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Post-Christianity? (probably not the right title)


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He wanted to be god because he wanted to be like God.

That's called desire. His motivation would explain why he wanted to be like God.

What did God have that he didn't?

What is the difference between desire and motivation? My guess would be that according to they Biblical myth, Lucifer wanted to be like God for the worship and power accruing to such a likeness. But that would be a desire too, a desire for power and for being worshipped. What am I missing?

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What is the difference between desire and motivation? My guess would be that according to they Biblical myth, Lucifer wanted to be like God for the worship and power accruing to such a likeness. But that would be a desire too, a desire for power and for being worshipped. What am I missing?

The question would be what would that particular power and worship give him that he didn't have already? If you can answer that you have his motivation.

Motivation is based on a rational or irrational belief.

If Lucifer is rational then he would have a rational motivation.

If Lucifer is irrational then he would have an irrational motivation. And if Lucifer was irrational then he was not created perfect.

We claim our original motivation is a sinful nature that has irrational destructive beliefs. This would not be true for Lucifer or Adam or Eve. No one that I know of has been able to establish rational motivation for a sinless being to sin.

I happen to believe that this whole model is flawed, but that is the model most fundamental Christians have set up to be true for them.

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If Lucifer is irrational then he would have an irrational motivation. And if Lucifer was irrational then he was not created perfect.

If one were a machine, this statement would be true. But intelligent beings have choice...and being intelligence beings, they have control over thier own choices and in the course of thier interaction with other intelligent beings. Perfection, for intelligent beings, is based upon choice, that is, the continual choice of being close to God. Perfection, for the created,is NOT being or becoming God but rather to fulfil thier being a creature doing God's will...

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The question would be what would that particular power and worship give him that he didn't have already? If you can answer that you have his motivation.

He didn't have God's power, and the ability to create intelligent beings. Thus, he was not like God. And he wanted to be god, a part of the Godhead.

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We claim our original motivation is a sinful nature that has irrational destructive beliefs. This would not be true for Lucifer or Adam or Eve. No one that I know of has been able to establish rational motivation for a sinless being to sin.

That's because there is no reason for the existance of sin. There is no reason that Adam and Eve, when given the temptation to obtain the knowledge of good and evil, should have fallen, when God only wanted to give them the knowledge of good.

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He didn't have God's power, and the ability to create intelligent beings. Thus, he was not like God. And he wanted to be god, a part of the Godhead.

But WHY would he want that? Choice isn't a spin of the wheel or a roll of the dice. It is based in a rational setting. Having the power of choice is not a reason to develop jealousy or desires for power. These come from needs or when something is lacking.

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That's because there is no reason for the existance of sin.

Judgements of guilty are based on cause and effect. If sin is a mystery, then how can we condemn Lucifer, because evidently it was a mystery to him as well? We hold judgements over people who have informed choices.

Let me ask you this Neil. Did you choose to be born a sinner on a sinful planet?

And if we have no idea what sin is or where it came from, how can we be so confident that we have the cure?

The cure that Christianity offers has so many versions and so many unsubstantiated claims that one would have to toss out rationality to promote it. And Christianity has had almost 2000 years to demonstrate its ability to cure the problem of sin, and yet when it has been in power we have seen the greatest violence and brutality based on a very literal understanding of the Bible as God's actual commands on earth. We are looking at anywhere from 50 to 150 million people killed in the name of the Christian god. This exceeds every other evil power by many magnitudes.

Reason, while not perfect, self corrects, while religious assumptions have no avenue of change. They only die when the force required to sustain them dies.

And the last force that sustains Christian belief today is fear and intimidation. Because what I notice happens when Christians hit the end of reasoning, they appeal to fear. And it doesn't take too many quotes from the discussions within Club Adventist to provide ample proof.

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The cure that Christianity offers has so many versions and so many unsubstantiated claims that one would have to toss out rationality to promote it.... Reason, while not perfect, self corrects, while religious assumptions have no avenue of change. They only die when the force required to sustain them dies

I always argue against rationality and reason as a basis for religious beliefs and dogma - because one cannot be sure they have self-corrected for the last time necessary, and if they are not informed with love, can be terribly misused. (Besides that few of us are trained to be scientifically logical, and 'rationalizations' are often unconsciously or maybe purposefully used to prop up ones self-esteem.) If one cannot be sure why insist religiously and persist in beliefs and dogmas based on reason?

