Author Topic: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)  (Read 22146 times)

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Offline WhiteWings

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #50 on: February 16, 2009, 07:04:58 PM »
What is the difference, this context, between evil and calamity?
The way I see it calamity is just a milder form of evil. But it can get very close to real evil.

Below a list of some verses that directly point to evil/calamity. And some the point/hint towards it.


Amos 3:6  ....Shall there be evil in a city which the Lord has not wrought?

Ecclesiastes 1:13  .... It is an evil task which God has given to the sons of men to be busied with.

Hosea 13:16  Samaria is held guilty, for she has rebelled against her God. They shall fall by the sword, their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped open.

Isaiah 45:7 Forming light, and preparing darkness, Making peace, and preparing evil, I am Jehovah, doing all these things.' Þ God created evil for a purpose?

Isaiah 54:16  .... and I have created the one who ruins to destroy.

Isaiah 63:17  O Jehovah, why do You make us wander from Your ways? You harden our heart from Your fear. For Your servants' sake, return the tribes of Your inheritance.

Jeremiah 4:6  Set up the standard toward Zion, take refuge, do not wait around; for I will bring evil from the north, and great destruction.

Jeremiah 18:11  Now then, go speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus says Jehovah: Behold, I am forming evil against you, and devising a plan against you. Return now, each one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.

Job 2:6 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."
God gave Satan charge over Job, his body, and all his possessions, to try him severely before God:  It was GOD'S idea to severely try Job, not Satan's.
But Satan took strict orders from God as to just how he could try Job. Satan got permission from God at each and every step of this severe trying of Job.
Do we think God does it differently today? Malachi 3:6  "I the LORD do not change....

Job 2:10  .... Also, shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?....

Joshua 23:15  .... so doth Jehovah bring upon you the whole of the evil thing....

Lam 3:38  Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

1 Kings 22:22  And Jehovah said to him, In what way? And he said, I will go out and be a spirit of falsehood in the mouth of all his prophets. And Jehovah said, You shall entice him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.

Psalms 105:25  He turned their heart to hate His people, to deal craftily with His servants.

Proverbs 16:4  Jehovah has made all things for a witness; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Romans 9:21  Does not the potter have authority over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor?

Romans 11:32 For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

2 Samuel 12:11  Thus says Jehovah: Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own house; ....

1 Samuel 15:2-3  So says Jehovah of Hosts, ....  go, and you shall strike Amalek and destroy all that he has. And you shall have no pity on him, and you shall put to death all from man to woman, from little one to suckling, from ox to sheep, from camel to ass.

2 Thessalonians 2:11  and because of this shall God send to them a working of delusion, for their believing the lie,
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 09:15:22 PM by WhiteWings »
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #51 on: February 16, 2009, 07:17:14 PM »
I'm rather cautious of L. Ray Smith, as his beliefs on evil and its origins are let's say rather unorthodox and could even be blasphemous. 

All of UR is unorthodox (viewed from ETs)
Isn't blasphemy intentionally slandering God/Jesus/HS/Bible?
Ray backs up his words with verses. So at minimum his intentions are good.
If he's wrong I doubt that blasphemy becaue of this verse.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

For me 'workman' is the keyword of this verse. A workman represent the majority of society that isn't a (Bible) scholar. Someone with an average brain that can make honest mistakes. So for me the verse say: Do the best you can and it will please God.

