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Bible_Study_Guys's Journal: Topic #2 The Salvation Message of the Bible. 70

Journal by Bible_Study_Guys

Preface:
One of the most important concepts of the Christian faith is the message of Salvation. This journal entry will present the Biblical teachings on this very important and crucial topic along with some questions for reflection.

Introduction by glh:
Often in life, we have a tendency to look around and wonder what exactly it is we are here for. Think about your own life. In the difficult times that you've experienced, have you ever pondered questions such as: "Why am I here? Is there really a God? Am I good enough to get to heaven? Is there life after death?". All of these questions can be answered by the Bible.

First, regarding the Bible- no other religion has such a complete and holy book as Christians. Man couldn't have written it if he would of, and he wouldn't have written it if he could of. The Word of God says that man is a selfish, sinful creature and that--apart from God-- he can do nothing. There are so many laws in the Old Testament given by God that man could never fulfill them. Anyone claiming that a man would have written the Bible doesn't know the contents of it. No other book has seen so many detailed prophecies come true and not one fail.

At any rate, so many people in this day and age struggle with the questions of life as aforementioned. The message of salvation below will attempt to address these kinds of important "life questions" based on the Bible and what it has to say.

The message of salvation:

1.About man and how he got here

God originally created the first man, Adam, and had true fellowship with him. Adam was a perfect human being and was given a free will. Shortly thereafter God created woman because Adam needed a "help meet for him" (read Genesis 2 for more detail). Later on, Adam and Eve decided to break the one rule that God gave them- eating fruit off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Ever since then, sin entered the world and has existed.

2.It is important to know that man is sinful and separated from God.

God is HOLY and JUST, and we are not-- according to the Bible. No matter what you do as an individual, there is just NOT ENOUGH that can be done, by human standards, to avoid having sin.

Romans 3:10- "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"
Romans 3:23- "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"
Romans 5:12 - "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
1 Corinthians 15:22- "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

(Please take time to read the chapters that I have quoted)

3.Positionally, as a sinful person EVERYONE deserves to be separated from God

Anyone who has a job knows that a "wage" is what you earn. This is what the Bible says what sin will earn man:

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

When the world has come to an end, the Bible also talks about a day of judgment that ALL men will face.

Here is what Revelation 20 has to say about the day of Judgement:
[11] And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
[12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
[13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
[14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
[15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

A picture of Eternal Separation (in Hell) is given by a parable of Jesus in Luke 16.
[23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
[24] And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

4.Although man is worthy of eternal separation from God, there is Grace.

Fortunately, God has provided, through His Son Jesus Christ, a means of which it is possible to be saved from Hell and eternal damnation.

John 3
[16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
[17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came to this earth to reconcile man to God.
Colossians 1
[20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
[21] And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
[22] In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Romans 5
[8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Verse 19 Rom 5 also shows that Adam- the man who brought sin into the world was covered for by Christ-- who takes away sin.

[19] For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Another very important Truth found in the Bible is that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way in that man can be saved.

Acts 4
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

1 John 5
[11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
[12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Although Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, he also overcame death for US and he rose again on the cross. This is a picture of a Christian's new, resurrected life in Christ.

1 Peter 1:
[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
[4] To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
[5] Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

5.It is not just enough to know the scriptures, you must personally believe ON the Lord Jesus Christ.

Many people "believe" in God and even accept that what He has said is Truth. But it is important to consider James 2:
[19] Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Hence, it is not enough to just believe in Jesus. In order to be saved, you must believe ON the Lord Jesus Christ and accept the gift given by grace, through faith. Grace is defined as an "unmerited favor", or in other words, something we don't deserve. Faith is, as defined by the Bible:

Hebrews 11:
[1] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

And no man can ever claim that he did anything to earn salvation, per Ephesians 2:
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

So how can someone actually be saved and spend an eternity with God? Can *anyone* be saved? Here are the answers to those questions, found in Romans 10:

[9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
[10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
[11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
[12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
[13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Jesus Christ Himself said that He will not cast out anyone who comes to Him in John 6:
[35] And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
[36] But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
[37] All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

6.Conlusion
According to the Bible, all men have sinned. That includes you and me. When we were born physically, we were all positionally equal in God's grace. But there is a decision that you must make. The decision to believe and accept the good news of Jesus Christ by faith, or to seek heaven by some other route. Regardless, the Bible is very clear about these issues. God desires ALL men to be saved- that includes you.
1 Timothy 2-

[4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
[5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

7. Practical Application & comments by glh
Please consider making a decision for Christ. If you would like to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and know 100% that you will spend an eternity with God, you can pray a simple prayer to do this. Feel free to pray these words- God knows the intent of your heart.

"God, I realize that I am a sinner and worthy of going to hell. Yet by your grace you have provided a way for me to be free from my sin. I believe that Jesus Christ has died on the cross for my sins, is resurrected, and now sits at your right hand in heaven. I gladly accept this free gift of your grace. I thank you that by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior that my sins are now fully paid for. I invite you to come into my life and show me the way to go from here. In Jesus name I pray, Amen."

Asking Christ into your life will mean a change will occur. You will have the Holy Spirit as a counselor and have a desire to do the things of God. You will be a child of God! If you believe you are a Christian but have been living in sin, you may want to ask yourself if you have ever really accepted Christ. However, once you have made the decision to trust Christ as your Savior you never have to re-accept Him.

8.Some final questions:

I have some questions to propose now that the Bible has hopefully addressed many that you may have had. Please seriously ponder these.

What if the Bible really is true? What would that mean in your life given the scriptures above?

What do you believe will happen to you when you die?

What are you counting on to get to heaven?

Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If not, why? If you have, are you living a life for Him?

9. TechnoLusts thoughts:

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." To me, that pretty much tells me that if you want to go to Heaven,
which is where the Father is, you must believe in Jesus. And not just that there was a man or a prophet called Jesus, you must also accept him as your personal savior. I have heard it said many times what a good "scam" Christianity is. That faith means there can't be any evidence or it ceases to be faith. I liked the verse above that says "the evidence of things not seen." That tells me that there can be evidence.

A lady was talking about a book called "A Case for Christ" on Monday night, where a journalist (Lee Strobel) was researching Christ, because his wife became a Christian. He came up with the following. The Jews had been following the Law as described in the Old Testament for thousands of years. They made animal sacrifices to cleanse them of their sins. Sin has to be paid for with blood, and the blood of the animals was required.
The Jews were very serious about this.

One day, all of a sudden, THOUSANDS of Jews stopped offering animal sacrifice almost overnight. Something big must have happened. Think of your beliefs, and what it would take to get you to stop doing something you and your family had been doing for generations. So even though we weren't there to see it, we know something BIG happened, because of the reaction.

When you get saved you will change. Suddenly you will make decisions based not upon your wants, but God's plan for you. It is an exciting feeling. If you prayed the prayer like glh had in his section, please email us at the address above (click our username) and let us know so we can pray for you, and offer advice on starting your new life as a Christian.

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Topic #2 The Salvation Message of the Bible.

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  • by Chacham (981)
    I thought this was a Bible study group, not a Religion study group. :( Oh well.

    I have a number of comments to offer corrections to the entry, but they are Bible based, and defy the Christian religion. Considering the message of this entry was Christian, and only referenced the Bible, I figure it's not appropriate here.

    • by glh (14273)
      What kind of comments/corrections do you have? I don't think there is anything wrong with posting them here. Of course, we may not agree, but then we can discuss it if that's the case.
      • Things like "sin" having no existence. The word (in Hebrew) means to be lacking.

        That "proofs" were brought from the NT disregarding the OT. Also, the idea that people must sin contradicts various tennets of the OT.

        That the NT was mentioned at all seems contradictory to a "Bible" study group. Generally, the term precludes the Gospel, and even at times the latter nineteen books of the OT.

        Finally, that Christian messages are the majority of the comments. Christianity has nothing to do the OT. It merely built off it and has its basis it the teachings of the NT.

        My interest in this journal was only to see other people's comments on the OT, and any traditions regarding it. Now that I see the focus is actually on religion, I have little interest. Nothing wrong, I just think the the term "Bible Study Group" is misleading.
        • by glh (14273)

          That "proofs" were brought from the NT disregarding the OT. Also, the idea that people must sin contradicts various tennets of the OT.


