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Old 07-31-2011, 07:47 PM   #77
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Re: Jesus, not the first

I think one of the hardest truths for any man to swallow is just how much God loves us. We don’t like that. We don’t want to believe that God really loves the person getting raped. We don’t want to believe that God really loves the person going to Hell. We don’t want to believe that He loves even us Christians. Or, more exactly, we don’t want to believe HOW MUCH He loves us. In our hard hearts, we can justify ourselves if we don’t see ourselves as the precious children that He gave his life for. We can justify our sin and sickness if we tell ourselves “the only reason God is interested in me is because He wants to get something (glory) out of me, and no other reason.” Why? Because what we really fear more than anything is that we have turned our backs and spit in the face of the most powerful being in the universe, who lowers himself to the place where He could say something like

You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
Song 4:9-10 (ESV)

about us. It scares us to believe that we could treat with apathy the only one who will ever truly care about us, and, more so, the all powerful, all knowing, completely righteous and holy God. We want distance. We don’t want him to care, because then, we have done the unthinkable and committed a greater atrocity than we could imagine: turning our backs on the innocent love of a father or bridegroom.

I mean no disrespect by this next comment, only love: it grieves me to hear this idea that God wishes for there to be evil. You don’t know the sorrow that that brings. How can one say with one side of his mouth “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) with his mouth, but then with his hands pull the strings to cause one of the very ones he commanded holiness from to commit such horrible sin? What hypocrisy! God says “ 4 Love is patient and kind… 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth,” (1 Corinthians 13). God does not rejoice at wrongdoing. Hardly. It grieves him to see our sin.

(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard)
2 Peter 2:8 (ESV)

This verse is referring to Lot, a sinner. If Lot is tormented over the evil of a generation, how much must it distress God? He does NOT wish for it to be that way. Good is DISTRESSED (vs. 7) by evil. Good is not okay with evil; it ABHORS it. Moreover, it definitely does not WISH for that.

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
1 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)

God says it is good to have a tender heart. Also, God says it is good not to repay evil for evil. So two things: God has a kind, tender, and loving heart, because God is good (not to deny his wrath and vengeance. That is not the object of this discussion, however. But I will say that God is not a pathetic God. He is vicious towards sin. Vengeful. Fearful. But also kind and tender hearted); also, God does not have the perspective, “You are an evil sinner, so I may justly do with you as I please.” That’s not how God’s mind operates. That’s just not who He is. In fact, that is a horrible thing to say about my Dad! How can you respect someone so calloused, uncaring, hypocritical, and cruel?

It’s very clear from scripture: God is GOOD. He’s good. That’s right, good. Not “He’s good in a way far above our comprehension in a way we can never understand.” No. He’s good. You can say that. He gave us the ability to do good and to know good. We can know what good is. God is good. It is not good to desire evil. God does not desire evil. Plain and simple.

As for the problem of evil: it didn’t “just happen,” and I definitely don’t propose that it did. The entrance of evil into the world was very deliberate and purposeful. Just not by God’s purposes. By ours. We did it. It’s our fault. We need to quite blaming God and fess up that it’s our fault that the world is like it is. In the garden, God gave Adam a choice: follow righteousness, or die. Adam chose. We died. That’s why evil is in the world. God didn’t ordain it; WE ordained it. And now we’re feeling the consequences of our choices. What is the most amazing thing to me is that God allowed us to bring into existence that which he so passionately hates. Guess that just goes to show how much He really does love us.

Love you guys.
July 10 at 8:05pm · Like · 3 people

Bryant, I may just like you.
July 10 at 8:19pm · Like · 1 person

I agree with much of what this man has said.
July 10 at 8:19pm · Like · 1 person

Although, if God created man with the capacity for evil, and knowing man would do evil, how is He not complicit in it?
July 10 at 8:26pm · Like

And, I think Original Sin is questionable, at least the traditional version I am familiar with.
July 10 at 8:27pm · Like

My main problem with the traditional version of Original Sin derives from the fact that science forces me to take that passage as metaphorical while it is usually taken as literal for the derivation of the dogma.
July 10 at 8:29pm · Like

Also, what the heck is sovereignty anyway but the right to govern and how does it apply to God without there being some God external criteria for such rights?
July 10 at 8:59pm · Like

I would say we all understand it as the question of "If God is all powerful over all things, does he exercise his power over all things?" (which implies so so much)
July 10 at 9:16pm · Like

Hmm, the philosopher in me says there's a better name for that somewhere. Is God's omnipotence (putative) always actively expressed? (that what you mean?)
July 10 at 9:38pm · Like

Probably, but more along the lines of facilitating questions of whether or not God has to be omnipotent. As in does his power have to exist in all dimensions. And if his power is not in all dimensions in all respects, what powers exist to fill the void (or does the void need to be filled?) And concerning power coupled with knowledge in respect to potency and action concerning all things, or whether true innaction can occur with the omniscient/potent being.

You know, to help sound out the brainer inducing questions of a lifetime.
July 10 at 11:03pm · Like
If the elephants have past lives yet are destined to always remember
It's no wonder how they scream
Like you and I they must have some temper

And I am dreaming of them on the plains
Dirtying up their beds
Watching for some sign of rain to cool their hot heads

And how dare that you send me that card when I'm doing all that I can do
You are forcing me to remember when all I want is to just forget you

If the tiger shall protect her young then tell me how did you slip by
All my instincts have failed me for once
I must have somehow slept the whole night

And I am dreaming of them with their kill
Tearing it all apart
Blood dripping from their lips and teeth sinking into heart

And how dare that you say you'll call
When you know I need some peace of mind
If you have to take sides with the animals
Won't you do it with one who is kind

And if the hawks in the trees need the dead
If you're living you don't stand a chance
For a time though you share the same bed
There are only two ends to this dance

You can flee with your wounds just in time or lie there as he feeds
Watching yourself ripped to shreds and laughing as you bleed

So for those of you falling in love keep it kind
Keep it good
Keep it right
Throw yourself in the midst of danger but keep one eye open at night

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