Just my  :2c:
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline Doc

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #52 on: February 16, 2009, 09:03:07 PM »
Legoman, I would agree that his delivery could be more loving and patient, but that aside, I too thought his reasonings on the evil thing quite convincing, but then I checked out this article:

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/evil.html

A few snippets from it:

"Isaiah 45:7 contrasts opposites. Darkness is the opposite of light. However, evil is not the opposite of peace. The Hebrew word translated "peace" is shâlôm,2 which has many meanings, mostly related to the well being of individuals. Râ‛âh,3 the Hebrew word translated "evil" in the KJV often refers to adversity or calamity. There are two forms of the word. Strong's H7451a most often refers to moral evil, whereas Strong's H7451b (the form used here) most often refers to calamity or distress. Obviously, "calamity" is a better antonym of "peace" than "evil." "

"Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to do wrong. (Job 34:10)"

"For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. (Psalms 5:4)"

I don't see any point in looking beyond these scriptures and risk attributing 'evil' to the Holy God who IS Love.  We can't really comprehend how God can tolerate evil and hold back His hand when terrible things happen, but one day we will understand.. :happygrin:



Cat, what the others have said here is right on. There are numerous places in scripture where God is said to be somehow responsible for adversity. But he has a purpose in it. Did He not create satan? (whatever you believe satan to be) the adversary, Hmm. Adversary, adversarial, adversity. I see a pattern here. While God does not commit wickedness, he does create adversity (evil) and uses it for a (good) purpose.
Remember the tree in the Garden that God put in place? The tree of knowledge of Good and Evil?

We want a "safe" God, and that's a lot of why we have trouble believing the witness of scripture on this topic.

I think CS Lewis got it spot-on when he made the allegory of Christ/ God with the character of Aslan in the following quote: "Safe?, who said anything about safe? 'course he isn't safe, but he's Good."...

The Lion of Judah is "not a tame lion"...

A Good God has the wisdom and the power (and the right) to use evil for Good purposes.

Sometimes as believers that have grown up in the church, we adopt this sort of "cartoon character" view of God and the other bible characters, and we think they must always fit into the boxes we've been given for them. But keep in mind that God was not surprised by the choice that Adam and Eve made; he knew in advance of creating the world what would happen. God didn't institute "plan B" after the Garden. God has never had a "plan B", it's always been "plan A"....
God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur

Cat

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #53 on: February 16, 2009, 10:15:38 PM »
Thanks for your feedback guys.  I'm going to leave this topic alone.  I actually feel very uneasy inside even thinking about it.   :mshock:

Do most universalists believe like yourselves?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 10:22:30 PM by Cat »

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2009, 11:13:37 PM »
Thanks for your feedback guys.  I'm going to leave this topic alone.  I actually feel very uneasy inside even thinking about it.   :mshock:

Why?
Do you think those verses wern't inspired by God?
Ignoring parts of God is creating yourself a false God/image.

I would say not ignore the verses because you don't like them but study and then draw a conclusion.  :bowing:
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #55 on: February 16, 2009, 11:20:00 PM »
Legoman, I would agree that his delivery could be more loving and patient, but that aside, I too thought his reasonings on the evil thing quite convincing, but then I checked out this article:

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/evil.html

A few snippets from it:

"Isaiah 45:7 contrasts opposites. Darkness is the opposite of light. However, evil is not the opposite of peace. The Hebrew word translated "peace" is shâlôm,2 which has many meanings, mostly related to the well being of individuals. Râ‛âh,3 the Hebrew word translated "evil" in the KJV often refers to adversity or calamity. There are two forms of the word. Strong's H7451a most often refers to moral evil, whereas Strong's H7451b (the form used here) most often refers to calamity or distress. Obviously, "calamity" is a better antonym of "peace" than "evil." "

"Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to do wrong. (Job 34:10)"

"For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. (Psalms 5:4)"

I don't see any point in looking beyond these scriptures and risk attributing 'evil' to the Holy God who IS Love.  We can't really comprehend how God can tolerate evil and hold back His hand when terrible things happen, but one day we will understand.. :happygrin:




Hi Cat,

I understand your cautiousness and would not impune your walk as understanding can come fast in a burst or in slow bits.


The analysis though leaves me a bit puzzled as to the difference in "safety".

Is the explaination saying it contrasts  "peace" to "calamity" telling us that God didn't create evil or calamity?

