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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: This is the thread where we talk about Old Testament genocide.
Jolly Jape
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Custard, you wrote
quote:
Well, actually he is saying that we will all perish unless we repent (and hence strongly implying that we all deserve to perish).

Well, no, actually. What he said was that his audience at the time, those who expected God to reward sin with punishment (and specifically the sin of Roman Imperialism with the retribution of a militaristic messiah) that this was in no way God's intention for messiah, and if they kept up with refusing to listen to Jesus correction of those expectations, then they would perish under the Roman sword. In short, it is this very linkage of sin with divine retribution, as oposed to with natural consequence, which He was attacking here.

But I repeat, whether or not we can demand anything good of God as of right is immaterial. He doesn't save us because we are good, but because He is good. And, along with many others here, I do not think that genocide is ever, in any circumstance or set of circumstances, justifiable, nor could it possibly be described as good, whoever the instigator. And if it is not good, it could not have been sanctioned by a good God, no matter what Jusua believed. And the primary reason that I believe that is because Jesus has shown me what the word "good" means.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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Billfrid
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Backing up a bit.........
I talked to Mr. Billfrid last night about this thread and he made the observation that in the bible there are several names for God - Jahweh, Adonai, Elohim etc. which got me thinking.
Why not take a slightly anthropological view of all this. If I saw the bible presented to me as a newly discovered text,and read these different names, I might reasonably draw the conclusion that the Israelites were acutally polytheists [Eek!]
Continuing in that vein, it might seem that there was one particular god who insisted that his followers worship and revere only him......he ordered his followers to exterminate other peoples, and they carried out his wishes [Frown]

Then much later a baby was born in a provincial city of the Roman empire called Bethlehem [Yipee]
I think we can guess the rest.

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Seeker963
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
So if God decreed that, say, feeding children through bacon slicers was moral, you'd swallow your revulsion and accept it?

I'm off to become a buddhist.

I'm thinking that the basic difference here is between those of us who think that morality and ethics are the "absolutes" and those who think that biblical inerrancy is the "absolute"?

It's pretty amazing, is it not, that Christians can't even seem to agree on the idea that "Genocide is always wrong".
As one of the former partisans, I think that common sense tells me that this is the logical and Godly way for God to behave. I believe that in the same "straight-forward and logical" way that inerrantists posit biblical inerrantism. I don't actually see how we get around such an epistemological problem which seems to be a problem of first principles.

[ 08. July 2004, 11:07: Message edited by: Seeker963 ]

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"People waste so much of their lives on hate and fear." My friend JW-N: Chaplain and three-time cancer survivor. (Went to be with her Lord March 21, 2010. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.)

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Jolly Jape
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Lep, I think you are being a bit sniffy here:
quote:
I think Callan is right here. There are two basic philosophies.
One begins with repentance - I am willing to change my mind to think as God teaches no matter what. It depends on revelation, it believes in its own sinfulness, it realises it isn't really a very good arbiter of what is right and wrong.
The other begins with what is "self evident" and repents to that point. It is quite sure that it is quite a good arbiter of morality thank you very much. It, IMNSHO, is not repentance at all, as it doesn't actually involve changing one's mind about anything.

Perhaps it's just possible that, rather than beginning with what is self-evident, we are beginning with the character and nature of Jesus, and that our conscience, informed by the Holy Spirit, leads us to believe as we do. It thus becomes self evident, just as you believe inerrancy of the scriptures to be self evident, and for much the same reasons. Surely repentance is the bringing into line of our behaviour with what our consciences, informed by the Holy Spirit, tells us is God's will. I don't see that as a repentance which is in any way difficient. I really find it difficult to accept that you believe it is.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Personally, I'm beginning with my conscience. I was pretty sure that genocide was evil when I was an atheist.

I don't have the necessary "silence" button on my conscience to tune it out. This is what Psyduck's "Goddammit, it's just wrong" is about and I'll freely admit it's the basis from which I'm working.

What's the point of having a conscience if we can't use it? What's the point of having empathy if we can't base anything on it?

From a pure logic position I understand where Lep et al. are coming from, but to work from pure logic in this manner, I need, as I've said multiple times before, a prefrontal lobotomy.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Leprechaun

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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
Perhaps it's just possible that, rather than beginning with what is self-evident, we are beginning with the character and nature of Jesus, and that our conscience, informed by the Holy Spirit, leads us to believe as we do. It thus becomes self evident, just as you believe inerrancy of the scriptures to be self evident, and for much the same reasons. Surely repentance is the bringing into line of our behaviour with what our consciences, informed by the Holy Spirit, tells us is God's will. I don't see that as a repentance which is in any way difficient. I really find it difficult to accept that you believe it is.

