Freedoms & Judgement – John T (Guest Blogger)

BOLD GRACE…..does not equal…….FREEDOM FROM JUDGEMENT
 
Now let me quantify what Im saying here. In my mind Grace gives us the Freedom to know that we will not have an eternal separation from our Creator. It does not say that we will not have some form of Judgement. I am sometimes confused when people say we are perfect, when it seems perfectly clear to me that on this earth we are here to grow. And in the midst of our growth we will experience many things from a negative perspective. Now does God make good from these experiences, the answer is, of course, but lets not kid ourselves, there will be Judgement on our actions and consequence from that. Will that mean God loves us less and does not see us as deserving, of course not!
 
The Believer’s Freedom
Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” (I Corinthians 10:23-24)
 
I think as believers we sometimes get confused or mislead into thinking that because we are saved we can do what we want. I think we put to much emphasis on ourselves and miss the fact that we are intended to be a community of people (Ekklesia). And because of that, there are behaviours that if taken outside of moderation actually become hurtful to ourselves and the people we supposedly love. Addictions of many kinds can eventually cause us to seperate from each other. I think that is exactly what Paul has in mind with the above quote. I am entitled to do whatever I choose and God will Love me no less, but how will that bring me into community? In the end, are my behaviours going to be loving or not? I think if I choose to do certain behaviours I must be ready when the consequence (judgement) happens.

The key to a TRULY LOVING COMMUNITY is when we can make a judgement of ourselves or others and gently and lovingly point it out without condemnation. I know this is a slippery slope, but I believe to my core it is one that we have to traverse to continue our Growth that God intended.
 
Galatians 5:22 (English Standard Version)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
 
What happens when I overly indulge certain behaviours? Do I create the feelings that the above scripture says is the fruit of my spirit? I think not! I find it interesting though, that many who believe so strongly in Grace and Love think it is ok to overly partake in those behaviours. Rage, drinking too much, gambling, smoking, over eating and the list goes on. How can we believe that it is ok to do these things when it is obvious what the negative outcomes on our physical and spiritual bodies will be? After all, we know that outside of moderation these behaviours will drain our energies, make us frustrated and likely cause division amongst ourselves.

Now again I will reiterate that it has no bearing on whether God loves us, nor will we be eternally seperated from God. But, what imprint will it leave on my spirit and what imprint will I leave on the people I Love? I find it interesting that we can make a judgement of the Eternal Damnation(hell) idea, because we know in our hearts that it is not loving nor community enriching, yet we wont look at our areas where we create Division. Now how Loving is that? How as believers do we become accountable but not condemning of our actions? Also I ask, should we feel bad (shame) when we know that we have hurt another? Is it possible that God may have given us that feeling for a reason? Now I’m not talking about guilt but one of truly feeling, I have done a wrong.
 
I have wrestled with a quote given to me a while ago, so here I will share it with you. I would love to hear back from everyone on my thoughts.
 
AS FAR GOES MY SELF CONTROL, AS FAR GOES MY FREEDOM.”
 
John T. (Guest Blogger – a good man – and a fellow Canadian)

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83 thoughts on “Freedoms & Judgement – John T (Guest Blogger)

  1. “The key to a TRULY LOVING COMMUNITY is when we can make a judgement of ourselves or others and gently and lovingly point it out without condemnation” (John)

    Community is all about us sharing with one another – all of us being part of the big family called community. Sometimes we need to say things to people that are making some serious mistakes and at least help point them in the best direction – they may or may not listen – still, sometimes being loving is helping another friend of yours to see how they may be hurting themselves or others. I tend to agree here. Then again, I have friends that make some real bonehead mistakes that help ruin their lives sometimes.

    “AS FAR GOES MY SELF CONTROL, AS FAR GOES MY FREEDOM.” (John)

    This is all about balance. Being in control seems to be the key here – of one’s self and the way they treat ourselves. This does have a bearing on how we treat others – the liberties we take in our mind (or even physically) – we expect of others also – mistakes in judgement will and can happen.

    But there is an inherent problem pictured here – should we limit ourselves more than we should for the sake of someone weaker in faith than us? All the time? Eventually we become a worn out mule in a sense – bowing to the demands of the crowd – and that also hurts us.

    I think balance is the key. We need to know when we can push boundaries and when we cannot – and then act accordingly…and yes…this is different for each and every person. No one said life was easy.

  2. Thanks Jason

    I think maybe the next trip for the wife and I is Regina……….maybe for a pint and a round of Golf.

    John

  3. John T.,

    We can do what we want. The scripture is clear, “all things are permisable…”
    “Christ is the end of the law for all those who have faith.” Romans 10 :4

    It’s not, “Christ is the end of the law…except for you.”

    If we are in Christ, will we want to run roughshod ove our neighbor and abuse our freedom? No we won’t. Will we still continue to blithely ignore God’s laws an do as we please…yes we will.

    I don’t know any Christian that doesn’t willfully sin every day of the week.

    Ever go a mile or two above the speed limit? You are breaking not only man;s law, but God’s as well. Ever not come to a complete stop at a stop sign? You’ve sinned again.

    Do we invite our enemies over for dinner? Do we go out of our way to serve our enemies? Do we refrain from worrying? To worry about anything showas a real lack of trust in your Lord.

    My point is that we all pretty much do what we want to and live the way we want to anyway. To deny that is to deny the depth of our own sinfulness.

    But who did Christ die for? The ungodly. He died for people just like you and I…real sinners.

    So now that we are free, truly free in Christ, and do not HAVE TO do anything…what will you do?

    That’s the question!

    Thanks very much!

    – Steve Martin San Clemente, CA

  4. “Ever go a mile or two above the speed limit? You are breaking not only man;s law, but God’s as well. Ever not come to a complete stop at a stop sign? You’ve sinned again.” (Steve)

    Uhhh..it’s the intent of the law we are not to break – not the literal law! Besides that, where in God’s word is a speed limit or a stop sign concerning the traffic signs? I think I get where you are going with this – but it’s rather unfounded in God’s law (when no cars existed).

  5. “AS FAR GOES MY SELF CONTROL, AS FAR GOES MY FREEDOM.”

    I think this is best described by the following verses:

    2 Corinthians 5:13-15 (King James Version)
    King James Version (KJV)

    13For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

    14For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

    15And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

    Finally got a good writer on this blog. (Just kidding, Jason!) 🙂

  6. SocietyVs,

    I’m not so sure you know where I was going with my illustrations.

    Law is law. God has ordained all matter of governments and given them authority by which to rule over us. (Romans 1:13 )

    If we are unwilling to submit to the laws of government (when they don’t explictly go against the will of God) then we are unwilling to submit to God.

    Take my traffic law example out , which I still say is valid, we do not submit to God in the other areas I mentioned.

    We are sinners. Why is that so hard to admit? Actually that’s all Jesus is really after…a repentant heart.

    After all, He came for the sick, not the healthy. The healthy have no need of the Great Physician.

    We as sinners, are freed by Christ of the condemnation that we so rightly deserve. That’s it. It’s not really that complicated, but we need a gazillion books to tell us ‘how to’.

    He has done the ‘how to’. The war is over. Relax and enjoy your freedom and get out there and live the best life you know how.

    Maybe I should write a book. Naw…it would never sell…not complicated enough.

    – Steve

  7. Societyvs —Besides that, where in God’s word is a speed limit or a stop sign concerning the traffic signs? I think I get where you are going with this – but it’s rather unfounded in God’s law

    Steve is absolutely right here.

    If we are unwilling to submit to the laws of government (when they don’t explictly go against the will of God) then we are unwilling to submit to God.

    “No cars back then” isn’t relevant. When it comes to right and wrong, the Bible will be applicable even when we’re going to work in flying saucers. 🙂

  8. “Law is law. God has ordained all matter of governments and given them authority by which to rule over us. (Romans 1:13 )” (Steve)

    For arguements sake, if God has ordained all matters of gov’t – then He must of ordained Sharia Law also then? Or how about when governments step on the toe of other governments laws – which is truly ordained by God? I think when we discuss law we are talking about the fine line of morality and immorality – which I think is Paul’s point in Romans. Even Paul is hinting at the idea of the intent of the laws and their meaning.

    For me, the problem with the example of breaking the speed limit or stop signs – they are ordained laws – this is true – but I am not sure going over 50 mph is a sin…unless it is done in a way to harm others…ie – running stop signs packed with cars. The key to those laws of the gov’t are the intent behind them – to keep us safe and to orderly control traffic. Intent is the key – not only the literal law.

    A good example is when seatlbelts were not required by law at one point – and then they became law – for our safety more or less. Is it a sin not to wear a seatbelt – I don’ think so – but the intent of that law is to keep us safe in case we do get into an accident. I don’t think not wearing one is a ‘sin’.

    “We are sinners. Why is that so hard to admit?” (Steve)

    That’s not hard to admit – that’s a fairly obvious thing. What I am getting at is defining ‘sin’ and we are discussing this in terms of ‘traffic codes’. I belive we all follow them for the benefit of all others around us (our society) – so they are smart to obey…but sin? I don;t see the immorality in driving 55 per se when no on is there to be harmed or traffic is going that limit anyways.

    I believe we are also free from condemnation – but isn’t it rather contradictory to say in all cases with traffic codes that even moving one iota above the speed limit is a sin – that is rather ridiculous. I think the intent of the traffic codes is what is important – and honoring that for the benefit of those around us (our neighbors).

  9. Hi John,

    I find myself nodding my head up and down a lot as I read your post. I take particular notice of pointing out wrong without condemnation and I think of how confusing Christianity is becoming simply because we don’t point out error and the truth is not maintained with any consistentcy. There is a Jesus as you like Him for every bent. We must contend for the faith without being contenious. If the current wave of do as you like and believe as you like as long as you don’t believe it too strongly continues, the Christian community will either go underground or vanish.

    Pam

  10. You left ot the part about it not going against the will of God.

    Speed limit laws, taxes, criminal laws, etc. all within the purview of God’s ordination of Govt. to keep us in check. You may not like it but that’s the truth of it.

    My point is this. Our sin nature will give us every excuse in the book to do things our way and not submit to authority. I’m like that, we are all like that. It is our old Adams and old Eves that still live on inside of us. We are a rebellious creature. That’s all. That’s why we don’t live up to Jesus Sermon on the Mount. Not a single one of us.

  11. Hi Pam

    Ive got some news for you, Jesus wasnt Christian, he was a JEW. The fact is Christian was a term of Derision. My take on the bible is not even close to being about a Doctrine, for me it is a Book filled with wonderful ways to make our lives better. Thats it , thats all. The trick in my mind is to stay away from all the Crap it espouses also, for many thats an impossible task. I believe what the world really needs is more Loving people. Whether they be Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or whatever else that makes your boat float. GOD will take care of us in the now, and in the end, and in our new beginnings whatever they may be. Lets just see what happens. 😉

    John

  12. If government is always in the right and we are to submit to its authority as God ordained, then why do we celebrate Independence Day? Weren’t those who fought for freedom from English tyranny the worst of sinners going against what God had put in place to keep them in line? Those who helped slaves escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad also went against government authority. Were they also sinning in doing so? Are Christians who protest the government instituted war in Iraq sinning?

    How is a person to fight for justice if they must ever submit to governmental authority? I see only one government ever put in place by God and that was the government of ancient Israel. Even then, once the monarchy was put in place no one was told they were sinning if they didn’t submit to it. Were the prophets wrong in speaking out about problems? Was Elijah wrong in taking on Jezebel?

  13. Hi John,

    Goes to show how easy it is to confuse one another when trying to discuss faith and or religion. My statement was for Christians. I don’t contend with people of other faiths. I won’t be able to argue anyone into faith in Christ anyway. I do however, really believe what I believe and I’m not ashamed of Jesus. I also consider the words in the Bible to be authoritative over me and not the other way around. Anyway, I’m not very political in nature so I think I’ll exit this conversation.:0)

  14. Hey Pam

    Thats the great thing about what I believe(for me at least), I like the fact that people will share their faith with me and then I get to see what works and what doesnt. My Scripture for my personality is I Thessalonians 5:21…..”Test everything and hold on to what is good.”

    Talk soon

  15. Thanks Yael for the link to the stuff about Heschel – I will definitely being checking that out in more depth…looks very intriguing.

    Yael points out the real problem with following the gov’t authorities in all respects – and that’s truly the fine line I am also pointing out – and for me – the standard is always what the law is intending – which most likely is for the benefit of society (but not always). For someone to say, or insinuate Paul is saying that we are to obey every order given by gov’t – well they wouldn’t actually have been Christian then even in the times of Roman rulership. Apparently Paul was okay with breaking the rules of offerings to the Caesar and taught that as well.

    I also think there is a some confusion as to what ‘sin’ is going on here – the gov’t does not legitimize sin – it makes rules and laws to ordain the best living for society – in a democratoc fashion. Like Paul, we all think our freedom of religion should extend to all the areas of our lives – whether that is where we work, organizations we are a part of, or in our schools. Now – we all know quite clearly most of the places we are part of – namely school systems – do not allow this ‘freedom of religion’ per se…should we totally obey a gov’t restricting a part of ourselves we know we cannot really hide (our faith)? Is it then sin? No.

    Also Steve, your point about “That’s why we don’t live up to Jesus Sermon on the Mount. Not a single one of us” – its a cup 1/2 full and a cup 1/2 empty analogy. Sure we live up to the standards in the sermon on the mount – or we wouldn’t even bother trying to live it at all. We would see our colossal failure at trying and then just quit altogether – but this is not what Christians do with those teachings – they continue to practice them and rejoice in living them.

