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Featured Biblical coersion

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Unveiled Artist, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    I was thinking and curious as to why/how the biblical god is not coersioning nonbelievers to follow his teachings.

    The bible is very direct in faulting a person for their freedom of choice.

    From a Christian view, how would that be interpreted otherwise?

    Just speaking from observation, JW seem to understand this and Catholics believe after purification one will still be with god.

    But what about others?

    1. Why is free will good when it only allows you to sin

    2. Why do you believe people are at fault for not choosing god?

    I mean it's sad the biblical god provides this ultimatum. That's fine. But many believe he does not.

    How not?
     
  2. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    Oh. Also. It makes me think if some christians feel more comfortable believing it's the sinners fault than the way theyr gid set up the card game that if they don't play X hand they'd loose the game anyway.
     
  3. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    There is something needed for this conversation.
    Where does it directly fault people for freedom of choice? We cannot debate if there is no source text, and you have no basis if there is no source text. :)

    We'd need a source text to find out why you are saying the Bible faults people for freedom of choice and to understand what you mean by it.

    JW's are a minority group who are very strict about doctrines and who decides what is right or wrong. They also believe the Roman Catholic church to be evil and say so on this site and in their own literature. They do not represent protestants in general, most of whom would consider Catholics to be Christians. JW's would not, generally or would consider that Christianity to be questionable. I can say that since it is official, not because I am any expert on what they believe.

    Roman Catholics believe very differently from JW's. I don't know all of what either group does believe about freedom of choice. The Roman Catholic position will be argued partly from scripture not in the same way as a JW. What the scripture says to each, to each will depend upon which texts in the Bible you are interested in.

    Also the Roman catholic church does not call itself bible-based, so it is very different from the JW kingdom.

    What text says that it is or isn't good? It depends on which part of the Bible you reference, since it is a library. For example in the story of Genesis, Adam dies because he gains knowledge. What does this mean? The story does not directly say what it means.

    Do they believe this?

    Many scripture enthusiasts believe God does not.
     
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  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    I'll come back for the rest. John 3:16 says whosoever believes and Christ-if not won't inherit eternal life .... the idea is that you have a choice whether to follow the biblical god or not. There are many consequences for not doing so by the decisions of the people involved.

    It's the biblical context of the bible. The other idea is that god's laws is not forced-so if they are not forced, they are a choice of the person who wish to take up those laws.

    If there were no freedom of choice, assumingly the biblical god would save all people without a chosen-he only does to whom (wishes) to believe. Freedom of choice also exist when christ says "to whomever wants to take up their cross."

    Do you mean verbatim?
     
  5. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    Fo the sake of discussion I think you should be exact. I think the verse you're referring to is Matthew 16:24. 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
     
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  6. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    I think two or three generations ago, fear of God was considered a value. People had a different attitude towards authority in general.

    Then, in the last 50 years or so, individuality was stressed and many things became optional/a choice. I wasn't alive at that time but the civil rights movement or the hippies actually defied authority. Now, many churches including my former one avoid the term of "hell" entirely (It was actual purged from the German Catholic version of the Nicene Creed) in order not to make a laughing stock out of themselves. Now they tell you about what a good buddy Jesus is and about the incredible things you will experience with him ("not religion but a real relationship") because people have changed and they know that many will only consider Christianity if there is a "pleasure factor" to it. So, yes, there is a choice instead of mere obedience.
     
  7. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    JW are the only ones I know that are direct by means of saying that one who rejects god does not benefit from god's gift-and most likely would agree in context it is coercion given proselytizing is along those lines. I know many other protestants think likewise, but it varies on how direct they express it.

    Many don't believe that god coerce people to believe in him. While that is a negative word, I'm not sure how it is false.

    They have differences. The point was, though, they are exclusions to the question because JW is very direct who lives and who dies and Catholics (generalizing) believe that one eventually reaches god via purification.

    I wasn't comparing the two, though.

    I thought it was very direct without need for interpretation. If you have free will to chose god, and you use that free will to (how they say) reject him, and rejection is a sin, that free will really has no benefit.

    I've heard christians say if they had no free will (to choose to sin/reject god), they'd be like robots. I never agreed with that line of thinking. One because it seems like they want to be attached to sin in order to believe in god and two who would not want to be with god without having the choice to reject him.

    Many do... the only ones I don't think does is Catholics. However, I was went to a more liberal Catholic church. From what I gather on RF, catholicism is quite the opposite.

    Unless the christian is Unitarian, many do find the non-believer at fault. It goes on the lines of "well, that was their choice."

