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7 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

I'm sorry you can't just have a discourse Walter without having to smash other considerations  to pieces.  There are several things you and I could probably discuss in earnest.  I took you off mute....and that's a start.  Just over the table discussion is fun for me.  If you level of hurt doesn't allow that, it's ok.  Maybe sometime in the future.

 

Thanks.  

 

What part of 'This is the Lion's Den' are you failing to understand, Edgarcito?

 

This is the part of Ex-C where sceptics and atheists smash Christians like you to pieces.

 

You've been a member for over ten years and you still think the Den is where people play nice?

 

If you'd wanted an earnest, over the table discussion, then why start a thread here, where the gloves are off?

 

 

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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Why would an omniscient god need to "test" anything?  Shouldn't he have already known the answers?

Edgarcito,   You are trying and failing to defend the indefensible and to excuse the inexcusable.   Scripture is what it is and says what it says.   No amount of wishful

It’s not what Mark said, it’s Walter intentionally mining old conversations for ill intentions... Now, back to the broadcast previously in progress...

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4 hours ago, v__a__s__t said:

 

8We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair; 9hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]; struck down, but never destroyed;

 

Except in the Den.

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5 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

Except in the Den.

what happens in one person's mind is of that persons mind.  it does not mean that the other person or people ever agree with it or it even makes much sense to them, though they can understand it if they try and are open-minded enough, or maybe if they want to.  the more a human is able to think about and learn about, like a child (open-minded) the more a human can maybe come to understand most anything........ and the whys of everytning too.  if there is a God, a super-powerful all-knowing being, He/It might be able to understand anything at all....... from all points of view.  in other words........ everything.  and if we too want to begin to understand as He/It might (if He exists, i don't know that) we might choose not to look at things from just one or a very narrowed down and specific way of viewing things over and over again, but instead we can begin to, or again consider other things with or from other's points of view also, to add to our own understanding over time, so that we are not boxed in in a corner (with ourselves, within our own thoughts and beliefs)......... with just our own chosen ways and hypotheses going out to the world when we speak and think.  but instead a more and more wholistic view being thought and going out to others, however imperfect; but hopefully maybe changing and expanding, rearranging and  reimagining........  as we learn and grow and think and consider and wonder and discover many things about things and ourselves and others......... over time.

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7 hours ago, v__a__s__t said:

what happens in one person's mind is of that persons mind. 

 

 

But not exclusively.

 

If what happens in one person's mind were totally incomprehensible to others, then no communication would be possible.

 

You and I are communicating v_a_s_t because the language we're using is shared between us.

 

So, this language is not exclusive to your mind and not exclusive to my mind.

 

Our minds share a common knowledge and usage of it.

 

As John Donne wrote, 'No man is an island.'

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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Edgarcito,

 

Yesterday I wrote that I'm always keen to help out.

 

So, in that spirit, how about this?

 

If you just want a discussion and not a debate, there's no point in starting a thread in the Den, the Colosseum or the Arena.

 

These are all debating areas and debates are , by definition, adversarial.

 

Perhaps the only part of Ex-C where you might get just a discussion is the General Christian Theological Issues area.

 

But, even that might not be problem free for you, Edgarcito.

 

You seem to struggle to adequately articulate what you mean and a proper theological discussion simply can't take place unless you can define your meanings correctly and your use of terminology correctly.

 

You also have a history of making connections between things that nobody else can understand and which you can't adequately explain.

 

Neither of these things augur well for a properly disciplined, formal theological discussion.

 

If you did want to start a thread in the Theology area you'd have to make a concerted effort to improve the way you think, the way you write and the way you communicate.

 

I'm sorry if this sounds difficult, but its the best I can do for you.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Krowb said:

 

What happened at death to all the non-Israelites in the "teen years"?  The Jewish culture wasn't too concerned with spreading their gospel, I mean, Yahweh was THEIR god, not the god of heathens.  Most of human history has still occurred pre-Christianity.  Are all the Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians, and Australians all writhing in eternal punishment for failing to be aware of Yahweh and following his law? - What about all those slaughtered in the Old Testament?  OT god (and the indivisible Word by extension) evidence no desire for a great commission.

 

What a strange reality where my default eternal fate may be determined by the timing of my death.