The only basis for a true spirituality is love. Religion should be nothing but love. And I agree with you that the Bible does not always promote love. Therefore the Bible is not an infallible quide when taken at face value and interpreted literally. It needs to be 'demythologized' to find spiritual meaning which can actually be applied to living one's life while one is still alive.

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And the last force that sustains Christian belief today is fear and intimidation.

It should be love. Perfect love obliterates fear. 'Any man who fears', some one has said, 'has not been made perfect in love.' The reverse is also true, no doubt, - perfect fear casts out love and anyone who does not love is full of fear.

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I always argue against rationality and reason as a basis for religious beliefs and dogma

I may have been unclear. I was promoting the idea that reason is a much better basis for ethics than holy books. I don't have much use for dogma, and beliefs should be evaluated on an individual basis.

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The only basis for a true spirituality is love. Religion should be nothing but love. And I agree with you that the Bible does not always promote love. Therefore the Bible is not an infallible quide when taken at face value and interpreted literally. It needs to be 'demythologized' to find spiritual meaning which can actually be applied to living one's life while one is still alive.

I would say that reason needs to be informed by love and I would go as far as to say we need to start with love. And reason certainly can recognize the benefits of love.

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He didn't have God's power, and the ability to create intelligent beings. Thus, he was not like God. And he wanted to be god, a part of the Godhead.

But WHY would he want that? Choice isn't a spin of the wheel or a roll of the dice.

You are correct, in that choice is usually based upon reason given the recognised options of the individual. It is not a haphazard unfolding of events that one would exepect from the throw of dice....

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Having the power of choice is not a reason to develop jealousy or desires for power. These come from needs or when something is lacking.

I disagree with this, though. As stated before, choice is usually based upon reasons given the recognised options of the individual. In Lucifer's case, he has the vast knowledge of how things work in the universe, from atoms to planets, from pschology to physics, from sculpture to music...I expect that there was much that wasn't known to him and the only thing left that wasn't actually experienced/known was God.

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Judgements of guilty are based on cause and effect. If sin is a mystery, then how can we condemn Lucifer, because evidently it was a mystery to him as well? We hold judgements over people who have informed choices.

This I disagree with. Judgements of guilt are not necessarily based upon cause and effect. For example, I am human..guilty. I am prone to mess up my life and am prone to be hasty....guilty. When I get motivation, I tend to get a project done....guilty. I am, therefore I sometimes mess up...guilty.

Since God is the source for knowledge and is the Creator, living within His guidlines would be reasonable and an act of faith. But to go against the Creator, and live outside those guidlines, would be to go against the Creator. Since Lucifer was told "No" in his desire to be a part of the Godhead, his rebellion/choice is the source of the sin, and an act of illogic and it has repercussions. To give a reason for sin is to excuse it. And there is no excuse for sin.

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And if we have no idea what sin is or where it came from, how can we be so confident that we have the cure?

Trust....Because I was born a sinner, I had no hope. God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit came up with a plan to show,

1]They are trustworthy of my trust

2]They have a plan.

3]They can help with this life if I will experiment with them.

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The cure that Christianity offers has so many versions and so many unsubstantiated claims that one would have to toss out rationality to promote it. And Christianity has had almost 2000 years to demonstrate its ability to cure the problem of sin, and yet when it has been in power we have seen the greatest violence and brutality based on a very literal understanding of the Bible as God's actual commands on earth. We are looking at anywhere from 50 to 150 million people killed in the name of the Christian god. This exceeds every other evil power by many magnitudes.

Which also shows that Christianity is not a goverment program, it is an individual program. It also shows that Lucifer/Satan is avidly persueing a program to alter peoples perceptions of that individual program. It also shows that Satan is manifesting his understanding and promoting his salvation plan, which is just a little bit [but significantly] off God's salvation plan. And since Satan is a controling force in this world, no one is willing to factor that into thier equation for life. But where the law abounded, grace did much more abound. For every act of evil in this world, what is not noticed, is the hundreds acts of kindness [for each evil one]that make this life worth living.That is somehting that is not publicized and need to be brought to the forefront of one's thinking.

