Lots of places in WY today wind is 40+ MPH with gusts 60+. We could use a few more turbines...
Lots of places in WY today wind is 40+ MPH with gusts 60+. We could use a few more turbines...
I didn't bring up Job, and I don't consider it to be a study of prayer at all - although prayer is technically a conversation with God, so I suppose several parts of the book qualify. It doesn't matter that Job's status was restored - I'm simply pointing out that in this case it was. It isn't recorded that he prayed for his status to be restored either. God simply did it because He liked Job. My answer was simply that the family not being restored was not a consideration or expectation. God did give sons and daughters to comfort Job and help him carry on his business and life. In no case did prayer enter into any of these things.
I also take issue with people who say that when someone dies their prayers of healing were answered. No, they weren't. They don't have to deal with the disease anymore, but that doesn't mean the prayer was answered.
A prayer to God that causes something out of the realm of nature to occur is evidence that must be considered by those who observe it in accepting that God exists, with all that implies. A prayer that is not answered in the way we think it should be answered, however, cannot be used as definitive proof that God doesn't exist. He has His own will that is higher than ours, and His own plans for us and history that will be carried out. His will can occasionally be swayed, but judging prayer results as a basis for the existence of God is not the same as advertising.
Eternity is just that - forever - we stretch our minds to think of a lifespan of 100 years or so.
It is true that Job's family weren't brought back to life on earth. A few instances of this were recorded in the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments and have been recorded since Bible days, and yet Job's family were not. Job had other sons and daughters after this, so would have married again. His life went on and was full and blessed.
So what of the original family members? The Bible doesn't declare their status with God at the time of their demise.
If they were right with God, then they got to continue on in the paradise compartment of sheol until Christ's death on the cross and resurrection when He took those souls with Him to heaven.
Even paradise was better than their life on Earth (which was good since Job was wealthy), and heaven certainly is better than anything Earth could provide. Job would have been reunited with them when he died and again - eternity is a long time, so a few years apart would not be a big thing.
If they were not right with God, then they were eternally separated. That is the risk you take when you live your life in such a way that a sudden departure means eternal separation from God and His judgment. Job was righteous, so I think it is safe to assume that he had imparted right and wrong to his wife and children. If they chose to ignore his wisdom and go their own way - how can you blame God for that?
The lesson of Job is to be sure you are ready - even if you think you are rich and self sufficient and have no worries
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
Yes. Several times. It's an interesting debate both in heaven between God and Satan at the start, and on earth among Job's friends and Job and his wife.
There are a few things to keep in mind.
The Bible is hardly domestic.
The Bible doesn't declare that Jehovah is the only one who answers prayers. But any miracle that is done by a lower power is only done at the forbearance of Jehovah. In Exodus, for example, the court magicians are able to do some of the first miracles that Moses does, but eventually even they declare to Pharoah that they he is fighting the hand of God. In Revelation it is made clear that many will be deceived by an earthly false prophet who does miracles. So it is clear there are many forces outside of our realm of being that are more powerful than us and can affect the natural realms that we live in. These have the power to deceive and have done so through time.
As you said, each person must make a choice as to which of the God's to follow. It's a free choice. Your conscience will guide you in the way - if you haven't seared it already. It would be nice if it was always as easy as the people had it when Elijah took on the followers of Baal on Mt. Carmel
And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
but it isn't usually that obvious to most people anymore.
From God's point of view, Christ has come and walked the pages of history doing mighty miracles and showing God's love for His creation to man. His followers have walked the pages of history since also doing miracles to promote His kingdom. None of us are as perfect as Christ was. Some are worse than others. But the example to look at is Christ and not Christians. After His example, what point is there for special effects.
Given the choice, I'll pick the one who lowered Himself to mankind's position, lived as one of us for a time, and died to make a pure sacrifice between ourselves and God. That's unique among the various religions out there. There will always be debate until He returns to set up rule on Earth as to which God is "the" God. In the end, all the false religions that Satan has spread to destroy the humanity that he hates will be wiped away. Unfortunately, by then it will be too late for their followers.