    I actually do get where you are going with the following of Gov’t as in accord with Paul’s teachings – but I have to point out some of the drawbacks of saying ‘all law of the gov’t is ordained from God’…this is not nor has ever been a fact. Then we get into the tricky aspects of that – as pointed out by Yael – and deciding ‘what is ordained by God in those laws?’. I actually agree with you about the traffic stuff – it’s for the benefit of our neighbor and ourselves that we respect those laws – fulfilling a law from God ‘love our neighbor as ourselves’. I can see the intent – and how that is linked back to my faith in God – but I would not say that for all laws of my Canadian gov’t – which does have policies of racism that still exist towards Aboriginal people (ie: Indian Act).

    I actually have no problems with people that want to read the traffic laws as literal ‘sin’ when we break them – hey, if that’s the standard you see there – and it works in talking about faith and gov’t in that regards – then that is a ‘good thing’. It only becomes problematic when we go past those simple laws (which are very helpful) into more detailed ones regarding recycling, the environment, or even policies on war – well – it gets a lot tougher to say ‘that is God ordained’ – namely when we know war is never patently supported by Jesus or Paul – and we have policies in the West that endanger life on this planet because we can’t find a balance to ‘save our environment’. Law is good – but if law cannot support human life – law is also holding back the will of our Creator (via limiting us).

    I could be wrong – and this is not about trying to be a ‘rebel’ to the law – but about noticing that even Paul’s idea about following gov’t has it’s limits. Yael points out prophets in Israel – well they went against leadership to make some calls for change – and thank God they did – those are the same scriptures we read also to this day (there are 2 sides to the ideas at hand here).

  16. “Ever go a mile or two above the speed limit? You are breaking not only man;s law, but God’s as well. Ever not come to a complete stop at a stop sign? You’ve sinned again. ”

    what kind of black and white, deformed thinking is this? law is law, that’s it?! HELL NO! i have no patience for this kind of literalism. words are SYMBOLS and it’s the meaning behind the words that are important, not the words themselves.

    so why do we not kill one another? because God said so, end of story? no! because the cycle of violence would never end, thus destroying God’s harmony. why should we not speed? because God decreed it? NO! these are MAN’S laws that are based on 1. effiecient gas usage 2. safe operating speeds given the terrian, visablity, and road conditions (among many others) 3. to keep other drivers safe and mindful that they are not the only ones on the road.

    laws are made for individuals to keep others in mind.

    “all within the purview of God’s ordination of Govt. to keep us in check. ”
    screw that. that type of nationalist thinking will leave us with another Germany circa 1932, Russia circa 1928, El Salvador in the 1980s and Columbia mid-80s to late 90s. blind faith in doctrine, law, or whatever ppl say is the “will of God’ is reactionary and ill-advised. question the answers.

  17. I like John T’s questions – which were to originally aired on BoldGrace – but that fell through – based on the concept of judgment I am pretty sure. Which is rather funny since Jesus dedicates a portion of his teaching to becoming a wise judge of the teachings – and I think BoldGrace has it done up pretty good concerning this notion.

    The idea that mercy, peace, love, humility, integrity, and equality should be right at the top of the way we view situations in life is key (from the beatitudes). I think they get the concept quite well in BoldGrace – they are always so kind to one another and isn’t that the key anyways?

  18. Ok Jason

    The Key………hmmmmmm that is a loaded one. Have you ever heard the expression “killing me with you kindness”

    Let me explain. Just because you are loving with your words does not necessarily translate to loving behaviour, and unless we are willing to look at our actions, our words are meaningless. I try to be a student of behaviour(mostly my own) but also of others. And through my 43 yrs on this earth I have found that it is much more congruent of people to “walk the walk” then “talk the talk”. I hope thats not too BOLD of me.

  19. “And through my 43 yrs on this earth I have found that it is much more congruent of people to “walk the walk” then “talk the talk”. I hope thats not too BOLD of me.” (John T)

    You won’t find any disagreeance from me on that point – I am quite the same way concerning my faith. That being said though – I tend to think in terms of mercy towards people that stumble in their ‘talking the talk’ and not ‘walking the walk’ -since I think Jesus was a lot that way.

  20. Mercy…………Didnt Jesus also have some choice words for the Pharisees? What were those Prophetic words in Spiderman………”With great power, comes great responsibility.”

  21. I agree John, Jesus did have some choice words for some Pharisees at times – even downright angry at times. I think sometimes we need to get to that point – where we have to call out our religious leaders for their actions – which may be subverting the faith in some way or form. But that has to be justified also – there has to be an actual reason for it.

    For example, I boycott 3 major churches in Canada because of their roles in the Residential School fiasco from the 1920’s-1960’s – and the pain inflicted – and not truly repented for. I have no choice but to ignore those denominational claims they make altogether – they cannot find a way to make things right due to their religious systems and institutional controls getting in the way.

    I would also the same for the the preachers who do the faith preaching aspect – and in turn get rich off of honest people. I think they betray this gospel in a way so as to burn people very bad concerning their trust in them and their ministries. Those people need to be spoken to very honestly as to what they are doing concerning their corruption of faith.

    But those are a few examples I have seen – and sometimes it happens on a local scale – but all in all my focus never resides there nor do I let that affect the way I am going to live my faith out – which is rarely – if ever – judgmental to the person (although I am human and judging things is quite normal).

    Now I know you are dealing with a good issue here – and a tough one for the Bold Grace camp – because this a subject where they may not understand the sensitivities some have concerning ideas of ‘everyone going to heaven – irregardless of judgment’. I am not sure what the disconnect going on theologically for them is – but judging things is quite a normal thing in a human life. Without it – the courts we have now (by law) would not exist in any measure – because we would not practice justice. Art is only made beautiful by one’s judgment of the piece – music also.

    Judging something is actually not a problem at all – it’s when those measure become unjust/uneven that we find problems. Now I have had convo’s with them about people like serial killers and Hitler for example, and found their answers – although loving and graceful – nieve also. There are 2 sides to a story and there always is. Even if they see God as a judge in the future – they fail to recognize that is part of God’s character – and part of being godly is being able to control that aspect of us in a ‘good way’. Jesus teaches on it – and teaches responsibility concerning it. It’s something where the standard is best set ‘do not judge’…but even if you do – ‘be careful what you say and do’. Judgment is as normal a human characteristic as compassion.

  22. I think as believers we sometimes get confused or mislead into thinking that because we are saved we can do what we want. I think we put to much emphasis on ourselves and miss the fact that we are intended to be a community of people (Ekklesia). And because of that, there are behaviours that if taken outside of moderation actually become hurtful to ourselves and the people we supposedly love. Addictions of many kinds can eventually cause us to seperate from each other. I think that is exactly what Paul has in mind with the above quote. I am entitled to do whatever I choose and God will Love me no less, but how will that bring me into community? In the end, are my behaviours going to be loving or not? I think if I choose to do certain behaviours I must be ready when the consequence (judgement) happens.

    The key to a TRULY LOVING COMMUNITY is when we can make a judgement of ourselves or others and gently and lovingly point it out without condemnation. I know this is a slippery slope, but I believe to my core it is one that we have to traverse to continue our Growth that God intended.

    It is important to look at the parallel verse: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12).

    It is also important to look at the context both of 1 Corinthians 6:12 and of 1 Corinthians 10:23. In both contexts, “all things” does not refer to acts that you commit, but literal physical things – the example given in both cases is that all foods are lawful to eat. Look further at the context, and it says that people who do unlawful acts go to hell. Thus, you’ve already began on a false premise of Scripture.

    For example on how this has twisted your teachings, you begin in the above blockquote in the context of believers. But then you go on about “behaviors […] taken outside of moderation.” Drunkenness is a behavior taken out of moderation. So, although you are trying to teach against lewdness, you are not, because by putting drunkards and other addicts in the context of believers, you teach that such people can go to heaven. They cannot (1 Corinthians 6:10).

    Next you talk about how to judge such people. As far as I can tell, you teach to simply correct them of their wrong. But if someone is a practicing drunkard or some other type of addict (if they are not practicing, the procedure of judgment changes to Matthew 18:15-17), they should not be a part of your fellowship (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). You judge them by immediately putting them away from yourself.

    What happens when I overly indulge certain behaviours? Do I create the feelings that the above scripture says is the fruit of my spirit? I think not! I find it interesting though, that many who believe so strongly in Grace and Love think it is ok to overly partake in those behaviours. Rage, drinking too much, gambling, smoking, over eating and the list goes on. How can we believe that it is ok to do these things when it is obvious what the negative outcomes on our physical and spiritual bodies will be? After all, we know that outside of moderation these behaviours will drain our energies, make us frustrated and likely cause division amongst ourselves.

    The only consequences you cite for over-indulging in alcohol, gambling, smoking, eating, etc. are earthly. The real consequences are hell.

    Now again I will reiterate that it has no bearing on whether God loves us, nor will we be eternally seperated from God.

    Yes you will be eternally separated. You think that just because you said “Jesus is Lord” one day that you have an excuse to behave like a worldly brat, the only consequences being with other people? What’s the difference between you and an unbeliever? Nothing except that unbelievers aren’t lying about their unbelief.

    You should not teach. Those who do incur stricter judgment (James 3:1).

    Now to talk to some commenters.

    Theoldadam said,

    I don’t know any Christian that doesn’t willfully sin every day of the week.

    Then you have never met a Christian. Christians sin (1 John 1:8). But it is impossible for a Christian to willfully sin (Hebrews 10:26-29). If you are born of God, you cannot (i.e. you are literally unable to) practice sin (1 John 3:6-9).

    SocietyVs responded to you,

    “Ever go a mile or two above the speed limit? You are breaking not only man;s law, but God’s as well. Ever not come to a complete stop at a stop sign? You’ve sinned again.” (Steve)

    Uhhh..it’s the intent of the law we are not to break – not the literal law! Besides that, where in God’s word is a speed limit or a stop sign concerning the traffic signs? I think I get where you are going with this – but it’s rather unfounded in God’s law (when no cars existed).

    Romans 13:1-5 does not say that we have to obey every single law, not even the intent thereof. It says that we have to submit to our civil government. If you speed, do so knowing that you could incur a speeding ticket, and submit to your gov’t by paying the fine. Normally this distinction is irrelevant, but it becomes relevant when obeying God means disobeying the government. With your understanding of obedience to the government, there would be a contradiction because we would have to obey the intent of the law, which is to make us unbelievers. But you can take heed to Romans 13:1-5 without taking any exceptions to it by understanding the meaning of submission. For example, it is illegal in some countries, including America if you’re honest enough, to preach the gospel. Preach the gospel anyway (disobeying the intent of the law), just as long as you submit to being arrested.

    @JimJ’s post #5: You didn’t provide much besides the quote itself, but 2 Corinthians 5:13 is not speaking of drunkenness if that’s what you were thinking.

    John T. says, “Ive got some news for you, Jesus wasnt Christian, he was a JEW.” This is a silly, irrelevant point made by a lot of people. Do you refer to Friedrich Nietzsche as a Nietzchean? Paul as a Pauline? Freud as a Freudian? The –ian ending means follower. You can’t follow yourself (unless you have a tail).

    Yaelbatsarah said,

    If government is always in the right and we are to submit to its authority as God ordained, then why do we celebrate Independence Day? Weren’t those who fought for freedom from English tyranny the worst of sinners going against what God had put in place to keep them in line? Those who helped slaves escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad also went against government authority. Were they also sinning in doing so? Are Christians who protest the government instituted war in Iraq sinning?

    I celebrate Independence Day for what God did for us, creating a new nation. The Founding Fathers were indeed wicked rebels who were taking up a violent rebellion against their governing authorities instead of submitting as the Word of God says. They were sinners by fighting that war, yes.

    The slaves of the South were oppressed. Slavery is not wrong in and of itself, but the Civil War was an impressive demonstration of God’s wrath on the South for racism. If you helped slaves escape, you were proclaiming liberty to the captives (Isaiah 61:1), and thus as long as you were willing to accept the consequences (submitting to your legitimately God-ordained authority), you were not sinning.

    Christians who protest the war in Iraq are obeying Ezekiel 11:1-4.

    I see several making the error of thinking that anyone following a religious leader who is sinning is saved or honest. Look at John 10:5; no one following a false teacher is of God. And Jesus wasn’t just a bit angry at the Pharisees. I would say myself that Jesus Christ was the greatest fire-and-brimstone–damnation preacher who ever lived. He said the Pharisees would receive “greater damnation” (Matthew 23:14).

  23. Don’t be so hard on him, he’s just doing what he sees his God doing (or his perception of God). We all do, that’s why it is so critically important to form an image of God as Love.

    Angry Gods create angry people. Loving Gods create loving people.

  24. My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Joshua is, that he might be saved. For I bear his record that he has a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For he, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish his own righteousness, has not submitted hiimself unto the righteousness of God.

  25. yaelbatsarah, not sure what you’re talking about. And I don’t see how it’s funny, or why you would want to make a joke out of what I said. You’re rude by doing so.

    John T. and Bruce D, do not condescend. It is also rude.

    God is Love, and Love is not rude (1 Corinthians 13:5). If you are not willing to talk with me, it is clear you have no interest in contending earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). Bruce, your puffed up prayer is a fake prayer to make it look like you love me. In other words, you love me in words and tongue but not in truth (1 John 3:18). If you love me, you will rebuke me. If you do not rebuke me, you hate me in your heart:

    (Lev 19:17 [KJV])
    Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

    Angry Gods create angry people. Loving Gods create loving people.

    God creates everything, which means He creates both the angry and the loving people (Romans 11:36). I know that’s not what you mean though. Of course you mean to say that worship of an angry God creates an angry believer, and worship of a loving God creates a loving believer. I worship the God of the Bible (Psalm 7:11; 1 John 4:8), so I am angry (Ephesians 4:26) and loving (1 John 2:10).