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Reason, while not perfect, self corrects, while religious assumptions have no avenue of change. They only die when the force required to sustain them dies.

Reason does not always self correct then, since it is not perfect. I guess that is the reason why there are miscarriages of Justice. It was reason that killed the supposed witches at the Salem Witch Trials. No chance for self correction there...'cept to say, "Sorry we hanged you"... Reason is dependant upon assumptions...erroneous assumptions will lead one to erroreous conclusions thru flawless reasoning.

And religious assumptions do change. That is the reason there are different churches within the Christian denominations. The assumption for Catholisim is different than Protestantism. People, OTOH, don't like change....and stay with what they are familiar with...Human nature, however varied, is still the same.

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And the last force that sustains Christian belief today is fear and intimidation. Because what I notice happens when Christians hit the end of reasoning, they appeal to fear. And it doesn't take too many quotes from the discussions within Club Adventist to provide ample proof.

Trust is a fleeting thing. It is hard to maintain a feeling of trust when you are constantly bombarded with negitivity for making assumptions of trust. Christainity is a belief of trust in a world of negativity. And you can see evidence of how much we trust by our discussions....which all too often is to our detriment.

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And reason certainly can recognize the benefits of love.

Ah, yes!

But as that old adage goes - 'Experience is the best teacher.' For if one has never been on the receiving end of human or divine love, it is harder to recognize the supremacy of love over other motivations. But when experienced there is no doubt about it. And if it is so good to be on the recieving end - it is even more satisfing to be on the giving end.

But first one must recieve.

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And reason certainly can recognize the benefits of love.

Ah, yes!

But as that old adage goes - 'Experience is the best teacher.' For if one has never been on the receiving end of human or divine love, it is harder to recognize the supremacy of love over other motivations. But when experienced there is no doubt about it. And if it is so good to be on the recieving end - it is even more satisfing to be on the giving end.

But first one must recieve.

Well said, Mr. Allen.... thumbsuppeace

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But first one must recieve.

This might imply that there had to be a Divine source of love outside of humanity, and this might be possible. To me, the nature of this Divine source and its motivations, beyond the expression of love, would be a mystery. And there are certainly alternative myths to account for love such as a Divine like collective consciousness or an inner Divine self that is waiting to be awakened, etc. etc.

But I find no evidence that this would be from the god described in the Bible or would include the complex theology of salvation and the required death of a god's son to satisfy some cosmic court of law. All of these myths find their parallels within many sources available to those who wrote the Bible.

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I disagree with this, though. As stated before, choice is usually based upon reasons given the recognised options of the individual. In Lucifer's case, he has the vast knowledge of how things work in the universe, from atoms to planets, from pschology to physics, from sculpture to music...I expect that there was much that wasn't known to him and the only thing left that wasn't actually experienced/known was God.

To me, the job of an all knowing God is only to serve, because this God has no needs, this God is all powerful, this God knows the end of the story. Who would want that job? Who would exchange an eternity of exploration and wonder to take on the job of maintaining the universe? Only a very immature being would assume that they could take on that responsibility. This would require an extremely high amount of self deception. And self deception requires a threat to one's self. What would threaten Lucifer unless he was delusional?

Anyone who does this, even within humanity, is considered to have a mental disease. I find that a desire to be God, first of all, would be highly unlikely for an intelligent being, and, second of all, would require that Lucifer be created with a pre-existing flaw.

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This I disagree with. Judgements of guilt are not necessarily based upon cause and effect. For example, I am human..guilty. I am prone to mess up my life and am prone to be hasty....guilty. When I get motivation, I tend to get a project done....guilty. I am, therefore I sometimes mess up...guilty.

This is a misuse of the word "guilt." Guilt implies the feeling of guilt, which is based in a form of fear.

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guilt (glt) n.