    Hence my question. Why not? The message is in the whole bible.
     
  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    Rats. I'd have to find another verse. John 2:16 covers it, though.
     
  9. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    Does it not allow also to reject sin, regret, be sorry and turn to righteousness?
     
  10. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    Maybe I have it backwards. If sin is a default that you can choose his or reject him by staying in sin. That leaves the same question. If one has freedom of choice ideally that choice is given because it let's the decision maker do what's best for her wellbeing.

    She is also told it's not in her wellbeing to reject.

    Is that a form of coercion to you (a just one?) or?
     
  11. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    In my 60 year old Catholic Bible there is a quote in the Book of Wisdom that states; "For man is punished through that with which he sins". And there is an elaborate story to illustrate how this happens.

    I was an alcoholic for many years of my life. And the more I drank the worse my life got. Eventually, I reached a point where I could not stop drinking even though I finally, and desperately, wanted to. I tried not to drink every day, and I failed, every day. And my life became a hopeless litany of loss and disaster. Truly a 'living hell'.

    I believe it is this kind of situation that those quotes about sin and punishment are referring to. When our propensity to sin becomes such a part of us that we can't even see it anymore, or we can't stop it even if we do see it, we become permanently entangled in a spiral of destruction that our own willfulness to sin perpetuates. That is the "eternal hell" being referred to. At least that's how I interpret those quotes, because that's the interpretation that makes the most sense to me. And that has the most important and positive impact.
     
  12. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    I think it is about love, not coercion. Real love, true love must involve free will and free choice. God desires people to freely choose His love and goodness. The other thing to consider is that the reality presented in the biblical scriptures is that humans are not autonomous nor self-sustaining. That means that we are totally dependent on God for life and existence. It is not something we are capable of providing or sustaining in and of ourselves. So when a person rejects God, they reject not only His love, but the Source of life itself. Therefore, that is the choice life or death, eternal life with God or separation forever.
     
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  13. John1.12

    John1.12 Free gift

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    At best we could be angry that we were born at all. Blame our parents for choosing to bring us into a world in which we have to make choices. Thats the reality we are born into. If the bible is true ,this reality of ' choosing ' God or not ,is the reality that needs to be faced . Like laws of logic or laws of gravity .
     
  14. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    If god were not an entity or being, than I'd say rejection isn't a good word. God would still be life and love in the person as a default regardless if the person rejects it or not. We are not always aware of our heartbeats and may reject that it even exists, but that doesn't mean the heart stops beating because we reject its presence.

    Since god is said to be an entity and has character, it's no longer something "that" sustains-life (which does regardless one's knowledge or lack thereof), but because it's a whole it can choose whether or not it wants to sustain life. If a parent tells his child you can choose to love me, but if you don't, you'll not benefit from my love. The parent gave the choice but not in a way the child can pick whichever he wanted without being disadvantaged in one way or another.

    If love is eternal and for all people, why does it depend on someone's knowledge and choice for it to not just exist but to be a force in one's life?
     
  15. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    For someone who does not blame their parents and live a healthy life, they'd have no reason to choose god because their upbringing and worldview provides more love than what they are offered.

    So, if someone came to that person and said "did you want 'my' love?" and that person said no, that choice or decision shouldn't have repercussions. The person ask should respect the other person's choice and where they find their love and solace and let it be. However, if that said person said did you want my love because without it you would be at a loss," that someone would be either confused or insulted.

    Not only is that someone confused or insulted, she is also told it is her fault for making a "bad" decision.

    I'm not sure how this could be viewed any other way given the stories and message of the bible has always been about the biblical god's chosen people and his give/take offers.
     
  16. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    I am not quite sure I understand your question, but will try to respond the best I can.
    I believe God created humans to be in a loving relationship with Him for eternity, but it must be based on free choice on our part. I think that is the whole purpose for our creation and existence and the only thing that brings true satisfaction and happiness. Life on earth is temporary and the time to reveal whether we choose God or satan, good or evil, love or hate. Only love and goodness will exist in God’s eternal realm, thankfully, so those who refuse and instead choose sin will not be there. Not because they weren’t welcomed or invited, but because they refused.
     
  17. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I'm sorry if I appear to be walking all around the question instead of answering it. I will get around to that towards the end of the post. It is not my intention to be difficult.

    That annoys me when you drop the mic like you have provided the context for the bible. :p What?! You got some leather shoes and a tie?

