard of right and wrong.

    You may not agree with this at all ... but my point in bringing it up is to say that there are strong philosophical arguments for God's existence, which are rooted in reason and intellect.
     
  7. SuperFan

    SuperFan Fapstronaut

    ... and without faith, deeds are fruitless. "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:6.

    True faith will express itself in deeds. Faith without deeds is dead, yes ... but I'd also say that faith without deeds isn't even faith.

    The point is that it's the faith that saves you. Deeds do not, will not, and can not.
     
    drac16 and jk243 like this.
  8. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

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    Stop the fearmongering already. You'll drive yourself mad thinking that.

    Did you know that at some point in history you could literally buy yourself a way out of hell? All you had to do was hand over your money to the Church.
     
  9. Wannabesaint2

    Wannabesaint2 Fapstronaut

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    Read the Quran that's the truth
     
  10. Wannabesaint2

    Wannabesaint2 Fapstronaut

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    Follow Muhammad and be successful
     
  11. Wannabesaint2

    Wannabesaint2 Fapstronaut

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  12. diaspar

    diaspar Fapstronaut

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    I'm not sure if anyone deserves an eternal hell. Some Buddhists believe in a more temporary hell, or different levels of hell that you can gradually get out of. Either way I guess it's not really for me to say who deserves it.

    Can't argue with that!

    I used to be a fairly "proper" atheist. Now I'm probably more agnostic, and with an interest in various religions. Why was I an atheist? I wasn't so much rejecting God as I was rejecting the arrogant, intolerant (to my mind) way religion was more or less forced on me as a kid.

    Some people are brought up in circumstances very favourable to believing and trusting in God. It seems a little unfair that they are more likely to avoid hell. Anyway we could talk about this stuff forever!

    There was a guy who used to post here called Buzz Lightyear. He knew an incredible amount about philosophy, and was a firm believer in God. So yeah, that's probably true that there are strong arguments.
     
  13. SuperFan

    SuperFan Fapstronaut

    I'm not afraid of hell at all. I'm saved. Nothing for me to "drive myself mad" about.

    And no--at no point in history could you buy your way out of hell. There may have been people and churches that taught that, but they were wrong. There's nothing in scripture that supports it. In order to believe that, you essentially have to discount 95% of what Jesus says about what it takes to have eternal life.
     
  14. SuperFan

    SuperFan Fapstronaut

    I think it's probably best to get away from the "deserved" idea. You may say no one deserves eternal hell. Well, no one deserves an eternity in heaven, either. As far as basic Christian doctrine goes (I make no claims for other religions), salvation/damnation have little to do with what someone deserves, and everything to do with what their standing is before God. Are their sins forgiven, or not? If they're forgiven, they are "credited as holy" in the eyes of God and can be in his presence. If they're not--because they rejected forgiveness through Christ--they are still stained by sin and cannot coexist with a perfect God. It's less about what's deserved and just more about the way things are.

    This is true, and I trust that in his wisdom, God will take that into account. We aren't judged for what we aren't given.
     
    diaspar likes this.
  15. uyrihcinetin

    uyrihcinetin Fapstronaut

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    Human barbarism does indeed transcend logic and any era, but I only referred to it in the context of the specific barbarian group that authored the Tanakh.
     
  16. Enwar

    Enwar Fapstronaut

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    God certainly did not create us to worship Him. Genesis 1 tells us that God ceeated us to rule the earth, essentially. Fearing God, as our Creator, is one of Man's most fundamental duties, as it says in Ecclesiastes 12, but that's not why God made us.

    Of course God will punish us if we reject Him, though: a parent does the same thing to their child. But we are punished for our sins, and that is what people are sent to hell for. Imagine if you created a person, and then they rejected you, and lived an evil life. This is what God feels, but on a much larger scale, He actually experiences this.

    Your good deeds do not cause your bad deeds to cease existing. They still must be punished if the world is just. But God does not desire to punish anyone, and this is why Christ came. God wants to show mercy, so He made it possible while still being just.
     
  17. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

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    This actually happened. Many abuses were carried out by Catholic officials.

    "However, in the later Middle Ages growth of considerable abuses occurred. Some commissaries sought to extract the maximum amount of money for each indulgence.[32] Professional "pardoners"[3] (quaestores in Latin) - who were sent to collect alms for a specific project - practiced the unrestricted sale of indulgences. Many of these quaestores exceeded official Church doctrine, and promised rewards like salvation from eternal damnation in return for money."
    Source: Wikipedia

    So why was the Church still selling salvation if according to the Bible only the Blood of Jesus saves?

    Right...
    I guess a lot of power will always involve a lot of corruption and the Church isn't any different.

    You and I both know fear is one of the biggest aspects of indoctrination. If you do not fear Hell, eternal damnation or God Himself, what's the point in practicing religion? The Church has been aware of this and it's why it has become so powerful to start with.
     
  18. bken

    bken Fapstronaut

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    Proverbs 16:4

    "The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom."

    Come again?
     
  19. DanielShakleferd

    DanielShakleferd Fapstronaut

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    God did not create us out of some egotystical need to be worshiped, he wants us to worship because it benifits us to be in a relationship with him. If God created us for his pleasure, what is wrong with that? It is good! It is not wrong or egotystical, he couldn't create us for our own sake because we didn't exist. If it did not please him to create, he would not create. Also, why would would he want to create if he were an egomaniac? His motives almost certainly have something to do with love, like creating us so that there would be more persons around to experience goodness.
     
  20. DanielShakleferd

    DanielShakleferd Fapstronaut

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    Have you heard of Biblical universal salvation? There is a belief within christianity that the Bible actually teaches that all people will eventually be saved from sin and death, that hell is not etertnal. This is not a new or liberal theology, Augustine himself disagreed with it but ackowledged that many if not most christians in his day believed in it and that they did not deny the scriptures. Google "tentmaker church fathers on Universalism"(I can't share links yet) Many early christians believed it. I recommend either "The Inescapable Love of God" or "The Evangelical Universalist" for a defense of biblical universal salvation(there are plenty of free stuff about it too, you can find old books about it on the Tentmaker site for free). This is far from pluralism, since we believe that it is still the Biblical God/Jesus that saves everyone exclusively through himself(pluralism generally says that all roads lead to heaven and or that all religions are equally valid, at least if you are a nice guy, but christian universal salvation says that only Jesus saves us and not through our own merit.

    I do agree with the idea that we do not and can not merit salvation by being a generally nice person. Most people merit a great deal of punishment and we would be in huge trouble if God was more concerned about merit than love. The great majority of humans have done or been responsible for a lot of evil, people can't face the factsabout their own "darkness" unless they are freed from the shame/guilt reaction because our brains shelter us from it. The more that we are freed from shame and fear, the more that we can see our own twistedness. A lot of evil is totally normal, such as wishing evil on people, using people, deceiving people, selfish disregard for others, and so on. All we need is a feeling of justification(such as "they deserve it") and we do evil.

    I say we don't merit being saved from sin and death but we are certainly worth saving and loving. God considers us worth saving and loving and I am not going to willfully disagree with God! He wouldn't suffer for us if we were not worth it, he wouldn't incarnate as trash nor for trash, that would be a waste. So we are worthy in the sense of being pricelessly valuable but unworthy in regards to merit. If the scriptural writings about hell were more accurately translated, we would be understanding hell(mistranslated from Sheol/Hades, Gehenna, and tartaroo) as something like a corrective temporary "purgatory" rather than eternal torture. (google "purgatorial hell faq" and find the one by "stanrock")
     

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