JJ,
I made it clear that this was not what I was referring to, but the simple statement that things are evil "because they are." I don't find that an accpetable basis for making any moral decision. That is beginning with "self-evidence".
The repentance that is deficient is that which will only agree with what it already thinks. Basing arguments on "self evidence" alone is exactly that.

I agree with Seeker - there is an epistemological argument here which I am not sure is solvable. So, you'll be glad to know, that unless I genuinely feel I have something new to add to this discussion which hasn't bee trawled through several times forwards and backwards, I won't be contributing to it any more.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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To make my repentance complete I need to repent of finding genocide morally repugnant?

You're right; we are never going to get over this divide.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Belle
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I've always been taught that the Jews were looking for a Messiah. Jesus came along and announced himself - in many ways, some subtler than others - to be that Messiah. All well and good. He did signs and wonders, he was close to God. He taught with authority. He knew things noone else knew. But - unlike the martial, OT style, where God came alongside the Jews and smote their enemies - Jesus departed radically from that theme - completely confounding most if not all of his followers. Seems to me we at least have to ask why. Why didn't God, through Jesus, depose the Romans, set up the Temple, usher in the Messianic age? Was it because the Jews at that time weren't righteous and thus didn't deserve a smiting saviour? Surely not - for as Christians we would argue that God had saved, in Jesus, his biggest and best weapon for last. No more smiting - no more messing about. He's brought in the big guns, the be all and end all weapon to do for sin - everyone's sin - not just the pagans, but the Jews - everyone at once. And how many people die this time? Just one - and who is the victim? God himself. Doesn't this cast a new light on EVERYTHING that has gone before? How can we ever see anything in the same light again? None of that smiting was good enough. None of it achieved God's ultimate aim. No - he achieved it once and for all, not by killing, but by dying. Killing not people but sin and death themselves.

We may well be judged harshly after we die. We are indeed warned to be careful how we judge in this life. God is no doubt disgusted by many of the things we do in this life. But - he has made provision for us in spite of that - and he hopes everyone of his lost lambs will take advantage of it. Jesus is God's answer isn't he, to all of our questions about what's right, what's wrong, where God's justice and mercy is. If he isn't - why call ourselves Christians - why point to the cross (and resurrection Fr G!) at all?

I'm confused that some people seem to want to go back to play the game by the old rules, when God played alongside you when you were good, and abandoned you (to teach you a lesson) when you were bad. That seems to me like God moving people like chess pieces. The carrot and stick approach to morality. I don't think God is as simplistic as that - but I think human perception of what God is doing in the world very often reduces him to it. Isn't a lot of Ecclesiastes in fact a consideration of how God doesn't do what we would expect in terms of rewarding good and punishing bad? Doesn't Jesus show that however things may have seemed to the Jews (and in fact I think we may be simplifying our view of the OT a bit for the purposes of this debate), that was never how they really were?

The cross has always been a bit of a curve ball for the law, hasn't it!

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where am I going... and why am I in this handbasket?

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
I agree with Seeker - there is an epistemological argument here which I am not sure is solvable. So, you'll be glad to know, that unless I genuinely feel I have something new to add to this discussion which hasn't bee trawled through several times forwards and backwards, I won't be contributing to it any more.

Wait. Don't go!

I do think that this epistemological dilemma can be solved.

The key is to realize that the way that things appear, and the way that they actually are, are often two different things.

A criminal believes that he has been put in prison by a vindictive judge. The truth may be that he was put in prison by his own activities, and that the judge would free him if he could.

A person in hell believes that he has been cast there by an angry God. The truth is that he has cast himself into hell, and that God would bring him out if only the person was willing.

The Bible is often written according to the way things appear rather than the way they really are. This does not mean that it is untrue.

This is the distinction that Jesus taught between those of old time saying you should hate your enemies, whereas the truth is that you should love your enemies. Neither means that you should allow yourself to be killed by your enemies, but the second is the true and good alternative. The first, however, is the way that it appears.

In addition to this distinction, an added layer of confusion is due to the Bible's metaphoric nature. Not everyone accepts that things happened in the Bible for the sake of metaphor, but there is no escaping that Jesus treated it that way. Jesus compared His death and resurrection to Jonah's time in the great fish, and to Moses' bronze serpent. He made constant use of this kind of symbolism. The numbers used in both the Old and New Testaments are clearly symbolic.

This means that we need to struggle with the idea that the Egyptians died, not because God killed them, or because they actually were evil, but because they were metaphorically evil and metaphors are more powerful than most people think. [Eek!]

[ 08. July 2004, 11:50: Message edited by: Freddy ]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
But - unlike the martial, OT style, where God came alongside the Jews and smote their enemies - Jesus departed radically from that theme - completely confounding most if not all of his followers. Seems to me we at least have to ask why. Why didn't God, through Jesus, depose the Romans, set up the Temple, usher in the Messianic age? Was it because the Jews at that time weren't righteous and thus didn't deserve a smiting saviour? Surely not - for as Christians we would argue that God had saved, in Jesus, his biggest and best weapon for last. No more smiting - no more messing about. He's brought in the big guns, the be all and end all weapon to do for sin - everyone's sin - not just the pagans, but the Jews - everyone at once. And how many people die this time? Just one - and who is the victim? God himself. Doesn't this cast a new light on EVERYTHING that has gone before?