 

Hello Krowb.

 

That's an astute observation.  Where and when you are born determining if you can be saved by hearing the Word.

 

My understanding of this is that all is explained in Romans 1.

 

Romans 1 : 18 - 25.

 

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.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 

22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 

23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 

25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

 

So, according to scripture, the Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians and Australians were aware of and did know about Yahweh.

 

But they suppressed this truth and embraced the lies of worshipping other gods.

 

Which is why we see and hear no written or oral records of Yahweh in the histories of the Inuit, the Malays, the Zulus, etc., etc.

 

But even if they had acknowledged Yahweh and given him thanks, this would not have been enough to save them from eternal hellfire.

 

The only name by which people can be saved is Jesus Christ, not Yahweh.

 

Salvation comes only through him because he is the necessary blood sacrifice for the sins of the world.

 

As we read in Hebrews 9 : 11 - 14...

 

11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 

12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 

13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.

14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

 

And in verses 20 to 22.

 

20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”

21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 

22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

 

I've highlighted the key point, Krowb.

 

This is what keeps all those billions who never heard of Jesus from obtaining salvation.

 

The blood of Jesus Christ was shed for them, but they died, never having had a chance to hear the Good News.

 

So, its exactly as you say.

 

According to scripture, the eternal fate of millions is determined by the circumstances of their death.

 

Which would mean that an unlucky African who trips, hits their head and dies on their way to hear a Christian missionary ends up in hell.

 

But Enoch, who never heard of Jesus Christ, was able to please god so much that he was taken up alive into heaven, without dying!

 

(See Genesis 5 :24 and Hebrews 11 : 15)

 

Go figure!!!

 

 

Walter.

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@WalterP,

 

In this particular case I'm trying to puzzle through pre-Christ, Mosaic Law times.  There's more time spent in the Old Testament days than the New.  The Jewish people were not saved because of their belief in a yet-to-arrive and yet-to-shed-blood redeemer, but in the Law and I guess? the priesthood? 

What was required for eternal life for most of human history (we're only just now 2k years into the "New Covenant")?  This new covenant specifically calls for spreading the "Good News", the OT Law didn't have such a command or even request.

 

Israel were "God's Chosen" and the rest could just be punished forever?  I'm not aware of anything in the Inuit tribes that could remotely transmit the Mosaic Law or Jesus's shedding of blood for them to believe.  Or do people so far outside the circle of knowledge receive a non-biblical, but clearly just special dispensation?

 

And Walter, in that vein:  what happened to all the people worldwide who died on the same day, but after Jesus's death? Or even within the first week of his resurrection while his followers were all hiding and clearly NOT spreading this life saving gospel?  There are no records of a god telegraphing a new covenant to all the corners of the globe.

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These are excellent questions Krowb and I will try to deal with them as best as understanding allows.  But, please note that my answers are in no way definitive (how could anyone's be, when there are so many different interpretations of the bible?) and are simply the result of my limited research into this issue.

 

Ok, with that cautionary note out of the way...

 

In this particular case I'm trying to puzzle through pre-Christ, Mosaic Law times.  There's more time spent in the Old Testament days than the New.  The Jewish people were not saved because of their belief in a yet-to-arrive and yet-to-shed-blood redeemer, but in the Law and I guess? the priesthood? 

What was required for eternal life for most of human history (we're only just now 2k years into the "New Covenant")?  This new covenant specifically calls for spreading the "Good News", the OT Law didn't have such a command or even request.

 

Putting it a simply as I can Krowb, I have no ready answer.  Someone else here in Ex-C will probably know more about OT times and where god's Chosen People went when they died.  Perhaps you could start up a thread about this in the Theology section?

 

But in another thread I'm currently debating with JamesL about Paul's contradiction in the book of Hebrews, concerning the destiny of all people to die.  Paul was adamant that salvation required the blood of Christ (see Hebrews 7 through 10) and he goes into great detail making the case for this.  Then, in chapter 11 he switches gears and begins to extol the virtues of faith, listing OT examples of faith in action.  

 

Hebrews 11 : 5 & 6.

 

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”  For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 

6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

 

But, just two chapters earlier, Paul had written this.

 

9 : 22.

 

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

 

9 :  27 & 28.