    Yet, my anger is not sinful in nature. Your anger is sinful. You are angered by the message I’m telling you. You are being exposed to light, and you cannot bear it, so you laugh and make jokes and fake prayers to hide from it. I have judged you (1 Cor. 2:15), and will continue to do so in the future (1 Cor. 6:2), but it is God who will really go down hard on you (Matthew 23:14). Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

  26. Joshua,
    Let me explain something really basic to you since you seem to be the only one here who doesn’t know the score. My name: Yael bat Sarah, Yael daughter of Sarah. I’m Jewish, OK. Every morning when I say my prayers I thank God for making me Jewish. That’s not a joke, that’s a fact. (But, of course it appealed to my sense of humor to post that fact here…..as John T well noted.) You ought to try lightening up a bit. Good grief.

    BTW, for the rest of you who probably don’t know yet, I’m going to beginning my formal studies to become a rabbi. I’ll have 2-3 years of intensive Hebrew study and then 5 years of Rabbinical school including one year in Israel. I’m really happy to finally get moving. It’s going to be great. I’m sure I’ll be missed here online, however 8)

    Signed,
    Happy to be
    one of ‘the Pharisees’

  27. “But if someone is a practicing drunkard or some other type of addict (if they are not practicing, the procedure of judgment changes to Matthew 18:15-17), they should not be a part of your fellowship (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). You judge them by immediately putting them away from yourself.” (Joshua)

    Is this what Jesus would do? Let’s break this down some.

    “If your brother sins” (Matt 18:15) – many later manuscripts add ‘against you’ to that sentence – and even if it is not part of the actual text – it is implied in the idea of the type of ‘sin’ being discussed here (relational). One would have to know the other’s ‘fault’ against himself or another to be able to approach this situation.

    However by verse 17 we do not see “You judge them by immediately putting them away from yourself” – no – that is not the wording in Matthew, The wording is “let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector”. What is odd about the wording is it is very non-condemnatory and by the next verse – well – judgment is something we have control of.

    “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven”.

    Is Jesus implying this to the verses from 15-17 in Matthew? Is it that what we ‘bind’ or ‘loose’ God will honor on our behalf? So if some choose to ‘loose’ some from their ‘sins’ against them – who are we to judge? This is about the power of forgiveness and the ability to free someone from their chains – indebted to us. This seems extremely non-condemnatory and even Jesus allows us to make these decisions about others that ‘sin’ against us. We can condemn – but it doesn’t have to go that way (we can ‘loose’ or we can ‘bind’).

    As for Paul, he is addressing the concerns of that congregation with concerns to “that someone has his father’s wife” (vs.1) Now is this incest or just plain adultery – we do not know. But Paul is not happy the church is allowing it and being smeared by it. So Paul takes a very hard line with them to now associate with sinners of this nature – people of a very immoral nature. The factor being immorality that causes problems in the church – a specific problem is being addressed – and he is by no means setting a standard.

    If he is, then Jesus was ‘wrong’. Jesus is found hanging out with a variety of people from prostitutes, drunks, and tax collectors (why they are bad is beyond me) – and sinners in general – heck even lepers and the infirmed he is found around (which was a ‘no no’). But if Jesus stuck to Paul’s argument ‘not to associate with immoral people” he would never have done most of what he accomplished. I tend to think using Paul’s letter as a standard to avoid non-Christians is a joke – the thing is to avoid being involved in immoral action – of another’s (ie: actual involvement).

  28. “Then you have never met a Christian. Christians sin (1 John 1:8). But it is impossible for a Christian to willfully sin (Hebrews 10:26-29). If you are born of God, you cannot (i.e. you are literally unable to) practice sin (1 John 3:6-9).” (Joshua)

    Alright – now that’s a very literal interpretation of an idea being related. If Christians cannot sin – then who is Paul addressing in his letters to the churches – non-Christians? Paul, in almost every letter, addresses a problem with a certain type of sin – and Corinthians being ‘prime’ as an example here – gets addressed for quite a few problems with ‘sin’. We have examples of Christians sinning in the texts themselves.

    How you can upbraid Steve for his honesty and make it into a doctrinal issue is beyond me – since Steve is being honest about something we all know is a fact – Christians can and do sin. If you don’t believe me – I will ask a simple question – do Christians die? If yes, then what are the wages of sin? If you want to read the text that literally – there is only one answer to the question I asked. It’s a nice doctrine you have sculpted there – but it’s also flawed and need to be measured out in one’s judgment more fairly.

    “It says that we have to submit to our civil government. If you speed, do so knowing that you could incur a speeding ticket, and submit to your gov’t by paying the fine.” (Joshua)

    I agree…100%.

    “If you love me, you will rebuke me. If you do not rebuke me, you hate me in your heart” (Joshua)

    And you get this from a law in Leviticus – have you studied any rabbinical studies on that passage to make sure your claim is warranted? I think if someone loves you, they will also give you the benefit of the doubt to explain yourself more thoroughly. Love is not only about rebuking somone – that why your sentence is said in haste – and not in truth. Someone does not rebuke you – they hate you? How so? Do they wish your ill demise? I mean if they do not rebuke you and wish your demise then your statement is accurate. No on here wishes your demise – of that I am pretty sure.

    “Slavery is not wrong in and of itself” (Joshua)

    Are you sure? Maybe you need to read over the Exodus a little more in depth – God freed the people He loved because they were enslaved. The fact Paul wants to make some common ground on the issue with his contemporaries does not mean slavery was ‘good’…it was never the intention of God for humanity to be enslaved (that can be found nowhere in the bible).

    But if slavery is not wrong – of the gov’t deemed tomorrow your family would be slaves – would you listen or think – ‘that’s alright you can poach my freedoms and also those of my wife and children’. I highly doubt you have thought this one through on a personal level. Slavery is wrong to the core – since it assumes in it the breaking of the whole of the Law and the Prophets – or – ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ (which is intensely about the equality of humanity).

    “Christians who protest the war in Iraq are obeying Ezekiel 11:1-4.” (Joshua)

    You are willing to make some room for war protestors (to stand against the law) but nor for slavery as an inexcusable sore on the human condition? That’s ridiculous. What standard are you using to judge these things? You can say the bible – but that’s not a standard – that’s a variety of books and letters (66 to us Protestant Christians in total). I am asking for the actual standard you use to make these judgements – since they seem oddly skewed to be unjust even.

    I know I use the idea ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ as the standard in all things I discuss. No matter the topic – it has to be balanced in the measures we use to define our position (concerning the other and concerning me). What I see in a lot of your comments is a skewed filter – one that stands for just the text alone without a single interpretation being used to explain it. And when one is used it usually is levelling someone else’s opinions (judging them as you said) for the sake of a standard that seems like shifting sands at best.

    For example “Yet, my anger is not sinful in nature. Your anger is sinful” – how can you make such a claim in all honesty? How do you know someone else’s anger is sinful and your is not? Now I can see you speaking for yourself and saying ‘because I know how I feel’…but you also claim to know someone else’s ‘feelings or intentions’. That my friend, is the exact definiton of the Matthew 7 problem with judgment – is one makes a claim on another and yet blinded to the other’s side of the story.

    “I have judged you (1 Cor. 2:15), and will continue to do so in the future” (Josh)

    This isn’t bad – it’s just the way the judgment sounds when I read it that bothers me. I think it is skewed and I am not sure the standard you use in each situation – it seems too legalistic (or too literal) without any room for grace (which is also an aspect of love).

  29. BruceD: I made that prayer after thoroughly correcting them. You made that prayer after denying God’s anger (Psalm 7:11). If you love your soul, this should give you something to think about.

    Yael said:

    Let me explain something really basic to you since you seem to be the only one here who doesn’t know the score. My name: Yael bat Sarah, Yael daughter of Sarah. I’m Jewish, OK. Every morning when I say my prayers I thank God for making me Jewish. That’s not a joke, that’s a fact. (But, of course it appealed to my sense of humor to post that fact here…..as John T well noted.) You ought to try lightening up a bit. Good grief.

    You are incredibly fatuous. You basically just told me “I AM SO JEWISH!!! DON’T CRITICIZE ME OR YOU’RE INTOLERANT!” Why are you proud to be a Pharisee?

    SocietyVs:
    Regarding judging immorality in the church: What I was talking about was the distinction between stumbling to sin and living/practicing sin. All Christians, by definition of being human, stumble to sin occasionally. But being a Christian means you are not living in sin anymore.

    However by verse 17 we do not see “You judge them by immediately putting them away from yourself” – no – that is not the wording in Matthew, The wording is “let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector”.

    […]

    If he is, then Jesus was ‘wrong’. Jesus is found hanging out with a variety of people from prostitutes, drunks, and tax collectors (why they are bad is beyond me) – and sinners in general – heck even lepers and the infirmed he is found around (which was a ‘no no’). But if Jesus stuck to Paul’s argument ‘not to associate with immoral people” he would never have done most of what he accomplished. I tend to think using Paul’s letter as a standard to avoid non-Christians is a joke – the thing is to avoid being involved in immoral action – of another’s (ie: actual involvement).

    Paul’s teachings and Christ’s teachings are actually totally consistent. “Let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matthew 15:17) = “Put away from yourselves the evil person” (1 Corinthians 5:13). You err in thinking that Paul was teaching not to keep company with any kind of immoral people. Jesus hung out with plain sinners as Paul says it is okay to do in 1 Corinthians 5:10. Jesus did not keep friendly company with Pharisees, on the other hand, because they were the “brothers so-called” of 1 Corinthians 5:11. You’re saying Paul’s literal words contradict Christ’s literal words, and this simply isn’t true.

    Alright – now that’s a very literal interpretation of an idea being related. If Christians cannot sin – then who is Paul addressing in his letters to the churches – non-Christians? Paul, in almost every letter, addresses a problem with a certain type of sin – and Corinthians being ‘prime’ as an example here – gets addressed for quite a few problems with ‘sin’. We have examples of Christians sinning in the texts themselves.

    The Christians were not sinning willfully (Hebrews 10:26), because they cannot practice sin, as I said. I hope by now you understand what I mean, that there is a distinction between sinning and practicing sin. Drunkards go to hell, yet a Christian can get drunk by accident and still end up in heaven. Christians cannot sin, yet they sometimes do. Not a contradiction, just hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16).

    If you don’t believe me – I will ask a simple question – do Christians die? If yes, then what are the wages of sin? If you want to read the text that literally – there is only one answer to the question I asked.

    I am reading the Scriptures literally, as a little child (Matthew 18:3), but I am taking the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) into account. Scripture clarifies itself, but it’s sometimes hard to find the clarifications because they’re spread apart by such distances. Look at the lampstand’s two anointed ones in Zech. 4:14, who aren’t explained all the way until Revelation 11:3-4!

    However, the specific question you asked is easy to answer. The wages of sin is death. Christians, like everyone else, shared in Adam’s evil deeds. All men must die some day because of that curse. But “Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).

    And you get this from a law in Leviticus – have you studied any rabbinical studies on that passage to make sure your claim is warranted?

    I have my own Rabbinical study. His name is the Anointing (1 John 2:27).

    I think if someone loves you, they will also give you the benefit of the doubt to explain yourself more thoroughly. Love is not only about rebuking somone – that why your sentence is said in haste – and not in truth. Someone does not rebuke you – they hate you? How so? Do they wish your ill demise? I mean if they do not rebuke you and wish your demise then your statement is accurate. No on here wishes your demise – of that I am pretty sure.

    If you wish to be given the benefit of the doubt, then you will do unto them as you would have them do unto you. Of course there’s more to love than simply rebuking someone. But that doesn’t change what the text says, and the text is talking about not suffering someone’s sin upon them by rebuking them. If you see someone sinning a sin that leads to death, rebuke them if you love them! That makes plenty of sense. You don’t want someone to burn in hell, you show them the correct path.

    And how do you know no one on here wishes my demise? You do not know men’s hearts.

    “Slavery is not wrong in and of itself” (Joshua)

    Are you sure? Maybe you need to read over the Exodus a little more in depth – God freed the people He loved because they were enslaved. The fact Paul wants to make some common ground on the issue with his contemporaries does not mean slavery was ‘good’…it was never the intention of God for humanity to be enslaved (that can be found nowhere in the bible).

    Show me a verse which says slavery is inherently wrong.

    Slavery is wrong to the core – since it assumes in it the breaking of the whole of the Law and the Prophets – or – ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ (which is intensely about the equality of humanity).

    How can you break the Law via slavery if the Law governs slavery (Exodus 21:2-6)? And there is nothing in “treat others how you want to be treated” about not owning slaves. A Godly slave-owner treats his slaves as he wants to be treated – a Godly slave-owner is a slave himself, a slave of God. Treat your servants justly to have God deal so with you. Deal cruelly with them to have God deal with you cruelly. The oppressors on earth shall be oppressed in hell (Job 27:13).

    You can say the bible – but that’s not a standard – that’s a variety of books and letters (66 to us Protestant Christians in total). I am asking for the actual standard you use to make these judgements – since they seem oddly skewed to be unjust even. […] What I see in a lot of your comments is a skewed filter – one that stands for just the text alone without a single interpretation being used to explain it.

    First you said the Bible is not a standard, then you called yourself a Protestant, and then you criticized me for relying on the text alone. You clearly are not, as you claim to be, a product of the Protestant reformation, one of whose principles is sola scriptura (Scripture alone). I am not a Protestant either (Colossians 2:8), but sola scriptura is good. Amen, I do rely on the text alone and not on private interpretations (2 Peter 1:20).