Fabulous. [Overused]

The Old Testament God is the appearance. The New Testament God is the reality.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Weed
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
Doesn't Jesus show that however things may have seemed to the Jews (and in fact I think we may be simplifying our view of the OT a bit for the purposes of this debate), that was never how they really were?

Quite. Maybe one avenue we could explore is how Jews interpret the scriptures we have in common. My web trawl to see what resources may be readily available haven't got very far but I did come across this which I found interesting as it is on the precise point of Joshua and genocide.

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Weed

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Callan
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Originally posted by Leprechaun:

quote:
I think Callan is right here. There are two basic philosophies.
One begins with repentance - I am willing to change my mind to think as God teaches no matter what. It depends on revelation, it believes in its own sinfulness, it realises it isn't really a very good arbiter of what is right and wrong.
The other begins with what is "self evident" and repents to that point. It is quite sure that it is quite a good arbiter of morality thank you very much. It, IMNSHO, is not repentance at all, as it doesn't actually involve changing one's mind about anything.

I think that this is not quite an accurate picture. You seem to imagine revelation as something which irrupts into the world, clearly and unambiguously, leaving us with the task of either accepting it or rejecting it. On this understanding the Reich accepts it wholesale whereas us more sensitive liberal types have fastidious Guardianista reservations. Revelation and reason are entirely separate epistemological categories. Revelation is sure and certain and comes in a little black book entitled 'Holy Bible'.

Now most of us Guardianista types don't think that revelation works like that. We'd probably say that revelation comes about through the Divine illuminating the human intellect and, as such, is therefore partial, fallible and constrained by human biology and culture. We think, to be honest, that the Reich view of revelation is epistemologically naive and as it is extra-revelatory - it is, after all, a fairly recent interpretation of the Bible and out of step with the historic understanding of Christendom of the Bible - we do not feel constrained to accept it. For us the Word of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. We interpret the Bible through the lens of that revelation and in the light of the teachings of the Church and of the informed moral conscience.

Now in the light of the Church's clear teachings about genocide ("It's a bad thing" - various Popes, Church Fathers and theologians), of the fairly good moral arguments that can be adduced against Genocide and the Dominical witness to non-violence and love as a way of overcoming evil we are obliged, to conclude that Joshua is a product of its times and not normative. We doubt its historicity and dissent firmly from its ethics. This is a theological stance and, indeed, an explicitly Christian stance. Because we want to think as God teaches, no matter what.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Revelation is sure and certain and comes in a little black book entitled 'Holy Bible'.

I'm with Lep here. Revelation is sure and certain and comes in a little black book called the Bible.

I don't, however, think that Leprechaun properly understands and interprets it by carefully comparing the Old and New Testaments.

Still, I agree with what he is saying about "man's wisdom" and what appears to be "self-evident" compared with what God has revealed.

The key is to really understand what God has revealed.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Leprechaun

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One more thing.

Making a badly misguided quip using the word "Reich" on a thread about genocide has just struck me as being in very bad taste, and potentially very offensive.

It was me who introduced it in a moment of light hearted banter. I wholeheartedly apologise, and respectfully request that people stop using it.

Cheerz

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Martin60
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KLB - No I wouldn't and no He wouldn't. Christians are safe, we don't have to kill ANY ONE in His name - in fact I'd go as far as to see it's implicitly at least forbidden and impossible to do so. I can kill otherwise, in self and other defense of course without question as a citizen. He'll do His own killing, for His own, perfect, unfathomable, unrevealed reasons, predicated on His revealed, perfect love.

[ 08. July 2004, 12:53: Message edited by: Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard ]

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Love wins

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Wait. Don't go!

I do think that this epistemological dilemma can be solved.

The key is to realize that the way that things appear, and the way that they actually are, are often two different things. <snip>

Fabulous post, Freddy. [Overused]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
He'll do His own killing, for His own, perfect, unfathomable, unrevealed reasons, predicated on His revealed, perfect love.

Yes as long as I'm killed in love, then it's okay.

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Phos Hilaron
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
But - unlike the martial, OT style, where God came alongside the Jews and smote their enemies - Jesus departed radically from that theme - completely confounding most if not all of his followers. Seems to me we at least have to ask why. Why didn't God, through Jesus, depose the Romans, set up the Temple, usher in the Messianic age? Was it because the Jews at that time weren't righteous and thus didn't deserve a smiting saviour? Surely not - for as Christians we would argue that God had saved, in Jesus, his biggest and best weapon for last. No more smiting - no more messing about. He's brought in the big guns, the be all and end all weapon to do for sin - everyone's sin - not just the pagans, but the Jews - everyone at once. And how many people die this time? Just one - and who is the victim? God himself. Doesn't this cast a new light on EVERYTHING that has gone before?

