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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:00 am 
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AgentOpaque wrote:
Interrupter, I feel that some of your questions and statements directed towards me are nothing short of rude and disrespectful.


Which statements, exactly? All of my questions have been legitimate and sincere. I have only asked you to explain the finer points of your faith to me, and you have chosen to do so to the best of your ability, which I appreciate. I don't expect that anybody can answer all of my questions, nor do I think you're obligated to try. But I have not insulted you or made any presumptions upon the nature of your faith. I have not insinuated anything about you beyond that which you have stated yourself. I admit to being fallible, so if I have misinterpreted anything you have said, I urge you to point it out. But I have not intentionally twisted any of your words or employed any adversarial tactics that I expected anybody to be offended by. This has so far been a civil discussion on all sides.

Please try to recall that this being a text medium, it's easy to misinterpret others' words, without contextual clues like tone and posture, especially with a subject as personal as this one. If it helps, picture me in your head looking friendly, relaxed, and conversational, as that's what I feel this forum is about. Put me in a clown suit if it helps. Here, I look like this: :homsar:

Some people get worked up about religion. I don't. I don't think it's worth coming to blows over (especially not having a faith myself, as such), but it is worth learning about others' beliefs, and that's my only goal, and I hope it's yours, too. I think that's why Joey created this forum.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:46 am 
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Besides, the idea of Spongebob Squarepants having a heated theological debate with an egg-headed guy playing the piano strikes me as hilarious. Throw in Stinkoman and a talkin box of 3.5" floppies, and it's a freakin' riot!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:34 am 
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So after a couple of hours of chill time with my hubby, I find that I am being strongly convicted by saying that I will no longer answer your why questions anymore, IJ. It's not up to me to decide when I will quit answering the questions of a non believer. I'm totally not perfect, so I have to admit that my patience is often tried when in discussion with a person via internet about faith...it's difficult to convey and understand all of the messages that are being passed back and forth.

This conviction has also shown me that it doesn't matter how or when I feel that you were being rude or unkind to me in anyway whatsoever, I should expect that from anyone who doesn't not understand what my faith is...I'm not saying that you are a rude or unkind person, I just let my patience and whatnot drive me instead of what I know to be true which is that this is all internet converstation which is easily misunderstood. So if you were not attacking me personally, then please don't feel any obligation to feel as though you were at fault for my toes being stepped upon.

So after talking with the hubby, he brought something to my attention, it's not that God can't sin, it's that He won't sin. Even if God were to do something like lie...upon the act of Him doing it...the lie would not be a sin...nothing evil can come from God because He is goodness, so if God were to lie...lying for us would no longer be a sin.

So again with the friend/worship...oh wait

Tom: I don't believe that I have said that we were made for one purpose...we're given many purposes. So please don't misunderstand me by thinking that I am contradicting myself by speaking of more than one purpose.

Oh here's a good way to illustrate why it is possible to worship and be friends with God. If you are best friends with the king of your country, the fact that you are friends doesn't mean that he ceases to be your king. You would still bow to him because he is the king but would be able to be informal with him because he is also your best friend. However, If you are the king of a country, would you bow to your best friend simply because he is your best friend? Of course you wouldn't because he wouldn't be in a position of power over you. God is our Father and King and is in a position of power...and He has made himself available to us so that we don't HAVE to JUST worship Him and get nothing in return. We're His subjects, but He also gives us an opportunity to be His friend.

And I'll have to cut this one short because my cold medicine is starting to kick in and I don't want to say anything I'll regret later! haha

Oh one more thing, the God that I worship is capitalized all the time because God is His name. Other uses for the word god are not capitalized because they are not proper nouns...i.e. In Mythology, Zeus was a god, the reason god is not capitalized is because the word is derived from the name God, but is not a proper noun because is only defines traits that God possess. All proper nouns are capitalized, the name of my god is God, therefore...His name should be capitalized.
I also capitalize pronouns referring to God out of my respect for who He is...however I don't recall right now if American English Grammar requires that you capitalize pronouns referring to God anymore though..I'll have to look that up.

