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Bald Ape
10-10-2014, 01:37 PM
A thought experiment for Christians:

One day, God sends an angel to you with a unique gift - the opportunity to wear what the angel calls "God-Glass". The idea is similar to Google-Glass; it's a pair of glasses you can put on and wear around, and they'll present information (to your eyes only) based on what's happening around you. The difference is that God-Glasses will display messages directly from God, and those messages will spell out the exact actions that He feels are the best way for you to serve Him. Through a steady stream of messages, he'll feed you the exact manner in which you should conduct yourself so as to live a life that best serves Him.

The angel explains, "This is a gift from God to you, for accepting Jesus' sacrifice. It is the removal of all doubt, in all situations, of what is *actually* the best way to serve God. It's a gift offered with no strings attached - you can take it, or not, and use it, or not. The device will in no way interfere with your thoughts or your heart, and will not infringe on your free will: you'll always be able to freely choose to do anything other than what God tells you is the best action to take."

"Only you would be aware of the glasses. Nobody else would see them, and they'll integrate into your life seamlessly. For split-second decisions or complex instructions, God-Glass will actually freeze time, giving you all the time you need to contemplate the path He recommends and whether you'd like to follow that path. Once you've made your choice, time will unfreeze and to everyone around you, it will seem as though you've come to your decision in a very natural way."

"The key to the glasses is that they'll give you direction for everything," the angel continues. "You see, at every single turn of your life, there are many options which may be varying degrees of "okay" with God, but there's always one option that God would deem as "the best" way to serve Him. It's kind of like in chess - you may have many good moves, but an infinitely wise chess engine would always be able to tell you which one is truly the best. And in life, there actually is a "best" choice for everything: what outfit to wear, what to have for breakfast, what to watch on T.V., where to go on vacation, what words to say to your spouse, etc. With God Glass, you can get it all, every minute of every day... it's literally a live-feed of the script of the best possible life you could lead in servitude to Him, and it'd be completely up to your freewill to choose to follow the script."

"If you'd like to use it," the angel tells you, "there's also an autopilot mode that you can turn on/off whenever you'd like. With autopilot on, you'll still see and have time to consider the actions God wants, but unless you switch autopilot off, your body will automatically carry out those actions for you (you'll be able to just "go along for the ride"). In short, with autopilot turned on, you won't even need to lift a finger; if a finger needs to be lifted to serve His divine will, God-Glass will lift it for you."

The angel continues: "You've already accepted Jesus's sacrifice, and so long as you don't rescind that, your eternal destiny in God's Kingdom is sealed. All that remains is living out the rest of your life here on Earth however you see fit. God-Glass is simply an opportunity for you to know EXACTLY the best way to use that life to serve Him, every step of the way."

You spot a red button on the glasses, and ask what it's for. "That" says the angel, "is autopilot lock." "You can press it of your own free will, but doing so is effectively choosing to give up your freewill for the rest of your life. If you press it, autopilot will turn on and stay on for the rest of your life - all that will be left is to keep your faith in Jesus, and enjoy the ride that is your life being lived out exactly as best serves God." The angel pauses again. "Well, there is one way to undo autopilot lock: at any point from now until the day you die, you may choose to reject Jesus's sacrifice and accept eternal separation from God... with that choice, you would lose your God Glass, autopilot and all."

------------

So, the thought experiment: would you accept the gift? Would you wear it occasionally? Always? Would you ever use the auto-pilot mode? Would you be willing to dedicate your life, once and for all, to serving God - and just press the red button?

If you answer "no" to any of these, under what circumstances you would not want to know the best way to serve God? Under what circumstances would you want to be able to override autopilot, and do something other than serve God as best you could? If you wouldn't press the red button, why not? What alternative fate would you prefer to living your life in God's service?

Country Sparrow
10-10-2014, 01:56 PM
I'd wear the glasses all the time for a year and a day just to see how it goes. Most people who've read the Bible cover to cover say it takes that long, so I'll give the glasses the same period of time.

Now I keep hearing the Looney Tunes Marvin the Martian line playing in my head. "Don't push this red one!" http://www.gargaro.com/webpages/martian.gif

Teallaura
10-10-2014, 02:28 PM
I avoid taking gifts from demons. If God wanted puppets, He'd have created us that way. If God wants to talk to us, He is perfectly able. No where in Scripture does God use a medium to talk to His prophets (He did get Moses attention with a burning bush once) so why would He need one to tell me what to do?

In answer to the unspoken question, God doesn't seem to want us to be like three year olds needing constant input (no, honey, don't play in the litter box!) so such a 'gift' is inherently suspicious. Angel Boy isn't any help - it's Scripture, not visions, that we are to use as a guide when in doubt. The whole concept is at odds with Scriptural teaching - why bother teaching us to seek wisdom if God is gonna spoon feed us the answers? So not only would I not take it because it doesn't really come from God, I wouldn't take it because it is an antithesis of what God wants me to be.

Christianbookworm
10-10-2014, 02:34 PM
I avoid taking gifts from demons. If God wanted puppets, He'd have created us that way. If God wants to talk to us, He is perfectly able. No where in Scripture does God use a medium to talk to His prophets (He did get Moses attention with a burning bush once) so why would He need one to tell me what to do?

In answer to the unspoken question, God doesn't seem to want us to be like three year olds needing constant input (no, honey, don't play in the litter box!) so such a 'gift' is inherently suspicious. Angel Boy isn't any help - it's Scripture, not visions, that we are to use as a guide when in doubt. The whole concept is at odds with Scriptural teaching - why bother teaching us to seek wisdom if God is gonna spoon feed us the answers? So not only would I not take it because it doesn't really come from God, I wouldn't take it because it is an antithesis of what God wants me to be.
Yep! God is not a micro-manager. He gave us a prefrontal cortex and expects us to use it!

Country Sparrow
10-10-2014, 02:52 PM
And yet the communications people receive can be confusing and just as easily be from demons or God, if we're left to our own devices to figure out which.


An angel sent from God can't deliver a demonic gift to humankind. Unless God consorts with demons and seeks to trick us.

Teallaura
10-10-2014, 02:53 PM
And yet the communications people receive can be confusing and just as easily be from demons or God, if we're left to our own devices to figure out which.


An angel sent from God can't deliver a demonic gift to humankind. Unless God consorts with demons and seeks to trick us.But a demon can take the guise of an angel.

We aren't left to our own devices - that's what Scripture is for!

Christianbookworm
10-10-2014, 02:54 PM
Ever heard of lying? How would you know that the angel was legitimately from God or a demon falsely claiming to be such?

Teallaura
10-10-2014, 02:57 PM
An angel won't conflict with Scripture - and 'God' suddenly offering to give us all the answers most definitely conflicts!

This is also why we are told to leave the spirit world alone - we get confused enough on this one, thanks.

Manwë Súlimo
10-10-2014, 04:04 PM
If it looks anything like wearing Google glass, I'd punch the angel for trying to make me look like a ponce.