Fabulous. [Overused]

The Old Testament God is the appearance. The New Testament God is the reality.

I duno, Freddy (although I agree with you that Belle's post is excellent). And I'm reminded of when God says "See! I am doing a new thing!" But the OT God and the NT God are the same God. If we stop believing that, we begin the slide into Gnosticism.
Posts: 1684 | From: Choson | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by HangerQueen:
But the OT God and the NT God are the same God. If we stop believing that, we begin the slide into Gnosticism.

I agree. The OT God and the NT God are the same. But the NT God is a clearer and more accurate version, where as the OT God is a more clouded, mysterious, and symbolic version.

This is why Jesus said "You have heard it said by them of old time....but I say to you." He is refining the Old Testament explanations, but making it clear that this is the same God we are dealing with.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Custard
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# 5402

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
He'll do His own killing, for His own, perfect, unfathomable, unrevealed reasons, predicated on His revealed, perfect love.

Yes as long as I'm killed in love, then it's okay.
Which is precisely why I posted that lengthy quote from Ps 136 earlier

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Ender's Shadow
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quote:
Psyduck says:
And before anyone quotes it at me, let me run up the passage

quote: Luke.13
[1]
There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.


[2] And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus?
[3] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
[4] Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo'am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?
[5] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

What else is Jesus saying here than "Shit happens?" The opposition on this thread have been trying to convince the rest of us that God only does the genocide thing when it's richly deserved, wven by all those sinful little kids and perverted farm-animals. Jesus is saying here, quite explicitly, that that's not true.

But the whole point of Jesus' warning about the fall of Jerusalem was that it was to be because the Jewish people had rejected Him at the time of his revelation to them. So the concept of 'collective punishment' extends into the NT. The question we are down to is whether Joshua heard the instruction from God aright or not. I don't think the text really allows us to argue other than he did. So has God changed? Nope - the reality of future judgement is a clear NT theme. Not popular today....

One of the issues is:

quote:
Freddy:

But anyone who really thinks about it must know that all the Philistines, Egyptians, and Canaanites couldn't possibly have been bad. They were most likely exactly like the Israelites as far as their moral character was concerned.

This is the exact opposite of what the OT is indicating - the Cannanites were especially obnoxious to God, and deserved to be kicked out.

A point to notice is that the genocidal instruction is an oddity; it was not the normal pattern for the conquering army to come in and cleanse the land of those there - rather you would take the people as slaves and their property as loot. The behaviour of the Israelites is therefore not explained away as the normal behaviour of the time, but is actually extrordinary. Note the way that they treat the Gibeonites when they fool the Israelites into thinking they are not a local tribe.

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Please don't refer to me as 'Ender' - the whole point of Ender's Shadow is that he isn't Ender.

Posts: 5018 | From: Manchester, England | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Custard
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JJ - how on earth did you read that into this verse?

quote:
[5] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."


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ONUnicorn
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Someone wanted a chapter and verse that implys the slaughter was ordered by God. In response I give you 1 Samuel Chapter 15 (Not Joshua, I know, but still...)
quote:
1 Then Samuel said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD. 2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I will punish Amalek {for} what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3 'Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' "
As we should know, Saul does not obey here, he leaves some of Amalek alive.

quote:
9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.

God told Saul to destroy Amalek and all associated with it. Taking just this passage, there are several possible reasons for this
1. The people were following Amalek's gods, and God wanted to put a halt to this ASAP.

2. Leaving any of Amalek alive would NOT stop the people from following Amalek's gods, and the idolitry would be more widespread.

3. Leaving any of Amalek alive would leave an enemy at Israel's back to attack them later.

4. In Genesis, God tests Abraham by asking him to kill the son God promised would be his heir. This seemed totaly illogical to Abraham, but out of faithfulness to God he was doing it. He passed the test, and God spared Abraham. Perhaps for Saul this is a similar test, one he fails.

5. God knew Saul would fail this test, and as God only made Saul king to show the Isrealites what a lousy king could be to begin with (God intentionally picked someone totally unqualified to be king when he picked Saul) he wanted an excuse to remove Saul from power (which he did - as punishment for leaving some of Amalek alive).

As I said in my earlier post, beginning with the Roman occupation of Judea, God tries a different approach to things. Plan A didn't work, so he goes to Plan B. Obviously, he knew Plan A wouldn't work when he started, but he still had to try Plan A anyhow.

Another way to look at the God/man relationship...

God is an artist. Creation is his artwork. We'll compare it to a painting.

