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lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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Farmer

-----Original Topic-----

Is following Christ (or lack of following Christ) a heart issue rather than an intellectual issue? Do you reject Christ because of evidence or do you reject Christ because you are satisfied with things of this world rather than God? I'm bringing this topic up because I have found a new love and appreciation for God, but also because I kinda miss debating if I'm going to be honest. I wanted to see how my new knowledge of God will fare against your arguments. I hope to only speak the truth and I pray that God will speak into your hearts. I'm not sure if these are good questions tho, so feel free to change the subject.

-----Revised Topic-----
4/29/20
When I wrote this, it was impulsive. I just wanted to debate because I wanted a sense of purpose. I didn't put any thought into the questions.

Now this topic is just Christianity in general, I think. To guide the conversation, I want to answer these questions: What is the true essence of Christianity and why is it different from other religions?

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thebluerabbit
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you are already assuming that your religion is the truth (or not the truth, the point im making here is that you are putting an emphasis on a specific religion as if it is the only relevant one to a discussion like this) and ask others the reason they reject or follow it. first of all, if people rejected it because of proof, that would mean there is proof that your religion is wrong, and then you are the one who has to explain yourself, not someone else.
there are two reasons to reject a religion.
people reject religion because of lack of proof, which is the same reason youd reject my claim that im actually a purple dragon behind this screen right now, which is a totally valid reason to reject baseless claims.

you are also ignoring the fact that the religion you believe in is one of many, and a different person with a different religion can accuse you of having a heart or an intellectual issue which is the second reason to reject a religion (having a different one already). he can use the exact same argument you are using and the two of you arguing would just be a pointless fight of who screams "no im right" the loudest.

next, we are lucky to be in an age where information and communication between people across the world can be done easily within seconds. in a world where a person doesnt even know the concept of christianity, he doesnt believe in that religion without having to reject it in the first place, so not following or following a religion might be lack of knowledge of it in the first place (which honestly reflects how cruel some religions can be for dooming non believers to hell when some people couldnt have even heard of it in the first place).

first thing i suggest you to make sure you do, is make a distinction between what you know and what you believe in (or if you will, what you think you know). you dont have knowledge of god. if you had knowledge of god you wouldnt have faith, since faith exists through belief, not knowledge.

following or not following a religion is not any kind of issue if the person has valid reasons for following or not following that religion. what is an intellectual issue in this case, is the failure to think objectively and judge others for not thinking the way you do, assuming that you are being objective and therefore, others are wrong, blind or irrational.

lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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I think the fact that you had to point these things out shows that I wasn't expecting that response haha. But I agree that I'm making a huge assumption, and I apologize if I came off as arrogant. If this is going to be a fruitful conversation, then I should view it from several points of view and especially from the points of view from members of this conversation. That being said, I'm not sure where to start. I think we should find common ground first, so I will address some of the things you said. Then, hopefully we can go over the other points because there is a reason why I started off making assumptions.

first thing i suggest you to make sure you do, is make a distinction between what you know and what you believe in (or if you will, what you think you know). you dont have knowledge of god. if you had knowledge of god you wouldnt have faith, since faith exists through belief, not knowledge.
The only reason I would say that my "knowledge" of God is faith is because it's hard to argue against the claim that getting knowledge from the Bible is circular. I think we can have a conversation about that though because I think I have fresh arguments about it. For now, I will concede that I believe in God rather than have knowledge in God, but I would like to say that the faith I have in Jesus Christ is not blind but rather comes from studying texts about Him that include the Bible and books by prominent Protestant authors and also from listening to said authors' sermons. I would also like to say that my faith is strengthened by the changes I have seen in my life and in my character.

following or not following a religion is not any kind of issue if the person has valid reasons for following or not following that religion. what is an intellectual issue in this case, is the failure to think objectively and judge others for not thinking the way you do, assuming that you are being objective and therefore, others are wrong, blind or irrational.
I would agree that there is no issue from a worldly, human perspective. However, if we assume that my God is real, then there are serious consequences for people not following my religion. If we start with this assumption, then we would expect that all evidence points to the existence of my God. People who reject this evidence either have a heart issue or a knowledge issue (still assuming that my God is real), as Paul explains "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17 ESV). It's exactly what you said. You can't have faith in something that you have never heard about. It's a knowledge issue if someone doesn't know God, and it's a heart issue if you reject God because you don't like the things that God says.

But I think we have established that it would be foolish to start off with that assumption. To add on to why it's probably not a good idea, there is probably a lot of gaps in my logic looking back at the previous paragraph :/

Considering this whole thing in general, it's probably not wise for me to argue about this because it rarely ever produces fruit. In other words, no one is going to convert to Christianity from an online debate. Right now, I'm having trouble finding purpose during this quarantine and I thought this would be a good way to spread the gospel, but probably not. I would still like to share what I have learned about God to you guys if there is an interest.

Sorry for taking you guys along my thought process. Debates in the past haven't changed anyone's mind, but people enjoy them for some reason. I mean I enjoy them too, but as a Christian I don't think I'm called by God to debate. I am called to share God's word and God's love to others. So instead of making this thread a debate, I will work to clarify God's true teaching and break down some misconceptions about Christianity from my own understanding. I will add a disclaimer which you guys probably already know that my beliefs do not reflect the beliefs of all Christians because there are various denominations of Christianity AND I am still learning and reflecting on God's word.

I do have a question about what you said about people with no concept of certain religions.

[this] honestly reflects how cruel some religions can be for dooming non believers to hell when some people couldnt have even heard of it in the first place
Is it worse to say that it's not Christians who doom non-believers to hell, but rather God who does? Or are you saying that some Christians might behave violently against non-believers who have never heard the gospel?
thebluerabbit
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The only reason I would say that my "knowledge" of God is faith is because it's hard to argue against the claim that getting knowledge from the Bible is circular. I think we can have a conversation about that though because I think I have fresh arguments about it. For now, I will concede that I believe in God rather than have knowledge in God, but I would like to say that the faith I have in Jesus Christ is not blind but rather comes from studying texts about Him that include the Bible and books by prominent Protestant authors and also from listening to said authors' sermons. I would also like to say that my faith is strengthened by the changes I have seen in my life and in my character.

my point wasnt that faith is always 100% blind and irrational. you were convinced by arguments, research, changes etc. etc. and started to believe. you have knowledge of your religion. i am not arguing against that. knowing anything about any religion is 100% knowledge. believing in it is faith, which always has some element of blindness in it. having faith means you are willing to believe despite not knowing or even against proof or compelling arguments. that part of faith will always be "blind".

I would agree that there is no issue from a worldly, human perspective. However, if we assume that my God is real, then there are serious consequences for people not following my religion. If we start with this assumption, then we would expect that all evidence points to the existence of my God. People who reject this evidence either have a heart issue or a knowledge issue (still assuming that my God is real), as Paul explains "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17 ESV). It's exactly what you said. You can't have faith in something that you have never heard about. It's a knowledge issue if someone doesn't know God, and it's a heart issue if you reject God because you don't like the things that God says.
But I think we have established that it would be foolish to start off with that assumption. To add on to why it's probably not a good idea, there is probably a lot of gaps in my logic looking back at the previous paragraph :/

personally, i think the issue lies with your religion then. if there are such awful consequences for not following the religion, and you are willing to call those things issues, what is the source of those issues? if it is knowledge issue its very easy. its nobodys fault. and if its nobodys fault, it is gods fault. god made that person born to a tribe which was not discovered by people of X religions and never heard of it, god never gave them a chance to know the religion, and so, despite it being his responsibility and fault, and they are innocent, they have to face those consequences.
as for rejection, as i said, any person from any other religion can use the same argument you are using and such a conversation will have no winner. everybody can use a weak argument of "it speaks to your heart" and then accuse you for not listening. both people are also believers of their religion, neither is lying. so whos fault is it again? yup, its god. if god makes it so there are consequences for not following, it is also his responsibility to give us a fair start. and that means being born with that knowledge with no wrong religions in existence.

if he isnt taking responsibility for that, and still dooms people to hell for not following, then that god isnt benign. hes just a really powerful tyrant.
and the only reason to follow him would be fear of being evil as well.

if one chooses to follow an entity that harms the innocent, they either agree with harming the innocent (even if they claim they arent innocent, which is ridiculous. im assuming you arent willing to claim that every person who doesnt follow your religion is evil and deserves to burn for all eternity), which makes them evil, or they disagree with it, which makes them cowards.

the rejection you are talking about is simply not being convinced, but i will up you one level and say this. even if i KNEW that that is the true god, i might "believe" in him but would still not follow him because of those awful moral and deranged values. that is true rejection.

