1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured The Christian Contradiction, An Example

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by joe1776, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,571
    Ratings:
    +913
    Religion:
    None
    As I'm sure you're aware...this isn't a traditional Christian position (to which my OP refers).

    I agree. In fact, I don't think there is a religion teaching unconditional love. I see this as a flaw in all religion because I don't regard conditional love (I will love you if you please me) as genuine love. If a Creator exists, and I do allow the possibility, its love is unconditional. As Ghandi put it, we should "hate the sin, but love the sinner." A Creator would be capable of that. A Loving Creator would see Adolf Hitler as sick not evil. We don't hate or punish sick people even though killing them at times, when they are very dangerous, is necessary and an act of love for humanity..
     
    #101 joe1776, Mar 7, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  2. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    11,769
    Ratings:
    +1,574
    I find according to Matthew 13:34 Jesus spoke to the people in parable stories or illustrative stories.
    This means Luke 16:14-31 is Not a real happening, but a parable or illustration story.
     
  3. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    9,290
    Ratings:
    +4,763
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    You have obviously questioned "traditional" Christianity? So have I. I was raised in the Anglican Church, a fairly old denomination which was originally a breakaway from Catholicism. Henry VIII just wanted a church that allowed him to divorce his wife. Wretched woman wouldn't give him a son!!! His fault, now that we know about these things.....:rolleyes:

    If you recall, it was their "tradition" that led Judaism to become something Christ did not recognize as true Jewish worship when he began his ministry. He said that the Pharisees had made God's word "invalid" because of following the "traditions of men" instead of the word of God.

    Notice what Jesus said to the Pharisees..."Why do you overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition?"
    After giving them an example he said. . . . "you have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you when he said: 8 ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. 9 It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’” (Matthew 15:3; 6-9)

    Have you ever investigated the origins of Christendom's doctrines? I know it blew me away when I did. I believe that it's the reason why, at the judgment, Jesus tells "many" who call him their "Lord" that he "never knew" them. (Matthew 7:21-23) Why do you think he calls these self professed "Christians", "workers of lawlessness"?

    The Bible says that "God is love"....this means that it is his cardinal quality. He HAS many other qualities, such as wisdom, justice and power but LOVE is WHAT he is. So how is that love expressed?

    The existence of love means that there must also be hate. Equal opposites exist in all things. Is it wrong to hate then? Does God hate anything? He most certainly does. (Proverbs 6:16-19) What do you define "unconditional love" as being from God's standpoint?

    Yes, this hits the nail on the head. God hates the sin, but does not hate the sinner....but if he clearly outlines what he hates, and then people still deliberately disobey his laws, that makes them "wicked" and he says that he will destroy wickedness and all who cling to it. For the sake of the righteous, he must eliminate all wickedness....it is his obligation. This is an expression of his justice and his love.....it is not an act of hatred for the person.

    His love of righteousness and his hatred for wickedness means that he must eliminate from existence those, who of their own volition, practice what he hates. Because he has appointed Jesus Christ as the judge of all mankind, the prophet Isaiah foretold of him....

    "And he will find delight in the fear of Jehovah.
    He will not judge by what appears to his eyes,
    Nor reprove simply according to what his ears hear.

    4 He will judge the lowly with fairness,
    And with uprightness he will give reproof in behalf of the meek ones of the earth.
    He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth

    And put the wicked to death with the breath of his lips." (Isaiah 11:3-4)

    This is an incorruptible judge who sees deeper than a person's actions. He is not influenced by hear-say either. The "wicked" are not the "unrighteous" but those firmly entrenched in a wicked course by their own choice. The wicked have no future.....but both "the righteous and the unrighteous" have Jesus' guarantee of a resurrection. (John 5:28-29)

    The death that the wicked experience is not like a natural death, it is a permanent penalty imposed because the person has been found guilty of breaking God's laws. The death they die is everlasting....their destination is "gehenna" (Matthew 10:28) where the wicked are "destroyed", as opposed to those in "hades" (sheol) who are promised a second chance when the dead return to life.

    There was no higher penalty than death under the Mosaic law. So all who have died, have paid "sin's wages". (Romans 6:23) Those who never knew God, who died in ignorance or for some other reason could not comprehend or act on the Christian message, can be resurrected with a clean slate because as Paul said..."for he who has died is freed from sin." (Romans 6:7 NASB) No former sins are counted against them.

    What do you believe the Bible says about the resurrection of the dead? (if you do at all)
     
  4. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,571
    Ratings:
    +913
    Religion:
    None
    This was your final question but I'll start by answering it because it will enlighten you on our crucial differences.

    You see the Bible as God's Word. I see 2000 years of evidence that the Bible was written by men who meant well when they falsely claimed that what they wrote was divinely inspired. So, I have little interest in what the Bible says.

    As for my evidence, the most persuasive of it is that it fails the moral test. If their work was divinely inspired (God's Word) as claimed, it would have given reliable moral guidance when written. Instead, the texts have had to be modified over the years to stay abreast of moral progress.

