Friday, September 10, 2010

The fool has said in his heart "there is no God"

"Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors" Sir Isaac Newton

Brewster, Sir David. A Short Scheme of the True Religion, manuscript quoted in Memoirs of the Life, Writings and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton Edinburgh, 1850.

59 comments:

Stormbringer said...

Unfortunately, there are far too many self-proclaimed experts in atheism who consider themselves far more "intellectual" than those of us who believe in God. They choose to forget that many of the greatest minds of all time have been believers.

stranger.strange.land said...

When you consider that we were created for the very purpose of glorifying and enjoying God, and that we have our ultimate fulfillment in doing just that, it makes our sinfulness appear all that more abysmal when we deny His very being.

Think of that; a mere man "whose breath is in his nostrils" saying in his heart, of the One who is "from eternity to eternity," that He is not.

Even more amazing is that God saves such people and causes them to be born again, adopting them into His own family.

Craig

BathTub said...

Trish, are you advocating the religious belief of Isaac Newton? I am certain he wouldn't meet your definition of a True Christian.

BathTub said...

Oh what a surprise, stormbringer moaning about the meany filthy horrid atheists, again.

And then making up baseless accusations to denigrate them, again.

Can you point to anyone that honestly has a problem with the fact that really almost all of the greatest minds in history where religious?

Of course some very well known of these religious geniuses had to fight against established church dogma because their findings clashed with doctrine.

It's just a simple fact that as science has progressed to the point where religious belief has fallen away. There is essentially some sort of inverse relationship between science achievement and religion. In general, of course.

Azou said...

Amazing that God will accept people to keep stroking his ego? After threatening them with eternal damnation?

I actually agree that it is amazing, but for very different reasons.

Azou said...

I'd like to know more about becoming an expert in atheism. We have professors teaching the subject now? Simply fascinating!

Stormbringer said...

"Oh what a surprise, stormbringer moaning about the meany filthy horrid atheists, again."

Where did I use any of those expressions? You and your friends give plenty of fuel to my fire to believe that atheists are incapable of independent, rational thought, and are essentially trolls at heart. Here you are, crying again. And now you make up a ludicrous assertion that "science has progressed to the point where religious belief has fallen away". Scientist believers would beg to differ with your attempt at playing as a kind of god over their intellects.

BathTub said...

It was a caricature of your average post stormbringer, as I am sure you well knew.

Nice little quotemine there too.

I did specifically include "There is essentially some sort of inverse relationship between science achievement and religion. In general, of course."

Of course we can all think of religious scientists. I never said they didn't exist. But you are kidding yourself if you think religiosity amongst scientists and educated people is the same as it was in Newtons day.

But again, I am quite sure you understood my point. You just needed the excuse to whine again.

Azou said...

There are plenty of religious scientists, but they have to compromise with their beliefs. Literalism becomes metaphor and the metaphors become aesops and so forth.

Otherwise, they would be stepping out of the realm of science.

And you're one to talk about independent, Mr. True Christian.

stranger.strange.land said...

Amazing that God will accept people to keep stroking his ego? After threatening them with eternal damnation?

I actually agree that it is amazing, but for very different reasons.


Azou,

You don't get it. God doesn't need us. We don't add anything to God by giving Him the praise, worship, honor and love that is His due. We are the recipients of His graciousness.

For the Son of God to humble Himself so as to become one of us, being subjected to a shameful death on the cross, then to exalt a great number of us to be united to Him as His corporate companion for all eternity, is God's showing Himself to be magnanimous beyond compare.

And yes, God will be glorified in the damnation of sinners because perfect justice will have been executed. But today is the day of grace.


Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

(Isa 55:6-7 NASB)

BathTub said...

Wait didn't you just post over at the swamp that it's impossible to obey the law due to the way God made us?

Heidelberg Catechism, question 5?

Perfect Justice is God damning you for being the way he made you.

Azou said...