If thats the case then what justifies the rewording of scripture to say otherwise?    To me that would contradict even your own cautionary advise to "stick with scripture".

I do not say that to critisize you personally, only wanting to see why it appears ok to you to do such a thing if thats what you believe they are doing.


On the other hand,  if it is to say that it's ok to attribute Calamity to God, then really,  thats just a soft sell based on fear.  I personally am not concerned that God would give us his written word, make us translate it in an imperfect way then smite us because we think what we do.

I'm fine with the scripture as it is because it does not make God evil it makes him the sovereign ruler over the worst we can ever comprehend.   That IS a good thing.



Cat

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2009, 12:16:11 AM »
The article I provided a link for cites a few of the scriptures  that say the exact opposite to the view that God is the author of evil (if that is what you are meaning).  Just because something is unpleasant or calamitous does not mean it is evil in the sense that a sadistic, torturing murderer is evil.  If you chastise your child, it will not be pleasant for the child, but the end result will be 'good'.  Either God does not lie or deceive, or He does.  If the scriptures say both, then it's most likely a translation issue or not understanding all the factors, as the scriputures do agree and are not contradictory.   I am being careful and at the end of the day, if my 'spirit' is uneasy in me, at the idea that God deliberately created Satan, to be 'evil', or deliberately set the scene to ensure that we suffered through 'evil' then I do have a problem reconciling that with the God you portray as loving EVERYONE, so much so that He will save everyone ultimately.   I have only come across this idea of evil being 'God's fault' via UR.  This makes me somewhat suspicious of UR.  It's as if you are presenting two extremes.  Bear in mind I come from a more 'orthodox' view of God etc, and I've always had a problem with evil, but what you are proposing seems crazy and blasphemous (even if you sincerely believe yourselves to be right on this matter).  If you are right, then it is up to God to show me.  I want to know the truth.  I believe in my 'spirit' that you are wrong on this matter.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 12:19:39 AM by Cat »

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2009, 12:38:03 AM »

Hi Cat,

Certainly not attempting to debate you to say you should be convinced.    And the point you raise about it being God who will show you is indeed correct.

What God has done in my life is bring me to a point where I had no choice (despite what people say) but to acknowledge his truth.

This does not mean along the way, someone can show me what they "think" is truth, holding it over me like a loaded Gun then proceed to tell me that they have warned me of some impending doom, however minimal or extreme.  I have the freedom to reject that and not be displeasing to this  uheeemmm  "unconditionally" loving God.

My point is that I do refuse to serve a God that wants me to come to him under such circumstances and if hell awaits me I welcome it.


Offline WhiteWings

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2009, 12:41:42 AM »
Just because something is unpleasant or calamitous does not mean it is evil in the sense that a sadistic, torturing murderer is evil.
Correct.

Quote
If the scriptures say both, then it's most likely a translation issue or not understanding all the factors, as the scriputures do agree and are not contradictory.
Correct.

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I am being careful and at the end of the day, if my 'spirit' is uneasy in me, at the idea that God deliberately created Satan, to be 'evil',
Do you think Gods has created something with flaws and/or overlooked them?

Quote
I have only come across this idea of evil being 'God's fault' via UR.

The question is: Fault or purpose?

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It's as if you are presenting two extremes.  Bear in mind I come from a more 'orthodox' view of God etc, and I've always had a problem with evil, but what you are proposing seems crazy and blasphemous (even if you sincerely believe yourselves to be right on this matter).
 
I think you are wrong here Cat.
The orthodox are presenting two extremes not UR.
Othodox: God is love during your lifetime. God tortures the majority in hell for eternity.
UR: God is love. He manages evil (for some reason) during your lifetime. After your die (eventually) you reach heaven.

Quote
If you are right, then it is up to God to show me.  I want to know the truth.  I believe in my 'spirit' that you are wrong on this matter.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God....
1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 12:43:27 AM by WhiteWings »
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #59 on: February 17, 2009, 12:54:28 AM »

I won't soft sell anything either Cat,  relenquishing what you have believed all or most of your life is hard, scary, painful.