Considering this whole thing in general, it's probably not wise for me to argue about this because it rarely ever produces fruit. In other words, no one is going to convert to Christianity from an online debate. Right now, I'm having trouble finding purpose during this quarantine and I thought this would be a good way to spread the gospel, but probably not. I would still like to share what I have learned about God to you guys if there is an interest.

you are facing a big problem here. every intellectual is always ready to learn, even about a religion. but he does so to just gain knowledge, not to convert. usually those who convert are people who are at a low point, or feel lost and find hope and positivity (can never spell this word) in the message. which frankly, is very similar to cult recruitment techniques. you are (probably, judging from your tone) arent interested in just enriching knowledge, you want people to open their heart to your message. that wont happen unless you go to those who are vulnerable and preach to them, and in that case, you should ask yourself whether you really should exploit their weakness to convert them. people can easily justify this by saying "of course! sure i might be technically taking advantage of their vulnerability but im granting them the truth and heaven". sure, if that was the truth, i cant argue with that much, especially if you arent willing to assume that you might be wrong about the truth. in fact, if you are wrong and a person of a different religion with a god who condemns the non following is the one that exists, youre actively dooming them to hell.

Sorry for taking you guys along my thought process. Debates in the past haven't changed anyone's mind, but people enjoy them for some reason. I mean I enjoy them too, but as a Christian I don't think I'm called by God to debate. I am called to share God's word and God's love to others. So instead of making this thread a debate, I will work to clarify God's true teaching and break down some misconceptions about Christianity from my own understanding. I will add a disclaimer which you guys probably already know that my beliefs do not reflect the beliefs of all Christians because there are various denominations of Christianity AND I am still learning and reflecting on God's word.

i have changed my mind, even in online debates. people do that when they face an intellectual argument that seems better than their own (and they arent proud enough to go with their bad view while knowing its worse). problem is, when the topic is religion, and you are trying to share your religions message, its usually not a debate. most people who talk about this topic already know almost every aspect of arguing over this topic, whether its existence of god, ethics etc. etc.
in the end, its usually the religious person who isnt willing to change their mind, regardless of how good of an argument they are facing and are unable to counter it, because they will always have the trump cards of "gods plan" "mysterious ways" "we cant grasp it" "faith" to fall back to to end the debate in a stalemate. they can use those cards to just ignore all countering arguments and then continue on their way to someone else who might not use a good enough argument for them to use those cards and try to change their mind. religious people dont play fair in the game of reasoning, which is actually fine when they accept that their belief is personal and shouldnt be what others ought believe in. when they always fall back to that stalemate though and then move on to a weaker opponent to try and change their opinion, it feels a bit dirty to me.

Is it worse to say that it's not Christians who doom non-believers to hell, but rather God who does? Or are you saying that some Christians might behave violently against non-believers who have never heard the gospel?

i was referring to god dooming people who never even had the opportunity to hear about the religion. also, i guess that means every single person who lived before the religion even existed was doomed as well? pretty awful if you ask me.

i personally, automatically reject all religions that claim non believers go to hell. it is inherently evil in my opinion and no benign entity would enforce such a rule in a world like ours.

ill let you in on some spoilers
some argue that if you never had a chance because you never even heard of the religion, then you are excused since you are innocent. it seems to solve what i just said but...............
i also have an argument against that.

there is actually one special exception where i will accept a religion that dooms non believers. i thought of that argument myself and as far as i know, most religions who believe in that concept can use this argument and then id have no criticism against them. in fact, i think another concept in christianity would even support this claim. ironically though, it seems im giving their religion a better defense than themselves, because not a single person of such religions ever thought of this argument in a discussion with me and used that defense.

for the record, it definitely looks like im heavily criticizing religious people and maybe even antagonizing them, and i am. but all these words are coming from someone who is religious himself. i have nothing against religion as a concept, nor do i have anything against religious people for being religious, that would be hypocritical. i have very much something against the typical religious mentality that most religious people posses.

lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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you are facing a big problem here. every intellectual is always ready to learn, even about a religion. but he does so to just gain knowledge, not to convert. usually those who convert are people who are at a low point, or feel lost and find hope and positivity (can never spell this word) in the message. which frankly, is very similar to cult recruitment techniques. you are (probably, judging from your tone) arent interested in just enriching knowledge, you want people to open their heart to your message. that wont happen unless you go to those who are vulnerable and preach to them, and in that case, you should ask yourself whether you really should exploit their weakness to convert them. people can easily justify this by saying "of course! sure i might be technically taking advantage of their vulnerability but im granting them the truth and heaven". sure, if that was the truth, i cant argue with that much, especially if you arent willing to assume that you might be wrong about the truth. in fact, if you are wrong and a person of a different religion with a god who condemns the non following is the one that exists, youre actively dooming them to hell.
I mean I believe that's the only way someone can convert is if God changes their heart. Anyone can have knowledge of God, but without God's divine work of regeneration, then that person cannot be saved. I might even say that there is a difference of being converted and being saved. I feel like using the word convert makes it my work, whereas using the word save makes it God's work. So, I would avoid using convert because I don't think it's up to me for someone to be saved, but that's just my preference. Therefore, not that I don't care if you get saved, but I'm not going to try to use any tactics to get you to convert. I believe that, God willing, truth will speak to you. Again, this might seem arrogant, but that's just how much confidence I have.

i have changed my mind, even in online debates. people do that when they face an intellectual argument that seems better than their own (and they arent proud enough to go with their bad view while knowing its worse). problem is, when the topic is religion, and you are trying to share your religions message, its usually not a debate. most people who talk about this topic already know almost every aspect of arguing over this topic, whether its existence of god, ethics etc. etc.
That's exactly why I don't want to call it a debate. I have realized that it probably will become a debate and I don't mind that as long as I am able to portray the true nature of my religion.

i was referring to god dooming people who never even had the opportunity to hear about the religion. also, i guess that means every single person who lived before the religion even existed was doomed as well? pretty awful if you ask me.
Everyone who lived before my religion were not doomed. Before Christianity, there was Judaism. And before Judaism, God was with people like Noah and Abraham.

i personally, automatically reject all religions that claim non believers go to hell. it is inherently evil in my opinion and no benign entity would enforce such a rule in a world like ours.
I think this is where you have a misunderstanding of God, or my God at least. God is a complex being. He is not benign all the time. The Bible always talks about God destroying his enemies. But you might not like that either
thebluerabbit
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I mean I believe that's the only way someone can convert is if God changes their heart. Anyone can have knowledge of God, but without God's divine work of regeneration, then that person cannot be saved. I might even say that there is a difference of being converted and being saved. I feel like using the word convert makes it my work, whereas using the word save makes it God's work. So, I would avoid using convert because I don't think it's up to me for someone to be saved, but that's just my preference. Therefore, not that I don't care if you get saved, but I'm not going to try to use any tactics to get you to convert. I believe that, God willing, truth will speak to you. Again, this might seem arrogant, but that's just how much confidence I have.

its not arrogance, its faith which is fine, but you still have a problem. if its gods job to do that, then he is responsible if someone doesnt believe in him or the religion. so hes still at fault for dooming people who had no chance. unless of course, he cant "save" everyone, and then he isnt very powerful.
i find it very ironic you use the word "save" because then you are saying that there is something or someone to be saved from. if god is the one to decide who goes to heaven or hell, is all powerful so he can control beliefs etc. then the only thing people might be saved from is god himself.
and if you have to be saved from god, it only means that god is out to get you. i reject a god you have to be saved from, because one shouldnt be have to be saved from a benign entity. i used the word "convert" because i actually think it puts more emphasis on criticizing the people and not god, since "save" antagonizes your god even further.

That's exactly why I don't want to call it a debate. I have realized that it probably will become a debate and I don't mind that as long as I am able to portray the true nature of my religion.

that might as well already be a lost cause since you are likely to not know the true nature of your religion either. if you are willing to fall back to those trump cards i mentioned, you yourself dont know its true nature and just have faith in it. also, im sure there would be many people of your religion that would disagree with you on its true nature. religion is heavily subjective, and each and every person, even those who agree, interpret it based on their own circumstances.

i myself am religious, and i probably have very different opinions from most people who share my religion. i dont go and say that im right and that im trying to tell people of the true nature of my religion. i just say my opinions. and honestly, if some people will say that i cant be of that religion because of my opinions, it doesnt really bother me. it doesnt mean anything. you fighting for the right to say that your view of your religion is objective and correct and reflects its true nature will get you in trouble, not just with non believers, but with believers of the same religion.