When one is a painter, one occasionally makes a mistake. Sometimes one works the mistake into the painting. Othertimes, one paints over the mistake.

Perhaps, when God orders Genocide, he is using the red paint to cover the blue paint he didn't want there anyway.

Perhaps, when Christ came, enough of the picture was done, that covering mistakes was no longer practical, and it is now easier to work it into the design.

I had to write a 30 page senior thesis before I could graduate from University. I know that when you contract it is, you use its. It is ALWAYS gramatically incorrect to write it's. However, my instinct for contracting it is is to use it's. So, after the paper was done I did find-replace to change all the it's to its.

I was God of that paper. I committed genocide on the '. Was that wrong of me?

What right do we, the creations, have to judge the motives of the artist creating us?

God created love just as surely as he created everything else. Doesn't he have a better understanding of what it is than we do?

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"A pig's snout is NOT an electrical outlet."

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Ender's Shadow:
quote:
Freddy:

But anyone who really thinks about it must know that all the Philistines, Egyptians, and Canaanites couldn't possibly have been bad. They were most likely exactly like the Israelites as far as their moral character was concerned.

This is the exact opposite of what the OT is indicating - the Cannanites were especially obnoxious to God, and deserved to be kicked out.

A point to notice is that the genocidal instruction is an oddity; it was not the normal pattern for the conquering army to come in and cleanse the land of those there - rather you would take the people as slaves and their property as loot. The behaviour of the Israelites is therefore not explained away as the normal behaviour of the time, but is actually extrordinary.

Egyptians were specifically not to be attacked. In fact they can be admitted to the assembly of the Lord - i.e. if they move in they can count as Jews. And Philistines were meant to be smited, but not wiped out.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Belle
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Something here seriously does not compute for me.

Here we have John 1
quote:
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood[1] it.

This suggests to me that Jesus was around from the beginning - which I thought was generally accepted in Christian circles. Is God not unchanging? How can the boundless love and grace you see on the cross be present in the tribal struggles reflected in some of the books of the OT?

Yes the Canaanites probably did things that were offensive to God. But so do we all. So, if it came to it, did the Israelites - or do we suddenly believe that 'a little' sin doesn't offend God's holiness? Perhaps his standards were a little less exacting in those days?

Isn't it a bit inconsistent to smite a bunch of people you already know you're going to die for? They were so disgusting he just had to go out and sacrifice his son for them - or is it just that all this actually disproves the gospel? John was wrong. God didn't die for everyone after all. Maybe the Calvinists are right?

I put it to you that any apparent conflict between the God of love as seen in Jesus's salvific work on the cross and thereafter and the God of smiting is the result of history being recorded through the eyes of those who, while devout and faithful have not always understood the light in the darkness. They have done their best according to their lights, and in many cases that was a pretty fine best. However, in some cases - ie keeping their faith and culture alive in a pagan world that often threatened to extinguish it, they did what they had to do. And, like people reared in that environment did (and let's face it - we still do today), they ascribed their successes to God being with them and against their enemies. When they failed God was against them. But, at the same time, many writers in the Bible grappled with the question of why things didn't always seem to follow these nice neat rules. Job saw that the righteous don't always get their just reward. The writer of Ecclesiastes noted that strangely, good things happen to the wicked just as often as the good. Wasn't it Jonah who was angry because God wouldn't smite the Ninevites? Why is it that people always seem surprised when God doesn't run true to the logical pattern they've cut for him. They keep trying to get him back into the groove and he just won't fit. It's not the love and mercy that's the anomaly - it's the violence and hatred. And that's what he came here to offer a solution to.

Must go - computer time over. Sorry to post and run!

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where am I going... and why am I in this handbasket?

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Custard
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
Isn't it a bit inconsistent to smite a bunch of people you already know you're going to die for?

Great question Belle.

I think we need to be clear that Jesus died for anybody and everybody who accepts his offer of forgiveness.

He died to offer the chance of forgiveness of sin to everyone, but only to forgive the sin of those who accept it. Otherwise, there would be no hell and that would contradict what Jesus said.

So how can God punish and die for the same people? Isn't that what Hosea (among other books) is all about?

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Stamp thine image in its place.


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ken
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If God died to save them, then how is smiting them really a punishment if they end up in heaven afterwards?

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Martin60
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Da-dah! Most GRACEful Ken.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
So how can God punish and die for the same people? Isn't that what Hosea (among other books) is all about?
Schizoid personality?

Please don't convince me you're right, Custard. Rest assured I will abandon Christianity if you do - it is too ridiculous and morally repugnant to believe in.

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Martin60
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And Freddy, why would God kill YOU? You're not a member of a helplessly depraved bronze age tribe are you? ALL of the OT paved the way for a society in to which it was possible for God to incarnate. The Son did it ALL. The Spirit gets a look in and is just as lethal as the son.