Country Sparrow
10-10-2014, 04:12 PM
If it looks anything like wearing Google glass, I'd punch the angel for trying to make me look like a ponce. :lol: Angel with black eye flaps in crazy circles back to Heaven.

God: "George! What happened to you son?"

Black Eyed George: "I ran into a Yahoo fan!"

Country Sparrow
10-10-2014, 04:14 PM
Ever heard of lying? How would you know that the angel was legitimately from God or a demon falsely claiming to be such? I was taking the OP narrative to be an absolute. As in God did send....

The point of the exercise being, would you accept God's word and literally live according to the guidance of the holy spirit with the help of God directly and uniquely communicating to you personally at all times?
Or would your ego doubt God, even that God would communicate now in such a way, and elect to continue life on your own?

Satanic deception never entered my mind.

Christianbookworm
10-10-2014, 04:25 PM
I was taking the OP narrative to be an absolute. As in God did send....

The point of the exercise being, would you accept God's word and literally live according to the guidance of the holy spirit with the help of God directly and uniquely communicating to you personally at all times?
Or would your ego doubt God, even that God would communicate now in such a way, and elect to continue life on your own?

Satanic deception never entered my mind.

To resolve said paranoia(which may be justified) said entity shall be asked a series of questions to ascertain the true nature of said entity. If they say something heretical is true or say that I shouldn't ask questions... well I sure ain't accepting the deal. For it may be a deal with the Devil.

Scrawly
10-10-2014, 04:41 PM
I was taking the OP narrative to be an absolute. As in God did send....

The point of the exercise being, would you accept God's word and literally live according to the guidance of the holy spirit with the help of God directly and uniquely communicating to you personally at all times?
Or would your ego doubt God, even that God would communicate now in such a way, and elect to continue life on your own?

Satanic deception never entered my mind.

Despite the fact that the OP is unnecessarily verbose and somewhat convoluted, I think you correctly ascertained the point of the thought experiment. I think it is a volitional issue, and at its core, the thought experiment might be attempting to convey the message that if we forsake the God-glasses, then we will likewise find heaven a rather hellish experience (this fails to take into consideration our "flesh", of course), though I could be way in left field here as a result of sleep deprivation. :smile:

Christianbookworm
10-10-2014, 04:53 PM
Still seems micromanagey. We have the Holy Spirit for matters of right and wrong already. We don't need to be told what to wear and eat.

Teallaura
10-10-2014, 05:06 PM
Despite the fact that the OP is unnecessarily verbose and somewhat convoluted, I think you correctly ascertained the point of the thought experiment. I think it is a volitional issue, and at its core, the thought experiment might be attempting to convey the message that if we forsake the God-glasses, then we will likewise find heaven a rather hellish experience (this fails to take into consideration our "flesh", of course), though I could be way in left field here as a result of sleep deprivation. :smile:
What part of 'Lord' was it that you guys think we didn't understand?

As Christians the object is to be remade in the image of God as was originally intended - to let that image be reborn in us. It's not to become puppets nor to become God (fat chance on that last one) but to become like Him. That's a long, sometimes painful process called sanctification and it doesn't come with constant commentary. IF God did that we couldn't gain real wisdom - we'd be forever reliant on His direct input like a child that never grows up. That interferes with, not improves, the process. Yes, we are to attend to what God says and to obey His commands - but God doesn't micromanage - He wants us to learn and to grow and for that we have to use His guidance, not His supervision.

Scrawly
10-10-2014, 05:34 PM
What part of 'Lord' was it that you guys think we didn't understand?

As Christians the object is to be remade in the image of God as was originally intended - to let that image be reborn in us. It's not to become puppets nor to become God (fat chance on that last one) but to become like Him. That's a long, sometimes painful process called sanctification and it doesn't come with constant commentary. IF God did that we couldn't gain real wisdom - we'd be forever reliant on His direct input like a child that never grows up. That interferes with, not improves, the process. Yes, we are to attend to what God says and to obey His commands - but God doesn't micromanage - He wants us to learn and to grow and for that we have to use His guidance, not His supervision.

So in other words, you are not going to answer the OP's thou8ght experiment because he has misrepresented Christianity?

Teallaura
10-10-2014, 05:43 PM
So in other words, you are not going to answer the OP's thou8ght experiment because he has misrepresented Christianity?No, I answered it. Both as worded and as interpreted. In both cases rejection is the correct answer because the experiment does not lead to the type of growth and conformation that God desires. It's just an extended childhood - which is what makes it such a poor analogy to the real thing.

Christianbookworm
10-10-2014, 05:43 PM
So in other words, you are not going to answer the OP's thou8ght experiment because he has misrepresented Christianity?

It fits with some Christians thinking that God does care what color socks they wear. Rather naive.

Teallaura
10-10-2014, 05:45 PM
Hey! I do think God cares about socks - I don't think He micromanages them without cause, however....

Christianbookworm
10-10-2014, 05:47 PM
Hey! I do think God cares about socks - I don't think He micromanages them without cause, however....

:yes: They keep your feet warm and reduce blisters. I meant in a morality sense. Of course He knows what socks you wear.

Country Sparrow
10-10-2014, 06:33 PM
Hey! I do think God cares about socks - I don't think He micromanages them without cause, however.... Oh, please! If God cared about socks he'd have sent the dryer sock monster to Hell eons ago! http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-chores003.gif

Bald Ape
10-10-2014, 11:48 PM
Edit: whoops, left off quote:


I'd wear the glasses all the time for a year and a day just to see how it goes. Most people who've read the Bible cover to cover say it takes that long, so I'll give the glasses the same period of time.





Seems pragmatic. I guess this is pretty speculative, but, if the God-Glass proved to be a no-frills version of exactly what it was billed to be (so, for that entire year+day, every single guideline seemed sensible and in accordance with scripture, if not perhaps surprising from time to time), would you expect to enjoy and wish to continue living out your life with it turned on?

Bald Ape
10-11-2014, 12:01 AM
I avoid taking gifts from demons. If God wanted puppets, He'd have created us that way. If God wants to talk to us, He is perfectly able. No where in Scripture does God use a medium to talk to His prophets (He did get Moses attention with a burning bush once) so why would He need one to tell me what to do?

In answer to the unspoken question, God doesn't seem to want us to be like three year olds needing constant input (no, honey, don't play in the litter box!) so such a 'gift' is inherently suspicious. Angel Boy isn't any help - it's Scripture, not visions, that we are to use as a guide when in doubt. The whole concept is at odds with Scriptural teaching - why bother teaching us to seek wisdom if God is gonna spoon feed us the answers? So not only would I not take it because it doesn't really come from God, I wouldn't take it because it is an antithesis of what God wants me to be.