Your premises are as follows:

-God does not need glorifying.
-The purpose of humanity, the reason we were created, is to glorify god.

So, we're really don't have any purpose then, do we? If anything, we're a terrible waste.

For all the flap I hear over the "pointlessness" of the atheistic worldview, I love how the Christian worldview doesn't seem to fare any better. In fact, it's a bit more depressing.

stranger.strange.land said...

BathTub said...
Wait didn't you just post over at the swamp that it's impossible to obey the law due to the way God made us?

Nope. Read it again. I posted Q. 5 AND Q.6.


Azou - My comment was a response to your "stroking his ego" mischaracterization. That sort of thing may apply to a mere human who is insecure, or unfulfilled, but not to God. But I think you knew that.

Azou said...

For what other reason does God need glory?

Is it a fuel source? An anchor for continued existence? All I can imagine is something more vain, but I sincerely would like to hear an explanation.

bassicallymike said...

Craig, it does not sound like Azou really got the part of your quote where you said "and that we have our ultimate fulfillment in doing just that, ". (glorifying and enjoying God)

His comments since then don't sound as if that really registered.

Azou said...

What purpose does being fulfilled serve in grand scheme of things? How does it assist God? What is the endgame here?

BathTub said...

"As all have sinned in Adam"

So through no act of my own, thousands of years before I was conceived

"are under the curse,"

I was cursed by God with a sinful nature

"and are deserving of eternal death"

So for that, God must put me to death.

Yeah, nice one craig.

stranger.strange.land said...

But, don't stop there, BathTub.
There is The Rest of the Story. Please don't get so caught up in pleading "that's not fair" that you miss it.

Jesus Christ entered the stream of humanity to be the "mediator" and representative of every one who becomes "united to Him" through faith. We inherited death from the "first man;" believers inherit eternal life from the "last Adam."

It is a great story, BathTub. It is all progressively laid out in the book of Romans.

Craig

bassicallymike said...

Azou, since we are coming from two different epistemologies here, there is not much use going into this.

Do you still love your sin? If so, no matter how well reasoned my reply, it won't make good sense to you.

However, if you are really interested in learning, (as opposed to an argument) you can Google "A. W. Pink, The Attributes of God". This is a concise study on God's attributes as revealed in scripture.


Most self avowed atheist who claim to be well versed in things biblical don't have a good grasp of God's attributes. And understandably so!

BathTub said...

Could you detail what act I did to be cursed with a sinful nature and to be born into a fallen world?

stranger.strange.land said...

Our God-selected representative chose, on our behalf, that man would decide for himself what is right and wrong, "good and evil," regardless of what our Creator commanded. This trait was passed on to his progeny, and constitutes cosmic treason by us against our holy God.

That is the act that you and I did in our representative, Adam, that plunged us into sin.

But, the rest of the story is that God did not leave us in this deplorable situation, but sent another Representative: Jesus Christ. This man not only lived a perfect life of obedience to the Father (not for His own well-being, but for His people's) but He took on the curse and punishment that was ours, and offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

When you and I die, BathTub, we will stand before a holy and perfectly just God, and we will be judged. And we will be judged either on the basis of our own righteousness - or lack of it - or the righteousness of someone who represents us.

If you are to be judged "not guilty," it will not be because of your works, but because of Christ's merits applied to your account. The only way you can be justified is by faith - and by faith alone. The only way you can receive this benefit of Christ's life and death is by putting your trust in Him - and in Him alone.

You do that, you're declared just by God, adopted into His family, you're forgiven all of your sins, and enjoy a life that will never end.

Craig

bassicallymike said...

BathTub...That would fall under what is called Federal Headship.

Adam, like it or not, was a perfect representative for you and me in the fall, just as Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for the redeemed. Romans 5:12-21

BathTub said...

So that's 'nothing' then.

BathTub said...

In your theology craig, did God know before he created Adam that Adam would fail?

stranger.strange.land said...