          I can certainly go into more scripture in the OT and how it foreshadows the salvation message in the new testament if you'd like. By the way, from the OT how do you come to the conclusion that not all people are positionally sinful?

          I believe the OT is a picture of what is to come, and the NT is that picture. And in that regard, Christianity has everything to do with the OT.

          In fact, if it wasn't for the OT, there would be no prophecies for the Messiah (Jesus Christ) to fulfill. However, there are over 300 different prophecies given on the Messiah in the OT.

          My interest in this journal was only to see other people's comments on the OT, and any traditions regarding it. Now that I see the focus is actually on religion, I have little interest. Nothing wrong, I just think the the term "Bible Study Group" is misleading.

          Perhaps this is a cultural/religious thing. If you happen to be of Jewish background (sorry if I'm wrong)-- that would make sense. Especially in America, most people think of the Bible as the "Christian" Bible. Anyway, that's just a difference of terms... sorry if it seems misleading.
          • By the way, from the OT how do you come to the conclusion that not all people are positionally sinful?

            a) It does not mention that people are created to be sinful.
            b) There are many verses telling people not to be.

            Logically, it would be assumed that it is possible to be non-sinful.

            A prime example is in Exodus 20:17 (:20 in the KJV). Specifically, the revelation of G-d's presence on mount Sinai was specifically to help people not sin. Had that been impossible, what would be the point?

            I believe the OT is a picture of what is to come, and the NT is that picture.

            That is your belief. Not mine. Perhaps that should be the focus of a journal before posting from the NT?

            Further, the OT seems to be self-sufficient. Even the Five Books of Moses seem to be
            self-sufficient. The other nineteen in the OT are just various messages and stories to help the first five.

            The NT actually rejects much of the OT. If this is a Bible study group, wouldn't it behoove you to study the original before that which rejects of it (in practice or otherwise)?

            In fact, if it wasn't for the OT, there would be no prophecies for the Messiah (Jesus Christ) to fulfill. However, there are over 300 different prophecies given on the Messiah in the OT.

            Most (if not all) those prophesies were not fulfilled yet. There is a belief amongst Chritians that their savior will come again, and fulfill those prophecies, but, by definition, they are as of yet unsubstantiated. As such, it cannot be used as a proof.

            Perhaps this is a cultural/religious thing.

            Probably.

            If you happen to be of Jewish background (sorry if I'm wrong)-- that would make sense.

            You are correct. Thought, I do not mean to force Jewish traditions here. Just to share them, and point out where the Hebrew from the Masoratic text differes from the translations. I would assume that would be helpful.

            Especially in America, most people think of the Bible as the "Christian" Bible.

            I'll take issue with that statement. Most people identify themselves as Christian, but I do not think "Christian" pops into their heads when mentioning "Bible". Instead, they probably think, "G-d's word".

            Anyway, that's just a difference of terms...

            Yeah, I guess so. I see you changed your sig (or maybe I just never noticed it so glaringly before). I have no interest in the Christian message here. I see and understand now. Maybe you can start a new journal just on the OT itself. That may be interesting.

            • by glh (14273)

              a) It does not mention that people are created to be sinful.
              b) There are many verses telling people not to be.

              Logically, it would be assumed that it is possible to be non-sinful.

              Check out Ecclesiastes 7:20 -

              [20] For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

              Isaiah 64:6 also says:

              [6] But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

              And regarding a judgement day Eccl 12:14:
              [14] For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

              Most (if not all) those prophesies were not fulfilled yet. There is a belief amongst Chritians that their savior will come again, and fulfill those prophecies, but, by definition, they are as of yet unsubstantiated. As such, it cannot be used as a proof.

              I think we should continue this discussion offline, but I will quickly give you several prophecies that have been historically proven and witnessed. One of the biggest ones is Isaiah 53 (the entire chapter) which talks about the Messiah and the events of his death.

              A few others:

              Christ's pre-existance- Gen 1:26
              From tribe of Judah - Gen 49:10
              Born of a Virgin - Isa 7:14
              Declared to be the son of God - Psalm 2:7
              Sold for 30 pieces of silver - Zech 9:9
              Accused by false witnesses - Psalm 35:11
              Born in Bethlehem - Micah 5:2
              Pierced through hands, feet, side - Zech 12:10
              No bones broken - Psalm 34:20
              Hated w/o cause - Psalm 35:19
              Given vinegar and gall- Psalm 69:21


              Yeah, I guess so. I see you changed your sig (or maybe I just never noticed it so glaringly before). I have no interest in the Christian message here. I see and understand now. Maybe you can start a new journal just on the OT itself. That may be interesting.


              Like I said, I'd love to continue this discussion. An OT Bible study sounds cool, too. I'm always interested in learning more about it. Please let me know if you'd be interested in continuing this conversation - use the Bible_study_guy email.

              • Check out Ecclesiastes 7:20 -

                [20] For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.


                That, like most of Ecclesiates, was an observation.

                Isaiah 64:6 also says:

                [6] But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.


                And did you look at verse 5? That we are saved because of the righteous. Isiah then referred to his generation which had no righteous people (or not enough of them) to save them. And that was in the form of prayer. Compare with Isiah 6:5

                [5] Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

                As he finished saying that verses 6 and 7:

                [6] Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

                [7] And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

                For saying that very statement, that, "and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips", G-d punished him right then and there. Had people been prone to sin, what would be so bad about making that statement?

                And regarding a judgement day Eccl 12:14:
                [14] For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.


                So, there's a judgement day. It does not mean that people will sin.

                but I will quickly give you several prophecies that have been historically proven and witnessed.

                That is why I put "all" in parenthesis. I was more referring to peace on Earth, no swords. Everyone streaming to Zion, third temple, etc..

                I'm always interested in learning more about it. Please let me know if you'd be interested in continuing this conversation

                I don't know that I am interested in this more than any other one. If you had an open discussion about the OT itself, I'd be interested merely for the many points of view that may be expressed. In private, however, I'd probably reply to any email, but I don't know that I am interested (read: I'm real lazy) enough to *initiate* the email. :-P
                • by glh (14273)
                  And did you look at verse 5? That we are saved because of the righteous. Isiah then referred to his generation which had no righteous people (or not enough of them) to save them. And that was in the form of prayer. Compare with Isiah 6:5


                  Interesting comparison, but I think it is hard to say Isaiah 64 was referring to a people in a certain period of time like Isaiah 6 was. If I can find your email I try and write you some time so we can talk more w/o clogging up slashdot.
                  • but I think it is hard to say Isaiah 64 was referring to a people in a certain period of time

                    How else could Isiah have said it?

                    If I can find your email

                    Sorry, I thought I had it listed. I'll update my user data.

                • A discussion about just Genesis in a covenant-relationship with God sense (not a creation vs evolution sence) would be intruiging.

                  I've been following (from a great distance) the developments of a group that has already cut the foundation stones for the third temple. I find it all very fascinating, but I'm afraid from my perspective that they may be a little too fringe to pull it off any time soon.
                  • I've been following (from a great distance) the developments of a group that has already cut the foundation stones for the third temple

                    Umm.... they are not allowed to be cut....

                    Although, the Talmud debates whether it can be cut at the site were it was mined.

                    • http://www.templemount.org/recent.html

                      Only the cornerstone news is not so recent. I haven't kept up with them for a while, I hadn't heard of the structural danger to the wall before.
        • by Kiwi (5214)
          I will defend glh here. In the United States, a "Bible study" is (generally speaking) when Christians get together and talk about their religion. While glh did not directly refer to the Bible by chapter and verse, he did talk about a theme which many US "Bible studies" would talk about.

          I can understand why you have a different lexical meaning for "Bible Study"; a literal translaiton of the term would imply that we quote chapter and verse.

          And, yes, I agree that a better Bible Study is to choose a book of the Bible, read it from beginning to end, and comment on what the book says. Or, at least, choose a story from the Bible and talk about it.