1) Not a demon - in the hypothetical, this was an angel sent from God. No tricks (at least, none intended) up my sleeve here.
2) Not a puppet - you'd have freewill. Think of this as a "Personalized Commandments stream" - an opportunity for God to provide you guidelines just a little more refined/personalized than the original 10 recorded in Scripture.
3) "If God wants to talk to us, He is perfectly able. No where in Scripture does God use a medium to talk to His prophets (He did get Moses attention with a burning bush once)"
How does this statement not amount to "Nowhere in Scripture does God use a medium to talk to His prophets (except when he does)"? Not trying to be snarky here - I've just read that sentence 3 times now and I can't figure out what you're trying to say. "... so why would He need one to tell me what to do?" Mysterious ways, man, mysterious ways...
4) "In answer to the unspoken question, God doesn't seem to want us to be like three year olds needing constant input (no, honey, don't play in the litter box!) so such a 'gift' is inherently suspicious" Well, he did feel the need to point out the whole "Thou shalt not steal" and such. Coincidental with your statement, both of my sons had figured that one out by age 3. Using that precedence, I'm not sure the proposed product is really a categorical change in behavior here, just a matter of degree.

Bald Ape
10-11-2014, 12:05 AM
Yep! God is not a micro-manager. He gave us a prefrontal cortex and expects us to use it!

Again, I'll refer to "Thou shalt not steal." AKA "Don't take something away from someone else if it's theirs, not yours". Established precedence would seem to indicate that while God may well have given that prefrontal cortext, he's not exactly setting a high bar on how adept we are at using it.

Bald Ape
10-11-2014, 12:08 AM
If it looks anything like wearing Google glass, I'd punch the angel for trying to make me look like a ponce.

:lol:

Okay, for the record, this thread is *totally* open for this or any other variations of mockery of Google glass. I guess my hypothetical, in addition to saying other people couldn't see the GodGlass, should've made it a clear option for the device itself (beyond its output) could be hidden from the wearer's visibility as well.

Bald Ape
10-11-2014, 12:43 AM
Despite the fact that the OP is unnecessarily verbose and somewhat convoluted, I think you correctly ascertained the point of the thought experiment. I think it is a volitional issue, and at its core, the thought experiment might be attempting to convey the message that if we forsake the God-glasses, then we will likewise find heaven a rather hellish experience (this fails to take into consideration our "flesh", of course), though I could be way in left field here as a result of sleep deprivation. :smile:

Firstly, apologies for the verbosity! As I was trying to put this thought experiment together, I was trying to package it up in a way that addressed potential concerns (i.e. the "appearance factor" of Google Glass, which nevertheless still cropped up in the responses :-) ), but it did wind up getting wordier than I'd anticipated.

Anyway - I wasn't really going for any heavenly implications, or trying to make some subtle "gotcha" point of "AHA - if you said X about God-Glass, then you'd have to admit that Heaven would actually suck!" -no, was not going there.

Many times, I've encountered the sentiment from Christians that there's a certain comfort in the simplicity of a moral code which boils down to "just trust and obey God in all things". The popularity of the 10 Commandments seems to be their directness: "God gave a simple list of rules, and I just need to obey them. For instance, I'm not going to cheat on my wife, because hey, it's on the list."

My thought experiment was meant to dig into that sentiment a bit more. Life is far too complex and nuanced for there to even be such a thing as a single document which exactly gave the "right" thing to do in all circumstances/contexts. So Christians are frequently left with the task of digging into the deepest folds of the finite-in-length Scriptures they do have, and wrestling out a definitive answer to "Should I do X or Y given A, B, C, and D". What I'd been wondering is... if it were possible to have a "Commandments stream", e.g. access to the direct and explicit "right answer" of what God wants to all circumstances life throws your way, would Christians wish to receive that knowledge? And if given that stream, how would you apply it to your life? Christians often talk reverentially of their desire to use their lives in service to God... but if given the opportunity to really do so - with all the "right answers" spelled out for them in infinite detail - would they really consider that desirable?

Maybe a more tangible variation of "God-Glass", that gets to the same curiosity on my part, would be a "WWJD app": if it existed would you like and use an app whereby God always supplied a direct/immediate answer to that question - "What would Jesus do in this situation?"

Christianbookworm
10-11-2014, 05:39 AM
And then I could snark that we can't always do what Jesus would do in a situation. He's incarnate Deity, He could just do a miracle to solve a problem. Or know all the variables in a situation, which might be too much for the app to process. :tongue:

Christianbookworm
10-11-2014, 05:44 AM
I emailed jpholding and he said that he didn't think our brains could handle all the information.
So, it's a hardware/software problem.

Irate Canadian
10-11-2014, 05:56 AM
If it looks anything like wearing Google glass, I'd punch the angel for trying to make me look like a ponce.
I wish we could get some cool augmented reality glasses for gaming, instead of boring old Google Glass.

Christianbookworm
10-11-2014, 05:57 AM
I wish we could get some cool augmented reality glasses for gaming, instead of boring old Google Glass.

As long as the glasses don't fry your brain with too much data at once.

Scrawly
10-11-2014, 09:49 AM
Firstly, apologies for the verbosity! As I was trying to put this thought experiment together, I was trying to package it up in a way that addressed potential concerns (i.e. the "appearance factor" of Google Glass, which nevertheless still cropped up in the responses :-) ), but it did wind up getting wordier than I'd anticipated.

Anyway - I wasn't really going for any heavenly implications, or trying to make some subtle "gotcha" point of "AHA - if you said X about God-Glass, then you'd have to admit that Heaven would actually suck!" -no, was not going there.

Many times, I've encountered the sentiment from Christians that there's a certain comfort in the simplicity of a moral code which boils down to "just trust and obey God in all things". The popularity of the 10 Commandments seems to be their directness: "God gave a simple list of rules, and I just need to obey them. For instance, I'm not going to cheat on my wife, because hey, it's on the list."

My thought experiment was meant to dig into that sentiment a bit more. Life is far too complex and nuanced for there to even be such a thing as a single document which exactly gave the "right" thing to do in all circumstances/contexts. So Christians are frequently left with the task of digging into the deepest folds of the finite-in-length Scriptures they do have, and wrestling out a definitive answer to "Should I do X or Y given A, B, C, and D". What I'd been wondering is... if it were possible to have a "Commandments stream", e.g. access to the direct and explicit "right answer" of what God wants to all circumstances life throws your way, would Christians wish to receive that knowledge? And if given that stream, how would you apply it to your life? Christians often talk reverentially of their desire to use their lives in service to God... but if given the opportunity to really do so - with all the "right answers" spelled out for them in infinite detail - would they really consider that desirable?

Maybe a more tangible variation of "God-Glass", that gets to the same curiosity on my part, would be a "WWJD app": if it existed would you like and use an app whereby God always supplied a direct/immediate answer to that question - "What would Jesus do in this situation?"

I see, thanks for the clarification. Though I cannot agree that the bolded is a proper representation of new covenant teaching. You have essentially painted the picture of a God akin to a task-master, and Christian's who are simply checking off a to-do list. You expand the scope of the task-master to include literally every detail of life, and of course what Christian wouldn't want to please God in every single detail of their lives and live in ultimate submission to the task-master, right? Well, I wouldn't because a God who has a preference for what socks I wear or what cereal I eat in the morning would straight up annoy me after a while - a very, very short while. So I would reject the GodGlasses and all that noise in favor of a life lived out in the freedom that comes from genuine faith in the gospel.