Since the 10 commandment old covenant theocracy died with Him it is not for us to arrogate ANY of God's prerogatives which He delegated specifically to it to achieve His end: His incarnation, our salvation.

He did it ALL to save ALL. There is no better way possible. That was, as this is and will be the best of all possible worlds.

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Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Custard123:
I think we need to be clear that Jesus died for anybody and everybody who accepts his offer of forgiveness.

He died to offer the chance of forgiveness of sin to everyone, but only to forgive the sin of those who accept it.

This is in fact the inconsistency between the Biblical account and our contemporary ideas of what God's morals should be.

If God had condemned all those people to hell anyway, then him having them killed early changes nothing really. After all, he'd made them so they were going to die anyway. All very unfortunate for them, but that's life.

And if Jesus died for them and they are bound for heaven - well their story has a happy ending - along with those of all the other genocide and murder victims there ever were. Whoopee!

But if Jesus died for them but they are only able to be saved if they accept the offer of forgiveness, then God really has screwed them over. Because Joshua and his pals - God's people - don't turn up with an offer of forgiveness. They turn up with fire and the sword.

In that Arminian scenario the Canaanites don't have time to be saved. They just get killed before they have a chance to find out what all this God stuff is about.

And even the survivors (which the Bible makes clear were the majority, even though that isn't what it says was supposed to happen) are stuffed - because instead of the prophets of a God of Love all they see in the Hebrews is a load of thieves and murderers. They can certainly be forgiven (by us, if not by God) for not taking anything that lot said about a God of Love at face value.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
it is not for us to arrogate ANY of God's prerogatives which He delegated specifically to it to achieve His end: His incarnation, our salvation.

He did it ALL to save ALL. There is no better way possible. That was, as this is and will be the best of all possible worlds.

Are you sure you aren't a closet Barthist Martin?

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Custard
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I don't think that's all the chance they had. Look at Rahab, look at the Gibeonites (was it the Gibeonites??)....

And I'm not an Arminian, but this isn't the place to discuss that.

[ 08. July 2004, 18:44: Message edited by: Custard123 ]

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Stamp thine image in its place.


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Freddy
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A factor that no one has yet mentioned is that most of the killing and death in the Old Testament is connected with miracles.

For example
  • The deaths of the Egyptians in Egypt
  • Joshua's victory at Jericho
  • Joshua's victory over the Amorite kings in the south
  • Gideon's victory over the Midianites
  • Samson's slaughter of so many Philistines
There are many other examples. It is clear from many things said that all of Israel's victories were miraculous. When they did not serve Jehovah the miracles went in the opposite direction.

It seems to me that an understanding of how miracles and magic work is needed here. The idea that God simply destroys whoever He wishes is too simplistic to be taken seriously.

Are people unaware of the laws that govern these phenomena? [Confused]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Weed
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Joshua and his pals - God's people - don't turn up with an offer of forgiveness. They turn up with fire and the sword.

What comes across to me in Joshua is that we are still at the stage of competing local Gods. I can’t see any suggestion that God’s purpose extends to the other tribes in any way whatsoever except to exterminate them so they don’t contaminate his people. He’s the God of Israel and no-one else and he goes, geographically, where they go. This is not God revealing a part of his character we don’t like; this is man’s limited understanding of God and imagining him in their own warlike image.

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Weed

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ONUnicorn
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quote:
What comes across to me in Joshua is that we are still at the stage of competing local Gods. I can’t see any suggestion that God’s purpose extends to the other tribes in any way whatsoever except to exterminate them so they don’t contaminate his people.
Thank you!!! That is the point I've been trying to make (part of it at least).

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"A pig's snout is NOT an electrical outlet."

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Weed
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quote:
Originally posted by ONUnicorn:
quote:
What comes across to me in Joshua is that we are still at the stage of competing local Gods. I can’t see any suggestion that God’s purpose extends to the other tribes in any way whatsoever except to exterminate them so they don’t contaminate his people.
Thank you!!! That is the point I've been trying to make (part of it at least).
Er, no. I went on to say
quote:
This is not God revealing a part of his character we don’t like; this is man’s limited understanding of God and imagining him in their own warlike image.
Apart from the fact that I had a singular subject and a plural possessive I stand by that. If observant Jews understand it like that, that people made mistakes about what they thought God wanted them to do (see link in previous post), why isn't that the right way for us to interpret it too?

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Weed

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ender's Shadow:
quote:
Freddy:
But anyone who really thinks about it must know that all the Philistines, Egyptians, and Canaanites couldn't possibly have been bad. They were most likely exactly like the Israelites as far as their moral character was concerned.

This is the exact opposite of what the OT is indicating - the Cannanites were especially obnoxious to God, and deserved to be kicked out.
Yes, I am aware that the OT declares these people to be evil. I wholeheartedly agree that in general they were evil. If they weren't evil then Christ would never have had to come.