 

Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 

28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

 

You see the problem, Krowb?

 

According to Paul in Hebrews 11, Enoch did not die and he went to heaven without having heard the Good News of Jesus Christ's blood being shed for him.  

 

I simply cannot reconcile these two things.  Why does Paul go to so much time and effort making the case that Christ's blood is the only path to salvation if Enoch can go to heaven without hearing about the blood?

 

That's a bona fide biblical contradiction, if you ask me.

 

Israel were "God's Chosen" and the rest could just be punished forever?  I'm not aware of anything in the Inuit tribes that could remotely transmit the Mosaic Law or Jesus's shedding of blood for them to believe.  Or do people so far outside the circle of knowledge receive a non-biblical, but clearly just special dispensation?

 

No.  There is no special dispensation (unless you are Enoch) for those not hearing the Good News of Christ's sacrifice.  According to Paul, writing to the church in Rome, anyone not covered in the blood of Christ is damned.  (See chapter 1 : 18 - 25.) Which would therefore be everyone who ever lived without hearing the Word from the lips of Christian missionaries.

 

The standard Christian response to this is to say that god will have mercy on whom he will have mercy and its not up to humans to question his judgment.  He is the potter and we are the clay that he fashions into some pots for noble uses and some for ignoble uses.  See Romans 9, but here are the important verses.

 

Romans 9 : 19 - 21.

 

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 

20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”

21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

 

So, those who hear the Word and believe in the shed blood of Christ are the beautiful pots fashioned by god for his special purpose of salvation and those who died without hearing are the ugly, common vessels who will be smashed in the end.

 

And Walter, in that vein:  what happened to all the people worldwide who died on the same day, but after Jesus's death? Or even within the first week of his resurrection while his followers were all hiding and clearly NOT spreading this life saving gospel?  There are no records of a god telegraphing a new covenant to all the corners of the globe.

 

That's right, Krowb. 

 

There are no such records because news of the New Covenant was initially carried by the likes of Paul on his three missionary journeys and then by other Christians who were commissioned to carry on the work.  This would have been done by foot, on horseback or by ship. 

 

V-e-r-y slowly. 

 

So, if you had died in Rome on the day Jesus died, then you are destined for hell.  If you died in Alexandria in the first week of his resurrection, then you are destined for hell.  Ditto for everyone, everywhere else for hundreds or thousands of years.

 

This is all part of god's plan and who are we to be appalled by the cruelty and indifference of it?  Who are we to talk back to god?  So what if he has condemned most of the human race to eternal hellfire?  A saving faith comes by hearing the Word (except if you are Enoch) and if you die without hearing the word, then that's just tough.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

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@WalterP,

 

Near as I can tell, the Old Testament appears less concerned with individual salvation, and more of communal salvation.  Also, if we remember Jesus's words, he had to "go prepare a place for you", so the dead saved had to go somewhere?  I'm having a difficult time determining what happened when Jewish believers died under the Law.  Most verses reference some kind of communal death place (I guess this is Sheol) where the good and wicked go.  In Psalms 86, David explicitly says that god will redeem him "from the realm of the dead" - kind of an odd phrase if he has a concept of heaven and hell.  Ezekiel has god directly reference a "realm of the dead" that is described very differently from the New Testament's conception of Hell.

 

Not just Enoch, in 2 Kings 2 Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind directly by god, thus bypassing both "once to die" and "blood of Jesus".  Of this, this was pre-Jesus, so there must have been a different yard stick to determine who is eligible to receive heaven.

 

Likewise, in the transfiguration of Jesus both Moses and Elijah are present with Jesus, indicating they have, in fact, received eternal life pre-Jesus, pre-crucifixion.  This also presents an interesting connection to 2 Kings, because Elijah, did not explicitly die to get there.

 

Further, the prophet Samuel was apparently available for communication after death in 1 Samuel 28 to provide advice to King Saul.  The story of Lazarus is kind of thrown in a different light unless the prophet Samuel was not in heaven - though this raises its own problems if an acknowledged prophet of god can't even make the grade.

 

Speaking of Lazarus, Jesus explicitly places Abraham in heaven as well in his parable of Lazarus.

 

Isaiah and Daniel have interesting conceptions of arising from death, and reference that some will rise to "everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt."  