          For what it is worth, I do not hesitate to flame glh to a crisp when he starts spouting nonsense like the fact that the earth was created in seven days 6,000 years ago; however I think we can let his idea of a "bible study" pass. Barely.

          FOr the record, I am a Christian.

          - Sam

          • For what it is worth, I do not hesitate to flame glh to a crisp when he starts spouting nonsense like the fact

            How can a fact be nonsense? :-)

            that the earth was created in seven days 6,000 years ago;

            It was six days, and that was 5763 years ago. :P
            • by glh (14273)
              Hey, there's something we actually agree on (mostly)!! :)

              I'm curious as to how you got to the number 5763. I would think it to be closer to 5,983 (give or take a few years).
              • I'm curious as to how you got to the number 5763. I would think it to be closer to 5,983 (give or take a few years).

                That's the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashana is the Jewish new year, and it's now 5763 years (and a few weeks) since either the creation of the world began, or the day that God created Adam.

                If the jews had succeeded in being the perfect people, and thus avoding the need for God to send Jesus Christ, we'd all be worrying about the "y58h" problem, and we'd be able to put it off for another 37 years yet, too.

                (Alternatively, if the Muslims had succeeding in succoring the compact away from the Christians, we'd probably be worrying about the "y15h" problem.)

            • My problem is that I agree, but in all the circles this discussion usually rolls through I can't really tell for sure.

              http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=40307&cid=43 01 242

        • We are about to get into more study of the Bible itself. We wanted to first post about Bible History, so people would know the reasons we think it is important to study it and why we consider it factual. We did this topic because as Christians, we want to make sure that anyone who wanted to accept salvation at any time during this would know what to do. If you have suggestions for future topics, please email us at bible_study_guys AT saintly DOT com.
          • OK, I guess I'll wait around for one more journal entry. If it isn't just Bible study, I'll probably leave though. (Hope that doesn't come off as a 'threat', it certainly is not intended to be.)
  • One day, all of a sudden, THOUSANDS of Jews stopped offering animal sacrifice almost overnight. Something big must have happened.

    It was not overnight. It was a long period. The Romans beseiged Jerusalem, and then the Second Temple, and did not allow animals to be passed in (except when bribed). Finally, the Temple was destoyed, and there was no where to bring sacrifices, since G-d forbade them outside the Temple.

    The "something big" was the destruction of the second temple in circa 69 CE, and the sacrifices will continue when the Messiah comes and builds the Third Temple as mentioned in Isaih and Exekiel.
  • Love that bit;

    God knows all that is going to happen.

    God makes that lucifer dude, making envy part of him.

    God makes man.

    Lucifer gets all POd, gets sent to hell.

    Lucifer, with about, oh, say, a few gazzilion times the intelligence and guile of the humans, convinces them to eat the fruit.

    God gets mad cuz big bad ol lucifer f*cked up the humans. God gets mad at the humans. Yah that one makes sense.

    God knew this was all going to happen, but hey, nothing like setting events in motion will full knowledge of what is going to happen and then blaming the participates any ways.

    Yah, err, nice one there.
    • by glh (14273)
      Lucifer, with about, oh, say, a few gazzilion times the intelligence and guile of the humans, convinces them to eat the fruit.

      God gets mad cuz big bad ol lucifer f*cked up the humans. God gets mad at the humans. Yah that one makes sense


      God didn't get "mad" at man just because of Satan beguiling Adam and Eve. It was more Adam and Eve choosing to disobey... they didn't HAVE to choose to. God doesn't want robots, so he gave man (and angels) free will to do what they want. Since man/woman decided they didn't want to worship God (by sinning against Him), sin entered into the world. And since sin is totally contrary to God's character, he cannot allow the presence of it. Fortunately, Jesus Christ is the sacrifice that allows us to be reconciled to God (at least positionally) and anyone is free to choose Him. So there is a way out of the dilemna... we still have a choice!
      • God didn't get "mad" at man just because of Satan beguiling Adam and Eve. It was more Adam and Eve choosing to disobey... they didn't HAVE to choose to.

        God knew what was going to happen though. He still set it up that way.

        The main problem is that the idea of an All Knowing Diety is a paradox. Even the Roman's where smart enough to not place their main Gods outside of the framework of time. It is obvious to even a child that if God knows what you are going to do before you do it, you obviously have no choice in the matter.
        • It is obvious to even a child that if God knows what you are going to do before you do it, you obviously have no choice in the matter.

          This is so wrong it astounds me. I've said this a thousand times before, just because God KNEW you were going to do something doesn't mean you HAD to do it. I can give you a real world example from my own life. I have a friend who was going to marry this girl who was in her mid 20s, while he's in his mid 30s. Not that that's so big of an age difference, but she was living like she was 17. Partying all the time, going to work hung-over, etc. Meanwhile he was a staff-level manager. I told him it wouldn't work out, they were too different. He married her anyway. Now they are divorced. So, is it my fault that he is divorced, because I knew? NO, it's HIS fault, because it was HIS choice. I told him, and I knew. But he still made the choice. God knew what would happen in that marriage, too, but it was no more His fault than it was mine.

          The idea of an all-knowing diety is NOT a paradox. Just because you or I can't fathom something doesn't mean it is impossible, but this is easy to fathom if you look at it just right.

            • This is so wrong it astounds me. I've said this a thousand times before, just because God KNEW you were going to do something doesn't mean you HAD to do it. I can give you a real world example from my own life. I have a friend who was going to marry this girl who was in her mid 20s, while he's in his mid 30s. Not that that's so big of an age difference, but she was living like she was 17. Partying all the time, going to work hung-over, etc. Meanwhile he was a staff-level manager. I told him it wouldn't work out, they were too different. He married her anyway. Now they are divorced. So, is it my fault that he is divorced, because I knew? NO, it's HIS fault, because it was HIS choice. I told him, and I knew. But he still made the choice. God knew what would happen in that marriage, too, but it was no more His fault than it was mine.


            Your analogy is flawed.

            God made MAN. God made man with full knowledge that man would screw up.

            God designed every last little facet of Mankind's brain full well and knowing that that exact design would result in mankind disobeying Him.

            Imagine instead if where the one who introduced your friend to the girl, and the one who, no, that does not even work.

            God put the possability for every single last seed of desire and anger and sin inside of humans, full well and knowing what humans would do.

            You where not 100% sure of what would happen, you did not exist in the future and could not see anything. God DOES exist in the future and He DID setup every single event that has ever and ever will happen.

            Omniscience does indeed mean no free will, for in order for a Being who is Omniscient to exist, all actions must be fixed in time. Thus no fre will.
            • The analogy is not flawed. It doesn't perfectly match because it is an ANALOGY. But your own words prove my point.

              God put the possability for every single last seed of desire and anger and sin inside of humans, full well and knowing what humans would do.

              In saying that He put the possibility to sin inside humans, you are implying that there is also the possibility to NOT sin. If there is a possibility to sin or not sin, then we must have free will, else there would be no possibilites, only certainty.

              • In saying that He put the possibility to sin inside humans, you are implying that there is also the possibility to NOT sin. If there is a possibility to sin or not sin, then we must have free will, else there would be no possibilites, only certainty.