    For example “Yet, my anger is not sinful in nature. Your anger is sinful” – how can you make such a claim in all honesty? How do you know someone else’s anger is sinful and your is not?

    Because of the words that they speak (Luke 6:44-45).

  30. Joshua, you are one angry dude! But, I understand completely. You serve an angry God. I fear for your sanity. Your lust for being correct… having it all figured out… and condemning all those who don’t agree with you, will destroy you. But, that’s a good thing. When you’re finally at the end of your rope, you’ll have no choice but to fall into the loving arms of the Source of your spirit. And that’s a real good thing. Peace to you my friend!

  31. Your lust for being correct… having it all figured out… and condemning all those who don’t agree with you, will destroy you.

    I truly do not understand why it is bad to want to be correct… to be right with God… why will that destroy me?

  32. Because you are relying on your own understanding to build a faith of your own. Until you can let go of all of that (or have it stripped from you the hard way), you will never understand the “faith of God” and experience the freedom from self that He intended for us all from the beginning.

    You can continue to hide behind religion, but some day you will look in the mirror and you will see what you have become, a self-righteous people-hater, full of anger and toxic thought. And in desperation, you will seek a cure. The old you will begin to melt away, and you will begin to seek the truth. You will begin the journey away from the angry God, and toward the God of Love. You will be changing your mind about God. You will be repenting your old nature and taking on a new one.

    I doubt that this makes any sense to you now. When you are ready to understand, you will.

    Until then, my friend… try to enjoy life some!

  33. A friend of mine read this thread and said, “that poor guy has gotten sucked into the religion-trap. Like so many, he has bought into the lie, and instead of seeing a story of God’s incredible love and inclusion, sees a story of a demanding God, full of expectation and obligation, angered by a creation gone wrong and a people defiant.”

    Sadly, we go though life trying to “get right with God”, never truly understanding that God already “got right with us”. We can “reach out” to Him all we want, but until we understand, and awaken to, the fact that He has already connected to us through the work of the Cross of Christ, we will never know the freedom to enjoy life with God.

    He doesn’t want our obedience, He wants our affection. And He knows that He will only receive the affection of a people who truly love Him (as opposed to those who succumb to Him through fear)… so He loved us first. That is the truth that religion will hide from you. They have to because they cannot control and manipulate a free people.

  34. Bruce

    My Mama told me a good one when I was younger. She said “Son, nobody can walk on you unless you lie down.” Almost all our Fears are of our own doing.

  35. I had a long response written out but my browser crashed. 😦 Oh well, I’ll just sum up what I said very briefly: God does not change (Malachi 3:6), so when you deny the God of the Old Testament, you deny Jesus Christ as well (Matthew 4:4). And the God of the Old Testament does say that He is angry (Psalm 7:11). Do you believe that?

    He doesn’t want our obedience, He wants our affection. And He knows that He will only receive the affection of a people who truly love Him (as opposed to those who succumb to Him through fear)

    Obedience = affection (1 John 5:3). You cannot love God without fearing Him first (Proverbs 1:7). The burden of proof lies on you to show me otherwise, because I’m the one citing Scripture to confirm to you that every word is true.

    Until then, my friend… try to enjoy life some!

    I do enjoy life (Ecclesiastes 11:9). Yesterday I played Dungeons & Dragons, a game some Pharisees say is Satanic, with an open homosexual. He knows exactly what I think of him (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). Yet, God does not condemn me because he is not called a brother (1 Corinthians 5:10). Judge me by appearance (John 7:24), the appearance of my words, and you will think of me as some kind of depressed, lonely kid condemning all his bullies to hell. In reality I have found balance. God’s love is magnified by His hatred (Romans 5:8), and my love also by my hatred. This is righteousness, holding to every word of God (Matthew 4:4), not just the parts that sound nice.

  36. Wise words, my friend… wise words indeed.

    I was thinking about the concept of bearing our own Cross (If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and let him bear his cross, and let him follow Me), and it occurred to me that maybe the traditional interpretation about suffering because of one’s belief in Christ may not be accurate. But instead maybe Jesus was talking about taking on the role of “heretic”. Jesus went to the cross because he was considered a rebel, a revolutionary, a blasphemer, and a heretic. Lately that’s exactly how I feel. Religious people point fingers at me, call me all sorts of names, and shun me as an unbeliever… all because I trust that Christ was the Messiah as foretold by the prophets of old (that He is the Savior of the World). I know it’s a hard thing to believe, and most Christians don’t even believe it. But, I’ve sure had my cross to bear because of my ideas about God. Folks like Joshua (not saying Joshus does) hate me because I don’t subscribe to their formulaic approach to figuring out God, and necessity to be “correct” about their beliefs.

    I say, if Jesus IS the Savior of the World, then it really doesn’t matter what we believe, because we, as participants in the “world”, have been redeemed by the Father. We are His. He owns us and includes us in His Life. He revealed Himself to us and makes Himself known to un inexplicably.

    For those of you who seek Salvation, first look inside yourself, then look all around you. He is there. And He always will be. Peace

  37. A case of posting at the same time… My “wise words” comment was aimed at JohnT’s comment.

    Joshua, I’m glad you have found a way of life that suits you. I could not live your life. Been there, done that. I was a religious zealot most of my life, but I have repented of that. I changed my mind about God, and cannot go back a life of fear.

    And obedience does not equal affection. One is born of fear, and the other is born of love. You cannot serve two masters. One will destroy you and the other will give you life.

  38. theoldadam: I don’t know any Christian that doesn’t willfully sin every day of the week.

    I don’t know any Christian who does sin willfully every day of the week.

    Joshua: The oppressors on earth shall be oppressed in hell (Job 27:13).

    No. They will be oppressed in “the unseen”. The Hebrew word for “hell”, used throughout the entire OT, is “sheol” — which really doesn’t translate to “hell” at all. It means “the world of the dead”, or “the unseen”. (The Greek word “hades”, which accounts for 10 of the 23 translations of “hell” in the New Testament, means the same thing.)

    As for law vs. grace, Paul had this to say…

    So those now who live by faith are blessed along with Abraham, who lived by faith—this is no new doctrine! And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up: “Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law.”

    The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Habakkuk had it right: “The person who believes God, is set right by God—and that’s the real life.” Rule-keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rule-keeping, a fact observed in Scripture: “The one who does these things [rule-keeping] continues to live by them.” (Galatians 3:9-12, The Message)

    In verse 10, Paul is quoting Deuteronomy 27:26. In verse 11, he references Habakkuk 2:4. Finally, in verse 12, he notes Leviticus 18:5. Two of those three verses go back to Mosaic law — the very law that Christ delivered everyone from, the very law that Christ fulfilled.

    Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.

    I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law. I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love. (Galatians 5:1-6, The Message)

    It’s like what Jesus said: “no one can serve two masters”. In this case, the two masters are “law” and “grace”.

    Martin Zender: Letter to an Israelite on Law and Grace

    * * * * *

    Joshua: Yes you will be eternally separated.

    Look up the words “eternal” and “everlasting” in a concordance. Both are mistranslations of the Greek word “aionos”, the adjective form of “aion”, which is the basis for (and sounds exactly like) our English word “eon”. An eon does NOT last forever; an eon is a pre-determined period of time.

    Most English translations of the Bible were, ultimately, influenced by guys like Tertullian, Augustine, and Jerome who did not believe that God was going to save everyone (as many early Christians leaders before them taught); instead, they believed God’s enemies (aka those who don’t “accept Jesus as their personal saviour”) were going to be subject to eternal torment. (All three were also big on Platonian philosophy.) The basis used for both — in regards to most English translations — was the Latin Vulgate, not the original Hebrew and Greek texts (or even the Septuagint, which is the Old Testament translated to Greek). Only the literal translations (Young’s and the Concordant Literal) go straight to the sources. (The other translations may help some passages make more sense, using simpler terms (aside from the literal translations, I also like The Message, the New King James Version, and the Darby Translation), the literal translations get to the crux of what the authors were really saying.) I digress a bit, though.

    Anyway, I believe that if God’s ultimate goal was to destroy his “enemies”, then he would be no better than the thief himself (John 10:10); and, to me, that’s not a God who is worthy of our praise, worship, and devotion.

    In regards to God’s anger…

    For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5, NKJV)

    I believe in the temporariness of God’s anger. Yet, I also believe his mercy endures for all time. Ditto for his grace. That’s some Good News I can get behind!

    * * * * *

    Joshua: But if someone is a practicing drunkard or some other type of addict (if they are not practicing, the procedure of judgment changes to Matthew 18:15-17), they should not be a part of your fellowship (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). You judge them by immediately putting them away from yourself.

    SocietyVS: Is this what Jesus would do?

    Last I checked, Jesus was accused of being a drunkard by the Pharisees because…gasp!…he hung out with those people! (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34)

    Meanwhile, IMO, the 1 Corinthians reference doesn’t quite have to do with what you think it does. In Chapter 5, Paul is telling the Christians in Corinth that he knows one of their own — a fellow believer! — was in sin; a man was sleeping with his father’s wife. In verse 5, Paul’s admonition to them is leave him to it, to let Satan devour his flesh (not literally), so his spirit would be saved. Verse 10 says that when Paul meant they weren’t to keep company with the “sexually immoral”, he meant they weren’t to interact with any fellow converts who were acting like that; it was not in regards to unbelievers (otherwise, how would they be able to preach the Good News to others?). Paul told them to disassociate themselves with this man for their own good (and his).

    It is also important to note, I think, that by the time Paul was writing 2 Corinthians, this person had been delivered from his sin; and Paul was urging them to forgive this person (2:3-8) and welcome him back to the ecclesia.

    Joshua: I truly do not understand why it is bad to want to be correct… to be right with God… why will that destroy me?

    Bruce (emphasis mine): Because you are relying on your own understanding to build a faith of your own. Until you can let go of all of that (or have it stripped from you the hard way), you will never understand the “faith of God” and experience the freedom from self that He intended for us all from the beginning.

    In Proverbs it says to trust God and not to lean on your understanding (3:5). In Romans it says that God gives everyone a measure of faith (12:3). Faith is not something we create for ourselves; it’s a gift. It’s even through God’s faith (not ours!) that we are saved by his grace (Philippians 2:8-9). Also, your righteousness (and, for that matter, mine) mean nothing to God; they’re no better than “filthy rags”. Only God’s righteousness is perfect.

    (Gawd, this was wordy. But I wanted to get all this out there.)

  39. Shelly

    You dont know any Christians that willfully Sin every day of the week. Thats because they dont share it with you. LMAO.

  40. The Message is an extremely bad translation. It is so ridiculously filled with the private interpretations of the “translators,” who are actually paraphrasers… how can you condemn the words I use and then go and use The Message?

    Joshua: The oppressors on earth shall be oppressed in hell (Job 27:13).

    No. They will be oppressed in “the unseen”. The Hebrew word for “hell”, used throughout the entire OT, is “sheol” — which really doesn’t translate to “hell” at all. It means “the world of the dead”, or “the unseen”. (The Greek word “hades”, which accounts for 10 of the 23 translations of “hell” in the New Testament, means the same thing.)

    I’m using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, and it says for H7585:

    hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates:— grave, hell, pit.

    The “world of the dead” is hell, as indicated by the connection of death to hell in Proverbs 5:5. “The unseen” is not given in the definition of H7585. “The unseen” is the definition for G86: “Properly unseen, i.e. “Hades”, or the place (state) of departed souls:— grave, hell.” In 2 Peter 2:4, Tartaros (G5020) is the Greek word used for an abyss of Hades where people are incarcerated in eternal torment. And with the frequent association of Gehenna (G1067) with fire, and the consistency with the other words translated as “hell,” it is evident they are all talking about essentially the same place/state. So yes, the oppressors will be oppressed in the unseen fire, the outer darkness, of hell. Nothing you said changes that.

    Look up the words “eternal” and “everlasting” in a concordance. Both are mistranslations of the Greek word “aionos”, the adjective form of “aion”, which is the basis for (and sounds exactly like) our English word “eon”. An eon does NOT last forever; an eon is a pre-determined period of time.

    Everlasting (H5769) does, from its definition, describe eternity. “Always” and “for ever” are parts of its definition. G166 also describes perpetuity, i.e. for ever.

    However, there is a sense in which there is a determined end point for hell (Hades). In Revelation 20:14, Hades is cast into the lake of fire, which we can call the final hell. But this final hell is everlasting. And so, really, hell is eternal, because even though Hades does not last forever, people in it do get tormented forever (Matthew 25:41).

    So your claim about everyone eventually getting saved is void, because everlasting means everlasting and hell means hell as indicated by the concordance. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Anyway, I believe that if God’s ultimate goal was to destroy his “enemies”, then he would be no better than the thief himself (John 10:10); and, to me, that’s not a God who is worthy of our praise, worship, and devotion.

    Funny you should say that, because “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Psalm 110:1, repeated in Matthew 22:44 by Jesus Christ)

    For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5, NKJV)

    I believe in the temporariness of God’s anger. Yet, I also believe his mercy endures for all time. Ditto for his grace. That’s some Good News I can get behind!

    Amen. Psalm 30:5 doesn’t contradict 7:11 though.

    Meanwhile, IMO, the 1 Corinthians reference doesn’t quite have to do with what you think it does. In Chapter 5, Paul is telling the Christians in Corinth that he knows one of their own — a fellow believer! — was in sin; a man was sleeping with his father’s wife. In verse 5, Paul’s admonition to them is leave him to it, to let Satan devour his flesh (not literally), so his spirit would be saved. Verse 10 says that when Paul meant they weren’t to keep company with the “sexually immoral”, he meant they weren’t to interact with any fellow converts who were acting like that; it was not in regards to unbelievers (otherwise, how would they be able to preach the Good News to others?). Paul told them to disassociate themselves with this man for their own good (and his).