Anyways, good night all...hopefully I can sleep tonight!!!!!!!!!!

And I also have a question:
Why is it easier to accept evolution and not creation for those of you that do not believe in creationism?

nighty night!
hope there are no typos because I'm to tired to spell check right now.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 1:50 pm 
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AgentOpaque wrote:
It's not up to me to decide when I will quit answering the questions of a non believer.


This is fair, but I'm wondering why it matters that I'm a nonbeliever. If a person of faith were asking these same questions (at least the majority of them are still valid and pertinent whether you believe or otherwise), and I've heard many of my friends of faith asking many of them, would you answer them? I think that understanding (not necessarily answering, but acknowledging -- grokking, if you will) the questions that your faith leaves unanswered is key to having a solid faith, but maybe that's just me.

AgentOpaque wrote:
So if you were not attacking me personally, then please don't feel any obligation to feel as though you were at fault for my toes being stepped upon.


Okay, that's a relief (I actually, literally lost sleep over that last night, I'm glad to have it cleared up).

AgentOpaque wrote:
nothing evil can come from God because He is goodness


Pardon my heathen ways, but I often hear phrases like this and I want to know where it comes from. I hate to keep asking people to dig through the bible for me, but since I don't know my Corinthians from my Ephesians, could you tell me where in the Bible god is said to be wholly good? Since I hear it all the time, I suppose it's said a thousand times over in the Bible, but a citation or two would be helpful to me.

Unfortunately I have to remind you that god, having created all things, created evil, so the idea that nothing evil can come from him, at least as far as I can tell, a fallacy.

AgentOpaque wrote:
If you are best friends with the king of your country, the fact that you are friends doesn't mean that he ceases to be your king.


Hmm, good show. I guess it's just a matter of preference. I don't know if I, personally, would want to be friends with a king who would only be my friend if I promised to kneel before him, fear him, do as he commanded, etc., and if I didn't would condemn me to the royal dungeon for all eternity. I would much rather have a friend who would only ask friendship in return, or a king who would only request obedience.

AgentOpaque wrote:
Oh one more thing, the God that I worship is capitalized all the time because God is His name.


Okay.

AgentOpaque wrote:
Why is it easier to accept evolution and not creation for those of you that do not believe in creationism?


Though I can't speak for all, I think they might say it's because of the scientific evidence that supports evolution, much of which was already discussed in the beginning of this thread. Some people do not take the Bible as fact, and certainly not as scientific evidence, and without the bible there is only circumstantial evidence that could suggest creation.

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Last edited by InterruptorJones on Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:39 pm 
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Tom wrote:
How can human beings both worship and be friends with your god?

Or, to rephrase so that my question does not apply to a deity-to-person relationship: How does a friendship exist if one person worships another?


The fact that God and I are friends is all the more reason for me to worship Him!

Being friends does not mean that he sees me as an equal. It means that He loves me and wants what's best for me and sees me as His child.

It's kinda like this...I look at my earthly father as my friend. He loves me, and I love him, but I also respect him because he is my father. It's the same with my heavenly father. He loves me, and I love Him, but I respect him because of who he is. Worship is an act of love and respect, like telling my dad that I love him.

Told ya my wife and I were Jesus Freaks.

I just thought I'd answer this one. For fun.

[Edit by InterruptorJones: Fixed your quote tags]


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:03 pm 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
Unfortunately I have to remind you that God, having created all things, created evil, so the idea that nothing evil can come from him, at least as far as I can tell, a fallacy.


Woah. Theology. Nice.

God didn't create evil. Evil is sort of a bi-product of choices Lucifer made. In the Psalms and in other places that I can't recall offhand, it tells the story of what happened long long ago when Satan, the highest of all His angels, thought himself to be equal with God, and challenged him. I'll look that up some time when I'm not at work. Maybe during lunch.

Anywho, there was a war in heaven, waged between God and His angels and Lucifer and the angels that chose to follow him, which was a third of all the angels. Lucifer and his angels were cast out of heaven onto earth, and a place of punishment was prepared for them.

