TT, wat'chu talkin' bout with that dark side stuff?
I don't really like cats.. the "cat" part of my name is from back in the day, a nickname someone called me when I was a little kid...you know, "cat", as in "cool cat"...
Let's don't take it literally. If we did I guess I'd be poking
at cats, you know, "jabbing" them.
"But adherence to the Old Testament does not necessarily correlate to being Christlike...
agreed with that
As far as "the literal Bible God is a bad guy", even regardless
of how much was see as literal or otherwise, we'd still probably not really "get" it or "like" it all, because IMO, as long as we're in this life, there's going to be the carnal side of us that battles the spiritual; and that can be used of satan to distract us and hold us back from a true or deeper relationship with God. There's been quite a bit shared already about our limited perspective, our minds not being able to comprehend God very much at all; that scripture tells us 1) to believe, trust, and humble ourselves before Him 2) that He has not asked us to be His counselor 3) He asks where were we [what did we have to do with it] when He created things 4) and that we really can't know the mind of God [I believe this means in-depth, to fully understand all His reasons and how/why He does things]. We can know some things about Him, "hear" His voice, etc., but still, WE SEE THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY. So I can sit around and question HIM, doubt the scriptures that HE says are breathed by Himself, even argue with Him, but the bottom line is, as stated earlier, I believe I need to go to Him and ask Him for understanding, revelation, and the grace to just humbly believe Him.
As far as this part, ..the literal Bible's God..
", I'd like to address that, and some of the other points in the linked thread (thanks for reading it :) by quoting a post that the site owner, Gary Amirault made a while back during one of these similar discussions. Sometimes others can say it better - (I've already posted several of my own thoughts in this thread) - and Gary's post came to mind just a minute ago. He makes the point about the Bible being spiritual, how much is literal, allegorical, etc., which I think meets your point above in an interesting way. Hope this helps.
"Now regarding the many verses of the Bible you quoted that do not make sense to you if God is truly a loving God. There are many who have advocated things like ________ suggested, lay the blame for these gross appearing verses to the "lying pen of the Scribes." I don't think this works for a number of reasons and I can't get into much of what I'd like to say to you because it truly fills a book which I've been developing in my mind for a long time.
The prophets who wrote the Law and the prophets did not understand what they were writing. Some asked to look into the words, but most were not allowed understanding. Moses was told when he set up the Mosaic tabernacle and seemingly bizarre sacrificial system to be careful and make everything exactly to the pattern because it was patterned after heavenly things. So the law was a shadow, it was NOT reality. Children are afraid of shadows , they often see things that aren't really there. Some say thrown out the shadowy scriptures because they are simply too gross. That's a big mistake. I'm not saying come UNDER the shadow of the law, we are not under law but grace, but we can learn from the law and theprophets which point to a higher reality.
Some say, all the O.T. are simply myths borrowed from the Egyptians or the Babylonians and modified to fit the Jews. I've read many books and articles on documentary hypothesis, JEPD theory, etc. I've watched many documentaries and videos saying Christianity and Judaism is based upon ancient myths, that we shouldn't really take the scriptures, especially the O.T. as divine. Believe me, I have in my library much material (and I read it) that casts a very dark shadow over the Bible, especially portions of the Bible that speak of genocide, strange rituals like stoning your rebellious children, etc. But over the years God has given me much light and understanding of parts of the Bible that seemed at first to be just ridiculous and barbaric stuff. Many want to attribute what they don't understand to the "lying pen of the scribes." I think that's a mistake too. Jesus said not one jot or tittle of the law (first five books of the Bible) would be removed from the law till all things be fulfilled.
On the road to Emaus after the crucifixion, were two of Jesus' disciples quite discouraged. Jesus appeared to them but was not recognized. (that's important). He then explained to them the crucifixion in the light of the law and the prophets. He opened to them understanding. Well these disciples obviously KNEW the scriptures. They probably had large chunks memorized, but they did not truly see them in the light of revelation. When He explained things their hearts were burning. When Jesus broke the bread, their eyes were opened. ________, many Christians and universalists at boards like EU, WU and CU are saying one can throw out from the Bible what doesn't make sense or does not conform to one's concept of a loving god. Folks are saying to just go by your conscience or inner voice and decide for yourself what scriptures are divine and what aren't. They are calling Kaballah and Zoar (Jewish mysticism) as divine as the Bible. They are mixing all kinds of nonsense with whatever part of the Bible they have decided they want to embrace and making customized religions after their own carnal minds. I've seen many Christians who have embraced universalism go down this path and its end is not enlightenment.
Yes, on the mount of transfiguration the voice said "This is my beloved Son, hear HIM" and Moses and Elijah faded away in this VISION. Yes, the law and prophets (shadow) must give way to the LIVING WORD of the Son of God. But that doesn't mean the Law and prophets didn't serve a purpose in God's plan. One cannot understand the book of Revelation without understanding the O.T. because Revelation quotes the O.T. over 200 times.