I stayed in organized religion and that instruction far longer than I wish I had,  and yes,  for a time when I left I felt all alone, I was scared, I wanted to run back to avoid that feeling.

I almost did and divine intervention brought me two people in my life, two people who, according to tradition would say that surely listening to them would send me straight to hell.   Yet, I saw love, maybe not perfect but a love I had not experienced for many years.   Their desire is truth at any cost, even their own families love and they proved they are brave and confident rather thart haughty and prideful.

I was surprised even today by another person who may indeed add to that joy I feared would be gone forever.  I was surprised that through a couple of people who are hellbound by tradition I have seen a greater love for my wife.

I cannot prove any of this and am not attempting too, I am saying this is the verification in my own life for where I am reminded,  "yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil"

It is simply incredible and I want people to experience real incredible things that are not emotional fixes that they then have to go back the next week to have to experience again.  I want the things for people that lock in something solid and tight in knowledge and confidence.   It does not have to be what I have experienced,  but for each persons life to get something out of life that strong.


Offline WhiteWings

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2009, 01:04:50 AM »
The article I provided a link for cites a few of the scriptures  that say the exact opposite to the view that God is the author of evil 

Lets take an example from that article: (same 3 verses from 2 modern translations)

Lamentations 3:37-39
Whose command was ever fulfilled unless the Lord decreed it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes– both calamity and blessing?
Why should any living person complain when punished for his sins?

Lamentations 3:37-39
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth?
Why should any living mortal, or any man, Offer complaint in view of his sins?

That's the context they speak of. IMO it proves instead of disproves UR....
For an even beter context start reading at verse 28
It starts with saying God diciplines and does harm but always makes it right because of His endless love.

Lamentations 3:37-39
Whose command was ever fulfilled unless the Lord decreed it?
What command given by a human was ever done without God approving the command?
Satan also asked for permission to test/harm Job.

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes– both calamity and blessing?
Already discussed.

Why should any living person complain when punished for his sins?
Just accept the punishment God gives.

1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Cat

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #61 on: February 17, 2009, 01:22:07 AM »
Hmmm, I just posted a reply and it's not there.  I'll try again.  Paul, I see what you are saying and agree with you in the main.  I can get my head around the idea that God will save everyone and I truly hope that is the case.  I do not believe in a literal hell and I'm glad to know that God is not the author of such an evil place.  I am not 'avoiding' certain ideas out of 'fear for my soul' type of fear, but I am cautious regarding this topic, out of love or respect for God.  There are many 'beliefs' I have come across that I am not sure of, having considered both sides, and I don't fret about them because I don't think they have a bearing on your being 'saved'.  I don't think we can get our limited minds around the problem of evil, and will only understand once it's done away with.  I'll content myself with the knowledge that God is love.  "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"  Gen 18:25


WhiteWings,  I can't deny that God allows evil.  What do you make of the other scriptures in that article that say the OPPOSITE  to what you maintain?  E.g: "Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to do wrong. (Job 34:10)  and "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. (James 1:13) "


Offline legoman

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #62 on: February 17, 2009, 02:22:27 AM »
Cat,

WhiteWings, Doc, and Paul have given you a lot of good information to think about.  Thanks WhiteWings for posting all those scriptures... saved me from going to look them up. :bigGrin:

If you really want to understand what we are here for and what the purpose of it all is, IMHO it seems to me there are a few concepts we need to wrap our heads around:

1.  God is COMPLETELY 100% sovereign (not many people believe this even though they may say they do)
2.  God will save everyone eventually (not many people believe this)
3.  God is the creator of all, and is responsible for all.  He works all according to his purposes - this includes evil.  But his purposes are good - therefore he created evil for a good purpose. 