    Let me give you my context: All kinds of trash doctrine is claimed to be bible based, and there are reasons for that happening. People do it. It shuts people up, makes people happy. People want to feel like what they are hearing is bible based advice, but many contradictory ideas are claimed to be bible based.

    John 3:16 is one phrase in a long speech full of symbols, symbols not straightforward language. What preachers claim is bible based can be almost anything under the Sun from one preacher to the next. They have made a mockery of the phrase 'bible based'. You would be surprised what they have come up with and people have accepted.

    JW's are a friendly group who visit RF a lot. They are very heavy bible readers who are friendly; but they are dismissive, too. They have their own line to tow, elders to answer to, a theological system and a very defined doctrine they must accept. Would they be free to disagree? No. There are requirements, belief requirements. Roman Catholics, too, have requirements.

    In your case you are telling me John 3:16 means thus and such, but I think you have constructed a straw argument. I don't think its the context of the verse nor of the bible. So you're arguing about these things that you've heard JW's say are bible based or RC's have said, what what the bible says. It actually says very little. It takes a lot of words to say it, but its not saying all that much. It doesn't explain what its own terms mean, such as 'Holy' or 'Pray' or 'Glory' or 'Service' or 'Meditate' or even 'Salvation'. These are important words, but the bible doesn't explain them. It says much less than people give it credit for. People fill in with our own definitions like we're playing mad libs. Roman catholics fill in words their way, JW's their way, you your way. The difference is admitting it, and I invite you to admit like me that you're playing with definitions that someone has given to you, has placed upon you.

    You're filling in a lot of information that isn't there in the text. It matters when you're claiming to be bible-based. It matters to me. What the bible says about all of that is actually very little, and that is evidenced by the multiple theological systems for determining what it means.

    Free will is originally a Jewish concept. It is an adjunct of monotheism. It means that you don't need a god to tell you what is right or wrong, that you have a conscience. I, like many Christians, thought this had to do with a debate about predestination. Its got nothing to do with predestination. I suggest the entire argument about predestination comes from a misunderstanding of a few scripture verses, and it has to do with what I said earlier about the bible not including definitions for words. Entire groups of churches have avoided each other over this question about predestination and 'Free will' which has nothing to do really with it.

    [Rom 8:29 NIV] 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
    [Eph 1:11 NIV] 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,​
    There they are: the most troublesome verses in scripture. Put them on your wall beneath some crossed axes. Free will should simply mean that you reject the imposition of gods and have a conscience, however in conversation with people who are trying to figure out the conundrum of predestination you will hear them use 'Free will' very differently. They'll ask "How can people be predestined and still make their own decisions (free will)?" Then the next person will speak up, and they'll go round and round until they decide to stop. People trying to understand the conversation will start to think free will is about predestination. By the way 'Free will' does not appear in the bible. It is from other ancient sources. The concept is however in the bible.


    I suggest keeping Jesus meaning more terse, because he's talking to Nicodemus about Jewish things. 'World', 'Water', 'Spirit' are all undefined in the text. The water is not water. World may not be world. The spirit may not be spirit and so on. The definitions you must provide yourself and are like assumptions. Always be aware if you can of your assumptions, because you may have gotten your assumptions from a charlatan. There are many.

    So...why would God want people to choose? People want people to choose and will rearrange scripture by injecting definitions until you are forced to choose. Divide and conquer.
     
  18. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    When I practiced and read the bible, I picked up on the common theme based on many events in scripture. There are a lot of examples that sinners made the choice to reject god and god punished them for it. A lot of it is very direct just as reading other like scripture books and mythology and things of that nature.

    For example, can someone go to god, tell god he doesn't want to follow him, and god will let him go "knowing" that this person chose what's better for his or her well-being?

    If so, I haven't read it in the bible. If not, that's pretty much the consensus. Whether it's said directly or indirectly or side stepped by a denomination saying another person is wrong in interpreting scriptures sounds like a denominational problem.

    In your view, do they believe you can choose to disobey god without any consequence?

    When someone cares about your well-being, they let you choose, yes, but they also know what you chose is right for you not for the person who gave the decision.
     
  19. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I think you're not understanding what I mean. You say the common theme is: God punishes. You have already answered your own question and aren't looking for any answer that disagrees with you. You have defined the answer that you will accept.


    My view excludes what you are talking about, because my view is bible based. I did not realize before but you aren't looking for a bible based answer. You are looking for a popular answer. This is readily available in missionary materials.
     
  20. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, God gave the freedom to reject Him, and freedom to turn back to Him. Obviously rejecting God is not good for well being, because people were originally with God, not separated from God.
     
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