The war didn't end when Satan was cast down. It continues today, the stakes are just a little different.
Satan and his angels, better known as demons, still whisper lies into people's ears on a daily basis.

Satan's rebellion against God was truly the "original sin", and sin is perpetuated today because he tempted Eve, which sort of carried on the "cancer" of sin into the human race.

I guess this was a huge way to say that God didn't create sin, Satan did. I just wanted to have my bases covered for a minute.

[Edit by InterruptorJones: Fixed your quote tags again. Remember, you need quotation marks around the name, e.g. quote="InterruptorJones".]


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:15 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
I guess this was a huge way to say that God didn't create sin, Satan did. I just wanted to have my bases covered for a minute.


Okay, but god created Satan, having the full knowledge that Satan would just turn around and create sin. Evil was created under the auspices of god. Had god not wanted sin to be created, he had ample opportunity to prevent it. But he did not, so sin and evil must be things that god wants around, or at least doesn't see any reason to eliminate just yet, despite the fact that billions of his children are being condemned to hell for all eternity because of it. How can we resolve this?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:20 pm 
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God DID resolve the sin issue. He made a way to be free from the bondage of sin and punishment.

There's a huge long chain of events that would take a VERY long time for me to type, especially if I cited scripture. If you'd like, I could do that for you.

But in short, Christ is that way out of sin and condemnation. He came to save everyone, as long as they admit that He did, so to speak.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:30 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
God DID resolve the sin issue. He made a way to be free from the bondage of sin and punishment.


Let's get hypothetical again. Say I'm a god (it's too early to come up with a clever analogy). I have two choices:
  1. Create a being with the specific knowledge that that being will create sin, and that as a result billions of my children whom I love will endure an eternity of suffering (but some of them will find the "way out" and join me in heaven).
  2. Don't create said being, don't allow sin to be created, and let all of my children whom I love live a happy life without sin or fear of eternal punishment.
Which should I choose?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:53 pm 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
AgentSeethroo wrote:
God DID resolve the sin issue. He made a way to be free from the bondage of sin and punishment.


Let's get hypothetical again. Say I'm a god (it's too early to come up with a clever analogy). I have two choices:
  1. Create a being with the specific knowledge that that being will create sin, and that as a result billions of my children whom I love will endure an eternity of suffering (but some of them will find the "way out" and join me in heaven).
  2. Don't create said being, don't allow sin to be created, and let all of my children whom I love live a happy life without sin or fear of eternal punishment.
Which should I choose?


Why God chose to make the choice He did, I don't know. I can't even BEGIN to PRETEND that I can fathom the wisdom of the one that created the oxygen that you're breathing right now.

Imma have to pull the "plan" card right now. Maybe I'll come back to this when I have time to really back myself up.

His plan is bigger than we can imagine.

Also, you have to take into consideration that the state of the world is man's fault.

Way in the past, men that slipped out of God's path started worshiping other things, like large trees, gods that their families made up and whatnot. They CHOSE to do those things. God and Abram were tight, and for the first time since the days of Adam and Eve in the garden, God had a true friend in a human.

Let's go back for a minute. Man chose to stray. It's not God's fault that they did, sin or not. They had the choice. There was always the chance that they would never turn away, you can't deny that, therefore logically, if they made the right choice, no one could have ever gone to hell. Ever.

The bible says that God wants no man to be condemned, but for all to know him.

Those millions, nay billions of people who've gone to hell were the product of decisions and choices made by ancestors, long long ago. The problems with India and Pakistan can actually be traced back to decisions made by Joshua's men way back. People started in one place, if we're looking at creation, which if you're a Christian, it's creation, period.

So even with Satan in the equation, and sin in the equation, there was ALWAYS a chance that people would make the wrong choice and never stray to begin with, and therefore not lead their children into a life without Him.

Free will is a HUGE x-factor.

Woah, I wrote WAY more than I planned on. More's probably comin' later on.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:12 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
Also, you have to take into consideration that the state of the world is man's fault.