People that I personally know - directly in the family (wife and mother) and other people I have known for a few years have had prayers for healing answered. The prayers were immediate and completely fixed the problem. I know that God does answer prayer.
Unfortunately, such answers to prayer are not reproducible so the skeptics don't care. I've also had prayers for healing go unanswered. That doesn't change my faith.
My rebuttal gave a couple of reasons that the Bible declares that prayer isn't answered. It isn't meant to be an all inclusive list and I don't think the Bible gives an all inclusive list. Others it does list include doubt and sin. A general lack of faith even prevented Christ from doing many miracles in some areas. If even Christ was hindered, I think it is safe to say that Christians today will also be hindered at times when we pray. The lack of faith in God in the slasdot crowd is high. Reminds me of a Darth Vader line, but I digress.
God knows what is best for each of us in every situation. I don't think He will normally give us our way in something that will end up hurting us (either now or eternally) even if we pray for it. I chose the reasons for my response from what the original poster had complained about (donations). If the Bible's reasons for unanswered prayer seem like rationalizations - well human nature hasn't changed much in a long time. It doesn't make it wrong.
God's overriding purpose in the gifts of the Spirit are to spread Christianity to unbelieving people. I think when He knows that will happen, He is more likely to intervene in the normal course of nature for our behalf.
A missionary shared an example of a good friend of his. That young man was sitting in an airport waiting to pick up a friend. As he was sitting, he felt a prompting to go and stand on his head by the pop machine nearby. He brushed it off as the results of bad pizza the first time. He felt it again, and again he ignored it. The third time he felt a strong urging of the Spirit to go and stand on his head by the pop machine, he said OK, went over to the wall and flipped up on his head in a headstand. He saw a guy in a suit stand up and walk toward him and he thought - oh great - here comes DHS to bust me. The man stood in front of him and asked him what he was doing. He told him that he felt God impress on him that he should go stand on his head by this pop machine. The man then told him that he had been struggling with God for quite a while and he had told God just a few minutes ago that if God was real, someone should go stand on their head by the pop machine. The young Christian was able to lead the man who then had tears running down his face to God.
Not many Christians are willing to make fools of themselves just because God wants them to do something. We're too proud, in general for our own good.
God doesn't do tiny lab experiments that are reproducible. He builds experiments on galactic scales. Don't try to reduce Him to the level of a scientist. We simply are too different to ever understand His ways. How could any good come of standing on our head by a pop machine? Only He knows!
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much - Jas. 5:16b
God's promises are conditional. If you haven't had your prayers answered, look to yourself first. If you're sure you are upstanding, then examine what you are asking for.
Jas 4:1-3 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. James is a really good book to read sometime and sadly, he was writing to Hebrew Christians.
People do donate a great deal of money to various religious organizations each year. There are some who do so in the hope they can buy God off. It doesn't work that way and church leaders are in error if they imply that.
The vast majority of us donate to charities, and particularly religious based charities because it is both the right thing to do and a means of helping others with far less overhead than when the government is involved. That isn't a blanket endorsement of all charities, but there are some very good ones run by religious orders with very low administrative overhead costs.
Why would you not want enterprises to utilize better software for their Wi-Fi infrastructure?
Open source simply must be permitted to still exist and be freely used in place of what comes with the equipment. I understand the FCC position, and would even accept a closed source blob that directly controls the radio interface, but there is a vast set of other tools that are used in enterprise environments outside of the core radio interface. These are more frequently patched for features and security enhancements than what you can get from the manufacturer.
A no Open Source position hurts everyone - enterprise environments included.
Man's discussions don't do a great deal to move people to believe or disbelieve a particular thing and thus, it is not my place to try to convince you to leave Mormonism. That is the job of the Holy Spirit for it is He that leads a heart to seek God.