Everyone who lived before my religion were not doomed. Before Christianity, there was Judaism. And before Judaism, God was with people like Noah and Abraham.

jews are not christian. so they dont believe in the correct religion. if youre planning to say they did believe in the correct religion and the correct religion just changed, you are also saying your own religion might suffer from that flaw, losing ground of your own religion. in addition, judaism still survived till today. if jews are now doomed to hell because judaism used to be right but now its wrong, its the same as god abandoning people. you expect total faith and dedication, and then expect total faith and dedication in something else? the thing you believed in is just one day wrong after youve been told to have complete faith in it and move on to something else? sounds pretty dirty and irresponsible to me.

I think this is where you have a misunderstanding of God, or my God at least. God is a complex being. He is not benign all the time. The Bible always talks about God destroying his enemies. But you might not like that either

if god isnt benign, hes just a monster or at the very least, a very powerful child throwing tantrums. i reject such a god as well.

lozerfac3
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if god isnt benign, hes just a monster or at the very least, a very powerful child throwing tantrums. i reject such a god as well.
Then you will suffer the wrath from one of the ultimate tantrums, if He is God. If He is God, you should be scared. I can pull up texts from the Old Testament and New Testament to show you why. That being said, as long as you live, you have hope of salvation in Christ Jesus. As an adopted child of God (using the language of the Bible), I don't have to be scared of God's wrath.

jews are not christian. so they dont believe in the correct religion. if youre planning to say they did believe in the correct religion and the correct religion just changed, you are also saying your own religion might suffer from that flaw, losing ground of your own religion. in addition, judaism still survived till today. if jews are now doomed to hell because judaism used to be right but now its wrong, its the same as god abandoning people. you expect total faith and dedication, and then expect total faith and dedication in something else? the thing you believed in is just one day wrong after youve been told to have complete faith in it and move on to something else? sounds pretty dirty and irresponsible to me.

I have a feeling that you don’t know your history, so I will try to explain briefly and if there still misunderstandings, then I can elaborate. First of all, Jesus was a Jew! I say it like this because it is surprising. How could a Jew lead people into a different religion? Well, if you read the Old Testament, you will see that it has been prophesied multiple times that a man just like Jesus would come to Earth to make those very changes. Some of the Jewish people in Jesus’s time, mostly the pharisees who were super religious, rejected Jesus because they had a different idea of Christ. They knew the prophecies more than anyone, but they believed that the Christ that was prophesied about would be a charismatic leader born into a prominent family who will lead them out of the rule of the Roman Caesar. Instead, Jesus Christ was actually a humble carpenter who actually affirmed Caesar’s authority and called his own religious leaders out on their own religion.

So if Jesus was the one they prophesied about, how did they get it so wrong? I believe, according with the teachings of Jesus in the first four books of the New Testament, that the religious leaders had fallen away from the true essence of following their God. Paul, who I might quote from a lot, was a pharisee and perhaps one of the most zealous and severe pharisees for the fact that he killed Christians, but he was later converted by the divine intervention of God. After his salvation, he wrote “That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬) Following God requires following his laws, but more importantly it requires faith. From the time God had made a covenant with Abraham, Abraham was not righteous in God’s eyes because he obeyed God’s laws perfectly but rather because he trusted God. If you read Jesus’s teachings, the pharisees were actually following their own religion. They believe their own religion and being righteous in their own eyes would save them, when in fact only faith saves. I say only faith saves because no one is able to stand righteous before God on account of their own deeds. God requires perfection, and no one is perfect.

So how did the pharisees get the prophecies wrong even though they quoted from the same scriptures that Paul and Jesus quoted from? I almost forgot to answer the question lol. Jesus fit the description of the prophetical Christ perfectly, so there should be no denying that He was their savior. I believe that this was a heart issue. The pharisees were blind to their own pride and tragically rejected their own God because they didn’t have faith. As faith was the true essence of Judaism before Christ, so it is for Christianity. In response to you saying that God switched up the religion on them, they were following the wrong religion from the beginning because they missed the essence of following their God.

that might as well already be a lost cause since you are likely to not know the true nature of your religion either. if you are willing to fall back to those trump cards i mentioned, you yourself dont know its true nature and just have faith in it. also, im sure there would be many people of your religion that would disagree with you on its true nature. religion is heavily subjective, and each and every person, even those who agree, interpret it based on their own circumstances.
i myself am religious, and i probably have very different opinions from most people who share my religion. i dont go and say that im right and that im trying to tell people of the true nature of my religion. i just say my opinions. and honestly, if some people will say that i cant be of that religion because of my opinions, it doesnt really bother me. it doesnt mean anything. you fighting for the right to say that your view of your religion is objective and correct and reflects its true nature will get you in trouble, not just with non believers, but with believers of the same religion.
I can't help but feel like you are unfairly judging me right off the bat because I am religious. Have I fallen back on any of those trump cards? No, and I don't plan on it. And you are wrong. Many people of my religion would not disagree with me about the true nature of my religion or else we would not be following the same religion at all. That is why Protestant Christians separate themselves from Roman Catholic Christians. However, there is room for disagreements in general. I have said that the true nature of Christianity is being saved by faith. There are a couple more doctrines that distinguish Christians from other religions, but if you can check off those things, anything else is more or less up to interpretation. There is a concept of a triage, I think it's called, similar to the one that doctors use to determine how to treat their patients. As the analogy goes, the true nature of being a doctor might be saving people's lives, but there is still room for disagreement on the best medical practices.

its not arrogance, its faith which is fine, but you still have a problem. if its gods job to do that, then he is responsible if someone doesnt believe in him or the religion. so hes still at fault for dooming people who had no chance. unless of course, he cant "save" everyone, and then he isnt very powerful.
i find it very ironic you use the word "save" because then you are saying that there is something or someone to be saved from. if god is the one to decide who goes to heaven or hell, is all powerful so he can control beliefs etc. then the only thing people might be saved from is god himself.
and if you have to be saved from god, it only means that god is out to get you. i reject a god you have to be saved from, because one shouldnt be have to be saved from a benign entity. i used the word "convert" because i actually think it puts more emphasis on criticizing the people and not god, since "save" antagonizes your god even further.
You are right to say that we must be saved from God. We are enemies of God because we rejected him in the first place. Paul addresses the very thing that you are wrestling with. He says, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" (Romans 9:19). Then, immediately after he says "But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me like this?' Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory" (Romans 9:20-23). I encourage you to read the book of Romans. You will know the the severity of our sin and the hope we have in Christ.

Edit: Added the text in italics.

thebluerabbit
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Then you will suffer the wrath from one of the ultimate tantrums, if He is God. If He is God, you should be scared. I can pull up texts from the Old Testament and New Testament to show you why. That being said, as long as you live, you have hope of salvation in Christ Jesus. As an adopted child of God (using the language of the Bible), I don't have to be scared of God's wrath.

id rather suffer than follow a monster. i already said that. i will only follow a god out of trust and love, not out of fear. following god because of fear is the same as becoming a nazi out of fear of hitler. the fact that god is just more powerful doesnt excuse a person more. whether something is right or wrong doesnt come from the strength of who is the leader, but the act itself. reading what terrible things such a god can do to me wont change my mind. especially since other religions could think of just as bad things and maybe come up with worse. if you found a religion that shows a scarier punishment, would you just convert because the possible outcome would be worse?

I have a feeling that you don’t know your history, so I will try to explain briefly and if there still misunderstandings, then I can elaborate. First of all, Jesus was a Jew! I say it like this because it is surprising. How could a Jew lead people into a different religion? Well, if you read the Old Testament, you will see that it has been prophesied multiple times that a man just like Jesus would come to Earth to make those very changes. Some of the Jewish people in Jesus’s time, mostly the pharisees who were super religious, rejected Jesus because they had a different idea of Christ. They knew the prophecies more than anyone, but they believed that the Christ that was prophesied about would be a charismatic leader born into a prominent family who will lead them out of the rule of the Roman Caesar. Instead, Jesus Christ was actually a humble carpenter who actually affirmed Caesar’s authority and called his own religious leaders out on their own religion.

its not surprising at all. i knew that. it doesnt change the validity of what i am saying. jesus being jewish doesnt counter a single thing i have said.