    Were you talking to me? Because that’s exactly what I said. Evil people of this world = ok to hang out with; evil people who are called brothers = not ok. Maybe you didn’t read the rest of my comments where I got more specific and probably more clear.

    In Proverbs it says to trust God and not to lean on your understanding (3:5). In Romans it says that God gives everyone a measure of faith (12:3). Faith is not something we create for ourselves; it’s a gift. It’s even through God’s faith (not ours!) that we are saved by his grace (Philippians 2:8-9). Also, your righteousness (and, for that matter, mine) mean nothing to God; they’re no better than “filthy rags”. Only God’s righteousness is perfect.

    Amen! Not sure why you’re addressing this to me though. BruceD leans on his own understanding by denying the Word of God (i.e. Jesus Christ) so as to preserve his man-made righteousness doctrines. To ignore certain verses of the Bible in order to keep your doctrines is most certainly leaning on your own understanding more than God’s.

  41. I have no understanding to lean on. I have no righteousness to claim. I am unimportant, and have no need to become important. I have no reputation to protect, and no pride to hang my “correctness” on. I only wish to share the love of God that comes from my heart, and encourage others to come to realize their connection to God. I trust the Source of my spirit, who speaks to me through all of Creation. I have come to my conclusions as a child, observing the things around them. If I am wrong, then I will suffer in your hell. If I am right, I will enjoy relationship with God in ways that you might probably never understand.

    You have a book, written by men… and thousands of years of man’s religious traditions. You have solved the puzzle and now you must live within it.

    Peace and Grace to you, friend.

  42. Joshua

    Let me ask you some questions. Does your faith work for you? I mean are you happy and are you nicer to the people around you? Do you love more, laugh often and genuinely trust that youre ok in the scheme of things? If you do then I would say your belief works for you, if not its time to reconsider what you put your faith in.

  43. Let me ask you some questions. Does your faith work for you? I mean are you happy and are you nicer to the people around you? Do you love more, laugh often and genuinely trust that youre ok in the scheme of things? If you do then I would say your belief works for you, if not its time to reconsider what you put your faith in.

    I will know if my faith works for me when God judges me according to my works for heaven or hell. If you expect benefits like “Believer’s Social Security” you are wrong (1 Timothy 6:5).

    You ask me if I’m happy. It goes both ways.

    Unbelievers have false happiness which they find in phony religion, sex, drugs, television shows like American Idol(atry), and money. I have true happiness because I am poor in spirit — I have given my life over to a higher power; I mourn over America’s abominations and am comforted; I am meek, unlike Fred Phelps who corrects people without patience or humility; I hunger and thirst for righteousness and am filled; I show mercy whenever I can in the hope of obtaining mercy; I try to make peace where I can, so that I may be called a son of God; and I am delighted when I am persecuted even in the smallest of matters.

    Yet, I am also very much grieved; in sorrow I go through each day. Knowledge and wisdom bear heavy emotional burdens (Ecclesiastes 1:18). Discipleship has a cost: “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22). I have been sent out as a harmless sheep in the midst of wolves like you (10:16). I have enemies in my household, for Jesus has set with a sword me against my family (10:34-36). Yet, I am grateful for what blessings my family gives me, but I know these blessings are truly only God’s blessings.

    You’re asking very silly questions about whether my faith “works for me.” It is not about me, but about God. You just want a super bell-boy to carry your luggage through life. You expect God to work for you. Well, the fact is that unless you’re a slave to God, you’ll end up in Hell.

  44. I’m going to respond to Joshua’s comment to me and then check out of here.

    Yael said:

    Let me explain something really basic to you since you seem to be the only one here who doesn’t know the score. My name: Yael bat Sarah, Yael daughter of Sarah. I’m Jewish, OK. Every morning when I say my prayers I thank God for making me Jewish. That’s not a joke, that’s a fact. (But, of course it appealed to my sense of humor to post that fact here…..as John T well noted.) You ought to try lightening up a bit. Good grief.

    You are incredibly fatuous. You basically just told me “I AM SO JEWISH!!! DON’T CRITICIZE ME OR YOU’RE INTOLERANT!” Why are you proud to be a Pharisee?

    I basically told you that I am Jewish and that you should lighten up your approach to people. Perhaps you should try listening to things forwards rather than playing them backwards looking for hidden messages.

    Why am I happy to be a Pharisee? Because they were/are people of great wisdom who passed the Torah on from generation to generation and I carry on in their footsteps. Just because your texts mock the Pharisees and make them out to be the bad guys doesn’t mean they really were. Lumping whole groups of people into categories, ‘the Pharisees’ or ‘the Jews’ is not a good thing. No names are ever named, no specific teachings are ever given to these nameless people. So, I give the Christian stories of my people little credence. It would be like me going around talking about ‘the Blacks’, ‘the Hispanics’ and expecting Blacks and Hispanics to actually believe what I say. Sure.

    As far as your portrayal of God based on Tanakh, perhaps you should learn to read Hebrew and see what it says for yourself rather than relying on a Greek concordance to show meanings of Hebrew words.

    Rabbi Simlai taught: The Torah begins with deeds of lovingkindness and ends with deeds of lovingkindness. It begins with deeds of lovingkindness as it is written: “And Adonai, God, made for Adam and his wife garments of skins and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). It ends with deeds of lovingkindness, as it is written: “And God buried Moses in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6). [Sotah 14a]

    A very different view of Torah than the one you profess, Joshua, one which clearly shows why I am happy to be a Jew and follow in the wisdom of the Pharisees rather than be whatever it is you profess to be.

    It was a peaceful Shabbat spent with many wonderful Jewish friends. Now that I’ve replied to your comment to me, I am returning to the peace of Shabbat. Outta here.

  45. And Yael comes through with one of the greatest comments I have read in some time – namely with the wisdom of how we use our interpretations – and about discovering our ‘skeletons in the closet’ with concern to how our texts does talk about Pharisee’s and Jewish people in general – I think she made a great point about that – and something we should all consider when we use terms like ‘Jews’ or even ‘Pharisee’s’ – we may not what we are saying.

  46. yael said:

    Lumping whole groups of people into categories, ‘the Pharisees’ or ‘the Jews’ is not a good thing. No names are ever named, no specific teachings are ever given to these nameless people. So, I give the Christian stories of my people little credence. It would be like me going around talking about ‘the Blacks’, ‘the Hispanics’ and expecting Blacks and Hispanics to actually believe what I say. Sure.

    You switched the lumping from religious to racial. Of course I don’t group people together racially. But if every single person subscribes to a certain religion and that religion teaches hypocrisy, then I am not in the wrong to criticize them. However, Pharisee is not a religion so no I don’t criticize all of them either; e.g. Paul was born a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5). Also you said no names are named, but this is wrong (e.g. Nicodemus in John 3).

    As far as your portrayal of God based on Tanakh, perhaps you should learn to read Hebrew and see what it says for yourself rather than relying on a Greek concordance to show meanings of Hebrew words.

    The concordance has Hebrew for the OT and Greek for the NT, and I am learning Hebrew.

    Rabbi Simlai taught: The Torah begins with deeds of lovingkindness and ends with deeds of lovingkindness. It begins with deeds of lovingkindness as it is written: “And Adonai, God, made for Adam and his wife garments of skins and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). It ends with deeds of lovingkindness, as it is written: “And God buried Moses in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6). [Sotah 14a]

    Amen. Not sure why you think I don’t profess God’s lovingkindness. Deuteronomy 36 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Your misunderstanding is likely due to the fundamental deception prevalent in our day: that you can’t hate if you love and you can’t love if you hate. God loves and hates, and so do I.

  47. Joshua,
    You are right, I missed putting in my usual exception, the only Pharisees named are those who converted to Christianity.

    Judaism came to us through the Pharisees. Torah is our foundational document but Talmud, the writings of our sages, ‘the Pharisees’, is what teaches us how to live our lives as Jews, just as the NT does for Christians.

    Jews are a people some of whom are religious, some of whom are not. Your texts speak freely of ‘the Pharisees’ and ‘the Jews’. I am not off base in comparing this to modern instances of lumping groups together. Just as with any other group of people, we’re not all good nor are we all bad. If someone has a problem with the teachings of a person they should name the person by name and identify what teaching they find troublesome. That way others can research and see for themselves if there is any merit to the complaint. When only vague accusations are made, that possibility is lost. Then the whole debate just devolves to the level of he said she said.

    Please point out to me where my religion teaches hypocrisy so that you feel free to criticize it. Have you studied it in depth so that you know all about it? Or are you just relying on what you were taught? Just because religious people can be hypocrites does not mean their religion teaches such behavior is acceptable.

    I wish you well with your Hebrew studies. Much is lost in the English translation of Torah and the tone tends to be quite dogmatic. Strongs used to rely on the Greek Septuigant in order to assign word meanings. When we wanted to know about Hebrew words we had to use a Hebrew concordance.

    Shelly,
    Thank you for your well wishes. The actual terminology would be ‘journey into the rabbinate’, but I understood you perfectly! 8)

    I won’t make it though if I keep wasting my time on the net, so I’ll let everyone else have the last say and respond no more. It’s been fun, but I really have to be disciplined and get on with life. Take care and best wishes on all your journeys. Life is good.

  48. “God’s love is magnified by His hatred (Romans 5:8), and my love also by my hatred” (Joshua)

    I went and checked into Romans 5:8 and I am not sure I get your point about hatred exactly. That passage is not about hate at all – but about God’s love and mercy towards us.

    Love and hate are in contradiction a lot of the times in the bible in general – they are not one in the same – and hate is not something propounded by the teachings of Jesus at all. I would say hate – when it is used – is often used in a distaste for the doing immoral things before God and others. The anger, which we also all know, is usually directed at immoral actions committed against another (ie: murder) – and having a disdain for those actions (as to not want to committ or participate in them ourselves – having no joy in them).

    “Your misunderstanding is likely due to the fundamental deception prevalent in our day: that you can’t hate if you love and you can’t love if you hate. God loves and hates, and so do I.” (Joshua)

    This kind of threw me for a loop – so I looked into it. There is no deception – it is very obvious that hate and love are actually counter-intuitive to one another – working against each other in some regards. I think most people read this sentence and wonder ‘does he hate people?’. Since hatred towards another is never an avowed teaching – anywhere in the bible – the question makes sense to ask. Here are a few examples of how hatred and love do not line up:

    (a) Judges 14:16 “Samson’s wife wept before him and said, ” You only hate me, and you do not love me”
    (b) 2 Samuel 13:15 “Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her”
    (c) 2 Samuel 19:6 “by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you”
    (d) Leviticus 19:17 “You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him”
    (e) Micah 3:2 “You who hate good and love evil”
    (f) Matt 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
    (g) Matt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other”
    (h) Luke 6:27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”
    (i) 1 John 4:20 “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar”

    In many of these examples we see what many of us know to be true – hatred and love do not co-exist very well – and actually help to destroy one another. In many of the examples hate and love are counter-balancing one another – in opposition to one another – and one of the attitudes has to come to the front. This is also something we know to be existing in our real lives also and can bare witness to the factuality of the words.

    No one can hate and love their mother at the same time. I would also say – no one is asked ever to do this in any biblical passage. It’s not to say people will not like us for some of our standards – but we are not given permission to hate another person – from brothers, to fellow countrymen, to enemies. Love is standard we are given in all instances with regards to ‘another/neighbor’.

    I am not sure if you are trying to draw straws concerning dislike of another individual based on the bible – but it has to be unwarranted. The greatest 2 commandments we are given have everything to do with loving God, our neighbor, and ourselves and nothing to do with hatred (not even implied in those commandments). The whole Law and prophets hang on a simple standard ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ – and I see in that the idea of equality, love, and peace. I fail to see hatred as one of the ideals we enact to another person (enemy or friend).

    As for the line in the sand about being friends with someone who is a non-Christian and with someone who is Christian turned away from the faith – it’s also rather a matter of choice. I think you want to find justification in Paul for the idea of disliking another person – but I am not sure even Paul holds to this ideal very strongly (and even then it depends on the situation).

    Paul also holds up the idea ‘love your neighbor’ as the whole of the law. We also see in Paul’s idea on love (1 Cor 13) that love is not a partaker in hate “does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered’ (vs 5). Love never fails apparently. These are not things that can be said about the idea of hate – and Paul does not write a chapter based on the use of it.

    Now we come to the idea God hates. Is that so…then why is John quick to point out ‘God is Love’? “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (I John 4:8). John does not add in much of anything else to main characteristic of God in that letter – and nothing ado about hate in God. The only thing about hate in that letter is how someone cannot say they ‘love God’ when they ‘hate their brother’ (or how we are hated by ‘the world’). Jesus does not figure into calling God hateful either – but the 2 commandments make it clear – God is love (or loving).

    I am not sure how you can pair the ideas of hate and love so closely – when they are obviously not that close in definition. Even if we go down the road of ‘hate the sin and love the sinner’ – it might hold some merit – the only problem that gets into is people eventually will start to hate the sinner too (it’s a slippery slope). The way sin is used in the church – it almost comes to define the person – as in a label or something – ‘he’s an adulterer’ or ‘she’s a thief’. I am not a fan of those labels since in the end – the person becomes the label in our minds – and thus we find ‘we hated the sin – unto even disliking the sinner a lot’.

    But even if that is so, God loved us while we were yet ‘sinners’. We are not better than God are we? We can hate some and love some – picking and choosing what it is that deserves our love and attention. God loved them all – and making dividing lines concerning the way we can ‘love’ someone is absurd. Then why should God love us in the first place – we are not better than the next person – we are sinners also. Did Christ’s atonement only reach some (or was intended for only some)?