Assuming an all-knowing and all-powerful god who is the creator of all things, the state of the world is just as much god's doing as it is man's. Would you say that if sin and evil were never created, the world wouldn't have.. well, sin and evil? But we seem to agree that god created satan knowing that satan would create sin, and that many people would follow satan. God, being the origin of everything, is the origin of every evil act as much as every good act. You can't go claiming that everything good is god's doing, and everything bad is man's fault, because god created evil (via Satan) and god created man with the full knowledge what his creations would bring.

AgentSeethroo wrote:
there was ALWAYS a chance that people would make the wrong choice


But remember Bob? God knew before he created Bob what choices Bob would make. Maybe it seems like chance to us, but God knows all, including every choice every being he ever created and will create would/will (ever) make, and god, being all-powerful, also has the opportunity to change any one of those choices. Every choice that is made, god allows. God deliberately allowed the bombing of Nagasaki fifty-nine years ago (yesterday) just as much as he deliberately allowed the freeing of the slaves. God necessarily deliberates over every wrong choice just as much as he deliberates over the right ones.

Maybe god has a plan. It's impossible for me to refute that argument, because if there's one thing I can agree with you on, it's that if god exists, we will never be allowed to understand him (god chooses not to grant us that understanding, though it's certainly within his power to do so). But if he does, then it's a plan that involves the creation of evil and the condemnation of billions of immortal souls that would have been innocent if not for said creation of evil by god (via Satan), and clearly I'm not sure how to feel about that.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:30 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
The fact that God and I are friends is all the more reason for me to worship Him!

Being friends does not mean that he sees me as an equal. It means that He loves me and wants what's best for me and sees me as His child.

I think it's this "friends not being equal" thing that bothers me.

I can understand how you can view your relationship with a loving and caring god as a both one of worship and of friendship, I just have a hard time understanding how two people can be friends but not be equal.

I tried to draw up an example here about an employee and a boss that have a relationship where they are also friends, but it fell apart after I realized that a god to human relationship is different from a human to human relationship.

That's my problem, I can't begin to fathom such a relationship. I can see how you would want to worship your god that is all-powerful and all-knowing, but how could you be friends with this awesome being as well?

Does that make any sense, AgentSeethroo?

[Edit: It took me a while to write this, and I missed AgentSeethroo's and InterruptorJones's last two posts while doing so. Please take this into consideration.]


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:49 pm 
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Did you read the rest of my post? It's like a Father/Son relationship.

Like I said, I look at my dad like a friend, but he's still my father, therefore I treat him like he is.

A friend doesn't necessarily mean someone you go and get drunk with on the weekends. It's a confidant, someone who has your back, someone you can trust, someone who helps you when you need it. An intimate friend.

I have all those things in Him.

God is more than a mysterious being in the outer heavens...He's got a personality, and His own Character.

I've spent years learning the "character of God" and I'm amazed more and more every day.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:06 pm 
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As I stated earlier, this whole argument is just a variation on the Problem of Evil argument. But as I stated, there are some unknown variables in the equation which we human beings cannot account for, either for or against God. For Christians, the challenge is that the argument SEEMS to obligate God to create only a perfect universe where nothing can go wrong. For the nontheist (atheist, agnostic), the challenge is that, once you prove God doesn't exist, there is no longer any measure of what constitutes evil, and the argument becomes meaningless.

AgentSeeThroo:

Part of the problem is that we Christians do want to convince everyone we are right. But we have to be honest: We Don't Have Answers To Every Question. Even the Free Will argument has holes in it, because there are certain statements in the Bible that seem to indicate that Free Will is not a carved-in-stone reality. After all, how did God harden pharaoh's heart if pharaoh had perfect free will?

So how then do we respond to something like the Problem of Evil argument? By pointing out POSSIBLE answers, but also be willing to honestly say, I don't know. Human beings are LIMITED, yes, even Christians. And if we don't have an answer, we cannot reasonably expect those who are not one of us to understand, either.