1. The fact of being responsible for the commission of an offense. See Synonyms at blame.

2. Law Culpability for a crime or lesser breach of regulations that carries a legal penalty.

3.

a. Remorseful awareness of having done something wrong.

b. Self-reproach for supposed inadequacy or wrongdoing.

4. Guilty conduct; sin.

What you have listed would more accurately be labeled as facts. You certainly wouldn't be punished or judged for being human. To apply this word in this way is to paint the world with eyes of judgement. Who wants to live in a court of law? Who wants to live in the fear of judgement, where every characteristic and state of being is described in terms of being guilty?

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Since God is the source for knowledge and is the Creator, living within His guidlines would be reasonable and an act of faith.

It would be wise to follow someone who demonstrates superior wisdom, but you have not demonstrated that the Bible, the so called Word of God, is that source of wisdom.

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It also shows that Lucifer/Satan is avidly persueing a program to alter peoples perceptions of that individual program. It also shows that Satan is manifesting his understanding and promoting his salvation plan, which is just a little bit [but significantly] off God's salvation plan.

What if there is nothing to be cosmically saved from? What if everything we need to move through this life time is presently available? What if there is no Lucifer?

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Reason does not always self correct then, since it is not perfect. I guess that is the reason why there are miscarriages of Justice. It was reason that killed the supposed witches at the Salem Witch Trials. No chance for self correction there...'cept to say, "Sorry we hanged you"... Reason is dependant upon assumptions...erroneous assumptions will lead one to erroreous conclusions thru flawless reasoning.

But this was reason based on Christian religious assumptions. This was based on texts in the Old Testament. "Allow no witch to live." This was based on fear and shame based thinking that is clearly outlined in the Bible. Like I said before you can find some bright spots in the Bible, but these don't negate some very violent pictures of a tyrannical god. And no one seems to have a clear picture on which parts of the Bible we should follow and which parts are human based.

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Trust is a fleeting thing. It is hard to maintain a feeling of trust when you are constantly bombarded with negitivity for making assumptions of trust. Christainity is a belief of trust in a world of negativity. And you can see evidence of how much we trust by our discussions....which all too often is to our detriment.

I like to be in a state of trust, but I have learned to not trust those who tell me that things that don't make sense to me are simply god's mysterious ways. When I have pursued the truth through love informed reason, the results have been far better. There are insights into one's self and to the world around us that are freely available if you aren't afraid to consider them.

The greatest negativity that I see in the world come from Christian voices. Not that all Christian voices are negative, but I believe, from personal experience, and from observation of many Christian speakers and people, that at the core of Christian theology there is shame and fear.

There are certainly those who have figured out how to live outside this core, but for the most part, these Christians aren't considered Christians by most other Christian believers.

Uninformed trust is dangerous and the myth of Eve demonstrates this quite dramatically. Like I said before, she could of used some mistrust while talking to the serpent.

I have also learned that my senses are all that I have and unless someone demonstrates a clear ability to see in better ways than I know how, I am true to my own senses. And when I see someone who knows how to see better, then I go and learn how to do that. This learning occurs much quicker if I leave my ego at the door, I take personal responsibility, and I commit to rigorous honesty.

This method has some sources in my Christian upbringing, but they are not unique to Christian belief. The other flaw that I see in Christian belief is its exclusivity. This creates a situation where nothing else is considered outside of Christian belief and from what I observe, keeps many Christians ignorant and blind to the many insights of other's experiences.

I have found that if one is really serious about the pursuit of truth, one has to be willing to consider even the most uncomfortable truths or in my experience, even the most fearful ones.

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Quote:But first one must recieve.

This might imply that there had to be a Divine source of love outside of humanity, and this might be possible. To me, the nature of this Divine source and its motivations, beyond the expression of love, would be a mystery. And there are certainly alternative myths to account for love such as a Divine like collective consciousness or an inner Divine self that is waiting to be awakened, etc. etc.

Vive la mystery! I can buy all of that! How any Divine source manifests is not up to us decide or understand.

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But I find no evidence that this would be from the god described in the Bible or would include the complex theology of salvation and the required death of a god's son to satisfy some cosmic court of law. All of these myths find their parallels within many sources available to those who wrote the Bible.