My point was that all of them couldn't have been evil, especially the young. And my point was especially that the Israelites were no better, being prone to exactly the same wicked practices, cruel, violent and adulterous behaviors. This is clearly recorded in the Bible, along with terms like "stiff-necked people" and "wicked and adulterous generation."

So both Israelites and non-Israelites were wicked. The reason is that in the countdown to the Incarnation humanity in general was becoming more and more depraved.

The holiness that Israel had was a ritual, symbolic, metaphoric holiness and goodness. Their laws and rituals, and their obedience to them, stood for very holy things having to do with love to God and the neighbor. Their victories were metaphors for Christ's victories against hell. Everything about them was perceived according to their metaphoric value by the angels. This enabled a connection with heaven that prevented hell from completely taking over humanity in the time before the Advent.

I know that everyone does not accept the idea that ritual holiness was a real thing or that it had actual value. But to my mind this explains the miraculous nature of Israel's victories, and especially the miraculous deaths of so many of those who opposed them.

When enemies opposed Israel they removed the normal protection from hell that angels continually provide everyone. This was because of the powerful symbolism associated with Israel. The result was that the hells then destroyed the people in a way that exactly corresponded to the attacking evils that they themselves represented.

It was not God, but hell that did this. God did not prevent it, just as He does not prevent wars and other forms of genocide, but He did not cause it.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Ender's Shadow
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Ender's Shadow:
quote:
Freddy:
But anyone who really thinks about it must know that all the Philistines, Egyptians, and Canaanites couldn't possibly have been bad. They were most likely exactly like the Israelites as far as their moral character was concerned.

This is the exact opposite of what the OT is indicating - the Cannanites were especially obnoxious to God, and deserved to be kicked out.
Yes, I am aware that the OT declares these people to be evil. I wholeheartedly agree that in general they were evil. If they weren't evil then Christ would never have had to come.


Let's be clear - according to the OT the people who were occupying Cannan at the time of the invaision by Joshua were killed as a specific act of God's judgment on them - because they were particularly evil, and God's patience had run out. The issue of the collective guilt descending onto the children is one that applies to any act of God's judgement, of which there are many in the Old AND New Testament. The only conclusion we can draw is that parents have sins are indeed still visited onto the next generation - that's the way of the world....

There are therefore 2 specific issues here - was the genocide in Cannan a specific act of God's judgement, and was the action of Joshua in obedience to the God who revealed himself to Jesus. The two are seperate; Jeremiah and others make clear that God uses pagan nations in judgement on the people of Israel - so there was no 'need' for God to use Israel to kill off the Cannanites.

On the general point of the wickedness of Israel - the record of the OT is that they started well and slowly slipped away from Yahweh to the point where he acted in judgement against them until they repented. To claim that they were no better - at the time of the invaision of Cannan - than the people they were kicking out just ain't what the OT indicates.

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Test everything. Hold on to the good.

Please don't refer to me as 'Ender' - the whole point of Ender's Shadow is that he isn't Ender.

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Jolly Jape
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Enders Shadow, you wrote
quote:
But the whole point of Jesus' warning about the fall of Jerusalem was that it was to be because the Jewish people had rejected Him at the time of his revelation to them. So the concept of 'collective punishment' extends into the NT.
Whilst you asked, Custard
quote:
JJ - how on earth did you read that into this verse?


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[5] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

I don't think, ES, that is at all the natural meaning of the verse. What was it that the people had to repent of. Surely the natural meaning would be the belief that God has any intention of smiting the wicked, whether they be the victims of a building collapse or the Roman occupiers. This is not collective punishment by God for the rejection of Jesus, but the natural result of attempting to meet violence with violence.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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Esmeralda

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quote:
Originally posted by ONUnicorn I had to write a 30 page senior thesis before I could graduate from University. I know that when you contract it is, you use its. It is ALWAYS gramatically incorrect to write it's. However, my instinct for contracting it is is to use it's. So, after the paper was done I did find-replace to change all the it's to its.
I was God of that paper. I committed genocide on the '. Was that wrong of me?

Yes, actually, it was entirely and unequivocally wrong. It's exactly the other way around. The contraction of it is, is it's, with apostrophe. Its without apostrophe is the genitive, meaning belonging to it. Common sense tells us that the apostrophe is used to indicate what is missed out, in this case the 'i' of 'is'. So you were in fact a rather bad God of that paper; you should have followed your original instinct and left the apostrophe in.
Could it be that our instincts about genocide - that it is always bad - are also right? After all, God has, according to Ecclesiastes, 'set eternity in the hearts of human beings'. We are still, however sinful, made in God's image, and we still have the innate conscience, the sense of right and wrong, which God gave us (Romans 1 makes this fairly clear in talking of pagans who find God's law in their own hearts). The conscience may be deluded by sin, but it is not destroyed.
ISTM that this is becoming a debate about what it really means to be human. If total depravity means there is nothing good in us at any level, if 'our righteousness is as filthy rags' is an absolute statement (we have no righteousness) rather than a relative one (in comparison with God, our righteousness is pretty feeble) - if this is so, then clearly our sense of what is moral bears no relation to what really is moral, or what God counts as moral.
If, however, as I believe, the image of God in us is never erased, and that as creatures of God we are innately capable of great good as well as great evil, then our sense of morality is a reflection of God's. What it comes down to in the end is whether you believe we are born damned, or born blessed. As a parent, I believe my child is born blessed. God is a parent too - is God's view of us not the same?