So if Jesus was the one they prophesied about, how did they get it so wrong? I believe, according with the teachings of Jesus in the first four books of the New Testament, that the religious leaders had fallen away from the true essence of following their God. Paul, who I might quote from a lot, was a pharisee and perhaps one of the most zealous and severe pharisees for the fact that he killed Christians, but he was later converted by the divine intervention of God. After his salvation, he wrote “That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬) Following God requires following his laws, but more importantly it requires faith. From the time God had made a covenant with Abraham, Abraham was not righteous in God’s eyes because he obeyed God’s laws perfectly but rather because he trusted God. If you read Jesus’s teachings, the pharisees were actually following their own religion. They believe their own religion and being righteous in their own eyes would save them, when in fact only faith saves. I say only faith saves because no one is able to stand righteous before God on account of their own deeds. God requires perfection, and no one is perfect.

youre missing the point. everything you are saying now is nothing but your interpretation that would just be a convenient excuse and a story to tell yourself to explain why you are right. anyone can make up any story to explain things that would support their view of things. jews can say this was all false, while muslims can say the same thing to explain why islam is now right, or that jesus was just a false prophet (cant say i know enough about islam to know how they view christianity and jesus).
youre not making an actual valid argument here.
all you do is just exactly what i said you could do in your quote to form a story that could support you. youre just avoiding problems with your interpretation but youre actually failing, because it doesnt change the fact that people who are jewish have faith in their religion, a religion that you consider sent people to heaven in the past.

btw. before judaism before christianity and today, does not doom non believers to hell. so the point you were trying to make about judaism having been there before christianity to counter what i said (everyone is doomed to hell before christianity) doesnt help you, it just makes christianity look bad in comparison.

In response to you saying that God switched up the religion on them, they were following the wrong religion from the beginning because they missed the essence of following their God.

thats just a really bad logical argument. you said judaism was before christianity and the true religion. then you say the jews who stayed jews werent following the right religion in the first place. you are doing mental acrobatics to try and justify this dirty move of expecting people to be 100% faithful only to then expect them to believe in something else. saying those who became christians believed in the true religion before christianity was a thing simply doesnt make sense. either the true religion changed, or the true religion didnt exist until christianity. you cant get both.

I can't help but feel like you are unfairly judging me right off the bat because I am religious. Have I fallen back on any of those trump cards? No, and I don't plan on it. And you are wrong. Many people of my religion would not disagree with me about the true nature of my religion or else we would not be following the same religion at all. That is why Protestant Christians separate themselves from Roman Catholic Christians. However, there is room for disagreements in general. I have said that the true nature of Christianity is being saved by faith. There are a couple more doctrines that distinguish Christians from other religions, but if you can check off those things, anything else is more or less up to interpretation. There is a concept of a triage, I think it's called, similar to the one that doctors use to determine how to treat their patients. As the analogy goes, the true nature of being a doctor might be saving people's lives, but there is still room for disagreement on the best medical practices.

i cant judge you for just being religious, because then id be a hypocrite, being religious myself. i am judging you for believing in a religion which in my opinion has immoral ideologies. if you believe non believers should go to hell, then yes, im judging you. and as someone who just told me ill go to hell for not believing and suffer, you really have no logical right to complain about being judged. you judging me isnt any better just because you use your religion as a basis for it.

no, you havnt used those trump card yet and maybe you wont. thats why i said "if" when talking about those cards. thing is, i actually have nothing against people who will use those cards. any religious person would eventually use them, because god is above logic. as soon as someone applies logic and asks you something you cant explain by doing even something as simple and obvious as providing you with a paradox, you will use that card. any religious person will, and thats fine. what isnt fine, is to try and convince others of your religion by applying logic, and then backing out when their logical skills are good enough to counter it, only to eventually fall back to those cards. using logical methods for conversion when its obvious the last resort is such an unfair card is dirty. using logical methods to try and explain things intellectually, to have a debate, to explore ideas, is more than fine and is actually encouraged, even if in the end, you will be forced to use those cards to complete the argument.

protestant christians and catholic christians are still christians. just different sectors. they do still belong under the same religion. calling them two seperate religions is just arrogant because it just implies they are so wrong that they are totally different. many religions have different sectors, and belonging to a different sector doesnt make you a non believer, or at the very least, belong to a different religion.

if you can only be saved by faith, and faith is something you cant just choose, dooming someone because of faith is just evil. you dont choose to believe in something. you are either educated to believe in it from a young age, or you are convinced and start to believe. faith is not a choice. and if i dont believe in the "right" religion, it is not my fault, but gods fault, for not caring enough to "save" me from himself and for dooming me from the very beginning and never having even given me a chance. and it takes faith to believe in anything, including other "wrong" religions. they would use the same argument, and whoever gets to you first wins you to their side, or at the very least, whoever is more manipulative.

You are right to say that we must be saved from God. We are enemies of God because we rejected him in the first place. Paul addresses the very thing that you are wrestling with. He says, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" (Romans 9:19). Then, immediately after he says "But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me like this?' Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory" (Romans 9:20-23). I encourage you to read the book of Romans. You will know the the severity of our sin and the hope we have in Christ.
Edit: Added the text in italics.

if we have to be saved from god, then he is evil. im not following an evil god, and i couldnt care less what the punishment is. its not a "sin" to not follow such a god, it just angers an evil entity. by now, it doesnt even seem as if you follow out of faith, but out of fear. id rather be a good person who is true to his beliefs and moral than betray myself and follow a an evil creature out of fear.

also, you need to stop using such long quotes as your arguments. im not here to read the bible, im here to read your responses. this kind of strategy will only work on people who already believe. you wont make anyone change their mind by just quoting the book they dont believe in in the first place. you might not like this, but the texts you are quoting dont give your argument more power or raise the chances of them touching non believers heart. they only raise the chances of people eye rolling when the quote starts, eye roll again when they realise its even longer than they thought it would be and takes up more than 50% of what you yourself are saying, and not read it at all.

im not gonna read the book of romans, because i really dont care about the severity of our sin that we didnt commit and the hope we dont have in christ. since, despite what you think, not believing is not sinning, and theres no need for hope im christ.

the main point of what im saying is, you are assuming you are right and applying your views as objective. and youve done that despite my words of such strategies. my last paragraph is an example of the way im going to respond to you from now on, since youre trying to educate me about "the truth" instead of accepting me as a person who might actually be right. if you treat me like this, i will stop presenting arguments to you and just treat you the same way by directly contradicting you and just saying you are wrong.

but hey, dont feel bad. i might be saying you are wrong, and maybe even criticizing your beliefs to the point of calling you a coward or evil, calling your god a monster, but ill never say you are going to hell. i think the last one is worse than any of the others.between your views and mind, id say my views are more ethical, since i dont throw people who disagree with me to hell.

id rather be good and suffer from it, than be a part of something evil and be "saved".

lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
978 posts
Farmer

I wanted to say something real quick about the gospel since you believe that God is only evil. The only reason we have this hope is because God loves you and wants to be with you and have a personal relationship with you. That’s why He sent down his beloved and perfect Son to live with us and take on the punishment that we were supposed to receive. I have said that if you don’t believe in God, then you will go to hell, but I have said nothing about your character. I am not judging you based on your character, but rather I am making a conclusion about your fate based on the claims that you hold on to. I suppose I am judging you by asking the question if it is a heart issue or not, but it doesn’t affect the way I treat you or the way I speak to you.

Nevertheless, I don't blame you if you get offended. The gospel, the faith I preach, is inherently offensive. The gospel essentially says that you are so desperately condemned for your sins that only a perfect sacrifice can save you. It means that all your desires are evil. It means that you are lost. It means that you are an enemy of God. It means that you are not independent, but rather dependent on God. It means that you are worth nothing compared to God who is worth everything.

And yet, to God you are worth everything. This is the good news! God, despite our sinful nature, loves us so much that He sent his Son to take our place. There are so many beautiful things that Christ means for believers. It means that not only Jews can be saved, but also Gentiles like me and everyone in the world. It means that you will not go to hell, but rather spend an eternity with God. It means God loves you so much. It means God will provide for all of your needs. It means that we are righteous. It means we are sons and daughters of the creator of the universe. It means that we can have a personal relationship with the One who designed the beautiful complexities of nature that we are so inclined to study through science. It means that we are not slaves to sin, but rather slaves of righteousness (using the language of the Bible). We are sons of righteousness if you prefer. It means that we are glorified with Christ. It means that we are not hopeless, but rather we have all the hope. It means that we are never alone. I am secure and confident in the saving power of my Lord, Jesus Christ. With this faith, by admitting that you might be right, is to lose this confidence. I am in desperate need of God as my Savior. There is no way I will throw away the life I gained in Christ.