Agreed. Jesus was a man just exactly like us. That doesn't diminish the truth embodied in the 'gospel story' or myth. Else why would such a man as Joseph Campbell devote a life to the study of such things.

'Follow your bliss.' And many people first find their bliss in the realms of Christianity. It becomes harder (if not impossible) to maintain their bliss when they become subject to the authoritarianism and totalitarianism in 'the church.' That's why we need a new post-christian spirituality, one that needn't throw Christ out, but perhaps it could be called Neo-Christianity. This would liberate Christians in the same manner that Jesus endeavored to liberate his followers from the religious authorities of his day.

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Agreed. Jesus was a man just exactly like us. That doesn't diminish the truth embodied in the 'gospel story' or myth. Else why would such a man as Joseph Campbell devote a life to the study of such things.

After reading your posts and understanding what I believe you are saying, I can agree with this coming from you. What I am very careful with is saying that the Bible contains THE truth, because what that means to different people is quite broad.

Joseph Campbell was very helpful for me and in many ways his work gave practical application to much of the great psychologist Carl Jung's work on archetypes in dreams.

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That's why we need a new post-christian spirituality, one that needn't throw Christ out, but perhaps it could be called Neo-Christianity. This would liberate Christians in the same manner that Jesus endeavored to liberate his followers from the religious authorities of his day.

It is an interesting approach. I think we are seeing this occur naturally among many diverse groups who embrace the philosophical Jesus. There is great interest in what is called Essene practices and a modern Gnostic Christianity.

While these are all movements to shift the basic assumptions about God and our role in the world, I find that there is often a lack of active transformational experience. That is, there is a lot of talking about the process, but few opportunities to do the process.

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To me, the job of an all knowing God is only to serve, because this God has no needs, this God is all powerful, this God knows the end of the story. Who would want that job? Who would exchange an eternity of exploration and wonder to take on the job of maintaining the universe? Only a very immature being would assume that they could take on that responsibility.

To serve??? maintance on the universe??? NAAAAHH! Whatcho talkin' bout, son? Servatude???

This God is lonely...He wants friends, and friendships and relationships and wants to share things that He has made and see people's reactions to that...He wants to see what you do with what you learn/make/share with others....Apparently, it 'tickles Him pink' to see such things...That is why he made mankind with the power to choose, to act independantly of God...God may not like all the surprizes that are currently in vogue, but He does like surprizes...And while you might think that He has forknowledge, that doesn't mean that uses that ability constantly. Therefore, it is possible to surprise God.

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Anyone who does this, even within humanity, is considered to have a mental disease. I find that a desire to be God, first of all, would be highly unlikely for an intelligent being, and, second of all, would require that Lucifer be created with a pre-existing flaw.

It is a law, by beholding we become changed...Lucifer beheld the beauty of God and all the complexity of God Himself was beautiful. With all of Lucifer's knowledge of the beauty of the universe and the Creator who made it, his appreciation fueled his desire to be as beautiful. I am surprise that you grew up Adventist, and did not know this....

Regarding guilt:

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To apply this word in this way is to paint the world with eyes of judgement. Who wants to live in a court of law? Who wants to live in the fear of judgement, where every characteristic and state of being is described in terms of being guilty?

I see this everyday with Adventists...I have no desire to live my life in guilt either...That is why there is God who desires relationship/friendships and takes care of the sin problem without my dealing with it. Sure, I recognise the results of sin, and my shortcomings...but that doesnt' affect my friendship with God, because He knows that I am more interested in Him than in guilt/court of law/ and all that stuff. As one person has said in another thread, 'Jesus has paid that price for all humanity'...now, let's get on with the party and real living....And that is what I am doing...

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What if there is nothing to be cosmically saved from? What if everything we need to move through this life time is presently available? What if there is no Lucifer?

Nothing to be saved from...? What about death? Or is that just a part of life in your cosmic view? 'Cuz it's a pretty sucky joke to be alive and then die, if that is your paradigm....