IJ:

As I indicated in a previous post, the Problem of Evil is a nice little exercise in logic. However, it does not take into account those unknown variables, like free will. One of those factors might be that God cares enough about those millions of people who will love him and worship him, that it is worth it to him that millions of others will reject him and be condemned. In other words, he created for the benefit of the redeemed. But that is just another guess on my part.

Nobody laughed at my Spongebob vs. Egghead joke! :-( :-(

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:09 pm 
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Didymus...Nice post. I wish I had proper Schoolin'. Oh well...the time will come eventually.

Oh, and by the way:
Didymus wrote:
Nobody laughed at my Spongebob vs. Egghead joke!


I did!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:26 pm 
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Didymus wrote:
One of those factors might be that God cares enough about those millions of people who will love him and worship him, that it is worth it to him that millions of others will reject him and be condemned. In other words, he created for the benefit of the redeemed. But that is just another guess on my part.


He created what for the benefit of the redeemed? I think you missed a word, maybe?

Anyway, if god wants to provide a particular benefit to a particular group of people (I'm going to assume all people, since I have trouble with the "some people just aren't Chosen" angle), then he has the power to simply provide it. With a bat of his mighty eyelashes. And, being all-powerful (excepting nonsense) providing a benefit to any person does not necessitate the condemnation of any other person. These two eventualities can be mutually exclusive.

What I'm trying to say is that whatever benefit he is providing to the redeemed, he could just as easily provide to them without sending anybody else to hell. But he chooses to send (or, if you prefer, allow his creation Satan to send) to hell people who he could have chosen instead to save. Saving some people does not necessitate condemning others.

I have another scriptural question: Where does the Bible say that we have free will?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:33 pm 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
Didymus wrote:
What I'm trying to say is that whatever benefit he is providing to the redeemed, he could just as easily provide to them without sending anybody else to hell. But he chooses to send (or, if you prefer, allow his creation Satan to send) to hell people who he could have chosen instead to save. Saving some people does not necessitate condemning others.


He's not gonna FORCE himself on anyone, that would completely remove the factor of freedom. We are free to choose. Salvation is a choice.

Think about this. How many times have you dismissed someone on tv who was preaching the gospel, or a co-worker who was talking about God. I know and you know that we all have, myself included, on many instances.

The chances are always around, we just have to be open-minded enough to listen. People choose to go to Hell.


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AgentSeethroo wrote:
He's not gonna FORCE himself on anyone, that would completely remove the factor of freedom. We are free to choose. Salvation is a choice.


But if he had never created evil (I'm gonna assume it's safe to stop putting "via Satan" after that), then salvation never would have been necessary, since the only thing that we need salvation from is circumstances he created. I thought I illustrated that in my last point.

AgentSeethroo wrote:
The chances are always around, we just have to be open-minded enough to listen. People choose to go to Hell.


This still doesn't explain why god allowed the creation of sin and hell, and continues to create people that he knows (specifically and beforehand) will choose Satan and go to hell.

Say I breed 1000 mice. And I create a maze in which there are two exits. And behind one of those exits (Door #1) I put a ton of cheese, or something equally awesome to a mouse. And behind the other (Door #2) I put [some unpleasant fate that I don't have the stomach to even imagine, 'cause I love furry mammals, so make something up yourself]. But I make it really, really, really easy for the mice to find their ways to Door #1, and I make it relatively difficult for them to find Door #2 (and make sure they can't stumble into it accidentally). And I realize that no matter how easy I make it to get to Door #1, that some of these mice will inevitably find their way to the awful fate of Door #2. Obviously I want the mice to find Door #1, and I put lots of signals and pointers in the hopes that they'll find it, but when I see the inevitable one or ten or 100 mice wandering toward Door #2, choosing that path, I just don't intervene.

Is it okay what happened to these mice, because even though I bred them and created the maze and created the reward and the punishment, it was they who chose Door #2? Somehow I don't think PETA would agree.

And compared to god, we're certainly no smarter than mice.