                Actualy I just meant that with those seeds planted, and Knowing EXACTLY how events would cause those seeds to sprout, God had control over it all. God knew full well that old beezlebub would be able to convince the poor stupid humans to do his evil bidding, but we get the blame for it anyways.
                • In response to having no free will, let me just say this... God knows what we are going to do. Absolutely, without a doubt. But, he didn't choose it for us. We chose it for ourselves. He knows the future, but he doesn't control our actions in the future. If you existed in the past and the future and the present, you would know your friends actions consequences for right now. You might try to make him change his mind, but, because you saw it in the future, it means it is going to happen. But you, nor I, can exist in the future and the past and the present. We did exist in the past, and will exist in the future ( if you get what I mean... nothing deep here ). I know you are going to try to find another flaw with our thinking, and you will probably find one. Remember, we are human and imperfect. We do not understand everything. That is why we cannot directly and perfectly explain this or understand it. Please keep in mind that we will never be able to perfectly defend it, nor will you be able to perfectly attack it. God is perfect and knows everything. He knows why he does somethings. There is a reason. We are just too simple and errant to understand.
                • A friend and I were recently discusing this, and he made a point that I had never thought of, he mentioned that our human minds try to place God in the linear time that we experience, but God can see all the possible choices that you will make, and each of their resolutions. He not only knows what choices you make, but also the choices you didn't make and the possible threads that your life could have followed if you had made them. Yes, someone would have had to sin, if Adam & Eve hadn't but it could well have lasted until last week under different circumstances. I think it is like the old saying about better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all. God created us to be his companions and friends, and he did it even though he knew we would largely ignore him and most people would turn their backs to him, but there would be a few who would live as people after his own heart, and they make the whole thing worth it. Also, even though we screwed it up, his Son was the one who was punished in our place and separated from Him, so we don't have to pay the penalty of our actions.
              • I've said this a thousand times before, just because God KNEW you were going to do something doesn't mean you HAD to do it. I can give you a real world example from my own life. I have a friend who was going to marry this girl who was in her mid 20s, while he's in his mid 30s. Not that that's so big of an age difference, but she was living like she was 17. Partying all the time, going to work hung-over, etc. Meanwhile he was a staff-level manager. I told him it wouldn't work out, they were too different. He married her anyway. Now they are divorced. So, is it my fault that he is divorced, because I knew? NO, it's HIS fault, because it was HIS choice. I told him, and I knew. But he still made the choice. God knew what would happen in that marriage, too, but it was no more His fault than it was mine.

                ...

                The analogy is not flawed. It doesn't perfectly match because it is an ANALOGY.
                The analogy is flawed. It doesn't perfectly match because it's flawed.

                God knowing that man would sin isn't like you knowing your friend's marriage would end badly, it's like you knowing your friend would marry her in the first place. Your friend's free will was in marrying or not marrying her, and you didn't know what decision he would ultimately make.

                Furthermore, the thing you say that you did know (that if he did marry her, it would end badly) is the very thing you are saying was in fact inevitable.

                See why it's flawed? You're analogy better represents Com2Kid's point that a pre-known event is inevitable (eating the apple, potential marriage ending badly) and beyond the subject's control (you say "I told him, and I knew." and it happened like you said).

                God knew what would happen in that marriage, too, but it was no more His fault than it was mine.
                Yes, it was god's fault. Christians regularly make claims about God having sudden profound influences on their lives, and throughout the bible we are reminded of god's ultimate power. If we are to believe these things, surely we must believe God could have influenced your friend's situation. Since God knew that he would marry her, and knew how it would end, he is ultimately culpable for not doing something about it.

                The idea of an all-knowing diety is NOT a paradox. Just because you or I can't fathom something doesn't mean it is impossible, but this is easy to fathom if you look at it just right.

                The idea of a future-seeing all-knowing human-influence-capable God, and human free will at the same time, is very much a paradox. And if you "look at it just right", I'm sure a lot of silly things make start to make sense. And if you look at logical fallacies with the common-sense-blinding assumption that "somehow, this must make sense, because it's in this particular book", you can convince yourself of some pretty ilogical things.
                • Yes, it was god's fault. Christians regularly make claims about God having sudden profound influences on their lives, and throughout the bible we are reminded of god's ultimate power.If we are to believe these things, surely we must believe God could have influenced your friend's situation. Since God knew that he would marry her, and knew how it would end, he is ultimately culpable for not doing something about it.
                  So, because I acted a certain way for one person, who asked for my help, (people in the Bible were asking for God's help) you expect that I will do the same for everyone? And when did I say my friend was a Christian? Maybe God did try to tell him not to marry her, but he didn't listen. The idea that knowing = responsible just doesn't make sense. I know that tomorrow morning the sun will rise, does that mean I am responsible for it?

                  The idea of a future-seeing all-knowing human-influence-capable God, and human free will at the same time, is very much a paradox.
                  You assume that since God has the power to influence humans or even force us, that He does. He will give us guidance if we ask for it, but by no means does He force us to do anything. If He did, everyone would believe.

                  And if you look at logical fallacies with the common-sense-blinding assumption that "somehow, this must make sense, because it's in this particular book", you can convince yourself of some pretty ilogical things.
                  By the same token, if you are hell-bent on believing something is false because it is in a particular book, you can convince yourself of some pretty illogical things.

        • if God knows what you are going to do before you do it, you obviously have no choice in the matter.

          As usual you seem to have gotten a lot of people here just shouting back at you. I'd like to pause and find out a little more about what you are talking about.

          First, what would you define "choice" as, or to put it another way, what are the needed (required) conditions to make something a choice?

          What exactly does an "All knowing God" know?
            • First, what would you define "choice" as, or to put it another way, what are the needed (required) conditions to make something a choice?


            LOL! Everything you do is either qualified as a choice or as being predetermined.

            Ok think of it this way.

            What you are doing right now, do you really have a choice to do it? Could you have done something else then what you just did? Could you really have? How do you know?

            Every single possible temporal path splitting is a "choice" but there are an infinite number of those in any given instant of time. There are also an infinite number of temporal pathways that lead to nearly the exact same existence as we currently occupy.

            Think of it this way, does it really matter if you take an extra one one thousandth of a second to take your next breath? Really now, does it? How is the world all in all effected by it? (ignoring some possibly more esoteric aspects of chaos theory, well, that is saying anything dealing with chaos theory is esoteric, heh)

            What if you take an extra 1/1001 parts of a second before your next breath? 1/1002 parts of a second? There are literally an infinite number of such possible futures.

            But how about a more, well, "significant" example.

            What if I decided not to put quotes around the word "significant" above? What if I decided not to put quotes around the word significant in that last sentence. What if I had decided too put quotes around the word significant in that last sentence. What if I had decided not to make the word 'too' italicized. Why did I not use double quotes around the word "too" in that last sentence?

            My argument is that it is part of who we are, part of our biochemical nature, that "decides" our actions for us, though "decides" is really such a horrible word for this.

            • What exactly does an "All knowing God" know?


            An All Knowing God (and thanks for the question, I just pondered that one while typing those above paragraphs. ^_^ ) would have to know the infinite variety of possible temporal outcomes.

            Mind you there are an infinite number of possible temporal outcomes just for every breath that you take, for every time you blink an eye, or for every step that you take.

            That should drive the data theory guys nuts. ;)

            The only possible remedy to this is to nuke free will all together and just set everything upon a fixed temporal path with no deviations.

            Mind you this is not what I believe personally, but I have yet to see a satisfying answer to the question besides God Is Beyond Our Comprehension.

            Bull. If at least one human is capable of grasping n-th dimensional mathematics, then I know that at least one human is capable of grasping the Nature Of God. Hopefully that one human will also be a good author so that they can explain The Nature of God to the rest of us. :)
            • *sigh* What if I had used the proper word "to" in the above example paragraph?

            • What you are doing right now, do you really have a choice to do it? Could you have done something else then what you just did? Could you really have? How do you know?

              Your going to have to help me out here. Could I have, and more importantly how would I know?

              There are also an infinite number of temporal pathways that lead to nearly the exact same existence as we currently occupy.

              I'm putting this in as an aside because I'm not sure about that one. At least I don't see where that is the case. But it doesn't seem that important to your point so I'm moving on.

              My argument is that it is part of who we are, part of our biochemical nature, that "decides" our actions for us, though "decides" is really such a horrible word for this.

              So you believe in pre-destiny even without God. I thought you just argued above that Quantum Mechanics proves that futures are uncertain, even if you did know everything.

              The only possible remedy to this is to nuke free will all together and just set everything upon a fixed temporal path with no deviations.

              This seems interesting. It sounds like you are arguing that since knowing everything in a world of infinite possibilities is incomprehendable, its best to just write out a script for everything. It sounds like a lazy god's approach to making sure he's onmiscient.

              If at least one human is capable of grasping n-th dimensional mathematics, then I know that at least one human is capable of grasping the Nature Of God.

              I know of Chinese philosphers who have meditated and seen the fourth dimention. They didn't have an easy time relaying their insights to those that didn't. But I digress.