 

I'm still not sure whether following the Law is what granted eternal life, righteousness granted eternal life, being an observant Jew granted eternal life, hoping the priest did the right kind of sacrifice at the right time of year granted eternal life, or god simply chose a few of his favorite people.

 

For a universal god desiring the salvation of all mankind, the Old Testament is conspicuously absent on anything except the either blessing or punishing a single tribe in the Middle East.  Death is almost treated as a given and default state.  As various passages state repeatedly, the dead do not worship god.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, v__a__s__t said:

what happens in one person's mind is of that persons mind.

 

11 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

But not exclusively.

 

If what happens in one person's mind were totally incomprehensible to others, then no communication would be possible.

 

You and I are communicating v_a_s_t because the language we're using is shared between us.

 

So, this language is not exclusive to your mind and not exclusive to my mind.

 

Our minds share a common knowledge and usage of it.

 

As John Donne wrote, 'No man is an island.'

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

true.  but see also..............

 

3:40 - 3:57, 5:15 - 5:56 

 

 

12 hours ago, v__a__s__t said:

what happens in one person's mind is of that persons mind.  it does not mean that the other person or people ever agree with it or it even makes much sense to them, though they can understand it if they try and are open-minded enough, or maybe if they want to.  the more a human is able to think about and learn about, like a child (open-minded) the more a human can maybe come to understand most anything........ and the whys of everytning too.  if there is a God, a super-powerful all-knowing being, He/It might be able to understand anything at all....... from all points of view.  in other words........ everything.  and if we too want to begin to understand as He/It might (if He exists, i don't know that) we might choose not to look at things from just one or a very narrowed down and specific way of viewing things over and over again, but instead we can begin to, or again consider other things with or from other's points of view also, to add to our own understanding over time, so that we are not boxed in in a corner (with ourselves, within our own thoughts and beliefs)......... with just our own chosen ways and hypotheses going out to the world when we speak and think.  but instead a more and more wholistic view being thought and going out to others, however imperfect; but hopefully maybe changing and expanding, rearranging and  reimagining........  as we learn and grow and think and consider and wonder and discover many things about things and ourselves and others......... over time.

 

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11 hours ago, Krowb said:

@WalterP,

 

Near as I can tell, the Old Testament appears less concerned with individual salvation, and more of communal salvation.  Also, if we remember Jesus's words, he had to "go prepare a place for you", so the dead saved had to go somewhere?  I'm having a difficult time determining what happened when Jewish believers died under the Law.  Most verses reference some kind of communal death place (I guess this is Sheol) where the good and wicked go.  In Psalms 86, David explicitly says that god will redeem him "from the realm of the dead" - kind of an odd phrase if he has a concept of heaven and hell.  Ezekiel has god directly reference a "realm of the dead" that is described very differently from the New Testament's conception of Hell.

 

Not just Enoch, in 2 Kings 2 Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind directly by god, thus bypassing both "once to die" and "blood of Jesus".  Of this, this was pre-Jesus, so there must have been a different yard stick to determine who is eligible to receive heaven.

 

Likewise, in the transfiguration of Jesus both Moses and Elijah are present with Jesus, indicating they have, in fact, received eternal life pre-Jesus, pre-crucifixion.  This also presents an interesting connection to 2 Kings, because Elijah, did not explicitly die to get there.

 

Further, the prophet Samuel was apparently available for communication after death in 1 Samuel 28 to provide advice to King Saul.  The story of Lazarus is kind of thrown in a different light unless the prophet Samuel was not in heaven - though this raises its own problems if an acknowledged prophet of god can't even make the grade.

 

Speaking of Lazarus, Jesus explicitly places Abraham in heaven as well in his parable of Lazarus.

 

Isaiah and Daniel have interesting conceptions of arising from death, and reference that some will rise to "everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt."  

 

I'm still not sure whether following the Law is what granted eternal life, righteousness granted eternal life, being an observant Jew granted eternal life, hoping the priest did the right kind of sacrifice at the right time of year granted eternal life, or god simply chose a few of his favorite people.

 

For a universal god desiring the salvation of all mankind, the Old Testament is conspicuously absent on anything except the either blessing or punishing a single tribe in the Middle East.  Death is almost treated as a given and default state.  As various passages state repeatedly, the dead do not worship god.