If you're still having trouble with the god-didn't-create-hell-Satan-did thing, maybe it would help if in this scenario I didn't create Door #2, but instead I let my little nephew hang out in my workshop and watched him build Door #2 and all the awful devices it holds, and decided not to stop him from building it, and to let the mice into the maze anyway.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:02 pm 
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After reading our past few posts, I need to point out the fact that I can no sooner know WHY God did what he did than tell you WHY Mark Hacking killed his wife for sure.

God did what He did, and I know he had good reason for it, in his infinite wisdom.

This isn't a cop-out, I'm just not able to tell you why he did it. I can say that he is much much wiser than any of us can ever pretend to be, so it's safe to say that He knows what he's doin'.

I'm sure we'll end up going in the same circle again sooner or later because we're looking at things from different perspectives. I've asked those same questions, even after I got saved, but I can pull the "faith" card.

In any event, good discussion. Any more questions, not "why God did what" related?


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AgentSeethroo wrote:
furrykef wrote:
They aren't mutually exclusive.


They're not? I was under the impression that atheism was a lack of a religion, not a lack of belief in Christ.


It means neither of those: it means lack of belief in a deity. One need not a deity to be a Buddhist (whether it be Zen or some other sect), though one must see the "big picture", which some Buddhists choose to express in terms of a deity (some figuratively, some literally). It should be noted that the Buddha was always silent on metaphysical matters (except, arguably, the cycle of death and rebirth).

I could of course argue with the idea that Buddhism is a religion, too. :)

- Kef


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:08 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
Did you read the rest of my post? It's like a Father/Son relationship.

Like I said, I look at my dad like a friend, but he's still my father, therefore I treat him like he is.

A friend doesn't necessarily mean someone you go and get drunk with on the weekends. It's a confidant, someone who has your back, someone you can trust, someone who helps you when you need it. An intimate friend.

I did read your entire post. But I have a problem with understanding your example. If I followed through on it, I should ask, "So you worship your father then? And your father is all-powerful and all-knowing?" I'm not really asking these (purely rhetorical) questions, and I don't expect you to answer them. And here's why:

It's really the same problem I came across when trying to form an example in my last post. I don't think it's fair to compare a human to human relationship to a human to god relationship.

At the risk of repeating myself: I can't begin to fathom such a relationship. I can see how you would want to worship your god that is all-powerful and all-knowing, but how could you be friends with this awesome being as well?


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Tom wrote:
At the risk of repeating myself: I can't begin to fathom such a relationship. I can see how you would want to worship your god that is all-powerful and all-knowing, but how could you be friends with this awesome being as well?


I can understand. Before I "Knew" God, I thought he was this being to be feared and revered, and definitely NOT a personal God.

The thing is, you're putting God in a box. He's AMAZINGLY multifaceted. Like I said, I'm learning new things about him every single day, and I'm sure Didymus could tell you the same thing.

God defies description and logic and understanding, because he created everything. He created physics. He created law. He wept for Jerusalem because he loved them so much.

You can't define him in exactly human terms, because he's greater than that. He existed before the first human being had the first thought.

Did that help any?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:22 pm 
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I guess nobody cares about the mice. :sad:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:51 pm 
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I really hate to interrupt this argument. I've read all the posts, and I don't want to get involved lest I be burninated. I don't even want to touch this with a ten-foot pole, in fact, as we seem to have gone on an immense tangent from the original 'Creationism vs. Evolutionism' discussion.

Note that I'm not going to state my stance on that issue, as - again - I like my innards. But I digress.

The only real reason I'm posting is fairly nitpicky (or possibly not), and concerns an assertion by Agent Seethroo (hey there)that I take issue with. Here it is:
AgentSeethroo wrote:
I can understand. Before I "Knew" God, I thought he was this being to be feared and revered, and definitely NOT a personal God.

Pardon me if I remember totally incorrectly, but as I recall the Old Testament is rife with examples of God's telling the people that he is to be revered, and/or either directly telling or telling through Moses that he is to be feared. In fact, a very specific kind of fear of God is theoretically the desired religious state in Judaism.