Now the mainstream view makes a critical error in not fully believing in God's sovereignty.  They would look at things more like this:
1.  God is sovereign, except when it comes to our free choices to reject him and sin.  Man's "sovereignty" actually overrides God's sovereignty.
2.  Because man is sovereign, he is free to reject God, therefore hell must exist and God will not save all (even though it is God's will that all be saved - 1 Tim 2:4, 1 Tim 4:10, 2 Peter 3:9).
3.  God created all... except all the evil stuff.  That was created by Satan and ourselves.

Look at this way:  Do you think God designed the biggest Windows program in the universe, and that Evil is some giant bug that slipped by his quality control?  God made a mistake?  I don't think so.

No, this all flies in the face of God being sovereign.  Either he is sovereign or he isn't.  The bible quite clearly says God is sovereign, in multiple hundreds of scriptures (just do a search on biblegateway.com yourself).

You seem to be worried about blaspheming God by attributing evil to Him.  Yet you don't seem to be as worried about denying the full sovereignty of God - just something to think about - which some would say is the biggest blasphemy of all.  If God is not sovereign, then He is not God.

Just because something is unpleasant or calamitous does not mean it is evil in the sense that a sadistic, torturing murderer is evil.  If you chastise your child, it will not be pleasant for the child, but the end result will be 'good'. 

I believe this to be an accurate view.  God creates evil for a purpose - essentially for our own character growth.  We are being pruned and refined until we will be ultimately good.  And we can't be good until we know evil.

Quote
Either God does not lie or deceive, or He does.  If the scriptures say both, then it's most likely a translation issue or not understanding all the factors, as the scriputures do agree and are not contradictory.   I am being careful and at the end of the day, if my 'spirit' is uneasy in me, at the idea that God deliberately created Satan, to be 'evil', or deliberately set the scene to ensure that we suffered through 'evil' then I do have a problem reconciling that with the God you portray as loving EVERYONE, so much so that He will save everyone ultimately.   I have only come across this idea of evil being 'God's fault' via UR.  This makes me somewhat suspicious of UR.  It's as if you are presenting two extremes.  Bear in mind I come from a more 'orthodox' view of God etc, and I've always had a problem with evil, but what you are proposing seems crazy and blasphemous (even if you sincerely believe yourselves to be right on this matter). 

You are correct that the scriptures never contradict - only our understanding seems to contradict.

Whitewings was right on here.  Your logic seems to fail at this point.  How is UR more extreme than the mainstream?  The mainstream says God loves everyone but will consign 90% of humanity to eternal torment.  UR says God loves all and will save all, but along the way (like any good parent) He is going to teach us some stuff.   Sometimes it won't be fun, but ultimately its for our own good.

Do you think God is just putting us through all these evil situations for fun?  Or is it for some greater purpose that requires an experience of evil?

Have you ever thought why didn't He create everyone "good" to begin with?  Why did He even allow evil at all?  He is sovereign right?  Why not just create us in heaven and everyone would be happy?  Why did he create Satan?  Why does he "allow" evil?

The reason is:  He is creating us to be good!  RIGHT NOW - it is a process.  He is still making us.  We are being formed as we speak.  We are learning knowledge of good and evil, and eventually we will be shown how to be ultimately good.  God didn't make (past tense) us in his image.  No.  He is (present and future tense) still making us in his image.  This life we are in is just part of the process that will carry on through the ages until God is all in all.

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If you are right, then it is up to God to show me.  I want to know the truth.  I believe in my 'spirit' that you are wrong on this matter.

It is up to God to show you.  What you can do is pray that He give you understanding.  Be careful though, you don't always get the answer you want.  That's what happened to me...  :winkgrin: 

Legoman

Offline legoman

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2009, 02:52:11 AM »
I have only come across this idea of evil being 'God's fault' via UR.  This makes me somewhat suspicious of UR. 

Its not that its "God's fault".  But it is God's purpose.