Country Sparrow
10-11-2014, 11:52 AM
Edit: whoops, left off quote:





Seems pragmatic. I guess this is pretty speculative, but, if the God-Glass proved to be a no-frills version of exactly what it was billed to be (so, for that entire year+day, every single guideline seemed sensible and in accordance with scripture, if not perhaps surprising from time to time), would you expect to enjoy and wish to continue living out your life with it turned on? I'd have to see how it went wearing them for the short term year and a day.

Country Sparrow
10-11-2014, 11:54 AM
As long as the glasses don't fry your brain with too much data at once. I imagine they'd be synced with the individual and their life walk. While also not overloading them. Because God would know his knowledge is infinite and that would be detrimental to download that over much to our lesser evolved human psyche and consciousness. If the glasses come from perfect God they have to work perfectly.

Teallaura
10-11-2014, 12:01 PM
1) Not a demon - in the hypothetical, this was an angel sent from God. No tricks (at least, none intended) up my sleeve here.
2) Not a puppet - you'd have freewill. Think of this as a "Personalized Commandments stream" - an opportunity for God to provide you guidelines just a little more refined/personalized than the original 10 recorded in Scripture.
3) "If God wants to talk to us, He is perfectly able. No where in Scripture does God use a medium to talk to His prophets (He did get Moses attention with a burning bush once)"
How does this statement not amount to "Nowhere in Scripture does God use a medium to talk to His prophets (except when he does)"? Not trying to be snarky here - I've just read that sentence 3 times now and I can't figure out what you're trying to say. "... so why would He need one to tell me what to do?" Mysterious ways, man, mysterious ways...
4) "In answer to the unspoken question, God doesn't seem to want us to be like three year olds needing constant input (no, honey, don't play in the litter box!) so such a 'gift' is inherently suspicious" Well, he did feel the need to point out the whole "Thou shalt not steal" and such. Coincidental with your statement, both of my sons had figured that one out by age 3. Using that precedence, I'm not sure the proposed product is really a categorical change in behavior here, just a matter of degree.

1) Let me introduce quote tags - they make life much easier! :wink: Seriously, you can use the highlight icon (highlight the selection and click on quote) or type them out [ quote]stuff in the middle [ /quote] without the spaces and it looks like this:
stuff in the middle

1a) I didn't think you were trying to be deceptive - you just have a hypothetical that doesn't make sense any other way. An angel inviting you to visit a brothel is a fake - so to an angel making offers inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture.

2) Yeah, a puppet - the pressure to comply would be enormous and lack of compliance would be stupid (you really think you can come up with a better answer than an omniscient God? :hrm:) so choosing to disregard is so foolish as to be unthinkable. I can freely choose to jump off a bridge - but doing so is incredibly stupid and has really nasty consequences - so is it a real choice?

3) Your hypothetical glasses function as a medium - another telltale sign it isn't of God. The burning bush isn't a medium - God doesn't need it to make Moses hear Him - but could be mistaken for one so I answered the obvious objection.

4) There's a difference between guidance and supervision. Providing the framework isn't the same thing as providing every answer. It's the same for your three year old - you teach him the rules but you don't hold his hand 24/7 making his decisions effectively for him (you wanna wear the pretty red shirt or the ugly blue shirt?). Even very small children are granted some leeway as they begin to learn how to behave for themselves - but your glasses strip that leeway from God's children - who then have little to no opportunity to learn or grow. The framework (rules, morals, laws, ethics, et al) is necessary - you need the fences to keep inside the boundaries - but are not at all the same thing as constant input.

Jedidiah
10-11-2014, 03:09 PM
Firstly, apologies for the verbosity! As I was trying to put this thought experiment together, I was trying to package it up in a way that addressed potential concerns (i.e. the "appearance factor" of Google Glass, which nevertheless still cropped up in the responses :-) ), but it did wind up getting wordier than I'd anticipated.

Anyway - I wasn't really going for any heavenly implications, or trying to make some subtle "gotcha" point of "AHA - if you said X about God-Glass, then you'd have to admit that Heaven would actually suck!" -no, was not going there.

Many times, I've encountered the sentiment from Christians that there's a certain comfort in the simplicity of a moral code which boils down to "just trust and obey God in all things". The popularity of the 10 Commandments seems to be their directness: "God gave a simple list of rules, and I just need to obey them. For instance, I'm not going to cheat on my wife, because hey, it's on the list."

My thought experiment was meant to dig into that sentiment a bit more. Life is far too complex and nuanced for there to even be such a thing as a single document which exactly gave the "right" thing to do in all circumstances/contexts. So Christians are frequently left with the task of digging into the deepest folds of the finite-in-length Scriptures they do have, and wrestling out a definitive answer to "Should I do X or Y given A, B, C, and D". What I'd been wondering is... if it were possible to have a "Commandments stream", e.g. access to the direct and explicit "right answer" of what God wants to all circumstances life throws your way, would Christians wish to receive that knowledge? And if given that stream, how would you apply it to your life? Christians often talk reverentially of their desire to use their lives in service to God... but if given the opportunity to really do so - with all the "right answers" spelled out for them in infinite detail - would they really consider that desirable?

Maybe a more tangible variation of "God-Glass", that gets to the same curiosity on my part, would be a "WWJD app": if it existed would you like and use an app whereby God always supplied a direct/immediate answer to that question - "What would Jesus do in this situation?"
The problem with this thought experiment is that it is not consistent with what God has revealed about himself and his desires for mankind. You are effectively positing a different god than the Christian God.

Teallaura
10-11-2014, 03:11 PM
The problem with this thought experiment is that it is not consistent with what God has revealed about himself and his desires for mankind. You are effectively positing a different god than the Christian God.
No fair saying it better than me! :rant:



:wink:

Truthseeker
10-11-2014, 03:21 PM
The problem with this thought experiment is that it is not consistent with what God has revealed about himself and his desires for mankind. You are effectively positing a different god than the Christian God.I think that is correct. At least, you, Bald Ape, have to show this is what God would do in the future.

Country Sparrow
10-11-2014, 03:31 PM
Um, you all do realize this is pretend right? :sigh: God tells us in scripture that he speaks to us in many different ways. Not just through the Bible. So these glasses and God's appointing them to the willing can't be said to be impossible. (Can be said to be a pretend scenario in a thread at TW though. That's the fun.)

Teallaura
10-11-2014, 03:36 PM
Um, you all do realize this is pretend right? :sigh: God tells us in scripture that he speaks to us in many different ways. Not just through the Bible. So these glasses and God's appointing them to the willing can't be said to be impossible. (Can be said to be a pretend scenario in a thread at TW though. That's the fun.)
Sure but he wanted a serious answer and as presented, it has major issues.