Regarding the Salem Witch Trials:

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But this was reason based on Christian religious assumptions. This was based on texts in the Old Testament. "Allow no witch to live." This was based on fear and shame based thinking that is clearly outlined in the Bible. Like I said before you can find some bright spots in the Bible, but these don't negate some very violent pictures of a tyrannical god. And no one seems to have a clear picture on which parts of the Bible we should follow and which parts are human based.

You don't factor in the insidiousness of evil, and how it affects us...You haven't allowed for that, but instead, dismissed it. You have allowed Satan to influence your picture of God and substituted his picture, and then named it 'God of the bible'. When we try to show you other pictures of Him, you dismiss them..

But you, O God, are both tender and kind,

not easily angered, immense in love,

and you never, never quit.

Ps 86

God makes everything come out right;

he puts victims back on their feet.

He showed Moses how he went about his work,

opened up his plans to all Israel.

God is sheer mercy and grace;

not easily angered, he's rich in love.

He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,

nor hold grudges forever.

He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,

nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.

As high as heaven is over the earth,

so strong is his love to those who fear him.

And as far as sunrise is from sunset,

he has separated us from our sins.

As parents feel for their children,

God feels for those who fear him.

He knows us inside and out,

keeps in mind that we're made of mud.

Men and women don't live very long;

like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,

But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,

leaving nothing to show they were here.

God's love, though, is ever and always,

eternally present to all who fear him,

Making everything right for them and their children

as they follow his Covenant ways

and remember to do whatever he said.Ps 103:6-18

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.A famous text that I am sure you can find in the New Testament.

Even though Lucifer has masked a lot, the specialness of the God of the Bible still comes thru, outshining and poorly described in ancient language, with the limitations of men.

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It would be wise to follow someone who demonstrates superior wisdom, but you have not demonstrated that the Bible, the so called Word of God, is that source of wisdom.

If one were willing to learn, and see the wisdom of the God of the Universe, then yes, it would be wise to follow Him. But if that Person is masked by the deciever, shielded from seeing, then the recipient can not follow and will not follow, thinking that it is foolishness. You see, to follow the commands/wisdom of God, would of necessity, bring judgement to the individual. Therefore, a command,from the wisest Person of the Universe, would seem extreeme to one who did not see the wisdom.

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I like to be in a state of trust, but I have learned to not trust those who tell me that things that don't make sense to me are simply god's mysterious ways.

Things that don't make sense to me either, I simply set aside for a later discussion. And when the Catholic priests who point out that some situation was God's mysterious will, I too rebelled against something that I thought I hated...I then thought that if this God of the Universe truely cared for mankind, He must have had some interactions with us...and it would have had to be recorded somewhere...And if it was in the bible, how would the forefathers have pictured Him, in thier language?

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When I have pursued the truth through love informed reason, the results have been far better. There are insights into one's self and to the world around us that are freely available if you aren't afraid to consider them.

Indeed!...That is why I have looked and been persuaded that the God of the bible, is the God of the universe described therein...and the amazing thing that just floors me, is that He is interested in me.

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This God is lonely...He wants friends, and friendships and relationships and wants to share things that He has made and see people's reactions to that...He wants to see what you do with what you learn/make/share with others....Apparently, it 'tickles Him pink' to see such things...That is why he made mankind with the power to choose, to act independantly of God...God may not like all the surprizes that are currently in vogue, but He does like surprizes...And while you might think that He has forknowledge, that doesn't mean that uses that ability constantly. Therefore, it is possible to surprise God.

This and the rest of your post are highly speculative. That's the problem with making claims about what God wants or is about. I don't know about the idea of a co-dependent god. There are so many problems with this view.

I look at it this way. One is certainly free to make God into whatever image they want to. This can provide a sense of meaning and comfort through a creation of a personal myth. We all do this. Everyone has to do this around the nature of God.

The problem comes when people say this is factual and come to believe that their particular myth is the only way. I'm not saying that you are doing that. This view of God is certainly unsustainable by a literal reading of the Bible. You might be able to tease it out with an inspirational re-interpretation as you have done here.