    I don't know if you're old enough to remember when the commandment was interpreted as "You should not kill." A translation which allowed the interpretation of "You should (never) kill." Your group, the JWs, relied on this interpretation of scripture.

    Then, when Hebrew scholars corrected the translation to "You should not murder," I expected the JWs to change their position since it was now unsupported in scripture but they didn't. Rather than admit they were misled by the faulty translation, they simply found other text to use in support of their original position.

    In my reasoning...if a Loving Creator wanted us to have moral guidance, we would be born with a simple cross-cultural internal guidance system. I think we have one. We call it conscience. What does our conscience tell us about killing? It tells us that it is not wrong to kill in self-defense or in the protection of innocent others.

    On the important topic of killing, I see you JWs as ignoring the Creator's gift of conscience to mistakenly follow your reasoning mind by interpreting the writings of well-meaning men of many years ago. I think conscience is the best evidence that a Creator might exist and, on this topic (killing), your group is ignoring it.
     
    #104 joe1776, Mar 8, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  5. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    14,980
    Ratings:
    +883
    Religion:
    Christian
    I believe it is still love when God sends them to Hell. So there is no contradiction.
     
  6. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    14,980
    Ratings:
    +883
    Religion:
    Christian
    I believe the Bible teaches Hell so one has to wonder what Bible you are reading? One with your own words in it?
     
  7. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    14,980
    Ratings:
    +883
    Religion:
    Christian
    I believe that is not the issue. The issue is whether the person is considered a sinner or not. It is true that one religion recognizes that but maybe the picking is at fault. Picking a religion that keeps a person in sin just won't work.

    I believe the concept of eternal suffering is actually a misconception.
     
  8. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,571
    Ratings:
    +913
    Religion:
    None
    Assuming you associate eternal punishment with the traditional definition of Hell, I'd say that you have an unusual idea about how a God who is loving would act..
     
  9. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,571
    Ratings:
    +913
    Religion:
    None
    My OP assumes traditional Christian positions --- the foremost of which is that unless people accept Jesus as their savior, they are condemned to eternal punishment in Hell.

    I do realize that not all people who call themselves Christian subscribe to the traditional positions, but their positions are not relevant here.
     
  10. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,793
    Ratings:
    +741
    Religion:
    Bible Believer
    The most popular Bible is the King James Version. It was published in 1611. The language used then was Old English. In that language the word hell means to cover or conceal. A book heller was a person who put the cover on a book. To hel (one l) a house meant to cover a portion of it with tile. Similar words from the same root are heal, the covering of a wound. Hull, the covering of a nut or the covered part of a ship, whole, an uncovering. Hill, the covering of the earth with stone or dirt etc.

    The Hebrew word Sheol corresponds with the Greek word Hades. They both mean the unseen resting place of the dead. In other words, the common grave, no matter what form that may be . . . a tomb, a pit, the sea, the belly of a great fish (Jonah 2:2). Even the KJV and other Bibles of that period translate those words sometimes as "hell" but also sometimes as "grave" or "pit."

    Eventually, beginning in England and Germany, the word took on the pagan meaning of the immortal souls of bad people being tormented in the fiery pits with demons. This isn't a Bible teaching because the Bible says when you are dead you are conscious of nothing. (Ecclesiastes 9:5; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalms 146:4) The soul is mortal, it dies with you. (Ezekiel 18:4 / Matthew 10:28) And the wages of sin is death, not hell as we think of it, and so once you die your all paid up. (Romans 6:7)

    You see? Apostate Christianity adopted the pagan teaching of hell, which goes back to Babylon, to attract the pagan into the church. For money and Land and Power . . . you know . . . the usual stuff.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    9,290
    Ratings:
    +4,763
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    That certainly makes a difference to any discussion about the Bible and it contents.

    I most certainly do remember when the Commandment was rendered that way....but when new light was shed on the meaning of the word "ratsach" which means...."to murder, slay, kill".....as any logical mind would question, why does the Law state that it is wrong to kill if the Law incorporated capital punishment?

    This is a blind Freddy thing surely....it is against God's law to take a life "unlawfully"....."murder" is unlawful, whereas "killing", if sanctioned by God is not. Israel was used as his military force in ancient times and this involved the taking of lives when Israel's borders were threatened by foreign powers, but it was not murder if the ones involved were appointed as God's executioners.

    He allowed Israel to act in this capacity only if they were commanded to do so. Any excursion into bloodshed without his sanction resulted in the loss of their own lives.

    I am not sure how you figure that we did not acknowledge this...because I remember the clarification well. It made perfect sense to me at the time. When the revised edition of the NWT came out, a few things were changed because of clarifications such as this. But we also have the cross references like Genesis 9:6, 1 John 3:15

    The KJV maintains the word "kill" rather than "murder and if you read their explanation, they have a point. The word "ratsach" does have a broader meaning.

    “Kill” or “Murder” in Exodus 20:13? - King James Version Today

    Yes, we do have the option for self defense but never do we have the option to deliberately kill anyone.