    And your whole thing on the law and use of it as a basis for your defense of your positions is flawed. Do you keep the whole law? I am not saying it is wrong to do so – but do you? You use aspects of it as proof to your points about God and the way God feels – yet if we were to be very literal – then why does not Jesus stone the woman caught in the act of adultery? I can find that law very fast if we want to discuss this more intently. One could say, from a literal viewpoint, Jesus did not uphold the law in this instance.

  49. This kind of threw me for a loop – so I looked into it. There is no deception – it is very obvious that hate and love are actually counter-intuitive to one another – working against each other in some regards. I think most people read this sentence and wonder ‘does he hate people?’. Since hatred towards another is never an avowed teaching – anywhere in the bible – the question makes sense to ask.

    “hatred towards another is never an avowed teaching anywhere in the Bible”? SocietyVs, you are dead wrong, as this post will proceed to show.

    Love and hate are in contradiction a lot of the times in the bible in general – they are not one in the same

    They are in contradiction when ungodly hate is in view. The human language fails to describe the many shades of meaning that love and hate can take. You can love someone in pretense (i.e. false love), yet we still call it love. You can hate someone, but there is a godly hate and an ungodly hate. Either way it is called hate.

    Ungodly hate:
    Hatred stirs up strife; but love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12

    He that hides hatred with lying lips, and he that utters a slander, is a fool. Proverbs 10:18

    …Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. Proverbs 26:26

    Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end… Ezekiel 35:5

    Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15
    Also, overall hatefulness is cited as a sin in Titus 3:3. What is in view when hatred is viewed negatively? Uncontrollable, hidden, perpetual, murderous hatred. A grudge you hold against a good person (Leviticus 19:18) is one such type of hatred. You can and should hate evil (Proverbs 8:13), and you will not be condemned (Psalm 34:22), but the wicked will be condemned for hating you back (Psalm 18:40).

    Godly hatred:

    He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. John 12:25

    Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them mine enemies. Psalm 139:21-22

    These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19

    The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Proverbs 8:13

    A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:8

    What kind of hate is in view here? It’s hard to describe. But it is certainly far different from murderous, ungodly hatred. In my heart I love you, not hate you, as Lev. 19:18 requires, but in another sense I do hate you. It is not murderous hate. It is not hate that makes me want you to go to hell. My hatred of you is simply the fear of the Lord, which is to hate evil. That’s the best way to describe it.

    There is also God’s love and hatred with respect to individual and national predestination. Some are loved to heaven and others hated to hell. Here, both the individuals Jacob and Esau and the nations which they represent (Israel and Edom) are in view:

    As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3

    “God’s love is magnified by His hatred (Romans 5:8), and my love also by my hatred” (Joshua)

    I went and checked into Romans 5:8 and I am not sure I get your point about hatred exactly. That passage is not about hate at all – but about God’s love and mercy towards us.

    Let me explain then.

    For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:46-48

    Taking Jesus’ reasoning further, if God died only for people He loves, what glory has He? God’s perfect love is manifest in that while we were yet hated by Him, he still loved us. Since,
    (1) Sinners = hated by God (Psalm 5:5), and
    (2) Christ dying for us = God’s love for us (John 3:16)
    You can therefore rephrase Romans 5:8 as: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet [hated by Him], Christ still [loved us].”

    Therefore, you will never be able to fully appreciate God’s love until you acknowledge His hatred.

    No one can hate and love their mother at the same time. I would also say – no one is asked ever to do this in any biblical passage.

    Dead wrong again!

    Honour thy father and thy mother. Exodus 21:12

    If any man comes to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:26

    And your whole thing on the law and use of it as a basis for your defense of your positions is flawed. Do you keep the whole law? I am not saying it is wrong to do so – but do you? You use aspects of it as proof to your points about God and the way God feels

    The Old Testament was written precisely to help us learn about God (Romans 15:4). We are not under the Law, but the Law is still there (Matthew 5:17).

    The Bible verses you provided are true, but do not prove wrong anything I just said. You have to believe the whole counsel of God to be saved (Matthew 4:4). You are holding fast to your simple understanding of love and hate rather than holding fast to God’s word, which has a deeper (Isaiah 55:8) and more complicated (2 Peter 3:16) teaching on the matter than you are willing to study (2 Timothy 2:15) and submit yourself to (Romans 10:3); and this complacency will destroy you (Proverbs 1:32). Unless you repent, you will perish (Luke 13:5).

    I too have struggled with the concepts taught in the Word of God, and I was astonished when I realized that even if it seems so contradictory, ALL of God’s word is nevertheless true. “Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment” (Psalm 60:3). And, “My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live” (Job 27:6).

    The message to all of you:

    Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Proverbs 4:13

  50. I hate those dumb smiley faces. Where ever you see 8) in the above post, it’s supposed to be an eight and then an end parenthesis, i.e. Leviticus 19:18 and Isaiah 55:8.

  51. Joshua

    You need to come over and have a Beer and just Chill. God wants you to Chill out, that I am sure. And you know how I know that, my wife is Prophetic and she told me so.

  52. **Taking Jesus’ reasoning further, if God died only for people He loves, what glory has He? God’s perfect love is manifest in that while we were yet hated by Him, he still loved us.**

    This is something I’m not following. The Matthew passage says that if you love only those who love you back, what reward do you have? I’m not sure how this is connected to the idea of Jesus dying for only the people he loves, as the idea in Matthew is that you are to love everyone, regardless of their feelings towards you, or their connections towards you. The idea doesn’t seem to be to be kind or merciful to those you hate, but to rather not hate them in the first place — treat them the same. And even then, the Matthew passage is not tied to Jesus being God, it’s tied to the Father in Heaven. It’s to reflect the love of the Father, to love as the Father does — which is without discrimination. You are suppose to love those who hate you, not hate and love them at the same time. Or even be nice to those you hate. The idea isn’t that you do loving things towards those you hate, but that you don’t hate them.

    Even applying Psalms 5 to this might be a stretch, because according to the Harper Collins Study Bible, it’s about trusting in God for deliverence of enemies. The idea seems to be that God can be trusted because God doesn’t tolerate how the Psalmists enemies behave. The people identified in Psalms 5 are not humans as a whole — they are a specific type of humans, who are those who behave in a certain way. So to take the Psalms and say that it applies to every single person seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    **You can therefore rephrase Romans 5:8 as: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet [hated by Him], Christ still [loved us].”**

    I don’t think this can rephrase it that way, and not just for the reasons I mentioned above. The idea of God proving his love for us seems to be connecting the idea of God as the Father, because we are reconciled to that very God who “proves his love for us” by the death of that God’s Son, and much more by the life of God’s Son. So it’s not saying that even though we were hated by Christ, Christ still loved us. It’s saying that God proved His love for us by the death of His son.

    **As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3**

    A note on this one, in relation to hatred. While Romans does say that Esau have I hated, we also need to factor in that Jacon does say to Esau in Genesis 33, when the brothers are reconciling, that seeing Esau’s face is like seeing the face of God, which is an odd thing, if God hates Esau.

    ** You have to believe the whole counsel of God to be saved (Matthew 4:4).**

    But Matthew 4:4 says “It is written, one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” The concept here was about the temptation of Jesus. Right before this verse, it mentions that Jesus was famished, and Satan is basically telling Jesus to prove his power/authority and so forth, and take a materialistic solution to abate his hunger. And Jesus says that you don’t live by bread alone/material means, but rather must include God as a source, too. The point of this seemed to be how Jesus overcame the obstacles Satan threw at him.

  53. If by “God wants you to Chill out” you mean that I should be lukewarm, then you lie (Revelation 3:16). Also, there was a death penalty for people who prophecy falsely (Deuteronomy 13:1-5), so you’d best not make jokes like that.

    Also, I’m only 18: I don’t drink.

  54. Joshua……..

    That explains everything………youre just a Smart Pup……….dont worry life will work its magic on you yet.

    😉

  55. I’m not sure if I should even bother comprehensively rebuking you, OneSmallStep (2 Timothy 2:23). You’ve made the conscious decision to take one big step away from the Bible and towards a trust in man (Psalm 146:3), as evidenced by your reliance upon other people’s interpretations (” according to the Harper Collins Study Bible” and other such fallacies). You also need to re-read the passage in Matthew about loving your enemies, because it is about doing good to them. Finally, you need to start believing in Jesus Himself, because you denied Him when you denied Romans 9:13.

  56. You’re right, John. Some day, reality will smack him like a 2×4 between the eyes!

    Talk about being “puffed up” with knowledge, and experiencing the resulting self righteousness! That poor dude is terrified of God!

    Joshua, regardless of what anyone thinks of you, I love you (even though you probably won’t accept my love), and I want you to know that it doesn’t matter what you believe about God, or how you choose to live your life… you are the righteousness of God, fully redeemed by the Son, and perfect in the eyes of the Father.

    But, coming to that simple understanding will free your mind from all your fears, and will save your life from the bondage of religion. It will come!

    Peace!

  57. “That poor dude is terrified of God!” (BruceD)

    AMEN! I take that as a compliment!

    But He is unique, and who can make Him change?
    And what His soul desires, that He does.
    For He performs what is appointed for me,
    And many such things are with Him.
    Therefore I am terrified at His presence;
    When I consider this, I am afraid of Him.
    For God made my heart weak,
    And the Almighty terrifies me.

    Job 23:13-16.

  58. “I’m not sure if I should even bother comprehensively rebuking you” (Joshua)

    What good would that do when we are all in a conversation about the issues at hand and not in regards to something ‘ungodly’?

    “You’ve made the conscious decision to take one big step away from the Bible and towards a trust in man” (Joshua)

    This is a call you are not allowed to make – unless you know OSS real well and have read and dialogued with her in depth…have you? I would also note that you say this whenever you need to – to feel right about any issue you want – that others rely on their man-made interpretations and you do not. How can you be so sure they are relying on their own understanding when none of them actually promote selfish gain or any type of ungodliness. OSS just talked about the same scriptures you did and she is the one ‘in the wrong’? Because she quoted the use of a scripture by another person (Harper’s Collins) – now that’s funny.

    I love how you think, at 18, you have this all figured out…and others – who have studied – some for as long as you have been alive (or longer) – are either wrong or leaning not on God’s understanding of the texts. That my friend is called pride. When you need to appraoch others with a sense of humility in these areas – since you are calling people’s faith into question. I think you are sure about your faith – but what makes you think everyone else here isn’t as sure or even more sure?

    I am not saying you do not have a decent grasp on the scriptures – it’s fairly obvious you are fairly studied – but then – let’s see how studied.

    (1) In the time time of book of Acts – what amount of the bible that we have – did they actually have and use? For example, in Jerusalem – what scriptures did they have on-hand (like us) to quote and read from? Or in Galatia? Or Ephesus? I mean, we have 27 books and letters – and the whole Tanakh (OT) – what were they exactly using?

    (2) Is God’s love more amplified by His hate? Or is God’s love great irregardless of any hate?

    (3) In the law, kosher eating habits are part of the norm (and still are) – how come Christians can break thesw laws and yet still hold to the 10 commandments? Isn’t it hypocritical to hold to one law and not the others?

    (4) In the John story of Jesus and the adulteress – how come Jesus let her off the hook? There is a law that dictates how this should function…why did Jesus not adhere to it? What happened there that Jesus could offer mercy to someone caught in sin?

    (5) Have there been errors in the bible ever?

    (6) What sins did Jesus cover in the atonement? All sins or just the ones committed in ignorance? How well do you understand Leviticus laws in concerns with blood atonement or varities of atonement that are mentioned in the Tanakh?

    (7) If Jesus can simplify the faith into a few sentences (3 to be exact) – what is the point he is making there – ‘treat others how you want to be treated…love God and love your neighor as yourself’? Is that a good summation of the faith?

    There are a lot of questions out there – and I am touching a few one’s that provide some trouble to many people – and causes one to question their assurety concerning interpretations. I think it is fair to ask you these questions – you seem to think you have a great grasp on the scriptures – so much so – to call people’s faith into question and also to rebuke others you do not even know.

  59. What a way to live………to be afraid of the one who created you. What pretell does that have to do with Love. Nothing. Nada. Zippo…………..All that comes to mind is Pity.

  60. Josh,

    The problem I see with your response is that it addresses me as a person, rather than the content of my argument. You say you don’t want to bother rebuking me, and then decide to judge how I view the Bible/relate to Jesus simply because it doesn’t measure up with your view? You say I’m foolishly and ignorantly speculating, and yet don’t elaborate as to how. Don’t focus on me — focus on my analysis. Otherwise, it just sidelines the entire discussion.

    **as evidenced by your reliance upon other people’s interpretations (” according to the Harper Collins Study Bible” and other such fallacies). **
    Yet you ask us to rely on your interpretation. How is that not the same fallacy? You tell Society that he’s wrong, and then offer up your intrepration of various passages. Besides, it’s very important to understand the cultural context in which the BIble was written, and part of that involves using the knowloedge of those familiar with the times, such as the Harper Collins. Not only that, look at the Psalms itself, especially 5: 8-10. Those verses are describing the enemies themselves.

    And you’ve never read some sort of Study Bible that gives the historical background, or the Greek/Hebrew meaning of the word, and relied on those when reading the Bible? As soon as you rely on an ENglish translation, you are relying on another person’s interpreation.

    **You also need to re-read the passage in Matthew about loving your enemies, because it is about doing good to them. **
    Yes, but not while hating those same enemies. The idea is to love the enemies, not hate them. While you do good unto those who don’t love you, you also must love them. So I was unsure how that related to Jesus only dying for people he loves, since by the Matthew verse, he’s suppose to love everyone, as that’s what the Father in heaven does.