I think it all comes down to God's sovereignty - just to summarize my previous lengthy post.

UR believers realize God will save all, therefore He is fully sovereign in that he will realize his ultimate will (to save all and have none perish).  This then leads to the idea:  if God is sovereign, he must also be responsible for evil - yet it must be for a good purpose.

For an Eternal Torment believer God's sovereignty presents a bit of a problem as that would mean that God intended for people to burn in Hell.  This doesn't fit (quite rightly) with a loving God so they diminish God's sovereignty by suggesting humans can override God's will by rejecting him forever.  It also gives the ET believer an excuse to let God "off the hook" for evil.

Let me put it this way:  God isn't going to let any puny human get in the way of his plan  :winkgrin:

Offline legoman

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #64 on: February 17, 2009, 03:13:43 AM »
WhiteWings,  I can't deny that God allows evil. 

Sorry to keep harping on this, but yet again we run into God's sovereignty (really I can't stress this enough - understanding God's sovereignty is crucial to understanding why we are here).

If God is truly sovereign is there anything that is "allowed" - is it not instead fully permitted and in fact intended by God?  I have visions of Satan twisting God's arm and God says "ok ok fine, you can do evil this time, but watch out I might not let you next time, or maybe I will if you twist my arm again... blah blah blah".  Who are we kidding here.  God is not a man.  He is not like us.  To God, Satan is an insignificant pest - a tiny flea.  God could stop all the evil in the world in a instant if He wanted too.  But he does not.  Therefore it is part of God's plan and purpose.


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What do you make of the other scriptures in that article that say the OPPOSITE  to what you maintain?  E.g: "Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to do wrong. (Job 34:10)  and "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. (James 1:13) "

God does not tempt anyone directly... that's what He has Satan and his messengers around for.  God sends out lying (and other) spirits on a number of occasions (1 Kings 22, 2 Chron 18, etc).

Its even in the Lord's prayer.  Why do we pray "Lead us not into temptation" if God never tempts us?

The truth is God indirectly will cause us to be tried, tested, and YES, even tempted.  How are we tempted most of the time?  By our own desires.  The flesh is weak.  But wait - who is it that created us in this spiritually weak state so that we will give into the desires of the flesh?  Yes, you know it - God created us that way.

God is the ultimate cause of everything.  He is the one who "works all according to the counsel of his will" (Eph 1:10-11).

Cheers,
Legoman

Cat

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #65 on: February 17, 2009, 08:37:44 AM »
Legoman, thanks for your replies.  I will re-read them and check out the points you are making.  Let us just clarify a few things though before we go any further:

Do you guys believe that ALL evil is purposed by God?  Now I can understand that we need pain in order to keep living.  OUr bodies need to sense pain or we would keep hurting ourselves and we'd die.  So a 'little' bit of discomfort does us good.  I understand when God has to chastise us and we 'suffer' as a consequence.  Are you lumping in ALL kinds of evil like child abuse, torture, etc as having a purpose too?  I need to clear this up first?

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #66 on: February 17, 2009, 04:13:59 PM »
WhiteWings,  I can't deny that God allows evil.  What do you make of the other scriptures in that article that say the OPPOSITE  to what you maintain?  E.g: "Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to do wrong. (Job 34:10)  and "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. (James 1:13) "
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Do you guys believe that ALL evil is purposed by God?  Now I can understand that we need pain in order to keep living.  OUr bodies need to sense pain or we would keep hurting ourselves and we'd die.  So a 'little' bit of discomfort does us good.  I understand when God has to chastise us and we 'suffer' as a consequence.  Are you lumping in ALL kinds of evil like child abuse, torture, etc as having a purpose too?  I need to clear this up first?

Cat,
I wish I had an answer for your questions. I simply don't have them. Because I simply don't know.
As wrote earlier there are no contradictions in the Bible. So now we found verses that seem to contradict on the evil part we need to figure out if they all are pro or con the 'God does evil' idea.