Of course. Sin didn't take God by surprise.

He also knows the destiny of the man who uses the blogger name BathTub, whether you are destined to one day be born again and put your trust in Christ crucified, or whether you will, of your own decision and following your own ways, go to your grave unforgiven. With all my heart, I hope it is the former.

BathTub said...

Ok, so why do you think he made Satan and the demons then?

Azou said...

Adam wasn't a perfect representative at all. Dude couldn't even follow basic orders.

I demand democratically elected officials here.

Taxandrian said...

@stranger.strange.land:

Here's a tip: using fear tactics on atheists = FAIL.

stranger.strange.land said...

BathTub said...
Ok, so why do you think he made Satan and the demons then?

I don't know, but obviously they all play a role in the whole history of redemption. I think it was Luther who said, "He may be the devil, but he is God's devil."

Azou said...
Adam wasn't a perfect representative at all. Dude couldn't even follow basic orders.

I demand democratically elected officials here.


The way I understand it, God had the option of either choosing Adam to represent the human race in the Covenant of works, or to make the covenant with each of us as individuals.

How have you done as an individual in keeping your obligation in the covenant of works? (Cov. of Wks. = Perfect obedience to Gods Law-> Blessing and life. Disobedience to God's law -> curse and death.)

Taxandrian said...
@stranger.strange.land:

Here's a tip: using fear tactics on atheists = FAIL.


Taxandrian,

I have the same message for everyone. I don't discriminate against atheists.

Craig

bassicallymike said...

BathTub...."So that's 'nothing' then."

If it is 'nothing'to you, you sir, are without hope.

bassicallymike said...

Sorry Craig,
Your response to BT had not been posted when I put my two cents in. You explain it so much better. I'll get out of the way.

Taxandrian said...

stranger.strange.land said:

I have the same message for everyone. I don't discriminate against atheists

If you somehow felt that having long hair was bad and you wanted everyone to cut their hair, would you also give this message to bald people?

Same thing here.

Lesson to be learned: it's a waste of time and you only look foolish (which is quite ironic considering this article is about non-believers being 'fools').

BathTub said...

bassicallymike, so you do think it was through some action of mine that I am cursed with a sinful nature and born into a fallen world?

stranger.strange.land said...

The risk of appearing to be "foolish" in the eyes of some people goes with the territory for any who, like me, believe in proclaiming the Good News indiscriminately to all and sundry.

"Tips" advising me that I am wasting my time on a fools errand merely serve to further embolden me. Evangelism isn't for sissies.

Craig "Won't back down - I'll stand my ground" Boyd

Taxandrian said...

@stranger.strange.land:

Hey, if you want to waste your time proclaiming your message to those who aren't susceptible to it; be my guest. But are you prepared to deal with non-believers who 'stand their ground and won't back down'?

Another question: if one follows all of God's commandments, does that guarantee a ticket to Heaven?

Azou said...

Man, feel free to be ineffective. We're just telling what methods are specifically not working on us.

stranger.strange.land said...

Taxandrian said...
@stranger.strange.land:

Hey, if you want to waste your time proclaiming your message to those who aren't susceptible to it; be my guest.


Hey Tax.

No one is "susceptible to it" unless and until they have been born again by a sovereign act of the Holy Spirit. Then they will irresistibly receive the Gospel and embrace Christ.

But are you prepared to deal with non-believers who 'stand their ground and won't back down'?

It won't be a matter of my dealing with them. The question is, are those who consistently reject Christ and the "offer of the Gospel," and stand fast in that rejection until their last breath, prepared to deal with eternity in hell.

Another question: if one follows all of God's commandments, does that guarantee a ticket to Heaven?

Jesus Christ obeyed all of God's commandments, and went to the cross where he endured the wrath of God against sinners, although he did no sin himself. That, plus his death, resurrection on the third day, and his ascencion to Gods "right hand" secured Heaven for everyone who trusts in him.