              I agree that someone needs to know from first-hand experience about God to be able to teach us. I don't think theres any guarantee though that we'll quite understand.

              Personally I don't think God is beyond our comprehension, but I think that a lot of people who think God is within their comprehension have it wrong. People like to draw boxes with thick black markers and say "There God can't do anything outside this box", which is a pretty silly idea for people to impose on such an omnipotent being.

              Now if God said "I don't do that" I believe it. But its the whole comprehension of God thing where people try to apply their own black boxes that draws problems.
    • God knows all that is going to happen

      I love the science behind this topic. I love trying to figure it out. How can God know everything that was and will be?

      My thought is that God exists ABOVE the 4th dimension. There is no 'time' in heaven (yeah, impossible to think of), but time is something he places on his table, and looks at, at whatever 'earth time' he wants.

      Funky, huh?
      • but time is something he places on his table, and looks at, at whatever 'earth time' he wants.

        Maimonidies (circa 11th century) is of the positition that Time was created when the world was created. Simply, time is the measurement of movement. If something can move, it is in place A "now" and not in place A "later". Further, it is not in place B "now", yet it is in place B "later". This allows the for the radical concept of something being and not being in the same place. That is called Time.

        G-d is non-physical. As such, Time does not apply to Him. Time is a physical idea. So, G-d chooses to react with people at different times.

        That is just like you said.

        However, I wonder about there being no such thing as Time. How can it be that *before* the world, Time didn't exist. "Before" makes no sense. Further, if G-d created Time, He created it in a "place" (non-physical realm) where there was no such thing as Time. Instead, I think that people are givien their Life-experience in one dose (no Time involved), yet given the psycological make-up of the human being, we "dream" time. If only to help us comprehend what is actually happening. In that, G-d does not choose "when" to interact, rather "when" we should comprehend that interaction.

        Just a thought.
        • Woohoo! So you agree, God knows all that is going to happen?

          If that is so, then free will cannot exist

          Period.

          At all.

          Now either God exists and we have no free will through your definition of an All Knowing God, AND God is a serious prick, or, God does not exist and there is the potential for free will.

          A third alternative is that God just closed His eyes when making everything go so that He can honestly say that He did not see stuff go to heck. :)

          The base question comes down to Does God know everything that all people ever will do?

          If He does indeed know, then we, by definition, have no free will. Reality is a closed system that is populated completely by control variables.

          If He does not know, then your definition of an All Knowing God is wrong.

          As I said, the romans had it right, they where smart enough not to place their Gods outside the realm of time. Prevents icky questions. :)
          • If that is so, then free will cannot exist.

            Logically, the "if so" is, saying that Time was created, "Time" can not exist. Simply, how can Time exist *after* no "Time" existed. "After" makes no sense. In other words, if "Time" is created, "Time" must always exist. A contradiction unto itself, yet it is here!

            I will now attack your theory three-fold. First, on a similar situation. Second, on the assumption. Third, from your logic.

            First, a similar situation.

            Imagine, there is free-will, and G-d cannot see the future. However, you, being the ingenious fellow that you are, create a Time Machine. You travel into the future, and see exactly what time I choose, of my own free will, to brush my teeth. You then come back, and watch me do it. When I brush my teeth, and you know when exactly I would do it, did I still have free will? Or am I just Schroeder's cat in disguise?

            You can either defy time travel, or accept that knowledge of the future does not remove free will.

            Second, on the assumption.

            You assumption is that since G-d knows everything that will happen, this defies the existence of free will.

            Let's look at another assumption made by those who do not believe in free will. Some "scientists" believe that people only do what their brain's chemical reaction force them to do. And, therefore, if I could calculate those reactions, with all stimuli, I would know *exactly* what the person would do.

            Had I not believed in a deity to have created free will, I would probably believe this falacy as well. However, I do believe in free will, and that the brain's chemicals are merely subject to G-d's will that it should be a manifestation of the person's choices.

            I think (read: assume :-) ) that the assumption here is that since G-d knows the future, he automatically, knows exactly what will happen, and like the chemical reactions, can make the choices for us. However, this is not so. The actions are merely what the very creation of a human's free will decides to do, and so knowing it, has nothing to do with its choices.

            Third, on the logic.

            The answer can be just as simple. If G-d created free-will and is above the realm (Time) in which it happens, G-d merely sees it all played out. No Time involved. It is merely our *perception* of Time that puts one thing after another, whilst in *reality* it all happens immediately and is over just as it starts.



              • Give me a time machine, then I will accept this as probable. Most current time machine designs involve getting squished to the size of a singularity, a relatively safe and secure bet against any person trying to test out free will through that method. ;)

                • Let's look at another assumption made by those who do not believe in free will. Some "scientists" believe that people only do what their brain's chemical reaction force them to do. And, therefore, if I could calculate those reactions, with all stimuli, I would know *exactly* what the person would do.

                • .
                  .
                  .
                  .
                  However, I do believe in free will, and that the brain's chemicals are merely subject to G-d's will that it should be a manifestation of the person's choices.


                But those choices are represented by those very brain chemicals. Those chemicals literally are you making choices.

                Grok, 'you' are a bunch of chemicals inside of your brain. Everything you see think feel and experience is nothing more then a bunch of chemicals floating around doing their thing. The question of free will comes down to some funky rules of quantum mechanics that figure one way or the other if those chemicals are 100% bound by certain rules or if 'other' stuff can happen outside of the predicted rule set.

                • The answer can be just as simple. If G-d created free-will and is above the realm (Time) in which it happens, G-d merely sees it all played out. No Time involved. It is merely our *perception* of Time that puts one thing after another, whilst in *reality* it all happens immediately and is over just as it starts.


                Which is the crux of the paradox itself. If God can see everything WHAT WE WILL DO then we obviously have no choice in the matter, cuz, well, hey, figuratively, we have already done it.
              • But those choices are represented by those very brain chemicals. Those chemicals literally are you making choices.

                No. Those are the *effects* of me making choices. That is the first step of physical manifestation of the choice that my godly free will decides.

                The question of free will comes down to some funky rules of quantum mechanics that figure one way or the other if those chemicals are 100% bound by certain rules or if 'other' stuff can happen outside of the predicted rule set.

                You're questioning from the wrong end. You're looking at it from the bottom. The question is did G-d create free will. If He did, it's there whether we understand it or not. If He didn't, it's a moot point. Quantum mechanics or anything else is merely a puppet in fulling the creation.

                If God can see everything WHAT WE WILL DO then we obviously have no choice in the matter, cuz, well, hey, figuratively, we have already done it.

                So, you've already done it. Why is that a problem? Don't assume lives truly take time. It is merely a perception, since humans cannot understand (or rather, perceive) life without time.
                  • No. Those are the *effects* of me making choices. That is the first step of physical manifestation of the choice that my godly free will decides.


                  Uh, no, you are your brain. Unless you are going to sit there and argue that your "soul" is the real intelligence of you and that it makes all the decisions. If that is the case then I would looooove to see your laboratory evidence backing that claim.

                  • So, you've already done it. Why is that a problem?


                  That the "now" me doesn't have a choice in the matter, thus negating free will.
                  • Uh, no, you are your brain. Unless you are going to sit there and argue that your "soul" is the real intelligence of you and that it makes all the decisions.

                    Exactly.

                    If that is the case then I would looooove to see your laboratory evidence backing that claim.

                    No laboratory evidence. I find philosophical and religious evidence to be more than enough. Besides, with the scientific method being so immature, I wouldn't rely on it for much.

                    That the "now" me doesn't have a choice in the matter, thus negating free will.

                    So, you lived twice? The first having choices the second not? I am not sure I understand how knowledge negates it.
                      • No laboratory evidence. I find philosophical and religious evidence to be more than enough.


                      L-o-b-o-t-o-m-y

                      Want to test your claims? :)


                      • Besides, with the scientific method being so
                        immature, I wouldn't rely on it for much.


                      Hehehehehehe hahaha oooh my word, yah, that IS rich. Heh. Immature, suuuure.