And yes for me it's also very hard to grasp that God has a hand in (lots of) evil. But the OT has several examples where God does some killing. Flood. Sodom Gomorah. Wars.
So what we have to do (my personal opinion) is try to look with an open mind to the Bible. The verses should show us the character of God. And not try to force fit the verses in how we think God should be.

Finally, for this post that is :laughing7: , you said I only trust my Spirit.
That spirit also was with you when you where orthodox, as you called it.
Now you are investigating UR.
Was your spirit wrong in your orthodox years? Or is the Spirit wrong now.
Or are you just on a journey with your Spirit?
If the last; then your Spirit hasn't shared als his knowledge with you yet.
Forgetful? Deceitful? Purposeful? That's what you my answer. I would say the third option.

But as said. I don't know all. FAAAAR from all. That's why I'm here....
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Zeek

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #67 on: February 17, 2009, 04:23:35 PM »
Jer 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.


Zeek

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #68 on: February 17, 2009, 04:38:03 PM »
who does the Lord have thought of peace for?

what other thoughts does he have and do, and to whom?

Psa 11:5  The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Psa 11:6  Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

Psa 11:7  For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.


Jer 29:17  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

Jer 29:18  And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:

Jer 29:19  Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD.

Jer 29:20  Hear ye therefore the word of the LORD, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon:

Jer 29:21  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes;

Jer 29:22  And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;

Jer 29:23  Because they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the LORD.


Jer 29:32  Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the LORD; because he hath taught rebellion against the LORD.




Zeek

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #69 on: February 17, 2009, 04:46:05 PM »
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Rom 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom 1:23  And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Rom 1:24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:


Rom 1:26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
 
Rom 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

1Co 5:5  To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.




Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.



Offline legoman

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #70 on: February 17, 2009, 04:59:52 PM »
Legoman, thanks for your replies.  I will re-read them and check out the points you are making.  Let us just clarify a few things though before we go any further:

Do you guys believe that ALL evil is purposed by God?  Now I can understand that we need pain in order to keep living.  OUr bodies need to sense pain or we would keep hurting ourselves and we'd die.  So a 'little' bit of discomfort does us good.  I understand when God has to chastise us and we 'suffer' as a consequence.  Are you lumping in ALL kinds of evil like child abuse, torture, etc as having a purpose too?  I need to clear this up first?

Hi Cat,

This is definitely a tough subject to get your head around.  I don't treat it lightly - in fact I still have trouble with it, for some of the things you mentioned make no sense to us. However lets see what the scriptures say, and then honestly ask yourself, do I believe the scriptures?

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

2 Cor 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:



Here we see all things are of God.  God has declared the end from the beginning - he has purposed it all and will bring it to pass.  And God works all things after the counsel of his own will.

So since he has declared everything that will happen, and all things are of God and he works all things according to his will - this would include all evil wouldn't it?  Even rape, child abuse, torture, etc.  It is all for a purpose, but we may not understand it.

And don't get me wrong.  It doesn't mean God wants us to go around doing evil.  But it is used for His purposes.  God frames evil (Jer 18:11) "Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you:".  Notice he frames evil - he restricts its full power, yet he still uses it.


Another example.  What about Hitler?  Hitler was responsible for many atrocities beyond what you listed.  Surely God would have stopped Hitler if God had wanted, right?  Here is what the scriptures say:

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.


God directs the kings as he pleases.  In fact, the rulers of the world only have their power because God ordained it to be.  So in fact, Hitler was doing exactly as God had purposed, even though Hitler will still be held severely accountable for what he did.  Hitler will be accountable, but God is ultimately responsible.  Just like we will all be accountable to God for what we do, yet God is ultimately responsible and will restore and correct all in the end.

Now don't get me wrong, like Whitewings and others have said, I find it difficult to comprehend this sometimes to.  However it does give me some comfort that there is purpose for EVERYTHING that happens, even the bad stuff.