Jesus Christ now calls everyone, everywhere to confess his sin and trust in Him for his salvation and deliverance.

This is why I can, with utmost confidence, call everyone, everywhere who will acknowledge his sin and bring his guilt and need to Jesus Christ, to do just that. And I can assure him, without any qualification, that in doing that he will most certainly be saved eternally "by the blood of Jesus Christ."

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Azou said...
Man, feel free to be ineffective. We're just telling what methods are specifically not working on us.

Hey there, Azou.

In the end, everyone enjoying eternal life in Heaven will have gotten there by one "method" and one only. That "method" is the Son of God's having lived a perfect life, and suffered and died on the cross. My job is simple. I am just the messenger telling law breakers just like myself the Good News of what Christ has done for them, and how they can obtain the benefit of what Christ has done (Forgiveness of their sins, eternal life, and being adopted into God's family).

The fact that some refuse to receive this is not due to any deficiency in the message or the method.

Craig

Taxandrian said...

@stranger.strange.land:

The question is, are those who consistently reject Christ and the "offer of the Gospel," and stand fast in that rejection until their last breath, prepared to deal with eternity in hell.

I just explained to you that using fear tactics on atheists does not work. Yet there you do it again. Why do you somehow expect people to listen to your message when you aren't even prepared to listen to theirs?

And I can assure him, without any qualification, that in doing that he will most certainly be saved eternally "by the blood of Jesus Christ."

No you cannot. Somehow you think you can speak in the name of God; that you can determine who will be saved and who won't. But isn't that up to God to decide? After all He created this world, can't He do with it as He sees fit? What if God is really evil and set this whole 'being saved' thing up simply because He enjoys people trying to get into Heaven while they'll all go to Hell anyway. What if He determines who gets saved on a case-by-case scenario, making exceptions for who He wants?

Are you going to tell God He has to live up to His promise? Is He obliged to do so? Maybe He'll send you to Hell because you had the arrogance to guarantee people a place in Heaven when that's only up to Him to decide.

No Craig, you're not sure of anything and you can't guarantee anything. All you have is a belief system and hope, nothing more...

Taxandrian said...

Did my comment not get past the moderation or did it get lost somewhere?

(I posted a comment in another article here around the same time and that one did show up)

Fish with Trish said...

Tax, it must have got lost. Please respost. Thanks.

Azou said...

Uh, yes there is a problem with the message and the method. You go into the conversation making assumptions about the person's beliefs. This is all ground that is well treaded.

Taxandrian said...

@stranger.strange.land:

The question is, are those who consistently reject Christ and the "offer of the Gospel," and stand fast in that rejection until their last breath, prepared to deal with eternity in hell.

Which part of me explaining to you that using fear tactics on atheist doesn't work was not clear to you? Because here you go, doing it again.

Look at it this way, Craig: if you go out to evangelize, do you speak to people in Russian? It's the same here: if you use fear tactics on atheists you're in effect speaking a different language. Not only is this ineffective like Azou said, it's actually counter-productive; you alienate atheists from your message. Is that really what you want?

Of course you can take the easy way -like you did- by saying that it's not your fault but the atheists': they refuse to accept your message. Remember though, that atheists don't approach you; you approach them. Yet somehow you expect THEM to adapt to you instead of the other way around.

Craig, is spreading this 'good message' of you really not worth adapting your evangelisation method to those who you're addressing? If you can't make this effort, why would even I bother listening to it?

And I can assure him, without any qualification, that in doing that he will most certainly be saved eternally "by the blood of Jesus Christ."

That's quite the bold statement, Craig. You seem to be able to determine who gets saved and who won't. Isn't that up to God to decide? Maybe He isn't so pleased that you're assuring things to people while He's the one who decides whether they get it or not.

