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Discussion in 'The OT' started by Bob Haller, Apr 9, 2005.

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  1. Apr 10, 2005 #21 of 110
    Bogy

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    The problem is not applying scripture to future events. If anything the problem is that too many American Christians spend way to much time trying to figure out future events when what they need to figure out is how to live today. The Old Testament prophets were not worried about prophesies for people living 3000 years later, they were helping the people they were living with right then deal with their relationships with each other and with God. Your whole conviction that scripture is so easy to understand and that so much of scripture refers to some far off event shows how little you understand about interpreting scripture.

    The minor prophets show the development of theology that had taken place by that period, as opposed to the time of Abraham to Moses. Micah 6:8 states a very similar thought to what Jesus states about what is required as the great commandment.

    Need a clear example of the change, of the clearing up of a misconception between the Old Testament and Jesus. The Old Testament states an "eye for an eye, and a life for a life." This sounds harsh and vindictive, but it was actually a call for limiting vengeance. Rather than killing a man in vengeance for taking your eye, you could only poke out his eye in return. Rather than killing a whole clan in return for someone having killed someone in your clan, you could only kill the murderer. Jesus however states, "you know the law that says, "an eye for an eye" but I tell you to turn the other cheek." Imagine that, Jesus moved from limiting your need for vengeance to a tit for tat, to forgiving the person who wronged you. You can start to see this theme in the minor prophets, but you sure don't see it when the Israelites entered the promised land. Did Jesus (God) change his mind? Decide to be more lenient all of a sudden? Or was this God's desire all along, and humans just wouldn't accept it. So either the writers of the Old Testament wrote it in a watered down state because they didn't like God's love of forgiveness, or God had to move humans along slowly, in steps. Heck, people today STILL don't buy "turn the other cheek," they STILL prefer "eye for an eye, life for life." And they don't even buy that one, they still prefer a life for an eye, a clan for a life. (Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.)

    And once again, WHICH written word is the infallible one. Certainly not ANY English translation. The original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. Which ones, because the manuscripts are NOT all the same, there ARE differences, it is NOT as easy to translate accurately as you think. And are you saying that my years of seminary study don't help in interpreting what the Bible, and God, is trying to tell us?
    Seminary is traditionally a three year program. The disciples spent 3 years with Jesus as their professor. That's about as close to seminary as you could get. If you have spent 3 physical years with Jesus I guess you can get by without the seminary degree. So which one do you have?
     
  2. Apr 10, 2005 #22 of 110
    SimpleSimon

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    Hey jonstad - I agree with you!

    Put that in your sig and smoke it. ;) :)
     
  3. Apr 11, 2005 #23 of 110
    pjmrt

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    The Old Testament, in describing the characteristics of Christ before He came - certainly. But I think it does more than that. Paul certainly considered the Old Testament scriptures important in his letter to Timothy. I don't think God does something contrary to the scriptures (since He authored them) - so its a great way to test new doctrine to see if it is from God or not. If it preaches something of human wisdom instead of what is plainly written, then it is false. Paul commends the Bereans for not just taking his word for things, but for searching the scriptures to see if they were true.

    Trying to keep the ceremonial law not called for? - I think I would agree with that. In essence, one is saying that Christ's death on the cross was not enough. But keeping the moral law (the heart of the 10 commandments) should not be motivated by fear of some "rule book" (for lack of better words), but as an outporing of our hearts due to Christ redeeming us. And as for the old testament law not offering forgiveness of sin?

    If my people, who are called by my name humble themselves and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

    Also, I believe the entire sacrifice system was to 1) offer them a way for forgiveness at that time, and 2) show them how badly they needed a Savior (the huge amounts of blood from the temple sacrifices should have provided a very significant impression. But there is a valid point in that God states, He does not desire sacrifices - He desires His people to obey (Jer and I Sam), do justice (Prov and Psalms, among others), a broken spirit - a broken and contrite heart (psalms and Isaiah). So I think the old law did offer forgiveness - but just a small taste of what was to come.

    So I agree as Christians trying to keep the old law w.r.t. the ceremonial law and dietary law is contrary to the Gospel. And even the moral law, if done from a "works" perspective, is contrary to the Gospel. But our attitude should be to keep the moral law, but not by our strength or as some rules, but because we have the spirit of the One who wrote those laws inside us.