Christianbookworm
10-11-2014, 03:44 PM
So,,, anyone want to snark about WWJD? Hint: Jesus can do miracles, we can't. But, what would a righteous person do didn't have the same ring to it.

Scrawly
10-11-2014, 03:46 PM
Um, you all do realize this is pretend right? :sigh:

Yeah, and then we'd have to give pretend answers as well. Seems like it'd be a nice exercise in futility, or fun, as you call it.


God tells us in scripture that he speaks to us in many different ways. Not just through the Bible.

Where's that verse again?

Country Sparrow
10-11-2014, 03:54 PM
Yeah, and then we'd have to give pretend answers as well. Seems like it'd be a nice exercise in futility, or fun, as you call it. Must be. Here you are right along with us. :teeth: And since these glasses don't exist everyone here knows the rules of pretend. And apparently enjoy it. Well, maybe not you.... :tongue::lol:




Where's that verse again? A verse? Oh, no. Many a verse. (Besides those verses that say he speaks through his word.)
(http://bibleseo.com/church/ways-god-speak-to-his-people/)
God speaks through the Holy Spirit: Acts 11:12, Acts 13:2, Acts 16:6-7, 1 Kings 19:12, Isaiah 30:19-21
Through Angels: Luke 1: 26-38
Visions: Acts 10:9-18
Audibly: Acts 9:4-5
Dreams: Matthew 1:20-21
Through wise counsel via women and men of God: Prov 12:15

Scrawly
10-11-2014, 04:03 PM
A verse? Oh, no. Many a verse: God speaks through the Holy Spirit: Acts 11:12, Acts 13:2, Acts 16:6-7, 1 Kings 19:12, Isaiah 30:19-21
Through Angels: Luke 1: 26-38
Visions: Acts 10:9-18
Audibly: Acts 9:4-5
Dreams: Matthew 1:20-21
Through wise counsel via women and men of God: Prov 12:15

Not too sure your examples are normative for Christian experience - "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe (Heb. 1:1-2). Now that God has spoken in these last days through His Son, and we possess the written word - those other modes of communication seem to be obsolete, but thanks for the verses anyhow; although proverbs 12:15 is not the verse you intended to make your point with.

Country Sparrow
10-11-2014, 05:03 PM
Not too sure your examples are normative for Christian experience - "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe (Heb. 1:1-2). Now that God has spoken in these last days through His Son, and we possess the written word - those other modes of communication seem to be obsolete, but thanks for the verses anyhow; although proverbs 12:15 is not the verse you intended to make your point with.

Yes, proverbs 12:15 was the verse I intended. And those verses pertain to Christians today. We can't rightly say God hasn't spoken to us, (the church), in such ways.
There are new testament verses that refer to how he speaks to us even after Jesus returned to the Father.

Scrawly
10-11-2014, 05:41 PM
Yes, proverbs 12:15 was the verse I intended.

Proverbs 12:15: "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel." How exactly does that support your position?


And those verses pertain to Christians today.

We will have to agree to disagree here.


We can't rightly say God hasn't spoken to us, (the church), in such ways. There are new testament verses that refer to how he speaks to us even after Jesus returned to the Father.

I think now that we have God having spoken to us in these last days through His Son, and we possess the written word, such former modes of communication are no longer operative - Hebrews 1:1-2 says as much. The church having its foundation built on the apostle's and prophets has likewise made such offices obsolete as well - now that we have God's work in His Son accomplished and the written word.

Scrawly
10-11-2014, 06:27 PM
Oh, and CS, this will have to be my last post on the matter here as we ought not derail the thread any further. :smile:

Country Sparrow
10-11-2014, 06:50 PM
Proverbs 12:15: "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel." How exactly does that support your position? One of the ways God speaks to people then and now is through other believers.




We will have to agree to disagree here. As you wish. I prefer not to limit God. Scripture pretty much tells me that is wise. (Revelation 22:18-19)




I think now that we have God having spoken to us in these last days through His Son, and we possess the written word, such former modes of communication are no longer operative - Hebrews 1:1-2 says as much. The church having its foundation built on the apostle's and prophets has likewise made such offices obsolete as well - now that we have God's work in His Son accomplished and the written word.
God speaks through his word, his son, the Holy Spirit, other believers, Nature so as to communicate his presence position, (Romans 1:20 (http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?q=ro+1:20)) , prayer, music. God always speaks to us. We just have to attune ourselves.

Country Sparrow
10-11-2014, 06:50 PM
Oh, and CS, this will have to be my last post on the matter here as we ought not derail the thread any further. :smile: Okie Dokie. :smile:

Jedidiah
10-11-2014, 07:05 PM
Um, you all do realize this is pretend right? :sigh: God tells us in scripture that he speaks to us in many different ways. Not just through the Bible. So these glasses and God's appointing them to the willing can't be said to be impossible. (Can be said to be a pretend scenario in a thread at TW though. That's the fun.)

Not so many ways today.

Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV
"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."

NormATive
10-12-2014, 07:56 PM
So, the thought experiment: would you accept the gift? Would you wear it occasionally? Always? Would you ever use the auto-pilot mode? Would you be willing to dedicate your life, once and for all, to serving God - and just press the red button?

If you answer "no" to any of these, under what circumstances you would not want to know the best way to serve God? Under what circumstances would you want to be able to override autopilot, and do something other than serve God as best you could? If you wouldn't press the red button, why not? What alternative fate would you prefer to living your life in God's service?

I'm not sure why this is in Apologetics 101, since it appears directly aimed at Christians.

But, since it IS in Apologetics, may I offer an observation from a non-Christian point of view?

I think you are probably surprised at the negative response to your OP. But, I think it was Jedediah who said it: you are describing a different religion. He's right. Christianity does not concern itself with doing what G-d wants. The Tanakh already contains 613 commandments that were designed to pretty much accomplish that - they cover everything from sexuality, sanitation all the way to how to treat your neighbor and the poor in your communities. Call it the analog God Glass.

When the descendants of the followers of Jesus decided to follow the teachings of Paul and the Hellenized Christians rather than follow Judaism (the faith of Jesus), they decided to abandon "G-d Glasses" in favor of individual determinism. Each Christian is promised all the benefits of serving G-d without having to actually serve G-d (please note that I am not suggesting that Christians DON'T serve G-d - its just that they don't have to). So, why on earth would any Christian willingly want to serve G-d in the way described in the Tanakh in great detail?

They are already guaranteed a "free pass."

NORM

lilpixieofterror
10-13-2014, 04:42 PM
I'm not sure why this is in Apologetics 101, since it appears directly aimed at Christians.

But, since it IS in Apologetics, may I offer an observation from a non-Christian point of view?

I think you are probably surprised at the negative response to your OP. But, I think it was Jedediah who said it: you are describing a different religion. He's right. Christianity does not concern itself with doing what G-d wants. The Tanakh already contains 613 commandments that were designed to pretty much accomplish that - they cover everything from sexuality, sanitation all the way to how to treat your neighbor and the poor in your communities. Call it the analog God Glass.