I will not apologize for my convictions or for the truths I cling to. But, I do apologize if I haven't treated you with respect. I hope you understand that I don't talk to you like this because I think you are ignorant or slow. I speak this way because of the convictions that I have and because the truths I believe in are so serious that it literally means life or death. But, I do not believe that you will convert unless God reaches out to you. I have already warned you that this will not be a debate, but if certain things become a debate, then I will only participate in order to clarify the true nature of following Christ rather than coming up with careful tactics to get you to convert, which when I think of it is probably still not a debate.

Anyways, I will address your points directly so we can have a proper dialogue.

id rather suffer than follow a monster. i already said that. i will only follow a god out of trust and love, not out of fear. following god because of fear is the same as becoming a nazi out of fear of hitler. the fact that god is just more powerful doesnt excuse a person more. whether something is right or wrong doesnt come from the strength of who is the leader, but the act itself. reading what terrible things such a god can do to me wont change my mind. especially since other religions could think of just as bad things and maybe come up with worse. if you found a religion that shows a scarier punishment, would you just convert because the possible outcome would be worse?

No, I would not. First, I don't believe that there is any scarier punishment than that of which the Bible teaches. Second, I don't trust in God because I fear Him. I trust in Him because He loves me and has shown it through Christ.

btw. before judaism before christianity and today, does not doom non believers to hell. so the point you were trying to make about judaism having been there before christianity to counter what i said (everyone is doomed to hell before christianity) doesnt help you, it just makes christianity look bad in comparison.

I've heard about this argument, but I'm pretty confused about it. It's hard to tell why Jesus would teach a different afterlife than what Jews back then believed. I think there are some clues though. Before Jesus, there was the concept of Sheol where non-believers and unclean believers were sent after they died. I think even back then Jews were in disagreement about the afterlife just as Christians are today, but they still had a concept of the afterlife. Whether the arrival of Jesus changed how it works or not is unclear to me, but I can safely say that what you believe about the afterlife is not something that is crucial to your salvation.

thats just a really bad logical argument. you said judaism was before christianity and the true religion. then you say the jews who stayed jews werent following the right religion in the first place. you are doing mental acrobatics to try and justify this dirty move of expecting people to be 100% faithful only to then expect them to believe in something else. saying those who became christians believed in the true religion before christianity was a thing simply doesnt make sense. either the true religion changed, or the true religion didnt exist until christianity. you cant get both.

I think you missed my point, but I admit that my explanation might not have been satisfactory or clear, so I don't blame you. I guess what I'm trying to say is that salvation goes beyond what religion you follow or claim to follow. What matters is if your heart is set towards God or if it is set on your own understanding.

i cant judge you for just being religious, because then id be a hypocrite, being religious myself.

May I ask how you practice religion?

and as someone who just told me ill go to hell for not believing and suffer, you really have no logical right to complain about being judged.

I'm not saying you're judging my character. I'm saying that you're disregarding my arguments unfairly based on what religion I follow, which I believe is a logical fallacy.

protestant christians and catholic christians are still christians. just different sectors. they do still belong under the same religion. calling them two seperate religions is just arrogant because it just implies they are so wrong that they are totally different. many religions have different sectors, and belonging to a different sector doesnt make you a non believer, or at the very least, belong to a different religion.

Most of them are wrong because they undermine the saving power of Christ by working or paying for their salvation. This is very different from what I believe.

lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
978 posts
Farmer

I realized that I am wrong and you are right. There is no love in the way I've been talking. I have not been respecting your arguments for what they are, so I apologize for being hard headed.

thebluerabbit
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thebluerabbit
5,346 posts
Farmer

I wanted to say something real quick about the gospel since you believe that God is only evil. The only reason we have this hope is because God loves you and wants to be with you and have a personal relationship with you. That’s why He sent down his beloved and perfect Son to live with us and take on the punishment that we were supposed to receive. I have said that if you don’t believe in God, then you will go to hell, but I have said nothing about your character. I am not judging you based on your character, but rather I am making a conclusion about your fate based on the claims that you hold on to. I suppose I am judging you by asking the question if it is a heart issue or not, but it doesn’t affect the way I treat you or the way I speak to you

if you tell me i will go to hell, you are judging me. you are telling me im going to the worst place imaginable. also, i dont believe that god is only evil. in fact, i believe that god is only good. i just dont believe in your god. if your god loved me and wanted to have a personal relationship with me, such an all powerful being could do much better than to make me born to a family of a different religion, and use strategies that rely on fear and threat to show me his "love", not to mention people who had even less of a chance than me to hear about his religion.
your argument of his method of how to be able to put the punishment on someone else to excuse us is just mental flips. he is god, hes supposed to be all powerful. he doesnt have to send a scapegoat to get my punishment in my place, so he wont send me to hell. he could just not send me to hell and do a better job of having a relationship with me. if anything, him being all powerful just makes jesus a victim and an unneeded sacrifice, and if this is how he treats his favorite son, its only more reason to not follow such a god.

Nevertheless, I don't blame you if you get offended. The gospel, the faith I preach, is inherently offensive. The gospel essentially says that you are so desperately condemned for your sins that only a perfect sacrifice can save you. It means that all your desires are evil. It means that you are lost. It means that you are an enemy of God. It means that you are not independent, but rather dependent on God. It means that you are worth nothing compared to God who is worth everything.

well, then maybe you should reconsider your beliefs. i dont see why one would believe in such a negative and offensive concept when there are more benign things to believe in.

And yet, to God you are worth everything. This is the good news! God, despite our sinful nature, loves us so much that He sent his Son to take our place. There are so many beautiful things that Christ means for believers. It means that not only Jews can be saved, but also Gentiles like me and everyone in the world. It means that you will not go to hell, but rather spend an eternity with God. It means God loves you so much. It means God will provide for all of your needs. It means that we are righteous. It means we are sons and daughters of the creator of the universe. It means that we can have a personal relationship with the One who designed the beautiful complexities of nature that we are so inclined to study through science. It means that we are not slaves to sin, but rather slaves of righteousness (using the language of the Bible). We are sons of righteousness if you prefer. It means that we are glorified with Christ. It means that we are not hopeless, but rather we have all the hope. It means that we are never alone. I am secure and confident in the saving power of my Lord, Jesus Christ. With this faith, by admitting that you might be right, is to lose this confidence. I am in desperate need of God as my Savior. There is no way I will throw away the life I gained in Christ.

to me, it seems like you are just trying to convince yourself to see an awful being who gives unfair and awful judgements in a positive way to feel better about it.if im everything to god, he should be more fair and try harder. if hes willing to throw someone into hell for things they cant control, it sounds more like that person means garbage to god.
of course there are many beautiful things that christ means to believers. when you believe in something, you will obvious think well of it and find it beautiful. this isnt special to your religion. once again, you are trying to have this conversation under the assumption that your religion is unique. it really isnt.
again, you use the word save, and if you acknowledge someone is saved, it means your god is a villain.
also, acknowledging i might be right isnt losing the confidence, its just willful ignorance and blindness. the reason you are so afraid to doubt, is because you will have to face my arguments with things that arent faith, and when you will do that, you will realise that maybe what you believed in is very immoral and just plain awful.
on the other hand, i am religious, and i have doubt, and i am always ready to acknowledge my belief might be wrong. that doesnt make my faith weaker, but stronger. i was willing to assume im wrong and intellectually think of the consequences of my belief, see other beliefs, and despite that doubt, research and analysis, im still religious and i still believe in god. i believe in god with doubt, while people are afraid of doubt because deep down, they know it will make them stop believing.
if you are so strong in your belief, you should have the confidence to admit you might be wrong, because you will also have the faith that the intellectual journey you will take will lead you back into believing in god, but an actual good god, not using fear as a recruiting strategy.

I will not apologize for my convictions or for the truths I cling to. But, I do apologize if I haven't treated you with respect. I hope you understand that I don't talk to you like this because I think you are ignorant or slow. I speak this way because of the convictions that I have and because the truths I believe in are so serious that it literally means life or death. But, I do not believe that you will convert unless God reaches out to you. I have already warned you that this will not be a debate, but if certain things become a debate, then I will only participate in order to clarify the true nature of following Christ rather than coming up with careful tactics to get you to convert, which when I think of it is probably still not a debate.

nobody will apologize for what they believe in. the whole point of the belief is that it is true and you cant apologize for the truth of the world.
but as i said before, if it means so much to you and its a situation of life or death, maybe you should point your fingers at the murderer, not the possible victim. you are so onto saving people, but your actions and words blame them instead of what you are trying to save them from.
where are the beautiful things you see now? i only see fear, death, tyranny and misuse of power.