    **Finally, you need to start believing in Jesus Himself, because you denied Him when you denied Romans 9:13.**

    Umm … in what way did I deny Romans 9:13? I was addressing how you were using hatred by pointing out that we also need to address how Esau was treated in the end. Jacob did say that seeing his face was like seeing the face of God. So that needs to be factored into the aspect of hating Esau. I agreed with you on what the words themselves said.

  61. “I’m not sure if I should even bother comprehensively rebuking you” (Joshua)

    What good would that do when we are all in a conversation about the issues at hand and not in regards to something ‘ungodly’?

    Maybe I should have, and now I will.


    Response to OneSmallStep’s earlier post

    This is something I’m not following. The Matthew passage says that if you love only those who love you back, what reward do you have? I’m not sure how this is connected to the idea of Jesus dying for only the people he loves, as the idea in Matthew is that you are to love everyone, regardless of their feelings towards you, or their connections towards you.

    What you say is true. I suspected people would misunderstand what I said. I had trouble placing the word “only” in there because I knew it could introduce grammatical (and thus, conceptual) ambiguity to what I was saying. All I was doing in quoting that Matthew passage was using it to create a grammatical and logical parallelism. It was a stylistic addition. It was not the actual doctrinal basis for what I said. The basis for what I said followed afterward with the reconstruction of Romans 5:8 based on Psalm 5:5 and John 3:16.

    The idea doesn’t seem to be to be kind or merciful to those you hate, but to rather not hate them in the first place — treat them the same. And even then, the Matthew passage is not tied to Jesus being God, it’s tied to the Father in Heaven. It’s to reflect the love of the Father, to love as the Father does — which is without discrimination. You are suppose to love those who hate you, not hate and love them at the same time. Or even be nice to those you hate. The idea isn’t that you do loving things towards those you hate, but that you don’t hate them.

    That’s your exposition, and here’s mine. Jesus uses doing good to your enemies as an example of what He means by loving them:

    You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies: bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)

    Especially with v.45 in mind, Jesus is indeed as you say telling them to be loving without discrimination. But as it reveals with “for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good,” He is also saying that people err in not loving their enemies because, being fellow human beings on earth, their enemies are also their neighbors. This can be further confirmed in the story of the good Samaritan. So that was the heresy He was addressing: by saying “love your neighbor and hate your enemy” you are denying that enemies are neighbors. Jesus cannot be saying that you can’t hate your enemies – He never says that – to the contrary, Jesus Christ declares all throughout the Psalms as I’ve previously quoted that He hates His enemies and urges us to do the same.

    And so, your basic problem was that you took that passage out of the context of the rest of Scripture. Matthew 5:44 must harmonize with all the other places in Scripture where Jesus says He hates His enemies.

    Even applying Psalms 5 to this might be a stretch, because according to the Harper Collins Study Bible, it’s about trusting in God for deliverence of enemies. The idea seems to be that God can be trusted because God doesn’t tolerate how the Psalmists enemies behave. The people identified in Psalms 5 are not humans as a whole — they are a specific type of humans, who are those who behave in a certain way. So to take the Psalms and say that it applies to every single person seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    When did I say that Psalm 5:5 applies to every single person? And Psalm 5 is about trusting in God for deliverance from enemies. God can be trusted because God does not tolerate how the Psalmist’s enemies behave. And yes, Psalm 5:5-6 does not address all humans, but a specific type of human that behaves a certain way. All this is true. You are denying something that is true by saying words that are true, which is the same tactic used by the serpent in Genesis 3:5. The fact is, Psalm 5 says in verse 5 that God hates all those who do iniquity. Your study Bible is diverting your trust away from the Word of God.

    I don’t think this can rephrase it that way, and not just for the reasons I mentioned above. The idea of God proving his love for us seems to be connecting the idea of God as the Father, because we are reconciled to that very God who “proves his love for us” by the death of that God’s Son, and much more by the life of God’s Son. So it’s not saying that even though we were hated by Christ, Christ still loved us. It’s saying that God proved His love for us by the death of His son.

    You’re just arguing over words here (1 Timothy 6:4), with many speculative (“seems to be connecting…”) and intentionally ambiguous statements. You just can’t counter-act the Word of God with speculation. You’ve proven nothing… it says what it says.

    A note on this one, in relation to hatred. While Romans does say that Esau have I hated, we also need to factor in that Jacon does say to Esau in Genesis 33, when the brothers are reconciling, that seeing Esau’s face is like seeing the face of God, which is an odd thing, if God hates Esau.

    That Jacob says that has nothing to do with it. As individuals, Jacob served Esau. As nations, Esau/Edom served Jacob/Israel. Jacob was expressing his servitude to Esau as he would to God. God nevertheless hates Esau.

    But Matthew 4:4 says “It is written, one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” The concept here was about the temptation of Jesus. Right before this verse, it mentions that Jesus was famished, and Satan is basically telling Jesus to prove his power/authority and so forth, and take a materialistic solution to abate his hunger. And Jesus says that you don’t live by bread alone/material means, but rather must include God as a source, too. The point of this seemed to be how Jesus overcame the obstacles Satan threw at him.

    More arguments over words that have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. “but rather must include God as a source, too”? More like, “but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” That’s a pretty big difference. The context of Jesus’ statement does not change the content of the statement itself, at least not in this particular case.

    End of response to OneSmallStep’s earlier post

    Response to SocietyVs’s post (cont’d)

    This is a call you are not allowed to make – unless you know OSS real well and have read and dialogued with her in depth…have you? I would also note that you say this whenever you need to – to feel right about any issue you want – that others rely on their man-made interpretations and you do not. OSS just talked about the same scriptures you did and she is the one ‘in the wrong’? Because she quoted the use of a scripture by another person (Harper’s Collins) – now that’s funny.

    “You shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). I know a lot about OSS already simply by the one post she made, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Regarding interpretations: I make a huge effort to show that I am not teaching you my private interpretations by confirming every word I say using the Word of God. Thank God for chapters and verses, otherwise this would take forever. I try not to say things that have no Scriptural basis – I try not to go beyond what’s written (1 Cor. 4:6). Nevertheless, if I screw up and fail to quote or simply misapply Scripture, I will apologize. But no one has correctly judged me thus far on that (1 Cor. 2:15). I have been using the Word of God to show that other people are misusing it. As the salt and light of the earth, this is my God-given duty (2 Timothy 2:25).

    And so, I have a heck of a good reason to think I’m right about these things we’re talking about. No one’s correctly applied Scripture to correct me. If I die and burn in Hell because I’m wrong anyway, it is still my fault, but God will nevertheless require blood at your hands (Ezekiel 3:18-19).

    How can you be so sure they are relying on their own understanding when none of them actually promote selfish gain or any type of ungodliness.

    This very blog post all these comments came from promotes ungodliness via a misapplication of the Scriptures.

    I love how you think, at 18, you have this all figured out…and others – who have studied – some for as long as you have been alive (or longer) – are either wrong or leaning not on God’s understanding of the texts.

    God doesn’t care how old I am (Acts 10:34). You say: “That my friend is called pride.” God says:

    So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said:
    “I am young in years, and you are very old;
    Therefore I was afraid,
    And dared not declare my opinion to you.
    I said, ‘Age should speak,
    And multitude of years should teach wisdom.’
    But there is a spirit in man,
    And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.
    Great men are not always wise,
    Nor do the aged always understand justice.
    “Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me,
    I also will declare my opinion.'”
    Job 32:6-10.

    You further said:

    When you need to appraoch others with a sense of humility in these areas – since you are calling people’s faith into question. I think you are sure about your faith – but what makes you think everyone else here isn’t as sure or even more sure?

    Is it not humble to simply tell people what the Scripture says? It would be wrong not to correct them. Just because I am showing people what God’s Word says does not mean I am proud, for I am wholly undeserving of this honor, much like how Paul was undeserving of his (1 Corinthians 15:9). And I am not calling your faith in your god into question; I am calling into question whether your god is God. Surety must be in truth (Isaiah 48:1).

    Now to move on to your questions.

    (1) In the time time of book of Acts – what amount of the bible that we have – did they actually have and use? For example, in Jerusalem – what scriptures did they have on-hand (like us) to quote and read from? Or in Galatia? Or Ephesus? I mean, we have 27 books and letters – and the whole Tanakh (OT) – what were they exactly using?

    Although you cannot trust historians to tell us the truth about when the Gospels were written, I did not find any quotes from the Gospels in the book of Acts. Only quotes from all over the OT. So the Gospels were likely not written until later. I do not know how much of the epistles they had in Acts, if any, since Paul was only first converted in it.

    (2) Is God’s love more amplified by His hate? Or is God’s love great irregardless of any hate?

    Haven’t we talked about this before? Both are true.

    (3) In the law, kosher eating habits are part of the norm (and still are) – how come Christians can break thesw laws and yet still hold to the 10 commandments? Isn’t it hypocritical to hold to one law and not the others?

    Christians are not under the law, but under grace (John 1:17; Romans 6:14). “The law” specifically refers to the Mosaic law, which includes certain specific things we do not need to hold to anymore. Fleshly ordinances are gone (Hebrews 9:10). Christ is our sacrifice (Hebrews 7:27), our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7), our atonement (1 John 2:2), and our Sabbath (Hebrews 4:9-10). And, the Son of God has authority over the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8), and He likewise had the authority to declare all foods to be clean (Mark 7:18). Christians do keep the law, but all the law is fulfilled in Christ (Matthew 5:17), by walking in the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Romains 8:4).

    (4) In the John story of Jesus and the adulteress – how come Jesus let her off the hook? There is a law that dictates how this should function…why did Jesus not adhere to it? What happened there that Jesus could offer mercy to someone caught in sin?

    Jesus was illustrating the difference between the glorious ministry of death and the ever more glorious ministry of righteousness (2 Corinthians 3:7-11). We are not under the law anyway, as I said for the previous question, so she does not need to be put to death. Although “those who practice such things are deserving of death” (Romans 1:32), that is not to say that we have to put them to death. What’s important is that after Jesus said He doesn’t condemn her, He went on, “Go and sin no more.” What’s also important is that if she was to be put to death, then all those condemning her should have been put to death too, since they were all just as guilty. Thus the Law of God is preserved along with the new covenant — although all are deserving of death as the law correctly states, not all have to die, because of Jesus Christ.

    (5) Have there been errors in the bible ever?

    I don’t know if you’re talking about the Word of God or just any Bible. God’s Word itself is inerrant. But the KJV, the NKJV, the NIV, even the LITV, and just about every other translation I know of, has errors. The Word of God is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89), but down on earth, unfortunately, we only know in part (1 Corinthians 13:9).

    (6) What sins did Jesus cover in the atonement? All sins or just the ones committed in ignorance? How well do you understand Leviticus laws in concerns with blood atonement or varities of atonement that are mentioned in the Tanakh?

    All sins are covered (John 1:29). I don’t know much about blood atonement in the OT.

    (7) If Jesus can simplify the faith into a few sentences (3 to be exact) – what is the point he is making there – ‘treat others how you want to be treated…love God and love your neighor as yourself’? Is that a good summation of the faith?

    I’m not sure what you’re asking. It is a good summation of the faith, but beyond that I’m not sure what kind of answer you’re looking for.

    Response to OneSmallStep’s second post

    The problem I see with your response is that it addresses me as a person, rather than the content of my argument. You say you don’t want to bother rebuking me, and then decide to judge how I view the Bible/relate to Jesus simply because it doesn’t measure up with your view? You say I’m foolishly and ignorantly speculating, and yet don’t elaborate as to how. Don’t focus on me — focus on my analysis. Otherwise, it just sidelines the entire discussion.

    Good point

    **as evidenced by your reliance upon other people’s interpretations (” according to the Harper Collins Study Bible” and other such fallacies). **
    Yet you ask us to rely on your interpretation. How is that not the same fallacy? You tell Society that he’s wrong, and then offer up your intrepration of various passages.

    Earlier in this comment I explain that the words I speak are, to the best measure of my faith, not my interpretation but wholly based and confirmed by God’s word.

    Besides, it’s very important to understand the cultural context in which the BIble was written, and part of that involves using the knowloedge of those familiar with the times, such as the Harper Collins.

    The Bible is all you need (2 Timothy 3:16).

    And you’ve never read some sort of Study Bible that gives the historical background, or the Greek/Hebrew meaning of the word, and relied on those when reading the Bible? As soon as you rely on an ENglish translation, you are relying on another person’s interpreation.

    I don’t read historical background study Bibles no. I generally don’t read study Bibles. I read reference Bibles, and I use concordances, which are much more difficult for editors to insert their private interpretations into. And yes, you are relying on an English translator’s interpretation when you read an English translation. I use multiple, literal translations (NEVER the paraphrase Bibles) as well as the concordance to attempt to ascertain the original meaning to the highest degree that I can.

    **Finally, you need to start believing in Jesus Himself, because you denied Him when you denied Romans 9:13.**

    Umm … in what way did I deny Romans 9:13? I was addressing how you were using hatred by pointing out that we also need to address how Esau was treated in the end. Jacob did say that seeing his face was like seeing the face of God. So that needs to be factored into the aspect of hating Esau. I agreed with you on what the words themselves said.

    Then, having misunderstood your words, I repent of that particular accusation, but you nevertheless still show a greater trust in man than in God, which is not good and indicative that you are not saved.