When the descendants of the followers of Jesus decided to follow the teachings of Paul and the Hellenized Christians rather than follow Judaism (the faith of Jesus), they decided to abandon "G-d Glasses" in favor of individual determinism. Each Christian is promised all the benefits of serving G-d without having to actually serve G-d (please note that I am not suggesting that Christians DON'T serve G-d - its just that they don't have to). So, why on earth would any Christian willingly want to serve G-d in the way described in the Tanakh in great detail?

They are already guaranteed a "free pass."

NORM

You just like showing that you don't understand Christianity, eh? :thumb: Good job Norm, you've made yourself look even MORE ignorant than you did before. Congrads because I didn't even know that was possible, but you prove that human stupidity is almost limitless. Besides, this is highly hypocritical since it comes from the same person that calls himself an 'atheist Jew' and merely picks and chooses what parts of the Tanakh he'll follow and what parts he'll ignore. Showing again that you not only don't understand Christianity, but you're a hypocrite to boot. Again, great job at that because I'm sure God will be so pleased with a person who ignores parts of the religion he claims to follow, while claiming others don't follow their religion.

BTW can you actually demonstrate where the OT or NT says that God wants to give you instructions on every little aspect of your life? I wasn't aware that handing people some general guidelines and rules to follow was the same thing as this 'thought experiment' here says. I'm sure your answer will be highly entertaining and show how little you understand religion, in general.

Country Sparrow
10-13-2014, 05:10 PM
Not so many ways today.

Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV
"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."

"For God does speak, now one way, now another, though man may not perceive it." Job 33:14

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse ” Romans 1:20

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.



(http://bibleseo.com/church/ways-god-speak-to-his-people/)9 Ways God Speak to His People in Bible (http://bibleseo.com/church/ways-god-speak-to-his-people/)

37818
10-13-2014, 07:41 PM
you may choose to reject Jesus's sacrifice and accept eternal separation from God... . . .Hmm . . . Explain to me first, how one can no longer know God, once one knows God personally? Let me put it this way, how can one cease knowing Jesus is the Christ, once one really knows this and so believes this to be true?

". . . Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . ."
". . . I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, . . . ."

Once you know 2 plus 2 equals 4, and believe it, how can you unknow it?

Teallaura
10-14-2014, 08:25 AM
Hmm . . . Explain to me first, how one can no longer know God, once one knows God personally? Let me put it this way, how can one cease knowing Jesus is the Christ, once one really knows this and so believes this to be true?

". . . Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . ."
". . . I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, . . . ."

Once you know 2 plus 2 equals 4, and believe it, how can you unknow it?

You're young, aren't you? :wink:

Doug Shaver
10-14-2014, 08:45 AM
One of the ways God speaks to people then and now is through other believers.
If some people tell me that God is speaking to me through them, why should I take their word for it?

Christianbookworm
10-14-2014, 08:59 AM
If some people tell me that God is speaking to me through them, why should I take their word for it?

Indeed. Though maybe CS is referring to other believers giving good advice that is providentially used by God or something.

Christianbookworm
10-14-2014, 08:59 AM
You're young, aren't you? :wink:

Why do you come to that conclusion? Naivety?

Teallaura
10-14-2014, 09:02 AM
Why do you come to that conclusion? Naivety?
He hasn't forgotten the sock he's already wearing yet. :wink:

Christianbookworm
10-14-2014, 09:35 AM
He hasn't forgotten the sock he's already wearing yet. :wink:

:huh: Who are you accusing of being a sockpuppetmaster?

Teallaura
10-14-2014, 09:57 AM
:huh: Who are you accusing of being a sockpuppetmaster?

:brood: I'm saying he hasn't yet spent ten minutes looking for a sock he was already wearing - if he had, he'd know the answer to his question.

:ahem:

Christianbookworm
10-14-2014, 10:13 AM
:brood: I'm saying he hasn't yet spent ten minutes looking for a sock he was already wearing - if he had, he'd know the answer to his question.

:ahem:
Oh. Sorry. Me neither. I'm in my twenties.

Teallaura
10-14-2014, 10:34 AM
Get off my lawn, you whippersnappers! :brood:

Christianbookworm
10-14-2014, 11:05 AM
Get off my lawn, you whippersnappers! :brood:

You aren't old enough to say that yet! :outtie:

Teallaura
10-14-2014, 11:45 AM
:demure: Aww, you say the sweetest things.

JohnnyP
10-20-2014, 11:39 AM
Christianity does not concern itself with doing what G-d wants.

More and more Judaism doesn't even concern itself with a God at all, given the growing numbers of Jewish atheists and acceptance of them by many religious Jews.

Although they exist as a lunatic fringe, by and large at least we don't embrace the idea of Christian atheists. To start.

But yes we do have the Lord's Prayer, Beatitudes, the Golden Rule. All kinds of things God wants.


The Tanakh already contains 613 commandments that were designed to pretty much accomplish that...

When the descendants of the followers of Jesus decided to follow the teachings of Paul and the Hellenized Christians rather than follow Judaism (the faith of Jesus), they decided to abandon "G-d Glasses" in favor of individual determinism.

You know as well as I do Judaism discourages Gentiles from converting to become Jews being compelled to observe all Torah, instead encouraging them to remain Gentiles under Noahide, nothing much different from what Paul did. While at the same time, he encouraged Jews to keep observing Torah.

1 Corinthians 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.


Each Christian is promised all the benefits of serving G-d without having to actually serve G-d (please note that I am not suggesting that Christians DON'T serve G-d - its just that they don't have to). So, why on earth would any Christian willingly want to serve G-d in the way described in the Tanakh in great detail?

They are already guaranteed a "free pass."

Where are they guaranteed that?

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

JohnnyP
10-20-2014, 11:47 AM
As for me, I'd ask God if He really wanted me to use it or not. Could be that He might think it's lazy to want to be like a robot rather than trying to do His will on your own.

Truthseeker
10-20-2014, 04:17 PM
We are neither robots nor puppets. We are conscious entities. At least I am one.

Teallaura
10-20-2014, 05:04 PM
This is a recording...
































































:wink: Sorry...

JohnnyP
10-20-2014, 06:19 PM
We are neither robots nor puppets. We are conscious entities. At least I am one.

Right but you would be with God Glass on autopilot. It's a double-edged sword: you'd always be doing God's will but you'd never struggle to do it. It's kind of like doping before a race, in that experiment maybe God would rather have us do it on our own even if we mess up and don't do His will sonetimes.

NormATive
10-20-2014, 09:41 PM
More and more Judaism doesn't even concern itself with a God at all, given the growing numbers of Jewish atheists and acceptance of them by many religious Jews.

Although they exist as a lunatic fringe, by and large at least we don't embrace the idea of Christian atheists. To start.

But yes we do have the Lord's Prayer, Beatitudes, the Golden Rule. All kinds of things God wants.