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It is a law, by beholding we become changed...Lucifer beheld the beauty of God and all the complexity of God Himself was beautiful. With all of Lucifer's knowledge of the beauty of the universe and the Creator who made it, his appreciation fueled his desire to be as beautiful. I am surprise that you grew up Adventist, and did not know this....

Well, its one thing to want to be more beautiful and talented. Its not logical to gain this beauty through the overthrow of God. This would be an incredibly stupid and immature approach to achieving the goal of beauty. Most people, even immature ones, begin to emulate those they admire, not destroy or hate them. I don't find this idea likely at all.

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You don't factor in the insidiousness of evil, and how it affects us...You haven't allowed for that, but instead, dismissed it. You have allowed Satan to influence your picture of God and substituted his picture, and then named it 'God of the bible'. When we try to show you other pictures of Him, you dismiss them..

You can quote me all the beautiful poetry about God you want. Its God's actions that ultimately determine what that god is like. And God's actions, particularly those directly attributed to Him in the Old Testament are horrendous.

And yes, there are some visions of a beautiful loving God in the Bible if you are willing to overlook some of the horrendous morals and ethics of other descriptions of God.

So take from the Bible that which is beautiful and scrap the rest as ancient superstition.

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Indeed!...That is why I have looked and been persuaded that the God of the bible, is the God of the universe described therein...and the amazing thing that just floors me, is that He is interested in me.

You are certainly free to envision your spiritual path like this, but, for me, this does not ring true. And there are certainly passages that offer wisdom and positive ways to view the world. And I continue to follow many of them, but the Bible as a whole does not hold my respect because there are simply such brutal and immature visions of an angry, jealous, and vengeful god.

In my studies I have discovered the historical story behind the bible. It is a collection of wisdom writings, stories, myths, and dogma that were created by men for specific political and ideological purposes in various stages of human development and human history. This information is readily available and makes far more sense to me.

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What would you do with a planet like ours if you were God?

I think the question that is more meaningful to me is...

What are we doing with a planet like ours?

I agree with you that this is an important question. However, in terms of discussing what the Bible says about God, the question of what you would do with this messed up world also has relevance. We can speculate about how the world got messed up, but the bottom line is that the world is full of suffering, evil, and death-- so, if you were God, what would you do to solve these problems?

My closest friend of 35 years seems to think a lot like you about these things, although we rarely talk about religion. He's an agnostic, but you know a lot more about the Bible. He knows nothing about Ellen White, and has no interest whatever in organized religion. He and I share many other interests, such as photography, art, history, and travel.

If you enjoy looking at excellent, interesting photography check out his site: http://homepage.mac.com/ronaldrobertgrantham/PhotoAlbum1.html

Regards,

"John 3: 17"

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I agree with you that this is an important question. However, in terms of discussing what the Bible says about God, the question of what you would do with this messed up world also has relevance. We can speculate about how the world got messed up, but the bottom line is that the world is full of suffering, evil, and death-- so, if you were God, what would you do to solve these problems?

Well, evidently God hasn't solved the problem either, because we still have those problems. To me, killing everyone who doesn't agree with me isn't a very creative solution either. Plus it ignores the complexity of the problem and its sources outside of a simplistic view of evil.

To me, the best demonstration of solutions exists when the most freedom is available and power is not concentrated in one place. This allows those solutions that normally wouldn't be available to be heard.

The problem is Christians talk like the problem has been solved. Christianity may have some individual solutions to behavior and happiness, but when Christianity or any religion, have been in charge the results have been a disaster. Secular approaches to government may not be perfect, but they are certainly preferable to a Theocracy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Originally Posted By: cardw
The fact that the law existed and they had to ask would give a strong indication that this man wasn't even an Israelite.

Not at all. First of all, whatever laws were in effect applied to all in the camp. Secondly, you are making a huge assumption here. An appropriate question could be, 'Why didn't the ordinary remedy of the repentant sinner bringing a sacrifice apply here?' Whether or not the man was an Israelite would be immaterial.

All I have time to respond to right now.

Dave

So, where is all this evidence that you were going to come up with?

I've looked and I can't find it in the Bible. This minor point is certainly conjecture, but the woppers are still left unanswered. And the question you ask here has been left unanswered.

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