Look, those who wrote the O.T. didn't understand what they were writing, the 12 apostles who knew Jesus after the flesh didn't understand Moses and the prophets even though they felt they kept Moses law. It wasn't until Paul who did NOT know Jesus after the flesh but after the spirit that the light of the law and prophets began to break open. Paul saw allegories where children saw literally. Hagar and her son was an allegory of the Law. CAST OUT Hagar and her son (the law) and see the promise. The letter kills but the spirit makes alive. Paul began to explain the law and Moses in an entirely new light. The law was made not to help one to be righteous, it was made to make sin even MORE sinful. Those who were under the law never really comprehended the purpose of the law. And neither do those today who want to throw out the passages of the O.T. that seem barbaric and unloving. Under the law, God was an outside entity to be feared. A God of the outside that is sensed through a carnal mind through the five imperfect senses of the body will ALWAYS see God through fear. Our natural minds are programmed biologically to lie. It cannot comprehend God regardless of how the Bible is written. So to the degree that we are "natural" (and believe me Christians including universalists) are far more "natural" in their understanding of God and the Scriptures than they care to see, one cannot truly see or understand God. The Scriptures are spiritual.
Yes, Jesus said, "you have heard it said
." (Moses) but I say to you." Yes, there is a NEW commandment, a NEW law. "As I have loved you, love one another." It's a higher law, the law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus." We are not to serve the Mosaic law, but when we see the law and prophets through the Revelation of Jesus' spirit, the law will serve us in seeing what the pattern was pointing to. The shadow of the law and prophets still has much to teach us. And to thrown it out because the veil of Moses is still over one's eyes is foolishness. We are not to come UNDER the Mosaic law, for it will blind us. But when we look at the Mosaic Law from above we gain wisdom.
The O.T. was written in Hebrew a highly exaggerative language which is very different from English. Bullinger lists over 200 different types of figures of speech in the Bible with thousands of examples. Unfortunately, we have been taught to read the Bible literally. Big mistake.
Look, I can't take any more time here, I've got to get back to my projects I have to finish today. I'll gladly talk personally to you...about textual criticism and the dangers of going down the path of throwing out stuff in the bible that doesn't suit your personality, your lifestyle, or education or whatever. I know where that mentality leads and I don't think it's helpful or healthy. We purposely do not allow threads on this board on that discussion on the topic of textual criticism because I know the food fights that ensue. I really do understand those who feel they have a right and obligation to throw out the parts of the bible they do not like, I've read their posts, I've spend a lot of time dialoging with them, I've read many books supporting the idea of relegating parts of the O.T. to myths and superstitions but believe they are wrong because God has given me a lot of light on verses that used to choke me in the past that now make a lot of sense to me.
God has a plan, a blueprint. It's hidden in the Bible. For those who can read God's language of symbols, the blueprint makes perfect sense. A blueprint usually has many pages to it each page dealing with a different aspect of a house. One page may be plumbing, one electrical, one walls, one for the first floor, one for the second, one for the foundation. Each one has language and symbols for that page that a technician familiar with that trade can understand. Just because someone cannot understand the symbols and diagrams on a particular page (or a particular covenant) that deals with electricity doesn't give them the right to throw out that page. THAT is what is being proposed by many who post on some universalist discussion boards. Because they read carnally and are wise in their own eyes, they throw out pages of God's precious blueprint and encourage babes in Christ to do the same. This is WRONG. And that kind of teaching will not be tolerated here at Tentmaker because it is harmful. These discussion boards are not set up to discuss anything and everything. It's not set up to be a chit-chat site. It's purpose is to help people understand that Jesus will save all mankind and that the Bible teaches that. The focus on this discussion board is universal salvation through Jesus Christ. It is biblical. That's it. We don't deal with thousands of other subjects some of which cause BIG food fights. Textual Criticism is one of those big food fight topics.
I want you to know, I've been to the skeptics, atheist, secular humanist pages that feature the kind of verses you presented in your list. I've engaged them in conversation. I know their mind. I was an atheist for many years. They cannot understand where I am coming from because they do not have the Holy Spirit. The Bible is foolishness to them, Old AND New Testament. I understand that. But there is something inside of me that is bigger than me, bigger than my understanding, bigger than all the doubts and fears of this realm. It is bigger than my understanding or lack of understanding of the Bible. Do not throw out what you do not understand. Cry out for understanding. The Spirit of Truth sent by Jesus to give you what belongs to Jesus and to yourself, will give understanding in due season. Patience has its virtue, but children, whether in the natural or spirit lack it.
I am writing this, not knowing whether you have been "born from above," or baptized in His Spirit. Without this probably even what I've written will not make sense. "You must be born from above. That which is flesh is flesh and that which is Spirit is Spirit." "My words are Spirit and truth." If one does not have "ears to hear" then the bible and everything I've said is foolishness.
Well, like I said, __________ and _________, I'll gladly try to help with understanding this subject. But from past experience, it is not helpful from those who come to this board for help to open up a discussion on this topic here. It will draw people with an agenda and it will detract from the main purpose of this discussion forum. Thanks, peace and love. Gary Amirault, the one responsible before God for what goes on here."