You are correct, modern Judaism is less concerned with the ritual G-d and more focused on the internal mindset of G-d, which comes from the mind of man in the first place. Theism optional.

It is truly a shame that Christians don't embrace Agnostics and Atheists. Non-theistic worldviews can bring a deeper dimension to your spiritual journey.

Yes, you do have the Beatitudes, which I find quite inspiring. Much of the Law is summed up in the Beatitudes. Pity this part of Christianity is barely emphasized.


You know as well as I do Judaism discourages Gentiles from converting to become Jews being compelled to observe all Torah, instead encouraging them to remain Gentiles under Noahide, nothing much different from what Paul did. While at the same time, he encouraged Jews to keep observing Torah.

While this is true of Conservative Judaism and the Hasidim, it is not true of Reformed Judaism. I was a convert from Christianity, and they were very helpful. I expected harsh criticism of Christianity, but quite the opposite was true. They were eager to hear my perspective coming from the Christian tradition. They took the time to help me through learning Hebrew and overcoming my western orientation to the world (this is the larger obstacle to adopting the Jewish way, because it is an eastern religion.

I think you may have that last bit wrong. Paul was lobbying James the Just, Peter and the Jerusalem Christians to move away from strict adherence to the Law.


1 Corinthians 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

Circumcision is rather difficult to "undo." LOL!



Quote Originally Posted by NormATive View Post
Each Christian is promised all the benefits of serving G-d without having to actually serve G-d (please note that I am not suggesting that Christians DON'T serve G-d - its just that they don't have to). So, why on earth would any Christian willingly want to serve G-d in the way described in the Tanakh in great detail?

They are already guaranteed a "free pass."



Where are they guaranteed that?

Here: https://bible.org/seriespage/assurance-eternal-security

Of course, one can certainly argue the opposite:



Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Crazy, huh?

NORM

JohnnyP
10-21-2014, 06:42 PM
You are correct, modern Judaism is less concerned with the ritual G-d and more focused on the internal mindset of G-d, which comes from the mind of man in the first place. Theism optional.

Then it's about serving man -- others, self, or both -- not the biblical idea of an omnipotent omniscient God.

Not to say I don't have some wonderful atheist friends who are better people than I am in some ways, making the world a better place. In the end maybe being rewarded far more than me. But in the meantime I wouldn't say they are intending to serve God, even though they may be doing His will in many ways.

Does that seem fair? I'm trying to be objective and agree somewhat, not like "Christians are good and atheists are evil."


It is truly a shame that Christians don't embrace Agnostics and Atheists. Non-theistic worldviews can bring a deeper dimension to your spiritual journey.

We can study and even embrace positive aspects of them -- like from Buddhism, or following the examples of our atheist friends who have a lot of good things to offer as I mentioned -- while still maintaining theistic integrity of our beliefs. For example observing the mitzvot to know God exists and that there is no other.

Once a group starts accepting into its own ranks those who entertain non- or polytheistic positions, that group as a whole acknowledges those positions to be possible realities and as a whole, throws those mitzvot out the window.

Of course they can be taken out of a biblical context as given by an eternal Creator and repackaged to fit -- God as the laws of nature for example -- and then observed that way. Non-theists do much the same in adapting to 12-Step Programs calling for a Higher Power. But then it's something different, not exactly obeying the God of the Tanach.


Yes, you do have the Beatitudes, which I find quite inspiring. Much of the Law is summed up in the Beatitudes. Pity this part of Christianity is barely emphasized.

I know I have to work hard to forgive and pray for some people I'd rather hate, for example. I think they aren't discussed much in forums like these because they aren't really controversial and are universally embraced for the most part, not really unique but still focused on good works not just belief.


While this is true of Conservative Judaism and the Hasidim, it is not true of Reformed Judaism. I was a convert from Christianity, and they were very helpful. I expected harsh criticism of Christianity, but quite the opposite was true. They were eager to hear my perspective coming from the Christian tradition. They took the time to help me through learning Hebrew and overcoming my western orientation to the world (this is the larger obstacle to adopting the Jewish way, because it is an eastern religion.

Yes Reform is more open, I should have specified Orthodox in comparison.


I think you may have that last bit wrong. Paul was lobbying James the Just, Peter and the Jerusalem Christians to move away from strict adherence to the Law.

Circumcision is rather difficult to "undo." LOL!

Abiding in circumcision meaning that Jews should continue observing Torah and not abandon it.

But as stated, Paul's lobbying would be similar to that of a modern rabbi telling other Jews not to force Gentiles to fully convert, but rather allow them observe Noahide.


Here: https://bible.org/seriespage/assurance-eternal-security

Of course, one can certainly argue the opposite:

Some of that mentions the elect -- some Christians think it refers to all believers. My interpretation is that it refers to some Israelites actually descending from Jacob who receive the covenant promises by blood. As such God will make them believe no matter what, they are guaranteed salvation to preserve God's promises to Israel as a firstfruits. Just as God hardened Pharaoh's heart, it's not a free-will choice.

Others including Gentiles or non-Israelites have free will to remain in faith or fall away: as Romans 11 says, we can be cut off if we don't abide. In other words, salvation isn't guaranteed for everyone just because we're baptized etc. I wouldn't ever presume I'm safe from damnation -- to me non-existence not eternal torture -- I'm not a prophet that knows how God will judge anyone. It may be you are saved and I'm not, in the end.

But you have a valid point in that some Christians don't really understand this.

NormATive
10-21-2014, 09:10 PM
Then it's about serving man -- others, self, or both -- not the biblical idea of an omnipotent omniscient God.

Absolutely. In many of the Reformed communities in which I roam, they are quite aware of and intentional in this parting from the "Old G-d" described in the Pentateuch and conforming more to the "idea" of the mind of G-d embodied in the latter Nevi'im (Haggai, Zechariah, & Malachi, etc.), the Book of Esther, the Talmud and finally; the teachings of Hillel.


Not to say I don't have some wonderful atheist friends who are better people than I am in some ways, making the world a better place. In the end maybe being rewarded far more than me. But in the meantime I wouldn't say they are intending to serve God, even though they may be doing His will in many ways.

Does that seem fair? I'm trying to be objective and agree somewhat, not like "Christians are good and atheists are evil."

I'd say you are being quite fair. I would never describe the way I live my life as "serving G-d," although, I truly think that were there a G-d, he, she or it would be pleased with my actions.


We can study and even embrace positive aspects of them -- like from Buddhism, or following the examples of our atheist friends who have a lot of good things to offer as I mentioned -- while still maintaining theistic integrity of our beliefs. For example observing the mitzvot to know God exists and that there is no other.

Once a group starts accepting into its own ranks those who entertain non- or polytheistic positions, that group as a whole acknowledges those positions to be possible realities and as a whole, throws those mitzvot out the window.

Of course they can be taken out of a biblical context as given by an eternal Creator and repackaged to fit -- God as the laws of nature for example -- and then observed that way. Non-theists do much the same in adapting to 12-Step Programs calling for a Higher Power. But then it's something different, not exactly obeying the God of the Tanach.