    I had a sunday school teacher, many years ago, tell me - they say you can't keep the 10 commandments, but have you tried? It may not be possible, given our human nature, to keep the law - but I don't think that should keep us from trying. Just so we're not trying to do so for the wrong reason. It doesn't save us. Jesus already did that. We should want to be more like Jesus. Jesus did not oppose the Pharasees because they obeyed the law - but rather that they had become bound up in legalism, setting layer upon layer of law to prevent anyone from even coming close to breaking a "law". They taught the doctrines of men over that of God. And in the process, they lost sight of what it was all about. Those who want to "sanitize" the old testament to make it more paletable for modern culture and human philosophy should also remember the Saducces who generally supported Herod (in fact their following was generally the ruling class - not the people), rationalist and more carnal, and they rejected the authority of the Bible outside the 5 books of Moses.
     
  4. Apr 11, 2005 #24 of 110
    stonecold

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    As a personal rule I will not give but a 5 spot at the normal sunday serman. I tend to give more when the my church ( non - cathloic ) when they are doing something for the community or for the well being of man kind. There was an empty lot down the street from the church that was collecting junk that people would drop off there just because it was a vacant lot. The church had a bake sale/ fair type things with games and other things and raised enough money to buy the lot from who ever owned it and then built a play ground on that lot of land. Now I donated many hours of my time and even raffled away an Free 811 with install, plus gave 150 dollars out of my pocket to the till for this. But if it is a church thing like the sunday collection plate i say screw it. While I cant speak for God, I am sure he is not going to fault me for only donating when I know where the money goes to and that it is a cause I belive in.

    I happen to know many cathloics, my wife happens to be cathloic, and it has been a center of hostility between me and her father. Her father sends over well a "father" who always trying to convert me over to being one of them. They wont accept the fact I should be free to practice my own religion and that I respect theres. There are some things I find personally ridiculus that the cathloic "father" says are rules I should respect. Example last time the good "father" was at my house he had the nerve to talk about birth control. And very proudly in a sense stated how it was frown appon by the church. My answer to him was simply that great my wife does not use birth control and I will never make her use it if she does not want to. But since I am not cathloic I told him that I wish he would respect my wishes since in my religion birth control is not frown at.

    I have not a big fan of the local cathloics in my town not one bit so anything I say is towards them and not towards other cathloics. Since I have only experienced the ones in my town, I can not judge the largest religon in the world based on the experiences of a few people.

    Another thing I dont like, I have as of yet have had a intellgent conversation about evolution and religon with a catholic. Now my priest is great I have had long 3 hour converstations about the what if factor. That it is possible that some where between creationism and evolution is the truth. Catholics dont want to hear this along with most other religons i just happen to have an enlighten priest. One example of the inbetween I talk about. What if, we follow the big bang /evolution theory, but we add an twist, God caused the big bang. Then how exactly did those micro baceteria get on those microscope pieces of carbon etc. some how they must of gotten there. The odds of these of everything the way it happened on earth of absonomical.. What if the whole thing was a setup from the start. God had kinda got the evolutionary ball running . Then there is the 7 day thing. Who says 7 days to god are measured in the same amount of time that us humans mesausre time.

    Bob, the great thing about being american is that you dont have to do what you dont have to. I say if you have grevences against the church then dont go and practice your faith by your self or find another church of another demonation.
     
  5. Apr 11, 2005 #25 of 110
    pjmrt

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    I'll agree that modern Christians get too wound up in thinking about future events. But often the prophets did not know when the prophecy would be fullfilled. Obviously, some of the prophecies about the coming Messiah were centuries away when they spoke them and some are yet to be fullfilled (but which will be fullfilled - I think this is certain since the track record on accuracy is excellant).

    Why not any english translation? What specific inconsistancies? Most of what is claimed as inconsistancies are actually scribe copy errors, spelling errors and the like. And that is a very small portion of the scriptures and doesn't change the intent. The original manuscripes are over 98% texually pure and there is no reason to not consider it "infallable". The rise of the philosophy that the Bible contained error comes from around the 1700s (hmmm, a little bit of time from Jesus) and was started by people who ultimately didn't believe the Bible, probably because they trusted logic rather than the word. They couldn't see how that come happen that way, therefore it must not have. If you examine the critics, you can see the underlying theories (human philosophy) that it is based on.

    But again, what manuscript inconsistencies? And why is this a new thing -couldn't earlier (say 1000 years ago or even 500 years ago) master Greek and Hebrew well enough to notice?