Since you objected to the original comment that Mormons weren't Christian, I thought I'd discuss the subject with you a bit. I'm not the A/C that started the discussion. I'm just a Christian depending on God's grace and the blood of Christ to save a wretch such as I am, and trying to do better each day - not because works will save, but because I want to do better for Him.
Works, you see, don't save. The chapter in James that you suggested I read was one I taught on a couple of weeks ago. My take is that a living creature is constantly producing new living cells. If it stops producing living cells it dies. In the same way, the body of Christ, without works. will die. The original members of the body will still be saved, but the next generation, and possibly generations to come will be lost. Thus, faith without works, ends in death of the body.
For your latest comments on spirits, actually, all I'm saying is that the verse you used 1 Pet 3:19 about spirits being preached to as a justification for saying salvation was possible after death is invalid. The spirits being preached to there were the angels identified in Jude 1:6 as being bound and indeed the very next verse in 1 Pet 3:20 and to be clear, the prison is tartarus - not sheol. The symbolic passage in 21 makes clear that it is not the water that saves in baptism, but the faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ - just like the water did not save the 8 at the time of Noah's flood, but the ark. It was not necessary for anyone who believed in God in the Old Testament to be baptized to be saved. Christ went to the paradise compartment of Sheol when He died, identified Himself as the promised one, and led those in paradise to heaven where they have been ever since. He didn't stop to baptize them, and they went to heaven with Him without any proxy operations by the early church.
I simply picked proxy baptisms as one of the key things that set our two religions apart. The other main thing I cited was the very nature of the God you believe in as being some super man that you might one day become. I skipped over the whole goddess concept you have. This idea of man becoming angels or gods is completely at odds with what the Bible says, and thus, even though you believe in "Christ", Christians sincerely question whether that is enough if the "Christ" you believe in is radically different than what the Bible teaches for His origin and existence.
As you are aware of the allegations and accusations, there is little point in repeating them here. Anyone interested can look up Mormonism vs. Christianity via Google and read for themselves. Some of the best references quote directly from BOM and D&C and compare in table form what the Bible says is truth or point out inconsistencies between the BOM, what is taught today via D&C, or what the later prophets of your church have changed.
The thing is, God doesn't change, and His standards don't change - as much as the world would like them to. You can't use the BOM or D&C to argue with a Christian, because we haven't accepted either as divinely inspired - precisely because of the issues many people have raised in their comparisons. If you want to convert us, you must do so using only a Christian edition of the Bible. No Christian will argue that various translations do a better or worse job of translating the original Hebrew or Greek writings than others - if you really want to argue, you have to go back to the original languages to do so. But remarkably, in the vast majority of the translations that have been done, it holds its consistency pretty well across all important theological concepts.
You are responsible for your eternal destiny. Your wife is responsible for hers. Your ancestors were responsible for theirs, but most of them have gone on and now know truth. They can't save you. Your wife can't save you. You can't save your wife. Each individual who knows about Jesus Christ must accept or reject Him and is directly responsible for his own eternal destiny. Seek Him. Study what the Bible says - cover to cover and ask the Holy Spirit to light up the truth of His word - which is the water referred to by Christ to Nicodemus in John 3.
To answer your question about Christ preaching to the spirits, before Christ's death, all souls were held captive. Sheol is divided into two compartments - a place of judgment and a paradise. Depending on a person's standing with God, their soul went to on or the other. There is a gulf between the two preventing anyone from passing in either direction. Christ described this. When Christ died on the cross and won His victory over Satan as prophesied in Gen. after the fall, he went and led the righteous souls out of the paradise side of Sheol, which is now empty (Eph 4:8-10).
Spirits in prison - Angels who had left their first estate and intermarried with the human race creating giant races in Noah's time. Jude 1:6.