I see what you are saying about the perception that allowing foreign ideas can erode the basis of the faith. However, some will see it as an evolutionary process. This is what happened in Judaism - particularly in the years immediately following the Shoah. The faithful were keeping Kosher, observing the festivals, obeying the Law. Yet, still G-d allowed the Nazis to nearly wipe them off the face of the earth. The lesson learned was that G-d is not one who intervenes in human events. There was no other way to interpret the utter silence of G-d during our worst suffering.


אם אין אני לי, מי לי? וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני? ואם לא עכשיו, אימתי?

Im ein ani li, mi li? U'kh'she'ani le'atzmi, mah ani? V'im lo 'akhshav, eimatai?

If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And when I am for myself, then what am "I"? And if not now, when? - Hillel




Some of that mentions the elect -- some Christians think it refers to all believers. My interpretation is that it refers to some Israelites actually descending from Jacob who receive the covenant promises by blood. As such God will make them believe no matter what, they are guaranteed salvation to preserve God's promises to Israel as a firstfruits. Just as God hardened Pharaoh's heart, it's not a free-will choice.

Others including Gentiles or non-Israelites have free will to remain in faith or fall away: as Romans 11 says, we can be cut off if we don't abide. In other words, salvation isn't guaranteed for everyone just because we're baptized etc. I wouldn't ever presume I'm safe from damnation -- to me non-existence not eternal torture -- I'm not a prophet that knows how God will judge anyone. It may be you are saved and I'm not, in the end.

But you have a valid point in that some Christians don't really understand this.

I think that most religious expression is really just tossing about with notions of right and wrong, punishment and forgiveness, life and eternity. I don't think in the end it matters much what we actually thought about G-d or God or gods or not-gods.

But for the here and the now it matters greatly how we treat our fellow man.

NORM

JohnnyP
10-22-2014, 12:03 AM
I see what you are saying about the perception that allowing foreign ideas can erode the basis of the faith. However, some will see it as an evolutionary process. This is what happened in Judaism - particularly in the years immediately following the Shoah. The faithful were keeping Kosher, observing the festivals, obeying the Law. Yet, still G-d allowed the Nazis to nearly wipe them off the face of the earth. The lesson learned was that G-d is not one who intervenes in human events. There was no other way to interpret the utter silence of G-d during our worst suffering.

But let me speak frankly:

Most Jews who died during the Holocaust were Orthodox believing Jews, the epitome of the Suffering Servant alongside our Christ: even if they didn't believe in him they still believed in our God.

I would thus interpret your response as:

Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

I think you are a good person in a secular sense. But I am not sure you appreciate the religious sacrifices of those who came before you, for a God they believe in. Not believed, but still believe in Heaven.

NormATive
10-22-2014, 08:26 AM
But let me speak frankly:

Most Jews who died during the Holocaust were Orthodox believing Jews, the epitome of the Suffering Servant alongside our Christ: even if they didn't believe in him they still believed in our God.

More than a million who died were children who had no idea about belief in G-d in the Orthodox way. There is no documentation to prove that "most" who died during the Shoah were Orthodox. Those living in the Warsaw slums at the time didn't have the luxury of Orthodoxy.


I would thus interpret your response as:

Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

I think you are a good person in a secular sense. But I am not sure you appreciate the religious sacrifices of those who came before you, for a God they believe in. Not believed, but still believe in Heaven.

Religious sacrifice is mostly in vain, as the Shoah experience taught. They were exterminated not because of any fealty to their G-d, but because they controlled a large segment of wealth in Germany that the Nazi's desired for themselves.

You are uninformed concerning the Jewish faith. Most Jewish "believers" do not have the Christian concept of a Heaven. For the Orthodox, there is a "World to Come" which is not at all like the Christian Heaven. The World to Come, most Jewish theologians believe, is right here on Earth when the Moshiach (a human, by the way) will usher in a kingdom of peace, where the lamb will lie down with the lion (figuratively speaking).

Reformed, of course, believe that the World to Come is speaking of our present time and place - an attainable goal. Thus, the emphasis on doing good works in the here and now. G-d works within each individual rather than as an outside agitator above space and time.

I think that you are a good person in the religious sense. But, I am not sure you appreciate the sacrifice of secular reformers and those who do good works because it is the right thing to do and not because some book or deity ordered them to do so.

NORM

JohnnyP
10-24-2014, 11:10 PM
More than a million who died were children who had no idea about belief in G-d in the Orthodox way. There is no documentation to prove that "most" who died during the Shoah were Orthodox. Those living in the Warsaw slums at the time didn't have the luxury of Orthodoxy.

Some sources:

"An entirely accurate estimate of how many Orthodox Jews were killed is impossible, but they were clearly the majority, somewhere between 50-70 percent."

http://books.google.com/books?id=OL4XSZjhi8kC&pg=PA23

"The largest group of Holocaust victims—religiously Orthodox and Yiddish-speaking Jews of Poland, or, in the slightly contemptuous German term, Ostjuden —were culturally alien from West Europeans, including West European Jews."

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/jul/16/holocaust-the-ignored-reality/


Religious sacrifice is mostly in vain, as the Shoah experience taught.

Various rabbis teach that God allowed the restoration of Israel because of Holocaust victims seen as being among those Suffering Servants described in Isaiah, for one example of religious sacrifice leading to reward.


They were exterminated not because of any fealty to their G-d, but because they controlled a large segment of wealth in Germany that the Nazi's desired for themselves.

Sure, spoils of war are usually a good motivator. However in addition to a negative racial view of Jews, Nazi policies crafted by those like Alfred Rosenberg deemed Judaism to be a servile religion encouraging weakness and harmful to development of a strong warrior Aryan nation. So religion was a factor in the Holocaust, to what extent as compared to other factors I won't speculate.


You are uninformed concerning the Jewish faith. Most Jewish "believers" do not have the Christian concept of a Heaven. For the Orthodox, there is a "World to Come" which is not at all like the Christian Heaven. The World to Come, most Jewish theologians believe, is right here on Earth when the Moshiach (a human, by the way) will usher in a kingdom of peace, where the lamb will lie down with the lion (figuratively speaking).

Yes I know the Jewish view, I'm stating a Christian view that martyrs are with God right now.


Reformed, of course, believe that the World to Come is speaking of our present time and place - an attainable goal. Thus, the emphasis on doing good works in the here and now. G-d works within each individual rather than as an outside agitator above space and time.

Christianity has much the same for the here and now:

Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Galations 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

But ultimately we still look to Messiah as one who will finish the job:

Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Isaiah 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.


I think that you are a good person in the religious sense. But, I am not sure you appreciate the sacrifice of secular reformers and those who do good works because it is the right thing to do and not because some book or deity ordered them to do so.

NORM

My last post sounded kind of accusatory, my apologies. Yes as I stated I admire many of my non-believing friends for the good things they do.