See, Craig, you can't be sure AT ALL. After all, even if God promises eternal life to those who accept Jesus as their saviour and live up to all of His commands, what's to keep Him from breaking this promise? Are you going to tell God that He's obliged to keep His promise? If He created this world and everyting/one in it, isn't He entitled to do with it as He sees fit? What if all atheists get saved because God really likes freethinkers instead of mindless followers? What if God is really evil and will toss everyone in Hell anyway but just made this 'getting saved' thing up because He likes seeing people wasting the only life they'll have on getting into Heaven? What if God decides on a case-by-case scenario and makes exceptions for some?

So no Craig, you can't assure anything because you don't know anything. You only have a belief system and hope, that's all. If you like it that way, all the power to you, but don't expect me to take your assurances as any sort of guarantee because they aren't.

Taxandrian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taxandrian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stranger.strange.land said...

Uh, yes there is a problem with the message and the method.

A problem with the message would be if it were not delivered.

A problem with the method would be if I were to depart from the one prescribed in Scripture: 1. The Law convicting the person of sin leading to death and hell, 2. the Gospel of Jesus delivering those who trust Him from sin, death and hell.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)

You go into the conversation making assumptions about the person's beliefs.

I go into the conversation believing from the scriptures that there is no one who is righteous, no one who understands and none who seek God (see Romans 3:10-11); also that we all supress the knowledge of God that we do have (Rom. 1:18-22), and that our consciences "bear witness" of our doing right or wrong (Rom. 2:15).

But I also go into the conversation with a promise from God about the message that He gave us to deliver:

"So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isa. 55:11)

Jesus said: "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:15,16)

This is all ground that is well treaded.

Yes, it is. And the Lord also said: "A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy." (Prov. 29:1)

That concerns me, Azou.

Craig

Azou said...

Still making assumptions, Craig.

Like, oh I don't know, that the Bible is true? In fact, you seem to be incapable of defending yourself without quoting it.

Tax makes a very good point: are you going to go up to people and talk to them in a language they don't understand? Your attitude is not going to suddenly imbue them with knowledge of a foreign tongue.

Yes, your method can be and IS ineffective. If it was effective, I wouldn't be speaking against it.

stranger.strange.land said...

In fact, you seem to be incapable of defending yourself without quoting it.

"Defending myself"? Azou, my friend, I wasn't "defending myself." I was 1) showing what the Gospel message is and 2) saying something about the Biblical method of presenting it. This was my response to your comment.

Yes, your method can be and IS ineffective. If it was effective, I wouldn't be speaking against it.

Your (or anyone's) speaking against the Gospel and the way it is proclaimed says nothing about the effectiveness/non-effectiveness of the Gospel itself or how it is presented. In fact, it confirms what the Bible teaches: that most people have, and will continue to speak against it until the very end.

I think the book of Acts (Chap. 1-28)provides a clear idea of what we should expect. Some spoke against the Gospel, while some gladly received it. Others (like Paul) spoke against it for a time, then later believed and taught it. I see no indication that we should expect anything different as we progress through Acts 29.

Wishing the best of everything to you. Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Hello, Tax

(I scrolled up from the bottom, as I sometimes do, and saw and replied to Azou before I saw yours.)

Regarding your "Your weapons are useless against us" statement (Did you like that?):
I don't really see "atheists" as some special order of beings who are inherently immune to the Gospel, as God has entrusted it to His church to proclaim to every creature. It is our job to be faithful to that which has been entrusted to us, and it is God's job to use that to call His elect to faith in Christ.

Re. evangelizing:
Sure, when I "come up to someone" with the intention of talking with them about Jesus, the Gospel etc., I'll chat with them a bit to find out something about them as individuals. (Maybe I will take an extra minute or two to bring them up to date on what has been going on in the world for the past few thousand years.) And when I talk to that individual, I take into consideration their personality, beliefs, background, etc. But, if during the conversation I leave out the essentials (sin, guilt, punishment, grace, Christ and what he accomplished on the cross, etc.) I haven't really shared the Gospel message.