                      Mind you that until VEEERRRY recently scientific philosophy and religious philosophy where one and the same, with the only big difference being that not to long ago the group that was to become the backers of science said "Heya, lets start applying some of our own rules to our own belief structures!"

                      Well then all shit hit the fan. Religious works do not stand up hardly any form of logical constructs (some of which date back thousands of years).

                      As for the scientific method, it is actually quite simple;

                      Get Rid Of Excess Shit

                      See Shit Happening

                      Write Down Reports of Shit Happening

                      See if Shit Happens Again
                      [*1]
                      It is that first step (Get Rid of Excess Shit) that many people do not like. I mean what could happen if things where done under known environments!!! Why, the truth might come out! *gasp*

                      Heh. Annnnnyways. If you have closed your mind off to potential and shut yourself off to logical debate then there is really no point in this conversation, you have made yourself into a drone who will believe whatever darn well suits you. Without a logical mind set humans are an emotional creature. Not to mention piss poor at describing reality.

                      Besides, without logic there is no way to know what to believe. A person can argue that we never reached the moon, that silver solutions cure all illnesses, and that concentrated whey takes care of mental disorders. Without methodologies like the Scientific Method there is no way to prove or disprove such frivolous crud.

                      [*1] not to offend anyone, but that is basically how physical science was taught to me. "Mass is how much shit you've got, volume is how much space your shit takes up, density is how thick your shit is, and weight is how much your shit weighs varying with where you take a shit at."

                      Worked great as a teaching method.
                    • First and foremost, a request. Please refrain from the use of expletives in your comments. Had you not been someone I enjoyed from other comments, I would have completely disregarded this comment.

                      Immature, suuuure.

                      Considering the current method has only been around for a few centuries, I'd say that it is rather immature. And certainly relative to the Religious and Philosophical methods that have been around for millennia!

                      Mind you that until VEEERRRY recently scientific philosophy and religious philosophy where one and the same,

                      Maybe that was according to the Church at some point, but not traditionally, or by everyone.

                      People of that nature were considered a waste of time, or maybe a bit interesting. But not much more.

                      with the only big difference being that not to long ago the group that was to become the backers of science said "Heya, lets start applying some of our own rules to our own belief structures!"

                      Silly people. Not knowing how to separate two things.

                      Religious works do not stand up hardly any form of logical constructs (some of which date back thousands of years).

                      I don't know which books you've been reading, kemosabe, but I've read some that are logical to the core. Some don't use logic, so you may need to ascertain which books actually use logic before you review them as such.

                      As for the scientific method, it is actually quite simple;

                      Get Rid Of Excess <...>

                      See <...> Happening

                      Write Down Reports of <...> Happening

                      See if <...> Happens Again
                      [*1]
                      It is that first step (Get Rid of Excess <...>) that many people do not like. I mean what could happen if things where done under known environments!!! Why, the truth might come out! *gasp*


                      Actually, I find the last step the most disturbing. Who said everything has to be repeatable?

                      If you have closed your mind off to potential and shut yourself off to logical debate

                      Considering that at four I asked my teacher's helper, "If G-d created everything, who created G-d?" and since then I have challenged my own, and other people's beliefs, I'd say that I am pretty opened, and even well trained, in using logic.

                      then there is really no point in this conversation,

                      That may be true anyway. :-)

                      you have made yourself into a drone who will believe whatever darn well suits you.

                      You mean like a Democrat?

                      Without a logical mind set humans are an emotional creature.

                      And probably better. Well, maybe. Imagine people were either completely logical, or completely emotional. I'd probably choose emotional, because the cruelties of pure logic are to be scared of.

                      Not to mention <...> poor at describing reality.

                      In the Scientific method that is.

                      I will say, that I use the Scientific method, as well as other methods to seek the truth of things. If you only use the Scientific method, then it is you that is closed-minded.

                      Besides, without logic there is no way to know what to believe.

                      Isabel Briggs Myers, in her book Gifts Differing [amazon.com] discusses the difference between "T" logic-judgements and "F" feeling-judgements. (You can read a small overview from the excerpt on Amazon, on page 3 under "Two Ways of Judging". She has more on it, in greater detail, later in the book.) She explains how F judgments are more complicated, and as such, while an F can make T judgements easily, a T has a very hard time making F judgements. Perhaps you are T struggling with F judgements? (Strange, I believe you were the one I thought was an F.) Then again, I have seen Ts start to train there F side, and then snap back due to some event, and go completely T.

                      Without methodologies like the Scientific Method there is no way to prove or disprove such frivolous crud.

                      I never said the Scientific method, didn't have a place. Just that it was immature. And that other methods exist.

                      not to offend anyone, but that is basically how physical science was taught to me.

                      You need to learn to challenge that which is taught to you. What is taught to you is decided by somebody else, not you. Hence, it all begins incorrectly.

                      Worked great as a teaching method.

                      So did the ruler. But they outlawed that a while back.
                    • Ok, I think I can solve this in one fell swoop.

                      You say that the human mind is NOT the center of will and that it just reflects the desires of our souls?

                      Well in that case, how do you explain:

                      Patients with brain trauma unable to complete intellectual tasks that they once found easy;

                      that chemicals such as barbiturates have ANY effect what so ever;

                      chemical addiction (crack, morphine, etc).

                      What is more, if you are so certain of your beliefs, are you willing to have a medium sized part of your brain that the "immature" scientific method tells you is centered around "thought" removed in order to prove that it is indeed your soul that does the "real" thinking?

                      If your hypothesis (belief structure, whatever) is correct, then the presence of absence of a part of your mere "mind" should not effect your ability to carry out your will what so ever.

                      Oh yes, and while you are at it, explain how a person can be slipped some sort of a behavioral altering drug that can make partake of actions that they would normally never do, things that their soul absolutely abhors
                    • Ok, I think I can solve this in one fell swoop.

                      Nice questions. Attacking directly at the core. Very good. I appreciate it.

                      You say that the human mind is NOT the center of will and that it just reflects the desires of our souls?

                      The former, not the latter.

                      The human mind is not the center of will. "Will" is part of the soul. In that respect, the mind just reflects its will, yet that is not all the mind does.

                      Patients with brain trauma unable to complete intellectual tasks that they once found easy;

                      The "thinking" part of a person, is in the mind, not the soul.

                      that chemicals such as barbiturates have ANY effect what so ever;

                      They generally alter the person's perceiving, or relate to the physical aspects.

                      chemical addiction (crack, morphine, etc).

                      No different than the will to eat. A physical desire is such, and has ramifications throughout the body.

                      What is more, if you are so certain of your beliefs, are you willing to have a medium sized part of your brain that the "immature" scientific method tells you is centered around "thought" removed in order to prove that it is indeed your soul that does the "real" thinking?

                      Two points.

                      First, just because the Scientific method is immature does not mean that it has no use. The reason I mentioned its imaturity was to show that it is merely one method of reaching the truth, and a relative newcomer to the field. Just because it can or cannot prove something does not issue the final word on that something. However, it is a good method for many things.

                      Second, I never said that the soul thinks, I just said that it does free will. Very possibly, the free will is done amongst the choices that the thinking mind presents!

                      There is no question that people have physical bodies and are affected dramaticaly by them. However, (I believe that) there is also no question that people have souls and their free will comes from it. One cannot live without the other, and each must deal with the effects of the other.

                      then the presence of absence of a part of your mere "mind" should not effect your ability to carry out your will what so ever.

                      The mind is not a useless reflection, rather, it is the physical manifestation of free will. Without it, however, the soul could choose, but nothing would normally carry out that will.

                      Oh yes, and while you are at it, explain how a person can be slipped some sort of a behavioral altering drug that can make partake of actions that they would normally never do, things that their soul absolutely abhors

                      Because the soul perceives its choices, as presented by the mind, as being all-right. The soul must see through the body. A soul only removes these constraints when not in the physical world.
                      • The human mind is not the center of will. "Will" is part of the soul. In that respect, the mind just reflects its will, yet that is not all the mind does.
                      ...
                      • Second, I never said that the soul thinks, I just said that it does free will. Very possibly, the free will is done amongst the choices that the thinking mind presents
                      ...
                      • Second, I never said that the soul thinks, I just said that it does free will. Very possibly, the free will is done amongst the choices that the thinking mind presents!
                      ...