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I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.

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Martin60
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Some would say I'm a bit of a Barthtard, yes Ken.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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And yes I know he's Homer's son.

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Love wins

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ender's Shadow:
Let's be clear - according to the OT the people who were occupying Cannan at the time of the invaision by Joshua were killed as a specific act of God's judgment on them - because they were particularly evil, and God's patience had run out.

No argument here. This is what the OT says, and in general I would say that the OT is accurate here.

The other point is of course that they were occupying the Holy Land, and defiling it with their idolatries.

Whether it was God Himself who destroyed them, or caused their destruction is a different point.
quote:
Originally posted by Ender's Shadow:
On the general point of the wickedness of Israel - the record of the OT is that they started well and slowly slipped away from Yahweh to the point where he acted in judgement against them until they repented. To claim that they were no better - at the time of the invaision of Cannan - than the people they were kicking out just ain't what the OT indicates.

Yes, they were very temporarily quite faithful. This is virtually the only time in their history when they are described as faithful. They didn't start well, either as the sons of Jacob, or as the crowd that left Egypt. Not that I am criticizing them, since no one else was faithful either.

But no reasonable person can read these stories and conclude that the people described are any saintlier than anyone else. There are a few good characters - Joseph, Moses, Daniel, umm, ummm - but for the most part even the heroes are violent, adulterous, and self-seeking.

Their holiness as a people loved by God (and of course all people are loved by God) was a metaphoric holiness because they served Jehovah, lived in the Sacred Land, and it would be to them that the Christ would be born, and the Word of God written down. These are all good and honorable things, and ample reason for the identity of God's chosen people. But it was not that they were good.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Tuggboat
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I used to find it hard to believe that God would let people get burned up. But Nowadays I just look at that OT stuff as confirming that he will. He is not just mildly pissed over our and others sin. Even though we're believers our transgressions still make him very very Big time, Big God angry. Without Christ he would look on even us as chaff to be burned. He's ordered it done before. Next time he orders his angels to do it.

AS far a predestination... I have to remember over and over again, I don't make the rules. I'm not God and If I don't love him for everything he is while I'm on Earth am I going to want to spend eternity with him? We have no concept what justice is except what he defines it as. If believing and fruits of our belief are what count in his game who am I to say he needs to change the rules so countries and races count instead. We'll learn true justice when we see one or two from a nation plucked from the flames by Christ, not whole pagan nations. He's promised Justice as well as Mercy. He won't let us down.

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The wind blows, and restless are the sails;
Even the rudder begs direction;

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Tuggboat:
We have no concept what justice is except what he defines it as.

This is patently false. Many whole societies who never knew God's definition of justice have nonetheless created justice systems which while imperfect were not wholly bizarre and arbitrary.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Every time I see the clipped form of the title of this thread on the main index...

This is the thread...

it reminds me of that horrid chorus "This is the day that the Lord has made"...

Shiver.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Peppone
Marine
# 3855

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quote:
Originally posted by Tuggboat:
Without Christ he would look on even us as chaff to be burned.

You make it sound like God and Christ are in conflict. The classic falsehood: Christ saves and protects us from God.

A very odd concept.

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I looked at the wa's o' Glasgow Cathedral, where vandals and angels painted their names,
I was clutching at straws and wrote your initials, while parish officials were safe in their hames.

Posts: 3020 | From: Hong Kong | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
ekalb
Shipmate
# 2642

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Is it too simplistic to say that the directions to go and 'wipe out everything and everyone' are hyperbole? Maybe even an ancient near-eastern idiom for victory?
Afterall, even the most conservative reading of holy script allows for idiosyncratic phrases - does it not?

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"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Posts: 347 | From: Purgatory (Canada) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Zeke
Ship's Inquirer
# 3271

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quote:
Originally posted by Peppone:
quote:
Originally posted by Tuggboat:
Without Christ he would look on even us as chaff to be burned.

You make it sound like God and Christ are in conflict. The classic falsehood: Christ saves and protects us from God.

A very odd concept.

I've seen that "good cop, bad cop" thing more times than I have cared to.

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No longer the Bishop of Durham
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If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it? --Benjamin Franklin

Posts: 5259 | From: Deep in the American desert | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged



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