But you, my friend, have been interacting with Christians on this blog for a long time, and I am reasonably sure that you "know the language."

...So no Craig, you can't assure anything because you don't know anything. You only have a belief system and hope, that's all. If you like it that way, all the power to you, but don't expect me to take your assurances as any sort of guarantee because they aren't.

You are right about one thing, I don't know; God is sovereign and may in the end decide to grant universal salvation to everyone. But I don't see anything in the Bible that would give me reason to expect that He will. All we can do now is to continue to be faithful to what He has revealed in His Word.

My confident assurance is to "...everyone, everywhere who will acknowledge his sin and bring his guilt and need to Jesus Christ". I don't know if that will ever be you, or not. But if it is, I assure you without any qualification, that in doing that, you will most certainly be saved eternally "by the blood of Jesus Christ."

So, you see, I am not making any assumptions about you or any other any individual that is not warranted by Scripture.

I hope I have clarified any misunderstanding you may have had about what I said earlier.

Wishing you peace and good health (although I also sincerely pray that God gives you a certain sense of restlessness until you find your rest in Christ).

Your friend,

Craig

Fish with Trish said...

"Did my comment not get past the moderation or did it get lost somewhere?"

Tax, I think I found your comment, it was in the spam section of my blog.

Stormbringer said...

Trish, that spam filter that Blogger has put in is capricious. It let several comments from the same person go through, then sent his next two into the spam filter. Guess we have to simply check that every day, too.

Taxandrian said...

@stranger.strange.land:

"Regarding your "Your weapons are useless against us" statement (Did you like that?)"

I never said "Your weapons are useless against us". What I actually said was: the weapon you are currently using is useless against atheists. Big difference there, and judging from your reply you still don't see the distinction.

But hey, that's fine by me. Because, actually, I was giving you advice on how to evangelize to atheists. But if you -like Azou so correctly stated- want to be ineffective, who am I to stop you? Go right ahead, I'd say. ;-)

Just remember this thing: atheists don't fear hell because they don't believe it exists. That should be clear enough.

You are right about one thing, I don't know; God is sovereign and may in the end decide to grant universal salvation to everyone.

Or He might send everyone to Hell.

One question for you, Craig: do you think Isaac Zamora and Christopher Turgeon (Google them) are murderers?

stranger.strange.land said...

Thanks, Tax.

Yes, I know that you didn't say, "Your weapons are useless against us." That was just a little play on a cliche from old B sci-fi movies.

Re. Advice.
You mean study up on apologetics? You know, I just might take you up on that. I guess I am heavily biased toward theology, especially soteriology. I don't know a lot of things, but I have made it my aim to know the Gospel as thoroughly as I possibly can. Maybe a little attention to apologetics would help me apply it better.

What sort of tack would grab your attention, by the way?

Re. Zamora and Turgeon.
It depends on whether they knew what they were doing, doesn't it?

I guess it is possible that Zamora may have been geuinely insane and not responsible for his actions. But I have also heard that even within minds of people who are out of touch with reality, there may exist an area of knowing right from wrong to some degree, and choosing the wrong.

Turgeon seems to have been more calculating and deliberate in his actions, though. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing.

Interesting question.

________________________

What a person is truly thinking and believing in the depths of his mind may not be what he says he thinks or believes.
________________________

Or He might send everyone to Hell.

According to what I understand the Bible teaches, He would be justified in doing just that; but the Son of God's becoming one of us and doing what He did is evidence that He is a God who goes to great lengths to keep his promises. Contrary to what the serpent suggested in Genesis 3, God can be trusted. Trust is something too often missing in the world we live in.

The thought of us one day actually walking into heaven amazes me beyond words.

Your friend,

Craig

Azou said...

Craig, there is generally nothing on this planet that is universally agreed about. If people arguing against something confirms it, then a whole lot of stuff has been confirmed.