 

 

Very interesting Krowb, thank you.

 

But some Christian apologists have a way of dealing with the inconsistencies thrown up by this 'evolutionary' approach to the Judaic afterlife.  They claim that god slowly revealed his ultimate plan to his chosen people over many centuries, so that the Jews moved from a state of relative ignorance about heaven to a more informed one.  The various prophets sent by god being the agents of this slow change.

 

They also claim that god did this at the pace at which the Jews could bear, further claiming the full knowledge given to Paul, Peter, John and the other apostles was appropriate to its time.  They point to the prevalence of Koine (New Testament Greek) across the Middle East and the Mediterranean as being the key to the spreading of the Gospels.  

 

With a common lingua franca in place across the first century Roman empire the time was ripe for the Good News to be carried to the ends of the known world.  The ease of travel facilitated by the Roman road system was another factor.  Another element claimed to be important was the fact that the Romans had turned the Mediterranean Sea into the Roman Sea by conquering all other competing empires and sweeping the scourge of piracy from the shipping lanes.

 

These factors were all part of god's plan, setting the stage for the spread of his Word across the world.

 

Personally, I don't buy into this Christian apologetic argument.

 

To me it smacks of a clever 'retrofitting' with a religious agenda as the main motive.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

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16 minutes ago, WalterP said:

But some Christian apologists have a way of dealing with the inconsistencies thrown up by this 'evolutionary' approach to the Judaic afterlife.  They claim that god slowly revealed his ultimate plan to his chosen people over many centuries, so that the Jews moved from a state of relative ignorance about heaven to a more informed one.  The various prophets sent by god being the agents of this slow change.

 

They also claim that god did this at the pace at which the Jews could bear, further claiming the full knowledge given to Paul, Peter, John and the other apostles was appropriate to its time.  They point to the prevalence of Koine (New Testament Greek) across the Middle East and the Mediterranean as being the key to the spreading of the Gospels.  

 

I'm reminded of the old phrase:  "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging".  This line of thinking creates two major problems just off the top of my head:

 

  1. Whether you get to heaven or hell or some "realm of the dead" is still largely dependent on the timing of your death. If god kept slowly "revealing" his ultimate plan for eternal life then there were different measuring sticks at different times.  It would be much easier to worship an unknown "God Most High," make sacrifices of fatted animals that are pleasing to his nose and sight, and achieve heaven in Abrahamic times than to specifically accept a post-crucifixion Jesus into your heart.
  2. The fact that god ONLY revealed this slow revelation to a single tribe in the middle east strikes me as most unjust.  As you previously mentioned, the Inuit, Malays, and Zulus basically stood no chance as the evolving requirements are acknowledged in the proposed apologist argument to be limited to just the "chosen people".
    1. Unless there's some allowance for a special dispensation this simply doesn't square with the New Testament's strong emphasis on god desiring salvation for all.

The retrofitting is not even clever, a more fair reading is the story evolved over as the Jewish civilization both matured and came into contact with the beliefs of other cultures.  Conceptions of the afterlife, Armageddon, and gods role change pretty markedly after Babylonian captivity. While apologists may call it "revelation" those revelations look suspiciously like what the Babylonians themselves believed, but with Yahweh mixed in.

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12 hours ago, Krowb said:

@WalterP,

 

Not just Enoch, in 2 Kings 2 Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind directly by god, thus bypassing both "once to die" and "blood of Jesus".  Of this, this was pre-Jesus, so there must have been a different yard stick to determine who is eligible to receive heaven.

 

Yes, Enoch and Elijah sidestepped death and neither received the blood of Jesus.

 

But here's another question.

 

Did they also sidestep and escape judgment, seeing as all flesh must come before god to be judged?

 

Quote

 

Likewise, in the transfiguration of Jesus both Moses and Elijah are present with Jesus, indicating they have, in fact, received eternal life pre-Jesus, pre-crucifixion.  This also presents an interesting connection to 2 Kings, because Elijah, did not explicitly die to get there.

 

Yes, it's very odd.

 

The status of Elijah and Moses (shining with glory) appears to be the same, yet one died and the other didn't.