                      • Because the soul perceives its choices, as presented by the mind, as being all-right. The soul must see through the body. A soul only removes these constraints when not in the physical world.


                      Ok, I think I have it now. The way you originally responded a few posts up in this thread sounded like you where completely disregarding the human mind altogether.

                      Would a good analogy be to a CPU utilizing a separate FPU? The data the FPU is fed is through the CPU, and without the CPU the FPU alone would have no physical use, but the CPU is reliant upon the FPU for results of data fed from the CPU to the FPU.

                      And more importantly, do I get extra Nerd points for connecting a discussion on Free Will to CPU architecture? :)
                    • The way you originally responded a few posts up in this thread sounded like you where completely disregarding the human mind altogether.

                      I meant to disregard as *the* method. Perhaps I shall be more careful in the future. Thank you for pointing it out.

                      Would a good analogy be to a CPU utilizing a separate FPU?

                      In a crude sense, I guess. Please note, that I have not worked out all the details of the theory. So, when you ask a good question, I must use my current understanding to answer the question (which may take some work) or rethink my theory. Although the distinction between freewill and thought was one that I already had, the statement that it presents itself for choice was one that you just forced me to think about. So, I cannot say definitively (yet) what I believe a good analogy would be.

                      And more importantly, do I get extra Nerd points for connecting a discussion on Free Will to CPU architecture? :)

                      I don't know. I never saw Free Willy.

                    • You mean like a Democrat?

                      HAHAHAHA! That was probably one of the funniest things I've ever seen on slashdot. Thank you. :-)

                    • HAHAHAHA! That was probably one of the funniest things I've ever seen on slashdot. Thank you. :-)

                      Thanx. I was hoping that _someone_ would find it to be funny. I was debating whether to put the smiley there, but I had just used it the line before, and decided against it.
          • 2nd Peter 3:8 ".... With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day"

            So time has no meaning to God?

            That has little bearing to what I was going to say, but I just remembered that verse, so I thought I'd bring that in.

            I have thought alot about the whole - God knows everything that will happen -> God creates man, therefore no free will.

            I keep coming up with the same conclusion. If God does know everything that will happen, everything we will do and think, before it happens (and that would seem to be part of the definition of God) then, by creating us he gives us no free will, because everything is predetermined before we are created.

            I can't seem to get myself out of that train of thought, so I think the question I should be asking is this: If God didn't exist, would I still have done everything exactly the same way?

            I don't have any answers, or even much more to say on the issue, I just thought I'd share my thoughts on the subject.



            • I don't know why you needed to jump to the NT. King David clearly stated in Psalms 90:4 "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.".

              G-d created Time as a method for the world. For without it, nothing would make any sense. Since, we cannot truly understand what it mean to be truly without time, G-d communicates with the world with anthropomorphisms.

              In this case, that which seems to us to be as significant as a day, wouldn't be as significant to G-d until it was more like a thousand years.
        • I have wondered this myself. It makes a lot of things make more sense. Like Deja Vu. I have had some SERIOUS deja vu. Not like, "Oh, I think I've heard this before." Or, "I think I've been here before." But like, I'll be in a place I have never been before, and I will remember what everyone is going to say, I can recite the conversation in my head minutes before what is said is said.

          Piers Anthony did a neat thing in the Mode series of books. One of the characters "remembered" the future, but had no knowledge of what would be our past. She met the party and even though they had never seen her, she knew of all the experiences they would have together. Then when they finally parted ways, she was very confused about who these people she was with were. Interesting concept. I need to read some more Hawking.

          PS - Why do you type G-d instead of God? just curious.

          • by Chacham (981)
            Why do you type G-d instead of...

            Out of respect. It also feels strange (when needed) hitting backspace over the full name.
      • My thought is that God exists ABOVE the 4th dimension. There is no 'time' in heaven (yeah, impossible to think of), but time is something he places on his table, and looks at, at whatever 'earth time' he wants.


        Just about what I think. Although I'd place God in a temporal dimension all his own, and allow for the existance of an intermediate dimsion where angels and spirts and finite gods (like those worshiped by pagans) exist.
      • Hey! :^)

        Remember that comment I made about the film strip [cut up & glued together] going from 2D to 3D, illustrating the 4th dimension? Well, I thought about it some more. Length, width, & height, are all measured by metres [at least in metric]. They are all distances. If time is the 4th dimension, then shouldn't that be measured in metric also? Shouldn't it be measured in metres also?

        A line can be 1 metre long. 1 m
        A square can be 1 metre squared. 1x1 m^2
        A cube can be 1 metre cubed. 1x1x1 m^3

        Thus, can't an object be 1 metre to the power of four? In other words, 1x1x1x1 m^4?

        I don't know about you, but that blows my mind away, because we are used to measuring time in seconds, minutes, hours, etc. So, if you believe that time can be measures in metres, then you can say to people, "Hey, can I talk to you, for just a metre?". :^)

        Thoughts?
    • Words and melody: Madhuri (2001).

      Salvation came to my house
      We held out hands and went to the street
      A thousand eyes stared, mouthes gapes, tongues ticked.. how couldn't they?

      Salvation came to my house
      We held out hands and went to the street
      Just like I am, without any preperations
      I guess that's the way it should have happened

      CHORUS
      Salvation came, and she's so close..

      Salvation came to my house
      With no explosions or fireworks. Simple and true
      In such an inapropriate time to arrive
      And she's bigger than life, bigger than life..

      CHORUS...
  • When discussing salvation it is important to distinguish between spiritual death and physical death. Spritual death is our inability to dwell with God because we have sinned and cannot be in His presence. Physical death is the separation of our body from the spirit that inhabits it.

    Christ's atonement made possible both the ressurection (saves us from physical death) and salvation from spiritual death, or cleansing of our sins. I think there are some important distinctions between the two.

    Finally, and I don't have much time right now so I have to make this quick: an article that discusses salvation while giving only passing mention to faith, no mention to repentance, and containing nothing about baptism seems to my LDS sensibilities to be incomplete. Is this an actual oversight, or just my unique perspective?

    Of course my thoughts on all these subjects might differ radically from the thoughts of those posting here. Please take this as another viewpoint rather than as an invitation to a flamewar.

    • Finally, and I don't have much time right now so I have to make this quick: an article that discusses salvation while giving only passing mention to faith, no mention to repentance, and containing nothing about baptism seems to my LDS sensibilities to be incomplete. Is this an actual oversight, or just my unique perspective?

      Faith, repetence, baptism, genetics, social standing, good works, and racial background have all, at once time or another over the past two thousand years, been held up as a key element of salvation.

      Personally, I think that it's Jesus's call who gets saved and who doesn't, and the rest of it is just the church's best guess as to how to form someone into the kind of person whom Jesus Christ thinks should get into heaven.

      Two questions for you, if you'd be so kind to answer:

      1: Can anyone be saved who has, through no fault of their own, never been baptised and taught about Jesus Christ?

      2: What's the reference to baptism / repetence / faith being necessary for salvation?
      • Your first question is an excellent one. Here is what the LDS church teaches about it: Doctrine & Covenants section 138 [lds.org]. It provides a much better explanation than I can, but I will summarize. The spirits of those who are dead will be taught the Gospel and given the chance to accept it. Jesus organized this effort in the time between his crucifixion and resurection. A vicarious baptism can be performed for them and they can choose to accept that as well.

        So the answer to your question is yes, those who have not been taught in this life can still obtain salvation.

        I have often wondered how other Christians answer this question, can you offer any insights?

        Here are some scriptural references for you, they are by no means complete:

        Faith: Ephesians 2:8, Hebrews 11:6 (though the whole chapter is pertinent)

        Repentance: Luke 13:1-5, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10

        Baptism: John 3:1-5, Matthew 3:15, and 2 Nephi 31:4-7 [lds.org] provides some further clarification.

      • I'd like a shot at question #2 since #1 I think was answered very well (actually #2 was too, but I'd like a shot anyway). I think I can even address every one of those key elements of salvation.