Oh, and you used Bible quotes to defend yourself again!

stranger.strange.land said...

Azou: "Oh, and you used Bible quotes to defend yourself again!"

Defend myself? I thought I was just having a delightful conversation with some good friends.

Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word.

Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.

I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.

My soul is crushed with longing
After Your ordinances at all times.

You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed, Who wander from Your commandments.

Take away reproach and contempt from me, For I observe Your testimonies.

Even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your statutes.

Your testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors.


(Ps 119:17-24 NASB)

Craig : )

Taxandrian said...

@stranger.strange.land:

What sort of tack would grab your attention, by the way?

I suggest you do a Google search for 'The Theist's Guide to Converting Atheists'. It should point you to a site called Ebon Musings. It's a good start.

While you're there I suggest you also read the article called 'How Not to Convert an Atheist'.
Especially important is point 1 on the list:

Don't tell atheists what they think; let them tell you what they think.

This should give you an idea about how atheists stand in life and what drives/motivates/interests them.

But if you really think your faith is strong, how about taking the Debunking Christianity Challenge (google it)?

Now, about Zamora and Turgeon: you probably noticed that these two killed because God told them to do so.

The million dollar question here is: if they were told by God to kill, are they still murderers?

Take care,
Tax

stranger.strange.land said...

Thank you, Tax. I was sort of expecting something more personal in your own words, but if these sites reflect your thoughts, that is okay with me.

I may have seen them before, as I used to spend a lot of time reading atheist-agnostic-skeptic-free thinker sites, but not so much lately. I will check them out.

Re. Zamora & Turgeon

Again, not what I expected. I thought you were thinking along the lines of the degree of culpability in someone who is mentally ill.

The "million dollar question" is something I see asked quite often in the comments on Ray's blog. I am a cessationist, and believe the canon of scripture is closed. I think this reflects the wisdom of God in preventing people who falsely claim to claim to have a direct revelation from heaven in the form of a "word from God" from having credibility in the church.

If a man or woman tells me. "God told me x, y, or z," I don't hesitate to reply to them, "No! He didn't!"

All the best to you, Tax.

Craig

Taxandrian said...

Hey Craig,

I take it you're a cessationist because of your interpretation of the Bible.

The question of course is: is God bound by what's written in the Bible? If He somehow deemed it necessary for these people to kill (mind you: not the first time He did something like this) would He be obliged to keep Himself from telling them to do so because of Scripture?

Or in short: is God obliged to keep Himself to His word?

stranger.strange.land said...

...Or in short: is God obliged to keep Himself to His word?

God is bound to keep Himself to His word, but not in the same way that you and I would be legally bound to be true to a bilateral contractual agreement that is overseen by a third party. (It is possible for you or me to somehow weasel out of our legal obligation and commit a breach of contact.)

On the other hand, God is bound to His covenant by the unchangeableness of his purpose (also called His "counsel" - which is itself bound up in His very character) and He has confirmed it by an oath. See Hebrews 6:13-18

As I mentioned in Trish's new thread, when you assume the existence of the God of the bible, at least for sake of argument, you necessarily are assuming the qualities of character that are His attributes. Otherwise you are not talking about God, but something else, and your question is incoherent.

(I said "invalid" in the other comment, but "incoherent" is probably more accurate.)

If He somehow deemed it necessary for these people to kill (mind you: not the first time He did something like this)

Israel's physical warfare against the people who occupied the land that God gave them is parallel to the spiritual warfare that God's people are engaged in today. The "shorthand" term for the apiritual enemies we wrestle with in the present dispensation is The world, the flesh, and the devil. Our weapon is the gospel.

The church, by Christ's power and authority, proclaims the gospel, by that same authority calls men and women to faith and repentance, and announces the promise of the gospel to those who believe(forgiveness of sins and eternal life.) Christians are to lead "gospel-driven" lives.

Craig