 

Quote

 

Further, the prophet Samuel was apparently available for communication after death in 1 Samuel 28 to provide advice to King Saul.  The story of Lazarus is kind of thrown in a different light unless the prophet Samuel was not in heaven - though this raises its own problems if an acknowledged prophet of god can't even make the grade.

 

Assuming that the spirit Saul spoke to was actually that of Samuel.

 

Some Christians maintain that because god forbade the raising up of dead spirits, the witch of Endor had actually summoned up an unclean spirit (a demon) that was lying about its identity.

 

Quote

Speaking of Lazarus, Jesus explicitly places Abraham in heaven as well in his parable of Lazarus.

 

Isaiah and Daniel have interesting conceptions of arising from death, and reference that some will rise to "everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt."  

 

I'm still not sure whether following the Law is what granted eternal life, righteousness granted eternal life, being an observant Jew granted eternal life, hoping the priest did the right kind of sacrifice at the right time of year granted eternal life, or god simply chose a few of his favorite people.

 

For a universal god desiring the salvation of all mankind, the Old Testament is conspicuously absent on anything except the either blessing or punishing a single tribe in the Middle East.  Death is almost treated as a given and default state.  As various passages state repeatedly, the dead do not worship god.

 

 

Which brings us to the thorny problem of just what happens to those who 'fell asleep' in the scriptures.

 

According to various passages the dead remain asleep until the Last Trumpet sounds and everyone is changed in the twinkling of an eye, from corruptible to incorruptible flesh.  

 

If the dead remain asleep, then what of Enoch, Elijah and Moses?

 

One theory I've heard relies upon Revelation 4 : 4.

 

4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.

 

The argument says that these elders are 12 prophets and patriarchs, including Enoch, Elijah, Moses and the 12 apostles.

 

When it comes to Moses, this is a rather neat solution as to why Satan and the Archangel Michael disputed possession of Moses' body in Jude 9.

 

9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

 

Satan was clearly trying to stop Moses appearing at the Transfiguration.

 

He would have also tried to stop Elijah, but he was taken up to heaven alive in a fiery chariot.

 

You can see the logic behind all this, Krowb?

 

If Satan could have prevented Elijah and Moses from appearing with Jesus then he could have sown the seeds of doubt in the minds of the disciples about the resurrection of the long dead.

 

Lazarus was dead for only a short time, but if Peter, James and John saw these revered prophets from Israel's past, restored to life, this would help convince them that what Jesus was saying about the resurrection of the dead must be true.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

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4 minutes ago, WalterP said:

Assuming that the spirit Saul spoke to was actually that of Samuel.

 

Some Christians maintain that because god forbade the raising up of dead spirits, the witch of Endor had actually summoned up an unclean spirit (a demon) that was lying about its identity.

 

That throws biblical inerrancy right out the window.  The bible says it was Samuel, and this Samuel was familiar with Samuel's predictions and God's judgment about the matter questioned.  Square peg, meet round hole.

 

The rest of your post, from the apologist justification, reeks of grasping at straws.  What I see thus far are problems compounding on problems.  It's like the old Shakespeare quote:  "oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive."

 

I think they're sincere, as people often are about a deeply held belief, but these explanations are growing less and less plausible as well as spawning their own problems creating a cascade of errors each requiring further reinterpretation.

 

Thank you for your time and explanations.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Krowb said:

 

I'm reminded of the old phrase:  "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging".  This line of thinking creates two major problems just off the top of my head:

 

  1. Whether you get to heaven or hell or some "realm of the dead" is still largely dependent on the timing of your death. If god kept slowly "revealing" his ultimate plan for eternal life then there were different measuring sticks at different times.  It would be much easier to worship an unknown "God Most High," make sacrifices of fatted animals that are pleasing to his nose and sight, and achieve heaven in Abrahamic times than to specifically accept a post-crucifixion Jesus into your heart.
  2. The fact that god ONLY revealed this slow revelation to a single tribe in the middle east strikes me as most unjust.  As you previously mentioned, the Inuit, Malays, and Zulus basically stood no chance as the evolving requirements are acknowledged in the proposed apologist argument to be limited to just the "chosen people".
    1. Unless there's some allowance for a special dispensation this simply doesn't square with the New Testament's strong emphasis on god desiring salvation for all.