The Holy Spirit continues to give words of wisdom and knowledge, along with messages in tongues with interpretation to church members today. Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest God would stop talking to the Church with the Scripture that then existed (or would soon be written down and collected from various letters to early churches) - and the stop forever. However, when new information is given by individuals, claiming to be operating under the direction of the Holy Spirit, a good test to see whether it is truth or not is whether it actually happens as the person said, and whether or not it contradicts what God has already said.
The warnings of Paul in 1 Tim. 1:4 and Gal. 1:6-8 are definitely something that must be contemplated - especially how the LDS church purportedly got its start.
Christ himself declared that the thief on the cross would be with him in the paradise compartment of Sheol that very day when they both died, so it is clear that baptism is not an absolute requirement of salvation. Neither are works, as the thief on the cross couldn't perform any works either.
Baptism is a command to all believers who have an opportunity to perform it, but it is a type of Christ's death and resurrection and a witness to others of your acceptance of Christ - nothing more. It is one of many commands Christ gave. We should try to do the best we can to follow them all, but our salvation is by God's grace through faith alone and not of works - Eph 2:8-9.
As far as proxy baptism goes, Heb. 9:27 declares "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" The judgment is final. There are no appeals available. Thus, it matters not if someone who has not accepted Christ as Savior before death could accept or reject the proxy baptism the Mormons offer. The proxy baptism act is meaningless. God's judgment has already been passed. The same is also true for the Catholic concept of Purgatory which has no basis in the Bible. Luke 16 is an instructive description of Sheol and are Christ's own words. The gulf is fixed. People do not cross.
Acceptance of Christ as Savior is sufficient. The problem between Mormonism and Christianity is exactly as you outlined. Your and our belief in who Christ is is not the same. We agree on his life on Earth. Not much else. This is the crux of the matter.
Mormons and Christians agree on the concept of Jesus Christ as man - the life he led, the things he did, how he died. However, it is the concept of God - what God and Jesus Christ were before Jesus' incarnation, what man is and will become, and the concept of angelic beings, at a minimum where LDS differs from all Christian denominations (Catholic or Protestant, Evangelical or Liturgical). The LDS theology with respect to man and God is very much different than that of everyone else - at least as it has been explained to me by a Mormon bishop. If you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, but that Jesus Christ is as different as night and day between LDS and Christian churches, does God ultimately give a pass because of the deception of Satan or are you just lost because you believed in a God that was different than the totality of Jehovah? Both groups of believers cannot be right. The differences are just too stark.
The LDS theology with respect to salvation is different. Neither Catholic nor Protestants would remotely believe or accept that a proxy baptism of a sinner would make a particle of difference to an eternal destiny, but LDS fervently pursue a study of genealogy in order to add in as many people by proxy as possible to their faith. No Protestant would accept a concept of Purgatory either, for that matter - it's one of the differences that caused the split from Catholicism in the first place. For a Catholic or Protestant, man will always be man. He will never become a god. He doesn't become an angel. The best angel didn't win and get to be incarnated as Christ.
LDS and Christianity have much in common - but they are different where it counts. Just having Jesus Christ in the name of your organization doesn't make the denomination Christian. For that matter, Muslims believe in all the history of Christ up to the point where He died on the cross as well. They just don't figure that God would have ever let Himself die a death like that, so Jesus gets labeled a prophet instead of part of the very select Godhead.
I would agree with most points you make in your last paragraphs and certainly the last one.
I would tend to say that it is too easy to be critical of using particular modern words like rapture and trinity that are - of course - not written themselves in the texts. A quick off-the-cuff reference to what Christian's term the trinity that comes to mind would be the description of Christ's water baptism by John. I would truly be curious to hear an alternative interpretation for 1 Thess. 4:13-18 that is not consistent with what modern Christians term the rapture - regardless of when the church in its history started to think about the meaning in that particular way. To dismiss the spirit of clear non-symbolic passages (as opposed to clearly figurative passages) because of words Christians have tagged them with or how long it took the church to figure it out, or how long it was forgotten by the church when it was understood by the early church just seems wrong.