    In Israel even accidental manslaughter carried a penalty and a custodial sentence of sorts, since there were no prisons for incarceration as other nations had them. There were "cities of refuge" where an accidental manslayer could reside in safety from the "avenger of blood" (the next of kin who had a right to avenge the death of a family member) for the term of the High Priest. Once the High Priest died, the custodial sentence was rescinded and the person was free to return home. (Numbers 35:19-25)

    For Israel and for Christians, God's commands are clear...there is no sanction to take a human life unless you are the duly constituted ruler of a nation and the law of the land gives governments the right to execute someone for a capital crime. The executioner in that instance is not a murderer. However because justice does not play a large enough role in today's systems of of government, the death penalty is no longer practiced in most of the civilized world.

    Our conscience has to be trained not to be overridden by negative emotions. Justice must be served without emotion. Sentiment plays no part in its administration, as the Bible clearly shows. Mercy, OTOH has to be merited...earned. Many times God extended mercy when the circumstances warranted it.

    I am not sure how you come to this conclusion. Can you please explain how you think JW's violate God's law on killing and the exercise of conscience...? :shrug: What are we ignoring?
     
  12. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,571
    Ratings:
    +913
    Religion:
    None
    Social scientists doing research on morality talk about a rationalist (reason) model and an intuitionist (intuition) model of conscience. Since we humans are extremely proud of our ability to reason, the rationalist model has dominated historically. However, lately, science is supporting the intuitionist model. The judgments of conscience are intuitive, immediately emerging from our unconscious minds.

    The science isn't conclusive yet but we have some like this: We are most likely born with the basic framework of a conscience. From the New York Times: "According to Yale psychologist Paul Bloom, humans are born with a hard-wired morality. A deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone. His research shows that babies and toddlers can judge the goodness and badness of others' actions; they want to reward the good and punish the bad; they act to help those in distress; they feel guilt, shame, pride, and righteous anger."

    The scripture in the Bible offering moral guidance was created from the reasoning minds of men. When you try to interpret meaning from it, you are using the reasoning function of your brain. Meanwhile you ignore your intuitive conscience which will signal you immediately if a specific action is wrong.

    It comes down to this:When your JW positions on moral judgments agree with conscience, they are coincidentally right the way a stopped clock is right twice a day. When they don't agree with conscience, they are biases capable of throwing moral judgments off course.

    I see conscience as a remarkable faculty and the best evidence that a Creator might exist. It's the only moral authority I recognize.
     
    #112 joe1776, Mar 9, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  13. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    9,290
    Ratings:
    +4,763
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    I agree with this. To go against our God-given conscience is to go against God. And yes, we do see an inborn sense of justice even in young children....but we also see an inborn selfishness as well. Put these two together in the adult world and not only do we see tantrums, but it often results in them justifying bloodshed. Emotions can override conscience. This is why, for us, we obey God by the exercise of concience.

    Now you've lost me....can you give me specifics here....? How are JW's doing this? No one acts more on conscience than we do. We are politically neutral, so we stay out of political conflicts and we do not interfere with the workings of government, except at times to highlight injustice with regard to the treatment of our brothers in various lands who are being persecuted for their faith.

    Can you give me examples please? In what way do you see our biases throwing our moral judgments off course?

    Unless our conscience is trained, it will not give a true reading.
    Those who are indoctrinated to justify bloodshed because of misguided patriotic or nationalistic pride will see nothing wrong with shedding blood for that cause...right or wrong. Loyalty divided is no loyalty at all. Our first loyalty is to God first, man second. There is nothing that man can order us to do if God has ordered us not to and vice versa.

    It appears from your statements (if I understand you correctly) that your conscience is operated individually...whereas ours is operated collectively. What issues do you have specifically?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,571
    Ratings:
    +913
    Religion:
    None
    Conscience is an intuitive moral guidance system emerging from the unconscious mind. Conscience doesn't form the intent to act morally or immorally. So, when people act immorally, it isn't a failure of their conscience. They were not misguided.

    You believe conscience is God-given but you think it needs to be "trained" because it makes mistakes? ...And you train your conscience by using your reasoning mind to interpret moral rules written by men 2,000 years ago who used their reasoning minds to create those rules?

    It's not necessary for you to train your conscience because, if you are free of bias, immoral acts will immediately feel wrong. Moreover, conscience is the only moral guide we have so whatever judgment it makes has to be considered the correct one. I see conscience as an infallible guide that the making and interpreting of moral rules and laws can only foul up.

    The most notable of the JW mistaken "training" of conscience is your position on killing. Human acts are as unique as snowflakes. Killings are not an exception. And yet, given the true facts of a specific case, conscience will remarkably give an immediate response. If the killing is immoral, it will immediately feel wrong. If it's not, we will feel nothing.

    We agree that the policy of capital punishment is immoral. I see it as vengeance and not justice. But, my conscience, in agreement with the conscience of most humans, allows me to support killing in a war such as the war against Hitler and his Nazi followers. The "trained" JW conscience would disagree.

    IMO, by "training" your conscience, which renders judgments perfectly when the mind is unbiased, you created a bias which sends moral judgments off course in cases involving killings.
     
    #114 joe1776, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
Loading...