The retrofitting is not even clever, a more fair reading is the story evolved over as the Jewish civilization both matured and came into contact with the beliefs of other cultures.  Conceptions of the afterlife, Armageddon, and gods role change pretty markedly after Babylonian captivity. While apologists may call it "revelation" those revelations look suspiciously like what the Babylonians themselves believed, but with Yahweh mixed in.

 

Unjust? 

 

Of course it's unjust.

 

God's great plan of salvation began unjustly and continued from there.

 

To keep this post on topic, let me list the injustices that began in Eden.

 

1.  God creates two representatives of the human race, not telling them that their actions are part of a test he's set up and which he knows the result of already.

 

2. These representatives aren't even properly human, being created from the soil or from a rib, with no natural parents with which to bond to and no ability to recognize the difference between good and evil.  

 

3.  He warns the man (but not the woman) about the forbidden tree, but the man can't possibly understand what the penalty for disobedience is because death doesn't exist yet in Eden and god doesn't bother to explain it to him.

 

4.   God also doesn't explain to the man that he was speaking figuratively and not literally about death.  Adam didn't literally die for another 930 years.  What god actually meant was that Adam and Eve would die spiritually.  But how could either of them be expected to understand what physical or spiritual death was?  They had no knowledge or experience of either and god wasn't telling.  Plus, how could they know what a 'figure of speech' was if god didn't deign to explain it to them?  So, god's so-called fair warning to them was actually nothing of the kind.

 

5.  When everything went to hell (that's a figure of speech, btw) god didn't just punish the only perpetrators of the crime.  No.  He extended their punishment beyond them personally and widened the net to include everybody.  In human law its generally accepted that young children are below the age of criminal responsibility, because they do not properly understand the full consequences of their actions.  So, here we have two people who are effectively children upon who's shoulders god has placed the responsibility for the entire world.

 

And he did it without telling them.

 

Instead of excusing and forgiving them, which any compassionate and understanding parent would do, god did the opposite of what holds good in human law.  Instead of accepting that they had no concept of the consequences of their actions he multiplied their punishment to include people who didn't even exist at that time - the rest of the human race.

 

So, everybody (except Enoch and Elijah) dies, because two innocent children didn't understand the full consequences of their actions in Eden.

 

6.  As well as the curse of death God laid the curse of sexual desire on the woman and all of her female descendants, creating a stick(another figure of speech)with which to beat all woman throughout Biblical history.  They get blamed for being brazen and wanton defilers of men, but god caused them to have sexual desires in the first place.  

 

Krowb, I find it quite telling to look at everything god says in Eden.

 

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 

17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

 

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

 

And then the cursing and punishing starts.

 

 

 

Unjust?  Of course it's ****ing unjust!

 

 

Walter.

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23 minutes ago, WalterP said:

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

And thus we see that, from the very beginning, blame has been heaped upon the female.  Here, rather than accept responsibility for his own actions and the consequences thereof, Adam, the first man, immediately tries to shift the blame onto Eve.  What kind of muck savage man does that?

 

And god apparently agrees with him and immediately shifts his focus onto her and her supposed "guilt."  What kind of a muck savage god does that?  

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2 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

And thus we see that, from the very beginning, blame has been heaped upon the female.  Here, rather than accept responsibility for his own actions and the consequences thereof, Adam, the first man, immediately tries to shift the blame onto Eve.  What kind of muck savage man does that?

 

And god apparently agrees with him and immediately shifts his focus onto her and her supposed "guilt."  What kind of a muck savage god does that?  

 

Relevant, much?

 

1 Timothy 2 : 11 - 15

 

11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 

12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 

13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 

14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 

15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

 

:(

 

 

Walter.

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31 minutes ago, WalterP said:

But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety

I'm pretty sure this verse never gets any attention from the pulpit.  Women are saved through childbearing, but only if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety?

 

I guess that's one way to phrase "shedding of blood"

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3 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

And thus we see that, from the very beginning, blame has been heaped upon the female.  Here, rather than accept responsibility for his own actions and the consequences thereof, Adam, the first man, immediately tries to shift the blame onto Eve.  What kind of muck savage man does that?

 

And god apparently agrees with him and immediately shifts his focus onto her and her supposed "guilt."  What kind of a muck savage god does that?  