  62. Joshua: Proverbs 5:5. “The unseen” is not given in the definition of H7585. “The unseen” is the definition for G86: “Properly unseen, i.e. “Hades”, or the place (state) of departed souls:— grave, hell.” In 2 Peter 2:4, Tartaros (G5020) is the Greek word used for an abyss of Hades where people are incarcerated in eternal torment. And with the frequent association of Gehenna (G1067) with fire, and the consistency with the other words translated as “hell,” it is evident they are all talking about essentially the same place/state. So yes, the oppressors will be oppressed in the unseen fire, the outer darkness, of hell. Nothing you said changes that.

    If these Bible references were talking about the same thing (“hell”), then why are there FOUR different words (one Hebrew, three Greek) used in the original texts? Why not just one Hebrew word and one Greek word? Again, this goes back to translator bias, due to theology made popular Tertullian, Augustine, and Jerome (responsible for rewriting the Latin Vulgate, which is what most English translations of the Bible are based on). And let’s not forget the Emperor Justinian, who CONDEMNED the teaching of Universal Restoration/Reconiliation — which is what every Christian leader subscribed to before the aforementioned three came along — in the sixth century, and embraced a doctrine of everlasting torment as gospel truth.

    Now, let’s look at these four words again…

    Gehenna was/is an actual location in Jerusalem, in the Valley of Hinnom. In Jesus’ day it was a place where people took their garbage to be burned. Today, it’s a garden. (There’s a website with photographs. I think they’re at wherethehellishell.com or something like that.) In the Gospels, Jesus referred to this location quite a few times. For example…

    And if your right hand is snaring you, strike it off and cast it from you, for it is expedient for you that one of your members should perish and not your whole body pass away into Gehenna. (Matthew 5:30, Concordant Literal New Testament)

    Of course, Jesus didn’t mean that someone’s body would be tossed into that valley literally, or that someone should literally cut off their right hand if it was “snaring” them. It’s all figurative speech. Again, Gehenna was where people took their garbage to be burned. They didn’t take anything that was good there. Now, let’s consider this: What did Jesus come to do? He came to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). IMO, the right hand represents sin. Gehenna is used to reference God’s refining fire, which purges sin from our lives. Jesus was saying it was better for someone to get the sin out of their lives and not let their entire being end up being consumed in God’s refining fire.

    “Tartarus” (or “tartaroo”) does appear only once in the NT…

    For if God spares not sinning messengers, but thrusting them into the gloomy caverns of Tartarus, gives them up to be kept for chastening judging; (2 Peter 2:4, CLNT)

    But Tartarus is NOT where the souls of “the unsaved” go, as traditional Christianity teaches. It is, as it says here, where the “sinning messengers” are — the deepest abyss of hades.

    “Hades” means the same thing as the Hebrew word “Sheol” — “the world of the dead”, which IS unseen to us mortals. (It is sometimes translated as “the grave”.)

    In that regard, consider the following verse…

    “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” ~ Revelation 20:14 (KJV)

    Some Christians believe hell and the “lake of fire” here are the same thing. Yet, how can hell be thrown into itself? This is one reference where “hell” = “hades”.

    It is also important to note that, while Strong’s (yes, I use it, too; and it is where I got my information) is a good resource, it also has some bias, as it is based on the King James Version…which is biased.

    Was the Doctrine of Hellfire Manufactured by Theologians?
    http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/hellfire2.htm

    Joshua: …but you nevertheless still show a greater trust in man than in God, which is not good and indicative that you are not saved.

    How dare you say that?! Last I checked, YOU’RE NOT GOD. Only God knows her heart.

    John T: What a way to live………to be afraid of the one who created you.

    Indeed. 😦

  63. Josh,

    **That’s your exposition, and here’s mine. Jesus uses doing good to your enemies as an example of what He means by loving them:**

    This may have been my fault, because my point here was that you don’t do good to someone you hate while hating them, but that when doing good, you must also love the person, too. Even with Jesus saying do good to those who hate you — you’re taking these verses and using them to say that God also hates people, as well, when nothing in the two Matthew verses indicate that.

    **When did I say that Psalm 5:5 applies to every single person? And Psalm 5 is about trusting in God for deliverance from enemies.**

    You earlier set up the following comparison:

    **Taking Jesus’ reasoning further, if God died only for people He loves, what glory has He? God’s perfect love is manifest in that while we were yet hated by Him, he still loved us. Since,
    (1) Sinners = hated by God (Psalm 5:5), and
    (2) Christ dying for us = God’s love for us (John 3:16)
    You can therefore rephrase Romans 5:8 as: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet [hated by Him], Christ still [loved us].”**

    If you are saying that sinners are hated by God, and that while God hated us, God loved us, and that every single person is a sinner, then you’d come across as applying Psalms 5:5 to every person, rather than just applying it to those who are the enemies mentioned in Psalms.

    **The fact is, Psalm 5 says in verse 5 that God hates all those who do iniquity. Your study Bible is diverting your trust away from the Word of God.**

    Yes, but you’re using this verse to prove that God both hates and loves the same person, like you said that you hate and love Society. The evildoers in Psalms 5 are those who are persecuting the Psalmist, not the random human being. If it’s a specific group, then you can’t take that Psalms and applying to to humanity as a whole (God both loves and hates us, God died for us).

    **You’re just arguing over words here (1 Timothy 6:4), with many speculative (”seems to be connecting…” and intentionally ambiguous statements. You just can’t counter-act the Word of God with speculation. You’ve proven nothing**

    Actually, I was trying to be polite with the “seems” to. I’ll be more direct. The Romans 5:8 verse, when using the word “God” is connecting it to the Father, not Jesus Christ. Look at the rest of Romans. Every time it uses the word “God,” it’s referring to the Father. Be at peace with God (the Father) through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom one can enter God’s grace. Christ died for us while sinners, and that’s proof of God’s love for us. While God’s enemies, we were reconciled by the death of His son. THis is especially prevelant in the fact that the set up is the comparison between the man Adam and the man Jesus Christ. THis is exactly why I don’t agree with your interpretation, because the text there isn’t connecting the use of the word “God” with Jesus Christ. It’s connecting “God” to the Father. That’s much more direct than saying that Jesus Christ is God, because then the meaning of God isn’t consistent throughout Romans 8.

    **More arguments over words that have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. “but rather must include God as a source, too”? More like, “but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” That’s a pretty big difference. **

    Man does not live by bread *alone.* You can live by both bread and every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Perhaps the “word of God” will be uttered to command bread to appear for man’s survival. But you are taking something that occurs in a specific situation and applying it to something out of context — Jesus’ refution of Satan while being tempted. You’re taking this verse and saying that salvation is dependent upon believing every word of the Bible, essentially.

    **Jesus cannot be saying that you can’t hate your enemies – He never says that **

    By saying if you only love those who love you, you have no reward isn’t saying that you can’t hate your enemies? And my basic point with my post was saying that you can’t take Matthew 5 and use it to say that God is both hating and loving people, because
    – to the contrary, Jesus Christ declares all throughout the Psalms as I’ve previously quoted that He hates His enemies and urges us to do the same.

    **That Jacob says that has nothing to do with it. As individuals, Jacob served Esau. As nations, Esau/Edom served Jacob/Israel. Jacob was expressing his servitude to Esau as he would to God. God nevertheless hates Esau.**

    Saying that seeing Esau’s face is like seeing the face of God has to do with servitude? The text doesn’t indicate that. Jacob is incredibly relieved and grateful that Esau has forgiven him. In fact, he spent the past night wrestling with an angel, and wresting with that angel was also seeing God face to face. Jacob is even astonished that Esau is being so kind, considering how Jacob treated Esau. Seeing Esau’s mercy and kindness is like seeing how God has behaved — and from this same person who God hates. It’s an odd comparison.

    **“You shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). I know a lot about OSS already simply by the one post she made, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).**

    So the fruits I’ve born — I’ve advocated killing everyone, hating everyone, persecuting everyone? What aspect of my post has done that? Where have I said that we should oppress the widows or orphans?

    ** don’t read historical background study Bibles no. I generally don’t read study Bibles.**

    I think you sould. Shelley’s post is one such example, given what the various words translated as “hell” have come to mean. Each portion of the Tanakh was written during a specific historical time, and so what was written is influencing those events.

    **And so, your basic problem was that you took that passage out of the context of the rest of Scripture.**

    What about the context of the verse itself, and where it falls in the Bible? That’s what I see happening in using a specific verse such as Psalms 5:5, or Matthew 4:4.

  64. A friend of mine, when asked the question, “do you believe the bible is infallible?”, thought about it for a moment and replied, “I believe God is infallible.”

    He also said that the bible is not the story of God, but the story of God is contained within it.

    I don’t know, but you guys arguing over specific words, phrases, and contexts reminds me of the old “can’t see the forest for the trees” adage.

  65. Bruce

    Maybe this is how we make better community. Through our struggles to understand “stuff” comes a nugget of truth and then maybe just maybe we learn to Love better.

  66. I agree John – community should be about our discussions and us being us – in relation to one another – and this involves our convo’s. Now granted we may not all agree – but I didn’t join the faith for that anyways – it’s important we are all allowed to be us and what we have learned – and that’s community. We are all at different stages of the game of life here – and that makes the convo that much deeper and meaningful.

  67. One thing I do know is that I don’t have to agree with you, or your thoughts, or your lifestyle, or your actions, or your desires… to love you deeply. I believe God feels the same way.

  68. shelly,

    Now I know where you’re getting your stuff. The page you linked me is full of poor reasoning, ignorance, and false or unsubstantiated facts. I could go through it with you, but we’d be getting way off in this discussion.

    The discussion at hand is essentially about how God feels about sinners, not about Hell. So if you want to pursue this discussion of words used for Hell further, then I will make my own blog post about it and we can talk there, but it’s your choice.

    It will be more for my benefit, not so much for yours, because at the end of your comment you denied Jesus Christ:

    John T: What a way to live………to be afraid of the one who created you.

    Indeed.

    Jesus Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1). To deny anything He says (and He siad Matthew 10:28) is therefore to deny Jesus Christ Himself.

    OneSmallStep,

    you’re taking these verses and using them to say that God also hates people, as well, when nothing in the two Matthew verses indicate that.

    Yes, nothing in the Matthew verses indicate that God hates them. I am simply putting that statement of Jesus’ into the context of the rest of Scripture which says that He does.

    **When did I say that Psalm 5:5 applies to every single person? And Psalm 5 is about trusting in God for deliverance from enemies.**

    You earlier set up the following comparison:

    **Taking Jesus’ reasoning further, if God died only for people He loves, what glory has He? God’s perfect love is manifest in that while we were yet hated by Him, he still loved us. Since,
    (1) Sinners = hated by God (Psalm 5:5), and
    (2) Christ dying for us = God’s love for us (John 3:16)
    You can therefore rephrase Romans 5:8 as: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet [hated by Him], Christ still [loved us].”**

    If you are saying that sinners are hated by God, and that while God hated us, God loved us, and that every single person is a sinner, then you’d come across as applying Psalms 5:5 to every person, rather than just applying it to those who are the enemies mentioned in Psalms.

    Distinction between those sinners who practice sin (unrepentant) and those who do not (repentant). All are sinners in a sense, but in another sense not all are (1 John 3:6). Psalm 5:5 is talking about those that practice it.

    Actually, I was trying to be polite with the “seems” to. I’ll be more direct. The Romans 5:8 verse, when using the word “God” is connecting it to the Father, not Jesus Christ. Look at the rest of Romans. Every time it uses the word “God,” it’s referring to the Father. Be at peace with God (the Father) through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom one can enter God’s grace. Christ died for us while sinners, and that’s proof of God’s love for us. While God’s enemies, we were reconciled by the death of His son. THis is especially prevelant in the fact that the set up is the comparison between the man Adam and the man Jesus Christ. THis is exactly why I don’t agree with your interpretation, because the text there isn’t connecting the use of the word “God” with Jesus Christ. It’s connecting “God” to the Father. That’s much more direct than saying that Jesus Christ is God, because then the meaning of God isn’t consistent throughout Romans 8.

    I don’t see how this changes anything. In other words, why does it matter that God refers to the Father? In what way does that contradict what I told you about God hating the wicked for whom Christ died?

    Man does not live by bread *alone.* You can live by both bread and every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Perhaps the “word of God” will be uttered to command bread to appear for man’s survival. But you are taking something that occurs in a specific situation and applying it to something out of context — Jesus’ refution of Satan while being tempted. You’re taking this verse and saying that salvation is dependent upon believing every word of the Bible, essentially.

    I don’t know how many times I will have to repeat myself, but how does the context in this situation change the content? That is the unanswered question. Amen, salvation is dependent upon believing every word of the Bible. Just look at what He says: “Man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). So man cannot live except by every word. And this makes sense, since Jesus is the Word (John 1:1). Nothing about Satan tempting Him changes that fact.

    **Jesus cannot be saying that you can’t hate your enemies – He never says that **

    By saying if you only love those who love you, you have no reward isn’t saying that you can’t hate your enemies? And my basic point with my post was saying that you can’t take Matthew 5 and use it to say that God is both hating and loving people, because
    – to the contrary, Jesus Christ declares all throughout the Psalms as I’ve previously quoted that He hates His enemies and urges us to do the same.

    Umm, I think you somehow intertwined my words “to the contrary […] to do the same” with your own words. You will have to fix this because I don’t understand what you’re saying; you didn’t appear to finish your sentence.

    **“You shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). I know a lot about OSS already simply by the one post she made, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).**

    So the fruits I’ve born — I’ve advocated killing everyone, hating everyone, persecuting everyone? What aspect of my post has done that? Where have I said that we should oppress the widows or orphans?

    You have advocated killing, hating, and persecuting everyone by keeping them out of the narrow gate and letting them go to hell (Matthew 23:13).

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