No, I would not. First, I don't believe that there is any scarier punishment than that of which the Bible teaches. Second, I don't trust in God because I fear Him. I trust in Him because He loves me and has shown it through Christ.

you dont have to believe. just do research. i can almost gurantee (cant spell) to you that if you look up enough things, you will find descriptions that are scarier than the ones you know.
if god loved you, he wouldnt throw you to hell for believing in the wrong religion, especially when it isnt your choice what to believe in. youre convincing yourself that the reason the murderer spared your life is because youre a good person, instead of realising the murderer spared your life cause he recruited you with fear.
nobody loves admitting that they are forced to do or be something, so many people convince themselves of positive reasons they have become or done whatever they did. its a common psychological tactic of many victims of things like rape, family abuse, forced recruitment to the military, etc. etc.

I've heard about this argument, but I'm pretty confused about it. It's hard to tell why Jesus would teach a different afterlife than what Jews back then believed. I think there are some clues though. Before Jesus, there was the concept of Sheol where non-believers and unclean believers were sent after they died. I think even back then Jews were in disagreement about the afterlife just as Christians are today, but they still had a concept of the afterlife. Whether the arrival of Jesus changed how it works or not is unclear to me, but I can safely say that what you believe about the afterlife is not something that is crucial to your salvation.

you yourself just admitted that you can have disagreements within the religion. and its not just the afterlife which is different between judaism and christianity. hell, some jewish theories even support a form of reincarnation. but thats not the point. there are many differences besides the afterlife between the two religions. they are literally two different religions.
and what you believe about the afterlife is actually a big part of salvation, since as you yourself said, if you disagree on something, you are already of a different religion no?
you are starting to contradict yourself here.
the problems of the "true" religion changing are still there.

I think you missed my point, but I admit that my explanation might not have been satisfactory or clear, so I don't blame you. I guess what I'm trying to say is that salvation goes beyond what religion you follow or claim to follow. What matters is if your heart is set towards God or if it is set on your own understanding.

you are being very unclear now, and what you are saying here is incredibly different from what was said before. now non believers arent doomed to hell? this might be a bit lighter and not as awful as the original claim, but personally, thats not good enough for me. a god that dooms atheists is evil too.

May I ask how you practice religion?

i believe, i celebrate holidays, i keep certain rules as respect to god. thats pretty much it i suppose? its a very general question and for someone like me, who probably is a very small minority when it comes to religious aspects and concepts, i dont even find practicing a religion important.

I'm not saying you're judging my character. I'm saying that you're disregarding my arguments unfairly based on what religion I follow, which I believe is a logical fallacy.

im not disregarding them based on what religion you follow though. im doing so based on certain aspects of your religion. disregarding religious arguments that are based on aspects i reject is valid. you could have belonged to a different religion, but if you still believed non believers go to hell, id reject your religion and arguments that are trying to justify it poorly or ignore that fact. you didnt even have to mention what your religion is and i would have responded the same way.

actually, ill go further and say more. you yourself said you wont even try to assume you might be wrong and i might be right because of your own religion. you are the one who would disregard arguments because of the belief of the other person who is talking to you, because they belong to a different religion than yours (or dont belong to a religion).
im willing to accept religious arguments that i find are moral and fair. im willing to assume im wrong and someone else is right.

Most of them are wrong because they undermine the saving power of Christ by working or paying for their salvation. This is very different from what I believe.

it being different from what you believe doesnt make them wrong. and look at what you are doing here. you are trying to justify why you are right and they are wrong by pretty much say that they are greedy, which is fine.
but you are willing to ignore moral criticism of your religion and convince yourself that its fine. im sure they have their own stories and explanation as to why what they believe in is fine.

I realized that I am wrong and you are right. There is no love in the way I've been talking. I have not been respecting your arguments for what they are, so I apologize for being hard headed.

ummm... wow ok then. makes most of what i just wrote irrelevant... what happened in those 10 hours between your posts? its a complete 180

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

Then you will suffer the wrath from one of the ultimate tantrums, if He is God. If He is God, you should be scared. I can pull up texts from the Old Testament and New Testament to show you why.
You know, a lot of the most horrible things in the Old Testament are things He does to His own people, usually because they "disobeyed" a rule that He never mentioned to them, or because they're the wives or children of people who anger Him, or occasionally just to make a point to someone about something else.

Well, if you read the Old Testament, you will see that it has been prophesied multiple times that a man just like Jesus would come to Earth to make those very changes.
Hm, not really. Someone was prophesised to become the new leader of the Jews and restore their kingdom, but it was supposed to be someone of a specific lineage around a specific time, and neither of those were actually true of Jesus. What's more, he was never prophesised to be God Himself or to modify the rules they were to live by. He was just supposed to be another prophet.

If you read Jesus’s teachings, the pharisees were actually following their own religion. They believe their own religion and being righteous in their own eyes would save them, when in fact only faith saves.
This is just you following your own religion. The scriptures are very inconsistent about what leads to salvation, so it would be naïve to say that their denomination got it wrong and yours didn't.

Jesus fit the description of the prophetical Christ perfectly, so there should be no denying that He was their savior.
Not even close. People had to make some serious concessions for him to "fit" the prophesies at all. His name wasn't Immanuel, he wasn't born to the house of David, or even within the lifetime of the people who were supposed to receive this sign from above. His arrival wasn't heralded by swarms of insects covering the lands of Egypt and Assyria or any sudden proliferation of thorny plants.
You could argue Isaiah 53, but that's something that could be applied to any downtrodden innocent who is outcast and dies painfully, and there was certainly no shortage of those over the last 3000 years or so.

The pharisees were blind to their own pride and tragically rejected their own God because they didn’t have faith.
Exactly the opposite. They knew the laws of Deuteronomy, so when they saw a prophet declaring that he is God, performing magic acts (some of which are clearly stated to be an abomination to God), contradicting Hebrew law, and defying the priests, they followed God's command and called for his execution.

You are right to say that we must be saved from God. We are enemies of God because we rejected him in the first place. Paul addresses the very thing that you are wrestling with. He says, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" (Romans 9:19). Then, immediately after he says "But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me like this?' [...]"
Here's the thing. If God makes people however He chooses to make them, then He is responsible and liable for the result that He gets. If He made us to be His enemies, and designed us to reject Him, we have every right to ask Him why.

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory"
1 Clay vessels are a poor analogy, because they're inanimate utilitarian things that cannot suffer no matter how poorly they're used.
2 This just tells us that He doesn't care about us at all; He just wants to show off how powerful He is to no one in particular, and is more than willing to crush us into dust on a whim. This is in direct contrast with your "God loves you and wants to be with you and have a personal relationship with you" notion.

God, despite our sinful nature, loves us so much that He sent his Son to take our place. There are so many beautiful things that Christ means for believers. [followed by a bunch of glittering generalities]
I'm going to make up an imaginary god, and I will call him Quiggle. He is insurpassably powerful and wise and also very kind and caring.
Now, Quiggle was lonely or ... something (we can't claim to know exactly what motivates one such as he), so he created a world full of life, and in particular, a special kind of life that has feelings and is able to sense and interact with things. Quiggle made many varieties of these creatures and treated them all kindly and equally, because they were all his creations and equally deserving, and he made sure all of them had more than enough to be happy and healthy.
However, despite his careful diligence, some of these creatures (which I will call mins) behaved in ways that were harmful and ruined what Quiggle had given his creatures, causing strife and misfortune for all. So, after fixing the damage, Quiggle used his unparallelled intellect to find the cause of this behaviour and adjusted it so that the mins would no longer have a reason to behave badly. And, you know what? They never did anything bad again, and were happy and kind ever since.
You see, Quiggle is no fool. He doesn't get filled with rage at the first sight of an accidental misdemeanor and become a scornful tyrannical demagogue. He fixes the problem, because he alone has the power and the knowledge to make things right. He'd never hold the mins to an impossible standard or make any of them suffer needlessly; that would be cruel and against his loving nature.
Quiggle would be a god worthy of praise and obeisance. Of course, he'd never demand it; that would be silly and uncalled for. He just wants all his creatures to do their own thing and have a great life.

Unfortunately, your God is not at all like Quiggle. No one's is, because reality isn't compatible with a god that does things as well as he does. Any declaration of God's love is, therefore, entirely worthless. He cannot be the way you want Him to be.
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
978 posts
Farmer

ummm... wow ok then. makes most of what i just wrote irrelevant... what happened in those 10 hours between your posts? its a complete 180

I was watching a video of one of my favorite pastors who spoke about miracles and spiritual gifts. He said that you might have gifts from God to reach out to people, but if you don’t have love, you are just going to be an annoying clanging cymbal. I think you can agree that I was something like that :/

What is love? My religion teaches that love is patient and kind and takes no account of right or wrong. I was trying to tell you what love and religion is, but I had none of that myself. I said I wasn’t trying to convert you, but I think you were right when you accused me of using fear to change your heart. My words betrayed my intentions. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that my words revealed my true intentions.