I don't agree with 100% of the Left Behind theology - it is a work of fiction. But I do think they did get a better than average amount of the prophecy correct, which isn't easy. My biggest issues with their texts would be the extent of the antichrist's kingdom as I think the prophecy would limit it to the extent of the Roman Empire, and I take exception to their mark of Christ/mark of the beast symbols, but overall not a bad attempt to put into readable form a couple of tough books of the Bible to read in most translations. Is it better to try to read and understand the originals? Yes, of course. But most people write off much of the Bible prophecy because they don't have the time or background to try to unravel it. The fact that it is spread over many books some of which refers to near term events and some yet to be fulfilled doesn't help. So while I'd rather people read the best translation of the original they can find, I don't find the fictional texts to be a problem. As you say - people read things many different ways and it will be interesting to see who is actually right or wrong about Revelation interpretations. The important thing is the eternal end point and not a scorecard or grading of unraveling prophecy before hand. And, of course, focusing on the big things would promote unity. Trouble is, agreeing on what the big things are is just as hard a thing to do as getting unity on them.
I suppose that people could take the approach you suggest about the rapture and the planet and not caring about it since it will all pass away. I guess that to me, God Himself is going to beat the planet up pretty hard according to Revelation, so I'm not sure that what we do is going to be noticed. But I would also point out that regardless of the rapture, the timing of it is not foretold. So doing whatever we wanted with the planet would seem to be a pretty silly thing to do - even if we thought it was going to be happening soon. After all, the early church thought it was going to be happening soon as well. We were originally created to be caretakers, and I'd think this should be our goal with respect to the planet itself. Jesus projected a pretty good "waste not" philosophy while on the earth.
As far as the rest, 1 Cor 13 is a pretty good summary of what to shoot for.
The baptism in the Holy Spirit has been going on since Acts 2 for Christians, and a bit earlier if you count Christ. It is one of the divisive issues of the church today, but that doesn't make it less real. Since I have witnessed both baptisms in the Holy Spirit, seen the evidence of changed lives, and have seen the gifts of the Spirit in action, the issue isn't an elaborate construct for me or the Christians I know.
The trinity is clearly present throughout the Old and New Testament.
These are literal Bible truths.
You are correct that Christians today do use terms which are not found in scripture - word for word. We use terms like rapture to describe the events as written in 1 Thess. 4, 2 Thess. 2, and Revelation 4:1 (hereafter being after the church age of Rev 1-3). It is easier to just use one word that is understood among believers than to read out 1 Th. 4 every time you want to talk about the event.
You are right that people who have not heard the truth wouldn't need to hear these things, but if you have been brought up in a Christian household and have chosen to reject Him, you really aren't in that camp.
I won't argue that the church of today has gotten away from what Christ wanted it to be. He tried to make it clear that the church needed to stay united, and every fracture, brought about by sin has fractured the church and weakened it.
Denominations are a curse. But so is the sin in the church that led to some of those splits. Protestantism started because Luther couldn't stand what was going on in the Catholic church and he couldn't find a way to fix it from within. Was he right or wrong? God will decide that.
I can say that the Spirit filled denominations are on the rise and the more classic denominations are failing. The evangelical denominations have had their issues and failures as well because people aren't perfect. You can stand on the outside and throw stones or stand on the inside and try to change things for the better. God wants change first in His children's hearts and then in His church and then in the world outside the church.
You've mentioned LGBT issues a few times. I would agree that Christ would be out trying to save the lost. And once they had accepted His salvation, He would have been telling them to go and sin no more, just like the woman taken in adultery. Preaching against sin is never popular. If you believe people are destined to end up in hell, how is trying to keep that from happening by any means possible wrong? You should love the people and do good whenever possible, But you should also preach the truth in season and out of season.
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. It is the celebration of when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers in the upper room - the first of many examples in the New Testament. Of one thing I am certain - when the Holy Spirit is in control of God's church, things work fine. When He isn't, there are problems.
The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.