    As I said before - yes there are some people in seminary who agree with you teach this stuff - theories stated as fact. Many refute it. It seems rather odd to me though, in that they seem have as their goal to cast doubt and suspician on the one Book that tells us of what we need to do to be saved. And the goal? To appear more like the world? At least to not "offend" the world with outmoded beliefs of right and wrong and encourage a more modern approach?
     
  6. Apr 11, 2005 #26 of 110
    pjmrt

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    Jonstad (and Simon too, since I guess he agrees with you), you are mistaken. First, if you look, it doesn't start with the Jews. But from Adam, God narrows His focus more and more, ultimately to the people we call Jews so that they would "represent" Him to the world - that they would see there is indeed one true God and come to Him. But He did not turn His back on the others. In fact, the King of Babylon, Nebecanazer, ultimately acknowledged God as God. And he was not the only one.

    And God does not set around fretting why humans don't worship Him more. God loves us - He loves me and He loves you and Simon. He really would prefer to see you have life. But He's fair enough to let you choose. And if you want to choose an eternity without Him (hell - sorry only two choices here), He will allow you to make that choice. The Bible says there is great joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. It doesn't say, but I suspect is also true, that there are a few tears for the sinners who do not repent, but chose their eternal existance without God in hell. But it is your choice to make. To me, it would make since to choose life. But ultimately it is your choice to make for yourself.
     
  7. Apr 11, 2005 #27 of 110
    jonstad

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    Tell me about it! makes you wonder what THEY'VE been smokin'. I got to get me some of that.

    On second thought, I'll just say no.:nono: Seems to make you quite, and sometimes dangerously, delusional!:HappyGree
     
  8. Apr 11, 2005 #28 of 110
    Ray_Clum

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    Actually, the Ten Commandments aren't some high, lofty standard for life; but they are God's guidelines for the bare minimums for decent society. I think that most on this board, including our resident atheists/agnostics would agree with all but one or two (no other God's before me and keeping the Sabbath holy). Jesus came to say, yes, this is the bare minimum, here's the higher standard...

    Think of them as guard rails on the road, as long as you stay between them, you're okay; but when you drift outside them, problems occur.
     
  9. Apr 11, 2005 #29 of 110
    jonstad

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    Could you point me to the passages where the Old Testament God instructed the Jews to go out and evangelize or make converts? Aside from the occasional "virgins" they were allowed after they'd slaughtered entire populations, including livestock? Seems like the only thing the OT God wanted the Jews to "represent" was death and destruction.

    Interestingly enough, the Ten Commandments don't even state there is only one God, only that, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me", particularly the Jews. In fact, the statement specifically implies "other gods". And later "for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God". Who or what, and why would God be "jealous" if no other gods exist? It's a logical fallacy. It makes no sense to be jealous of something, or somethings, that don't exist.

    And since we're all so fond of "literalness", what the OT God is LITERALLY saying here is not to worship or acknowledge other gods because He will be jealous, NOT that there were no other gods. And this message was directed at and intended for, and only for, the Hebrews. The Jews were well aware of other peoples' gods and their powers. Didn't the magic of Moses' God defeat the magic of the Egyptian gods in pharoah's palace? The Jews just believed their God was more powerful then other people's gods, as conversely I'm sure, other people's held about their own gods. For the Jews, if you didn't believe in their God, you were as good as dead and they would often, at the direction of their God, accomodate others to that condition. And I am also unaware of the Hebrew God enjoining the Jews to go out and convince, or even force, others to believe in their God. Again, perhaps you could point me to the relevant passage?

    So I'm a little at a loss here to how you think the Jews were supposed to "represent" their God?:scratchin
     
  10. Apr 11, 2005 #30 of 110
    Danny R

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    I think that most on this board, including our resident atheists/agnostics would agree with all but one or two

    Only half actually. #5-9 are important.

    Of the 10 commandments, only 4 are considered important enough to be made into laws we prosecute today (6-9), and 1 of those (#7 - adultery) is rarely pushed as a criminal act (although it is a big factor in divorce cases).

    Our capitalist society is pretty much built on the whole notion of breaking the 10th commandment. ;)

    The Golden Rule is a much better guide to behavior than the 10 comandments in my opinion.
     
  11. Apr 11, 2005 #31 of 110
    jonstad

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    Agreed, they are societal rules. And with various nuance, essentially the same as the "rules" nearly every "society" in history has similarly adopted. And therefore, it's a safe assumption that these are human guidelines, not the work of one or many gods. The ones referencing gods, and many society's "rules" include these too, are also likely to be human in origin, just as the gods they intend to protect are.