These things are the same though: I only wish to portray the true essence of Christianity, and I have immense confidence in my personal salvation.

Please bear with me. I’m going to take you along my thought process again as I write lol. I wish I could say I will try to be better by taking your arguments for what they are and answering them directly, by doing less preaching, or by making less assumptions. But, the truth is I can’t answer your arguments. All of these things are subjective. When you guys say things like how could a loving God send people to hell, I can’t answer that. I only know my God is loving because the Bible tells me so, and because I have seen his mercy in my life. If you guys do not take the Bible seriously, there is nothing I can say to convince you that my God is real and that He has all these attributes. This is my faith.

I feel like speaking to you guys about my God is drawing you further away from Him. You say it’s mental gymnastics, but I say it’s a solid foundation. It is just going to be a back and forth conversation for who knows how long until God reveals Himself to you, or I fall away from my faith.

I have to admit that I am not equipped with the patience or argumentative skills to handle these topics. I have tried in the past, but they have never been resolved. I can only talk about the things I know about. I hate to admit it because it feels like I am falling back on “God has infinite knowledge and we have finite knowledge, so we will never know.”

Reflecting on that argument, I shouldn’t be ashamed to bring that up because God does have hidden knowledge. The Bible says that God has hidden knowledge. There is no way I can explain why He predestines people to hell because the Bible does not reveal that to me. Maybe you’re right when you say it’s mental gymnastics. I’m trying too hard to explain things that can’t be explained at all.

What can be explained then? I think everything that can be explained has already been revealed to us in the Bible. There is nothing more I can do but quote from these scriptures or at least put them into my own words.

What about the contradictions? I believe that by immersing oneself in the Bible, the apparent contradictions and inconsistencies will level themselves out and show to be beautiful and complex truths. I cannot walk you through all of them unless you take the Bible as an infallible source because that’s the only place I can draw information from. I can quote pastors and Christian speakers, but they will only be quoting from the Bible as well.

How can you take the Bible as an infallible source if there are inconsistencies? You can’t unless you have faith that they are only apparent inconsistencies, which actually contain powerful truths.

This is not going to be a debate unless we debate about the words from the Bible. I will not try to debate about the trueness of my faith because it will lead to nowhere if I do. I hope you understand.

Also, welcome to the conversation Fish! Nice to see you again after all this time. I just want to say that it’s been an honor debating with you. I have learned so much about how to question my faith from you and also how to argue in general. My heart always drops when I see a post from you because I know it’s going to be a tough debate. There’s something so cold and efficient that I really appreciate despite your opposition. You might notice that some of my points above subtly address your post haha

HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,209 posts
Regent

I'm unsure about the purpose of this thread... which you don't really want to call a debate even though it clearly is (now), which you seem to be perfectly fine with. You opened up the thread with a particular question, one which was pointed out is based on assumptions, but you then added there is a reason you started off making assumptions. I'm curious to hear more about those reasons and what you're actually getting at?

thebluerabbit
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thebluerabbit
5,346 posts
Farmer

Please bear with me. I’m going to take you along my thought process again as I write lol. I wish I could say I will try to be better by taking your arguments for what they are and answering them directly, by doing less preaching, or by making less assumptions. But, the truth is I can’t answer your arguments. All of these things are subjective. When you guys say things like how could a loving God send people to hell, I can’t answer that. I only know my God is loving because the Bible tells me so, and because I have seen his mercy in my life. If you guys do not take the Bible seriously, there is nothing I can say to convince you that my God is real and that He has all these attributes. This is my faith.

that is very circular. whats the point in conversion if you can only convert if you believe in the religion in the first place? if you believe what you believe in because the book you believe in said so, you lose any logical possible argument you could think of, and as ive mentioned, fell back to the "faith" card. the very same circular argument can be made about every single book/movie/video game/whatever.

you interpreting your luck or privelege (still cant spell) in life is very self centered dont you think? it means you are just happy about the favoritism you have received. why should you get that favoritism over someone else? did you have this much luck or such a good life before you believed? if you didnt, then why convert in the first place? you just kept converting till suddenly your life was better? and if it did, why not believe in something more benign? or if youve always been a believer, it has nothing to do with your life because youve already been educated to interpret every good thing in your life as love from god, and every bad thing as satan/punishment cause you were bad.

I feel like speaking to you guys about my God is drawing you further away from Him. You say it’s mental gymnastics, but I say it’s a solid foundation. It is just going to be a back and forth conversation for who knows how long until God reveals Himself to you, or I fall away from my faith.

the difference between what you say and what i say, is that what i say is based on logic, while what you say can be used to explain every thing to make it convenient to the view one would want to hold. again, your religion is not unique, your book is not solid foundation. you cant prove a system by using the system itself.

I have to admit that I am not equipped with the patience or argumentative skills to handle these topics. I have tried in the past, but they have never been resolved. I can only talk about the things I know about. I hate to admit it because it feels like I am falling back on “God has infinite knowledge and we have finite knowledge, so we will never know.”

it is fine and even noble to admit you dont know. the argument you said in your quotes is also a very valid argument. but you cant use this argument, accept it, and then not willing to face the possibility you might be wrong and someone else is right.

Reflecting on that argument, I shouldn’t be ashamed to bring that up because God does have hidden knowledge. The Bible says that God has hidden knowledge. There is no way I can explain why He predestines people to hell because the Bible does not reveal that to me. Maybe you’re right when you say it’s mental gymnastics. I’m trying too hard to explain things that can’t be explained at all.

one of the cards i have mentioned previously. which again, is a fine argument. but when one makes such an argument, they also have to accept that they dont know of gods existence, but believe in it. they have to accept their arguments are weak, even if they allow themselves to continue believing. and they also have to accept that others wont be convinced by those arguments. and since they have to accept that, they have to ask themselves something very important. "i myself accepted my arguments are weak, and that even if god has a hidden reason to do things that seem evil and awful, those things do indeed seem evil and awful. why do i believe in such a god, when i can believe in a god that is more ethical? dont i owe it to myself to believe in a being that reflects my true views and use those views and my morals as a reason to follow, instead of fear?"

What can be explained then? I think everything that can be explained has already been revealed to us in the Bible. There is nothing more I can do but quote from these scriptures or at least put them into my own words.

What about the contradictions? I believe that by immersing oneself in the Bible, the apparent contradictions and inconsistencies will level themselves out and show to be beautiful and complex truths. I cannot walk you through all of them unless you take the Bible as an infallible source because that’s the only place I can draw information from. I can quote pastors and Christian speakers, but they will only be quoting from the Bible as well.

the bible has many contradictions and problematic ethical views. it doesnt explain them. more often than not, it just says X will make you go to hell, without actual reason.
it is fine to assume those contradictions only seem as contradictions but could be sorted out with enough philosophcal work and thought, but again, when you compare that to a potential system of belief that you yourself would find more benign, i dont see why youd believe in your logically and morally vague religion instead of a different one.
and as i said before, you cant prove a system by using that system. i can only &quotrove" that harry potter is true and use quotes from it if you just already agree with me that its true.

How can you take the Bible as an infallible source if there are inconsistencies? You can’t unless you have faith that they are only apparent inconsistencies, which actually contain powerful truths.

having faith is not a choice, and so you cant judge people for not having faith. one could also have faith in something else that contradicts your bible. the only one you could blame for lack of faith is god itself. there is also a huge difference between having faith in a religion and having faith that something could be consistent. something being consistent doesnt mean it is true. it just means it could be true. even with faith that the contradictions can be resolved, it doesnt mean you must have faith in the story itself.

This is not going to be a debate unless we debate about the words from the Bible. I will not try to debate about the trueness of my faith because it will lead to nowhere if I do. I hope you understand.

then this is not going to be a debate at all. i am not knowledgable enough on your specific religion to start going deep into christian folklore, myths, interpretation and spceific quotes. i can only take the arguments you will show me and reveal their flaws. i am also not willing to study a religion just to argue with believers. the debate you are looking for is a debate that would be most suiting in a religious club whos members are all parts of the same religion. something similar to a fan club of a book/anime/movie/any other work.