Its a tough subject.  I recommend reading Ray Smith's free will series:
http://bible-truths.com/lake15.html
http://bible-truths.com/lake15-B.html
http://bible-truths.com/lake15-C.html
http://bible-truths.com/lake15-D.html

Part C has a lot about evil.

Legoman

Cat

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #71 on: February 17, 2009, 09:23:55 PM »
Legoman, you said:

"So since he has declared everything that will happen, and all things are of God and he works all things according to his will - this would include all evil wouldn't it?  Even rape, child abuse, torture, etc.  It is all for a purpose, but we may not understand it."

I do not believe this to be true.

I can 'see' that evil is a reality that unfortunately accompanies 'free-will'.  It would seem that mankind 'needed' to experience evil in order to understand and appreciate goodness, or rather living according to God's laws or guidelines.  God knew that man would disobey Him and had already put in place the Way (Jesus) back to Him, or the means to undo the evil that became a reality. I am content to leave it at this.  I can see what you are saying and why- there are many scriptures that 'seem' to infer what you are saying and I don't doubt your motives in this.  If I am wrong then I pray God will show me. God knowing about evil and it's potential to become a reality, is different to 'creating' it, or creating a creature that does not have free will and whose sole purpose is to lie and cause as much suffering as possible ie Satan. 

WhiteWings, If something makes me feel uneasy and 'worried' then I pay attention to that.  The idea of UR does not make me feel like that, but rather I feel rather excited that it could be true. 

Offline Doc

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #72 on: February 17, 2009, 09:36:36 PM »
Legoman, you said:

"So since he has declared everything that will happen, and all things are of God and he works all things according to his will - this would include all evil wouldn't it?  Even rape, child abuse, torture, etc.  It is all for a purpose, but we may not understand it."

I do not believe this to be true.

I can 'see' that evil is a reality that unfortunately accompanies 'free-will'.  It would seem that mankind 'needed' to experience evil in order to understand and appreciate goodness, or rather living according to God's laws or guidelines.  God knew that man would disobey Him and had already put in place the Way (Jesus) back to Him, or the means to undo the evil that became a reality. I am content to leave it at this.  I can see what you are saying and why- there are many scriptures that 'seem' to infer what you are saying and I don't doubt your motives in this.  If I am wrong then I pray God will show me. God knowing about evil and it's potential to become a reality, is different to 'creating' it, or creating a creature that does not have free will and whose sole purpose is to lie and cause as much suffering as possible ie Satan. 

WhiteWings, If something makes me feel uneasy and 'worried' then I pay attention to that.  The idea of UR does not make me feel like that, but rather I feel rather excited that it could be true. 

Cat, I don't know if it's helpful to you at all, but I see the notion of God creating evil in the sense that the presence of light creates the presence of shadow. Anything that blocks the transmission of that light casts a shadow. The thing is, God created those "blocking" things as well, knowing they would cast the shadow. But again, there is purpose in all of it.
 
If God never meant for us to know good and evil, then why would he have put the tree of knowledge of them in the Garden? He could have simply chosen not to go there, but He did. Which tells me He had a purpose in it.

The Lord bless you as you search for His truth. Just don't expect it to always be comfortable.
God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur

Offline Nathan

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #73 on: February 17, 2009, 09:57:30 PM »
Doc, just to let you know . . . I sure enjoy your posts.   :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Offline Doc

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Re: The 2nd biggest stumbling block (the aionios God)
« Reply #74 on: February 17, 2009, 10:00:20 PM »
Doc, just to let you know . . . I sure enjoy your posts.   :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Thanks Nathan; and right back at ya!  :thumbsup:
God does not instruct us to pray to change His mind. He wants us to pray so that we'll know His mind.
 
"Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me." --C.S. Lewis

God never had or needed a Plan B. He's still on Plan A.

Res Veritas Loquitur