    Societies tend to invent rules and humans tend to invent gods. The difference of course is societal "rules" tend to be fairly uniform and necessary while "gods" tend to vary widely, which makes them almost by definition superfluous and unnecessary.

    Every "believer" thinks their "god" is the one true god and all the others are "inventions".
     
  12. Apr 11, 2005 #32 of 110
    Tusk

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    I've already responded to this statement once before. See discussion after second quote.

    www.dbstalk.com/showpost.php?p=333172&postcount=85
     
  13. Apr 11, 2005 #33 of 110
    billpa

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    What happens to a kid from a Buddhist family in Asia who dies at, say, age 6. never had a chance to hear about christianity, but HAS had enough time to sin.
    Does he go to heaven or hell?
     
  14. Apr 11, 2005 #34 of 110
    Tusk

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    There is a theory known as the "Age of Accountability" which denotes that age at which a person becomes mature enough to be held responsible by God for his or her sins. Before this age, God does not hold the child responsible for choosing the good over the evil (because we are all sinners from the moment we are born).

    There is Biblical support for this theory, however, the determination for a specific age that a person becomes accountable has not been agreed upon. Traditionally, the age has been 13, but the Bible does lend credibility to the idea that it is 20.
     
  15. Apr 11, 2005 #35 of 110
    billpa

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    What about someone from deep inside Papua New Guinea who was 40 when they died but never heard about Christianity? Heaven or Hell?
     
  16. Apr 11, 2005 #36 of 110
    Danny R

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    but the Bible does lend credibility to the idea that it is 20.

    I really don't think that can be a valid interpretation except in today's society where we delay legal rights for kids. And since this is a question of mental maturity rather than legal, it thus wouldn't carry over.

    Physically 13 is a logical choice because that is the average age when children hit puberty. In ancient societies women were often married at this time, and 14 was a common age of manhood for boys.
     
  17. Apr 11, 2005 #37 of 110
    Tusk

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    As a result of the Jews rebellion against God at the border of Canaan (Israel).
    I am not saying that this is the correct age, I am only giving the verses that could be used to establish accountability at 20 years of age.
     
  18. Apr 11, 2005 #38 of 110
    Laverne

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    OK, I'll jump in here...although I must preface my comments by saying I object to the title of this thread, given the timing. I think it is in poor taste. (And therefore will reserve my Catholic church comments for some other time, if any.)

    What was I gonna say?

    Age of accountability: I believe there is such a thing. However, I have always been taught (Let me add this is also what I personally believe...) that it is somewhat subjective, more of some point in time when you become aware that there is a God to answer to for your sins, and that you need to accept Jesus' atonement for them, and only you and God know when that time really is. I don't know about the natives over in Africa. But I do know that if we as Christians had all accepted our mission in The Great Commission, lots more people would have heard God's Word than presently have. If they (or even our next-door neighbor) do go to hell, I would say there are a lot of us who will have some of that blood on our hands.

    Tusk, the verses you quoted were from the OT.

    pjmrt, being a fellow Southern Baptist, what do you think?

    Go ahead, jonstad.... (You closet agnostic, you! ;) )
     
  19. Apr 11, 2005 #39 of 110
    Danny R

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    As a former southern baptist (I think my membership is still active though), we certainly do believe in an age of accountability. Baptists specifically reject the whole idea of infant baptism or christening because they feel that parents can not make salvation decisions about children. Thus we certainly feel that infants are innocent and won't go to hell if they are too young to be baptized.

    There is no specific set age assigned for this accountability as such, as it varies from person to person based on their maturity, but in my experience many feel that 12-13 is about right. In fact usually our church wouldn't baptise someone until they were about this age. The story of young Jesus going back to the temple to question the priests is used as an example of when a child is old enough to begin understanding how to serve God.

    although I must preface my comments by saying I object to the title of this thread, given the timing. I think it is in poor taste. (And therefore will reserve my Catholic church comments for some other time, if any.)

    Seems to me that now is exactly the time to state what is wrong with the Church, as now is the time when the Church picks the direction it hopes to head in the future.

    The paper today for instance noted that most US Catholics object to the Church's views on birth control, celebacy and women as priests, and think the new pope should make changes here.
     
  20. Apr 11, 2005 #40 of 110
    jtcbowler

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    Grow Up
     
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