readyforchange

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About readyforchange

  • Rank
    Strong Minded

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    U.S.
  • Interests
    History, Philosophy, Science, Religious studies
  • More About Me
    I would identify as agnostic. I read posts on this website for about 2 years before joining. Learned a wealth of information here.

Previous Fields

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

Recent Profile Visitors

350 profile views
  1. BAA

    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.
  2. Literature on history of the Bible?

    I would also recommend "The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts" by Mark S. Smith.
  3. What the hell??

    I wonder how can there truly be a separation from a god if the god is supposed to be omnipresent? It would be more like the god is still there but actively chooses to hide itself.
  4. Quantum Leap

    Hi PennySerenede. No matter what prompted your friend to suggest that you come here, I think it’s great that you decided to join the site, and I hope you continue to post. I really wish that I could have open, honest discussions about the Bible and faith/doubts with friends and family. Could you be projecting your own personal sense of fairness and justice, versus what the author of the Biblical text intended or meant? Later in Romans, Paul goes on to explain the scope of sin, saying that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin (Romans 3:9). In 3:10-12, Paul quotes Psalms 14:3 and says that all have turned away from God and that no one is good, not even one. Later Paul states that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (3:23). In Romans 5:12, Paul says that when Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race, and that Adam’s sin brought death and it spread to all, for all sinned. Unless there is additional context from the original Greek that is missing in translation, Paul gives no qualifiers or caveats when he indicates that all have sinned. When it comes to the eternal fate of children, the mentally disabled/challenged, and others, one consideration could be, technically, can you say for sure what they do or do not understand? These would include a multitude of people, both past and present, whom you have never met or known. Paul indicates in Romans 1:20 that people can clearly see God’s invisible eternal power and divine nature through the things God made. So just by looking around at the world, people are supposed to know God exists and are without excuse. Also consider Biblical examples of people who, by today’s standards, would be seen as mentally unstable. Ezekiel was commanded by Yahweh to lay on his left side of his body for 390 days (Ezekiel 4:5) and lay on the right side of his body for 40 days (4:6), was tied up with rope (4:8), and later commanded to bake bread over a fire of dried human dung as fuel (4:12, (later changed to cow dung)). People today who see someone doing what Ezekiel did would say he was crazy, but he is considered by Jews and Christians as one of the greatest of the prophets. In the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society and ate grass like a cow (Daniel 4:33). Yet Nebuchadnezzar had his sanity restored and apparently wrote a first-person testimony praising Yahweh (Daniel 4:34-37).
  5. Faith apparently doesn't require the Bible

    Geezer, I'm curious if the believers you interact with consider people from religions outside of Judaism and traditional Christianity as servants of God? I am not familiar with N.T. Wright but figure he is Christian. For example, do they also see Buddha, Mohammed, Nanak, Sayyed Shirazi, Sai Baba, Joseph Smith, etc. as servants with spiritual gifts? Or is that they only see someone as a servant if that servant's message is consistent with their Christian theology?
  6. Quantum Leap

    PennySerenade, what do you think of what Paul states in Romans 1:18-20? There are varying interpretations, but it is often cited as evidence that all people are guilty when it comes to sin, with no excuses for anyone. Under these interpretations, adults with mental disabilities do not seem to get an exception. 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (NIV)
  7. Not being able to have an open, honest conversation about it with family or friends. Recently realized that the main reason I am uncomfortable discussing it is the anxiety I get if the other person is unfamiliar with textual criticism. Another thing is the inability to truly be myself, while feeling the need to do certain things I do not necessarily want/need to anymore.
  8. What will it take

    PennySerenade, similar to what LogicalFallacy asked you earlier about Satan, if you died and found yourself not in heaven but instead in hell, wouldn't that mean that Christianity is right? You would have died and found out that God/Jesus must have rejected you.
  9. Ignorance is bliss... until it isn't

    Well-written Quark. I can also relate to your last paragraph.
  10. The Dishonest Church

    What were some of the reasons that the pastors felt textual criticism provided evidence of the Bible's authenticity? Did they feel that the text was divinely inspired but written by flawed humans and thus more authentic, or that interpolations and additions/redactions/forgeries/errors in the text were also part of God's will for the Bible?
  11. These are good points that I also have asked myself countless times. If Jesus was tempted in every way as humans could be tempted and experienced everything that humans could ever experience, then I wonder why did Jesus not live as long as humanly possible? Why did he not live until age 120, the maximum age stated in Genesis 6:3? Because if Jesus died around age 33, then a major human characteristic he never experienced was old age. To anyone's knowledge, he never experienced debilitating human conditions like dementia / Alzheimer's or the loss of motor skills or bodily functions associated with aging. Granted, life expectancy was shorter back then, but he was not what would be considered as old when he died.
  12. Yes, the author of Jude seemed to view 1 Enoch as scripture. At Jude 1:14-15, he quotes a prophecy from 1 Enoch 1:9. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church actually includes Enoch in its Biblical canon. http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/english/canonical/books.html
  13. According to Paul, the Jews have had their minds hardened and do not understand the true meaning of the Hebrew scriptures. The Jews have a veil over their eyes when it comes to the scriptures and do not see that they point to Jesus. Paul states that Yahweh has given the Jews a sluggish spirit, so that their eyes do not see and their ears do not hear. See 2 Corinthians 3:12-16 and Romans 11:7-10. So one might interpret that the Jews are blind to the dual prophecies hidden in scripture that also point to Jesus. It is a rather bold claim, because Paul is saying that Jews who do not convert and believe in Jesus do not understand the very texts that Jews themselves authored. The thing with hidden meanings and dual prophecies is that they can work both ways. How do you disprove a hidden, dual prophecy in the Bible if someone claims it was revealed to him or her by God? What if there are more dual prophecies in the Bible that we do not know about? I understand that there are Muslims who interpret John 16:7-11 as Jesus speaking of sending Mohammed. In context, Jesus is referring to sending the holy spirit to the disciples. But what if there was a dual fulfillment, with a near fulfillment that is spirit (holy spirit) and a far fulfillment that is a human representative (Mohammed)? 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate[a] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about[b] sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
  14. SeaJay, here are a couple of websites describing how Jews view the Messiah. Keep in mind that a messiah meant someone anointed with oil, like the high priest and the king of Israel. King Cyrus of Persia was called a Messiah in Isaiah 45:1. The future Messiah prophesized by the Jews is simply a man with normal human parents, who traces ancestry to the David/Solomon line. The first link mentions Simon Bar Kokhba (http://www.jewishhistory.org/bar-kochba/), who for the Jews came much closer than Jesus to fulfilling the messianic scriptures. http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm http://whatjewsbelieve.org/explanation3.html
  15. Honestly, of the two, the Jewish interpretation makes more sense to me. This is a Wikipedia article that may be helpful for further references to research the son of man. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_man_(Judaism) Bart Ehrman also has a blog where he posts very frequently on a wide variety of topics, and he has some posts regarding the New Testament son of man references. If I recall correctly, he makes a case that it is unclear whether Jesus saw the son of man as himself or as a different, cosmic figure. I would recommend subscribing to Ehrman's blog if you can, as it is very informative and the blog commenters include both non-believers and Christians who pose questions. I think the cost is something like $30 a year in order to read his full posts. https://ehrmanblog.org/