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About readyforchange

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    I would identify as agnostic. I read posts on this website for about 2 years before joining. Learned a wealth of information here.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. I don't think he makes a valid argument here. If separating Christianity as a distinct belief system from its historical connection with Judaism, there are several religions that are still practiced today that originated prior to Christianity, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. While with perhaps less populous than Christianity, they have had significant global and historical impact. Also Christianity places a much stronger emphasis on spreading the gospel and gaining converts. Additionally, Islam has been around for around ~1400 years - does he not think that Islam has had lasting power?
  2. One Christian interpretation could be that the dead remain in the grave until judgment day, at which point all the dead will then be judged. Revelations 20:11-15 has the dead being judged after several events (prophesies?) occur, including the 1,000 year reign of the priests of God and Jesus, and the devil being released for a while before being thrown in the lake of fire. But some dead individuals are perhaps already in heaven, such as Enoch and Elijah, and one of the thieves who crucified along with Jesus (Jesus tells him that he would be in paradise on that day in Luke 23:43). Which seems to suggest that they have already been judged...
  3. Many people feel that personal experiences that they've had are solid evidence of God existing and God acting in their lives. For the most part, when you are convinced that something is 100% true, someone presenting counter-arguments or contradictory facts/evidence will not matter. With the Bible instructing to lean not on your own understanding and trust in God (Proverbs 3:5) and my ways are not your ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), nearly everything (no matter how contradictory) can be explained or justified.
  4. Hey R_Collins. Been a couple of weeks since I logged in. Thanks for the update and the details you found in your research on Haggai 2:25. I would agree that your video is factually accurate. Also a common claim/reference is that Yahweh does not change his mind, for example, Numbers 23:19. So even if the curses on Jechoniah and Jehoiakim, was were indirectly removed, it's difficult to argue a claim that God does not change his mind if the curse was removed.
  5. Thanks. There are some claims that the curse on Jeconiah was later removed. Any thoughts on that? I found one explanation on GotQuestions - https://www.gotquestions.org/curse-of-Jeconiah.html Good point about the reference to Ruth in Matthew's geneaology.
  6. Thumbelina, how do you interpret the judging of the dead in Revelations 20, when the dead are judged according to their works? Are these dead believers who were already saved through belief and faith in Jesus? People who died before the resurrection of Jesus? Is this a judgment that does not affect whether a person goes to heaven or hell - such as the works that the dead completed while alive help determine believers' place/status in the new kingdom? Revelation 20:12-15 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. 13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; 15 and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
  7. Is there any context from the Biblical account of Uzzah that suggests that Uzzah was presumptuous? When I read 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chronicles 13, I I do not see anything describing Uzzah's attitude at the time. What if Uzzah just had a natural human instinct kick in to try and catch something valuable that was about to fall? This is a story I find somewhat puzzling. Did the person or people who originally placed the ark on top of the cart do it without touching the ark themselves, and did that person or those people also die? It seems plausible that someone could have been injured during the transport of the ark and later died. Then a story about what happened became exaggerated to where the person died because Yahweh commanded that no one touch the ark.
  8. I think another challenge with needing to interpret Isaiah 7:14 as a virgin birth and a "dual/multiple fulfilment" about Jesus is that the woman in Isaiah's time who gave birth to Immanuel would have also been a virgin. So were there two miraculous virgin births - Mary giving birth to Jesus, and the woman in Isaiah's time giving birth to Immanuel? Additionally, I do not see how "before the child knows to refuse the evil, and choose the good" could apply to Jesus. Maybe from a human nature Jesus had to learn things, but if the Trinity concept is true, Jesus and god are the same, so why would there have been a time when Jesus did not know to refuse evil? But at the same time, Isaiah 45:7 indicates Yahweh creates evil.
  9. Do you interpret some of Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians 7 regarding unbelieving spouses and unmarried virgins as God-breathed? Paul states that he gives his own opinions/instructions, that they are from him and not from Jesus. Why would Paul feel the need to state this if everything he was writing in his letter was the word of God? 12 To the rest I say—I and not the Lord—... 25 Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy...
  10. Thanks. It's like why would a supernatural deity NOT do something like that, if it cares so much about saving those that question Christianity.
  11. Hi TinMan. Great post, I can relate to much of what you say here. This is a scenario I thought of for the 21st century that, to me, would be more consistent with an all-powerful God that is truly concerned about reaching those who doubt or question whether Christianity is true, versus the status quo: What if, on January 1st each year, God automatically adds a new chapter at the end of every Bible everywhere in the word - print or electronic - to answer the top 20 questions or topics people around the world have prayed about over the past year? So everyone wakes up that day and sees a new chapter automatically added to their Bibles. Each year, the chapter changes with the next year's answers to the top 20 prayers. Non-Christians would have some direct evidence of a supernatural occurrence that gets repeated and is not found in other religious texts. It would be a leading story on the news for days into the new year, and you could have pastors spending Sundays for several weeks into the new year giving sermons on these new answers from God. And from Christians' standpoint, It still does not take away anyone's supposed "free will".
  12. In the synoptic gospels, the prophecy in the Olivet discourse when Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem could just as easily have been the use of a foreshadowing technique by the gospel authors, retroactively writing after the fact and having Jesus predict the temple destruction the authors already were aware of. The logic that the synoptic gospels must have been written before 70 CE because they do not mention the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem is also flawed, because it does not take into consideration the motivations and intents of the authors, nor the time period that the author intended to cover. Matthew and Luke are like biographies of Jesus with the scope essentially being the birth, ministry, death, resurrection of Jesus, with Mark starting from Jesus' baptism. Events that span a timeframe of ~4 BCE to ~ 33 CE. If the intent of an author was to write an account of events that occurred from ~ 4 BCE to ~ 33 CE, would the author necessarily include events that occurred after that time? Someone could sit down today in 2018 and write a "new" gospel about Jesus and still not necessarily mention the destruction of the temple, if author only intends write about events specific to Jesus' life.
  13. Tough to hear this. I remember how BAA was one of the first people to respond to my initial post on this site, and how much I learned from him in reading his commentary here. My condolences to Mark's family.
  14. I would also recommend "The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts" by Mark S. Smith.
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