        1) Faith

        I'm unaware of any church that doesn't include this as neccisary. I think may be more that its neccisary to do the things that are neccisary. It would be pointless for someone to do something unless they had faith that it was good (like prayer, confessing Christ, etc...)

        2) Baptism

        You may want to refer to "http://scriptures.lds.org/tgb/bptsmssn" for a quick list of scripture arguing the relationship between baptism and salvation. Some are uniquely LDS scripture, but the first 2/3 are from the common canon of the KJV Bible.

        3) Genetics and Racial Background.

        Believing blood, elect and chosen race was preached among the Jews in Jesus's time, and by recent people as well. But Christ himself clarified that doctrine when he mentioned that those that do as Abraham did are his seed and heirs of an inheritance, rather then those with a genetic or blood relation. So yeah, its been argued, but I don't think they get the real picture.

        4) Good works.

        This one I think is also common among all but the truely pre-destined Christian sects. After all, the common salvation prayer which was rendered by glh is a "work", believing "on" Christ is a work. And with each, salvation is promised (as with faith and baptism mentioned above.)

        I think the harmony comes in the notion that these works have no power in and of themselves except as God enforces it. Thus, none of our works will save us even though they might be a requirement.

        For example, when I was younger I was told by my mother to clean my room. I picked up things and put them away, but the room wasn't clean until my mother said it was. And even then it wasn't *really* clean until she ran the vacuum, cleaned the desk, re-made the bed, and basically did everything I couldn't do.

        Salvation to me is much the same way. I didn't and couldn't accomplish cleaning my room, my mother had to do it even though I felt pretty darn accomplished just putting my toys away.

        By the way, I couldn't agree more about the whole "personally" paragraph.
  • First, regarding the Bible- no other religion has such a complete and holy book as Christians.

    Except for Muslims, who can count the books of the New Testament as messages from the prophet Jesus Christ in addition to the shared old testament and the unique work of the Koran.

    Man couldn't have written it if he would of, and he wouldn't have written it if he could of. The Word of God says that man is a selfish, sinful creature and that--apart from God-- he can do nothing.

    I take personal issue with dogma that casts man as so wholly evil and unworkable that God and God alone grants us any goodness at all.

    God created all, and knew from the begining that there would be faults. While without God we would be nothing, in the extent that we exist on our own we exist with parts of good and parts of evil, and it is only through the blessings of Our Lord that we can even hope to expunge the evil and become wholly good... but we are still partly good even without the blessings of Our Lord.

    There are so many laws in the Old Testament given by God that man could never fulfill them. Anyone claiming that a man would have written the Bible doesn't know the contents of it.

    Man is perfectly able to dream of perfection, and envision attempts to get himself there. I would not be surprised in the least to find that the laws of the torah were concieved when God and Moses sat on the mountain, and God asked how Moses suggested to make the People worthy of Him.

    No other book has seen so many detailed prophecies come true and not one fail.

    Except for the quatraines of Nostradamus, that is.

    Anyway, my nitpick aside, back to the study.
    • I take personal issue with dogma that casts man as so wholly evil and unworkable that God and God alone grants us any goodness at all.

      Well, I agree it may have come accross pretty harsh. Even so, that's not to say God doesn't love us (regardless if we are sinners or not). The emphasis is not so much that man is evil, but that God is Holy and we are separated from Him because of that.

      Except for the quatraines of Nostradamus, that is.

      The prophecies of Nostradamus were any where NEAR the complexity of those in the Bible. With that, how many of them have actually come true? I'm not an expert or anything, I just don't think it's a good comparison.
      • Well, I agree it may have come accross pretty harsh. Even so, that's not to say God doesn't love us (regardless if we are sinners or not). The emphasis is not so much that man is evil, but that God is Holy and we are separated from Him because of that.

        Jesus of Nazareth was a perfect, holy man who was far better than any man before or since. He became Jesus Christos, savior of all mankind, and it almost doesn't matter that His soul existed for all of time as the Word of God.

        When comparing lesser mortals like you, me, and Mother Theresa to Him, it's easy to say "He's good, we're bad" because the contrast is so extreme. I can understand the grammatical dogmatic slip, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

        I think a root of the problem is the assumption by a lot of people (including a bunch of Christians) that an act is either "Good" or "Evil," with no middle ground. As I recall, the actual scripture doesn't say that, and there are (at least) three different classes of things: Sin (bad things), things that just are (normal things) and (for lack of a better term) Good Works (good things.)

        The prophecies of Nostradamus were any where NEAR the complexity of those in the Bible. With that, how many of them have actually come true? I'm not an expert or anything, I just don't think it's a good comparison.

        The basic appeal was to the uniqueness of the bible, an almost scientific suggestion that no one else could have possibly created a work like His Book. While comendable, that doesn't make it correct.

        Nostradamus's prohpecies were fairly vauge and complex, but most of them have been successfully pinned to real historical acts. He has a historical record of exact-on-year accuraccy and the abilty to predict things in his lifetime. He wrote his quatraines personally, with almost no chance for mistranslation of confusion between his comission and the present day. If they come true, then they really come true, even if it is just random chance.

        (AFAIK, There were at least ten centuries of at least 90 quatraines each. I beleive that well over 300+ can be reasonably pointed out as true--well, see below.)

        The prophecies in the bible, on the other hand, were written (IIRC) at least a hundred years before Jesus was born, and the fulfillment of these prophecies was passed by word-of-mouth for several decades by people who knew the Jewish Prophecies about the Messiah and thought that JC was the Messiah.

        Also, the prophecies you quoted weren't very complex. Care to quote some passages so I can look them up myself?
  • (I think I've said this one before, but oh well.)

    Not too long ago I was given cause to stop and think about my religion. A question came to mind, specifically "what is important to God?" I knew what was important to me, and I believed that I knew what was important to the mass of evil spirits referred to as Satan ("block God from existance"), but what was important to God?

    People want to get into Heaven. (Heck, we all do--God lives there, and thus it's the coolest place in all of Creation... I mean, if you were to create an existance and had to have a spot that was "yours," wouldn't you make your home the coolest place of all?)

    Anyway, people want to get into heaven, and that makes it good for the people--but not necessarily God. God can't be diminished or increased by the addition or subtraction of a few souls. God can't come to know you any better or be any closer to you, since he's omnipotent and omnipresent.

    And then it struck me, so simply that I haven't forgot it and I doubt I ever will. What's important to God is that people are people. He didn't create everything just for it to be perfect; he created it so it would have diversity and meaning. It doesn't matter to God if I get into heaven or am damned to hell or get tossed back for another round on Earth, and long as I exist.

    There are thousands of white guys who married young, dropped out of college, and are struggling along in life--there are probobly even dozens who want to be writer/lawyers--but there's only one me, and as long as I'm true to what I am (not what I think I am, not what I'd like to be, and not what religion tells me I should become, but what God Himself made me and knows me to be) then I'm doing what's important to God in my life--and the rest of it is just God helping things happen that are important to me.

  • I often argue with people about the validity of the bible, and I often get the argument back that "Even if it isn't true, it's a good set of values to live by". This Journal Entry is a perfect example of why I think the biblical values are really bad. I don't believe we are all born with sin, and I don't believe that a death 2000 years ago could "pay" for sin. Hell, I don't even believe most of the so called "sins" are even bad.

    Telling people that they are "bad people" from birth is really a horrible thing to do. Children aren't born "with sin", and raising them to believe they are is just mean. The lifelong guilt trip christian morals carry with them is downright unhealthy. When I hear people say "we are all sinners", I take offense. Not only are you insulting me, but you're insulting all the upstanding people I know! Saying "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" is equivilent saying "yo' momma's a bad person". She's not. You're rude motherfuckers for saying she is.

    And telling kids they're gonna be cast into a lake of fire, if they don't pledge their alliegeance to a dead guy from 2000 years ago, is so preposterous it's almost funny. Except millions of kids are actually told this ("And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire"), so it's more sad than funny.

    Christianity is an outdated doomsday cult. One day it will be behind us, and you last holders-on will be laughed at in history classes, along with the flat earth people and the Amish. Until then, you make for good reading on slashdot.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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