I'm not saying that I believe that this is correct, or that God should be thought of solely as something to fear and revere from a distance, but saying that God is not intended to be feared is a view found only in the New Testament, which included such additions as: "turn the other cheek", and "do unto others as thou wouldst have done unto ye."

Hope this cleared things up. Or at least didn't muddle things too badly. Or at least didn't annoy anyone severely.

Just my 3.14159269... cents.

P.S. I care about the mice, Interruptor. I feel deeply for the mice. I'm terribly sorry about the way they all died. Perhaps they should have evolved more quickly to avoid the trapdoor of the cheese?

...Okay, that was rather bitterly sardonic of me. I apologize.

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The fear of God is out of respect, and it IS an important factor in Christian life.

However, Christ died to give us access to Him, which changes the relationship a bit.

Worship comes from love. I worship him because I love him, not because I'm afraid he's gonna zap me with some Grade-A Deity level lightning!

I fear him like I fear my earthly father. I was always afraid to disappoint him, afraid of making him upset, but once again, this sort of comes from love as well.

God is love. How can you not be friends with someone that is described as "love"?

Oh, and hi, Jweb!


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So....here I go...jumpin' in on the convo....

I would like to say that IJ - I completely agree with every argument you've made. Why would a loving benevolent God create free-will, "hell-bent" (so to speak) people and simply sit back and watch them fall from Him? Why wouldn't God create perfect beings to dwell among that would never stray from Him? Why would He do all these things knowingly? You, and the others who have made similar arguments have made excellent points - I mean that with all sincerity.

Well...as other's have pointed out, I don't know. But I still believe in God. That's what I call faith. A professor of mine once quoted a philosopher in class once (I can't find out who, and I'ma have to paraphrase the exact quote a WHOLE LOT; maybe some of you have heard it before and can help). This philiosopher basically said that the very idea of God was completely "absurd" (I know that word's right)....he then went on to say that he "believed it". Sorry I don't have the exact quote for you guys...anywho....you're completely right IJ, Tom, others - the existence of God is completely and utterly ridiculous. But I am a Christian nonetheless...and now I will explain why.

I believe God created us for love. To love Him, to love each other, to love ourselves. (Perhaps in that order?) I know that at the lowest points in my life, when I feel I have no one to turn to, and no one understands me at all, all I have to do is close my eyes and talk to the one who gave me the light in my eyes (Thank you, Sheryl Crow...although I don't know if that's what exactly she meant, it's the way I interpreted it). How can I not love the only one who refuses to leave me, my brother and redeemer Jesus Christ? When I think about some of the horrible things I've done in my life, and I think that Jesus is going to shoulder all of that for me, I am in awe. I even believe that if you aren't a Christian, Jesus is a great role model for anyone - he was kind and loving, and we all need to be like that, Christian or otherwise.

So, in summary...I don't know why God does the stuff He does...I figure when I get to Heaven, I'ma ask Him....I got a lot of questions for Him!

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StrongCanada wrote:
Well...as other's have pointed out, I don't know. But I still believe in God. That's what I call faith.


Great. I'm glad. No, I'm not being sarcastic. There are many religious people who become angry if someone helps them to realize that their beliefs leave a lot of important questions unanswered. But some of them (and I dare say you're a small minority) embrace those questions as part of their faith. And they're the ones who really know what faith is. (This coming from a nontheist, so here's your grain of salt.)

StrongCanada wrote:
I even believe that if you aren't a Christian, Jesus is a great role model for anyone - he was kind and loving, and we all need to be like that, Christian or otherwise.


I agree.

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Out-dang-standing post, StrongCantadian.

I know it's hard for someone who doesn't know Christ or God for that matter to understand that kind of relationship that we have with our God, but it just makes life worth living, ya know?

I think God gotsta have an AWESOME sense of humor. Just thought I'd throw that in there.


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AgentSeethroo wrote:
I think God gotsta have an AWESOME sense of humor. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Yeah, and you are an example of it.

Heh heh.


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Well, someone's gotta lighten things up around here!

J.


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