In Christianity, Judaism, Islam, even Hinduism and others we find women getting the shitty end of the stick. All major religions were authored by men, and it shows.

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1 hour ago, florduh said:

In Christianity, Judaism, Islam, even Hinduism and others we find women getting the shitty end of the stick. All major religions were authored by men, and it shows.

 

In addition, the societies from which these older religions arose were male dominated.  It is not surprising at all that religions invented in such cultures would exhibit misogyny.

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9 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

Relevant, much?

 

1 Timothy 2 : 11 - 15

 

11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 

12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 

13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 

14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 

15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

 

:(

 

 

Walter.

This is where Paul contradicts himself. This fragment is either mistranslated misinterpreted or simply forged, or just simoly shows Paul's weakness

     In another letter he says 1. It is better for women to remain virgins. 2. All sin entered the world through Adam, not Eve.

And the reasoning here is simply absurd. For one thing Adam was also deceived, he also ate from the tree and he was right there. Also what is the connection between wgat Eve did and all women in that way. Adam disobeyed God and shifted blame and men get authority? But I thought that the sins of the fathers will not be judged by the children. That fragment really bothered me the most together with the one about listening to authorities.

     Another indication that the early Church did not take this in its firm is the number of women missionaries from Mary Magdalene to Nina of Georgia.

       

I found this explanation.

      

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PS I am.not saying the Church did not have its probl with women but such glaring contradictions in Paul's thought about women was observed by Bart Ehrman and others.

     Idk about misoginy. If that means hatred of women I really doubt it.

     But the early Church model of identity was a stricter role based social model. We forget that the idea of individualism of today's West is rather recent. So that meant everyone had a role to play, Paul clearly states this in his analogy with the Church as body. And this not always favored men. Men were expected to go to war, to do all hard jobs, to suck it up many times as it were, to have general responsabilities. Idk why people forget that about role based collective cultures. In many places the Roman society was very hierarchical with many roles.

     Plus in my own personal Romanian Orthodox Church background adultery or sexual impropiety was blamed on the man first bk women are, as they say, weaker willed which meant more emotional than men(which on average they are and it's avery good thing bk to raise a baby you need high degrees of emotional sensitivity and expression). And, surprisingly enough with higher sexual intensity.

     Are there mysoginist Christians mysoginist pastors and churches? Yeah. Is mysoginy as defined now baked into Christianity? I think no and this also retrofitting our own bias into other cultures. Is early Christianity proposing a different model of personal and collective identity than modern secular Western democracies? Totally!

    

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5 hours ago, Myrkhoos said:

This is where Paul contradicts himself. This fragment is either mistranslated misinterpreted or simply forged, or just simply shows Paul's weakness

 

Good observation, Myrkhoos.  In 1 Timothy, Paul contradicts his views of women in the church as he expresses them elsewhere, because 1 Timothy was not written by Paul.  It is widely accepted - outside of fundamentalist circles - that 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians and Titus were not written by Paul though the writer claims to be Paul.  These may not have been Paul's words but the ideas - including the misogyny - came to be part and parcel of Christian teaching to this day.  Much Christian teaching is derived from books written by liars claiming to be Paul.  Major sections of the New Testament, written by liars.  Ponder that as you sip a fine whiskey and reflect how good it feels to no longer have to tie yourself in knots trying to figure out what "God" was trying to tell us.

 

https://ehrmanblog.org/how-many-books-in-the-new-testament-were-forged/

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On 3/29/2021 at 3:08 AM, WalterP said:

 

What part of 'This is the Lion's Den' are you failing to understand, Edgarcito?

 

This is the part of Ex-C where sceptics and atheists smash Christians like you to pieces.

 

You've been a member for over ten years and you still think the Den is where people play nice?

 

If you'd wanted an earnest, over the table discussion, then why start a thread here, where the gloves are off?

 

 

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

I've listened and participated over the years at EX C probably more than ANY Christian has in the history of this site Walter.....a complaint btw, from former Christians, that "they don't know us".  I feel like I have a decent grasp or at least a grasp.  So I don't think it unusual for anger to dissipate for people like me that can rationalize our feelings.... or at least some of them.  So it doesn't come as any surprise why you can't have an across the table discussion rather than passive aggression....   

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