Also, welcome to the conversation Fish! Nice to see you again after all this time. I just want to say that it’s been an honor debating with you. I have learned so much about how to question my faith from you and also how to argue in general. My heart always drops when I see a post from you because I know it’s going to be a tough debate. There’s something so cold and efficient that I really appreciate despite your opposition. You might notice that some of my points above subtly address your post haha

unlike fish, i prefer arguing using the more theoretical approach by focusing on the arguments. fish seems to be more of a person to prefer using the specific and technical knowledge of the topic itself (or perhaps not, he just knows a lot about this topic in particular).

both ways of argument are valid, but based on how you speak and what you said you are looking for, fish seems to be your go to person if youd like a debate on the specifics of your religion, instead of its theoretical and logical consequences.

its a good thing you have joined fish, cause i lack the knowledge and desire to go too deep into the details and claims of the bible, so you can add a whole new point of view to this thread

lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
978 posts
Farmer

@HahiHa Hey man! Glad you can join us.

I'm unsure about the purpose of this thread... which you don't really want to call a debate even though it clearly is (now), which you seem to be perfectly fine with. You opened up the thread with a particular question, one which was pointed out is based on assumptions, but you then added there is a reason you started off making assumptions. I'm curious to hear more about those reasons and what you're actually getting at?

"This is not going to be a debate unless we debate about the words from the Bible. I will not try to debate about the trueness of my faith because it will lead to nowhere if I do. I hope you understand."

I know I keep changing it up on you guys, but this quote pretty much sums up what I want this thread to be about now. I don't want this to be a debate about the trueness of my faith. I want this to be a discussion about my faith. It's going to be hard unless the Bible is taken as a credible source.

Sorry if this isn't the debate you expected.

@thebluerabbit

that is very circular. whats the point in conversion if you can only convert if you believe in the religion in the first place? if you believe what you believe in because the book you believe in said so, you lose any logical possible argument you could think of, and as ive mentioned, fell back to the "faith" card. the very same circular argument can be made about every single book/movie/video game/whatever.

I guess you can say that I have given up trying to convert you guys. Or at least trying to convince you guys that Christianity has grounds in logic. I still believe it does, but I'm not going to argue about it anymore.

you interpreting your luck or privelege (still cant spell) in life is very self centered dont you think? it means you are just happy about the favoritism you have received. why should you get that favoritism over someone else?

I'm not sure if I see my salvation as favoritism. God is impartial, which means that He doesn't consider things like race, wealth, or ability when He saves. I don't know why God saved me, but I will continue to live it out with upmost gratitude. Even if I don't live out my salvation, I know that God will not abandon me.

did you have this much luck or such a good life before you believed? if you didnt, then why convert in the first place? you just kept converting till suddenly your life was better? and if it did, why not believe in something more benign?

I had a good life before I believed. But we are talking in worldly terms. Before I was saved, I was living a life of sin, but now I live my life in Christ. I converted because I acknowledged my fallen nature and acknowledged that Christ can pick me up. As the Bible would put it, I was once dead to sin, so I believe that when I was saved, I have been resurrected with Christ.

or if youve always been a believer, it has nothing to do with your life because youve already been educated to interpret every good thing in your life as love from god, and every bad thing as satan/punishment cause you were bad.

I think that every good thing and every bad thing comes from God, talking in worldly terms again. If misfortune happens, that might be God teaching me to seek Him. Talking from the perspective of my faith, I believe that nothing bad can come from God because God is good.

the difference between what you say and what i say, is that what i say is based on logic, while what you say can be used to explain every thing to make it convenient to the view one would want to hold. again, your religion is not unique, your book is not solid foundation. you cant prove a system by using the system itself.

What I say is based on logic too. But I start with the premise that the Bible is the word of God. You start with the premise that it isn't.

it is fine and even noble to admit you dont know. the argument you said in your quotes is also a very valid argument. but you cant use this argument, accept it, and then not willing to face the possibility you might be wrong and someone else is right.

I agree. I won't use this argument for that reason.

one of the cards i have mentioned previously. which again, is a fine argument. but when one makes such an argument, they also have to accept that they dont know of gods existence, but believe in it. they have to accept their arguments are weak, even if they allow themselves to continue believing. and they also have to accept that others wont be convinced by those arguments. and since they have to accept that, they have to ask themselves something very important. "i myself accepted my arguments are weak, and that even if god has a hidden reason to do things that seem evil and awful, those things do indeed seem evil and awful. why do i believe in such a god, when i can believe in a god that is more ethical? dont i owe it to myself to believe in a being that reflects my true views and use those views and my morals as a reason to follow, instead of fear?"

You have gotten to the heart of this discussion then. I do admit that my arguments are weak. I am speaking purely from faith now.

the bible has many contradictions and problematic ethical views. it doesnt explain them. more often than not, it just says X will make you go to hell, without actual reason.

I have said what I think about the contradictions. About the problematic ethical views, I believe that the ethics as seen in the Bible come from God. They only seem problematic because we have fallen so far away from God.

when you compare that to a potential system of belief that you yourself would find more benign, i dont see why youd believe in your logically and morally vague religion instead of a different one.

It's not about which religion is more benign. It's about which one is true to my life and which one I can cling onto for hope. I do not expect you to agree with me.

I will also say that I don't believe that it is a morally vague religion. The Bible has very clear and sobering things to say about morals.

having faith is not a choice, and so you cant judge people for not having faith. one could also have faith in something else that contradicts your bible. the only one you could blame for lack of faith is god itself.

Sorry if I misunderstand what your argument, but are you claiming that faith only comes from God?

there is also a huge difference between having faith in a religion and having faith that something could be consistent. something being consistent doesnt mean it is true. it just means it could be true. even with faith that the contradictions can be resolved, it doesnt mean you must have faith in the story itself.

I mean, I have faith in both. The faith that it can be consistent comes from the faith I have in Word.

then this is not going to be a debate at all. i am not knowledgable enough on your specific religion to start going deep into christian folklore, myths, interpretation and spceific quotes. i can only take the arguments you will show me and reveal their flaws. i am also not willing to study a religion just to argue with believers. the debate you are looking for is a debate that would be most suiting in a religious club whos members are all parts of the same religion. something similar to a fan club of a book/anime/movie/any other work.

I guess you could put it that way. But also, this discussion doesn't have to be a debate. I'm pretty much sharing what I believe in at this point haha

@FishPreferred

You know, a lot of the most horrible things in the Old Testament are things He does to His own people, usually because they "disobeyed" a rule that He never mentioned to them, or because they're the wives or children of people who anger Him, or occasionally just to make a point to someone about something else.

This is new to me. I know that He acts out of judgment, but would you care to explain what rules He never mentioned to his people?

Hm, not really. Someone was prophesised to become the new leader of the Jews and restore their kingdom, but it was supposed to be someone of a specific lineage around a specific time, and neither of those were actually true of Jesus. What's more, he was never prophesised to be God Himself or to modify the rules they were to live by. He was just supposed to be another prophet.

He was never prophesied to be God, but He turned out to be. And He wasn't supposed to modify the rules they were to live by, but to carry out those rules perfectly. By living out those rules perfectly, He was able to take away the need for us to live them out. He wasn't just supposed to be another prophet be he was supposed to be another prophet. And he fulfilled that too.

This is just you following your own religion. The scriptures are very inconsistent about what leads to salvation, so it would be naïve to say that their denomination got it wrong and yours didn't.

For reference, here is the link you provided. I want to talk about everything under the "Salvation is not by faith alone" section. Some of these things aren't even talking about salvation. Some of them are talking about the fruits of labor. You reap what you sow in terms of your good works. Others are talking about salvation, but through works, or by following all the commandments. But I have already mentioned before that Jesus has already fulfilled all the commandments because we have not been able to. Now we through Christ meaning we take on righteousness before God. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" Philippians 2:12. This is not how to receive salvation, but rather a command by Paul saying (in my own words), You are saved so now grow in your salvation in the same way you grow a plant, or in the same way you grow your body by working it out. "Work out your salvation."

Not even close. People had to make some serious concessions for him to "fit" the prophesies at all. His name wasn't Immanuel, he wasn't born to the house of David, or even within the lifetime of the people who were supposed to receive this sign from above. His arrival wasn't heralded by swarms of insects covering the lands of Egypt and Assyria or any sudden proliferation of thorny plants.

His name is Immanuel in the sense that we call Him that now. So that prophecy is fulfilled. It literally means "God with us". Since Jesus is God and Jesus is with us, it is an appropriate name. Him being born into the house of David, doesn't that just mean that he is a descendent of David? He was a descendent of David. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "even within the lifetime of the people who were supposed to receive this sign from above". Lastly, do you mind providing where in the Bible that last prophecy comes from?

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