The Hard Questions

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by expiated, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. expiated

    expiated

    As I continue to make preparations for developing curriculum for a free online K-12 Christian academy, I want to start compiling my thoughts and those of others regarding answers to what are probably among some of the most important questions in life, beginning with...


    Why does God allow evil?

    In Mark 10:18 the Messiah said, “No one is good except god.” And in 1 John 4:8 the Bible says that “…God is love.” So, given that God is good and God is love, why does He allow evil?

    Well, first of all, recognize that evil came into the world through mankind. So, to get rid of it outright, God would have to annihilate the human race right here on the spot. But as stated in 2 Peter 3:9 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition…

    “The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.”

    That God allows evil makes Him merciful—not a monster. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

    Moreover, without evil, everyone would think nothing is wrong anywhere, and as a result, would probably be dumbfounded when, upon their deaths, found themselves consigned to an eternity of pain and suffering.

    The evil that is on the Earth is an indication of how terrible it is to be separated from God. As awful as it might be—it is nothing compared to the suffering that will be experienced by those who elect to spend forever in opposition to their Creator, effectively shutting themselves off from the goodness and the love of God. But there are at least some people who will recognize evil as a warning that being out of the plan and presence of God will ultimately result in nothing good, and who will therefore seek His kingdom and His righteousness while they have the chance here in this life.

    Moreover, unlike most of us, God has an eternal perspective. He created time, but He does not exist in it. From where He stands (or sits) the destruction of evil is already a done deal. God has made it clear that the devil, death, Hades and “anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” As far as God is concerned, even as of now, the destruction of evil as good as accomplished. But, our problem is that we’re waiting to see it realized in our dimension.

    Also, God uses evil to bring about good. For example, there has been no more heinous crime throughout time than when the human race stripped, mocked, beat, spit in the face of and crucified God Himself (in the person of the Son). Yet the Father used that evil act to extend salvation to the entire world. As the life of Joseph illustrates so clearly, “You meant evil against me, but God meant if for good…” Sometimes we see how this plays out, but more often than not we don’t. Nonetheless, the fact still remains that “God causes all things to work together for good…” (Romans 8:28)

    As awful as evil seems to us, it is even more offensive to God. So perhaps we, like the Apostle Paul, should consider “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” It appears life with God is going to be so wonderful that all this evil will seem of little consequence. In the light of eternity, the evil we are now experiencing, as awful as it may be, is “just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)

    So, how will believers spend eternity? Let me paraphrase: “God will dwell among them, and they will be His people. He will wipe away every tear and there will no longer be death, mourning, crying or pain; the first things have passed away.”

    God’s original plan was to gather a people to Himself that He would call His very own. That plan cannot be thwarted. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”

    So, God needs more time to gather all those He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). Consequently, until He is finished gathering His people, He will allow evil to continue on the earth, but only a little while longer.

    In short, God allows evil as indisputable evidence that the world is not as it was meant to be. When an individual feels intense pain, he or she had better get to the hospital and have it diagnosed before whatever is causing it kills them. Likewise, the pain of evil should lead us to God, our heavenly physician (Exodus 15:26) to find the cause of our spiritual death (sin) and embrace its cure (Christ, the Messiah).
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  2. Overnight

    Overnight

    Sorry, was there a question in there?

    Forget your prosletyzing of Judeo-Christian shit. Try Zoroastrianism.

    You do realize there have been, and are, many "religions" that predate your "bible"?

    The bottom line is...When you die, yer dead. There is no afterlife. All religion is, is a way for us mere mortals to try to come to grips with the unnerving fact that being alive is senseless and has no purpose.

    Consciousness is senseless. LIFE is senseless. If it was anything else, there would be proof of it. And there is NONE.
     
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  3. expiated

    expiated

    What is life all about?

    In one sense, it occurs to me that life is all about making choices...good or bad. I find this reflected in biblical passages like Deuteronomy 30:15-20—

    “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

    “But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.

    I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”


    But in another sense, I believe one could say that life is all about establishing healthy relationships, as suggested by an occurrence described in Wikipeida in this way—

    When asked which is the greatest commandment, the Christian New Testament depicts Jesus paraphrasing the Torah: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," before also paraphrasing a second passage; "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

    And finally, it seems to me that those who do the best job of spending their time here on this Earth wisely do so by living in preparation for the life to come. Just one illustration of this is the parable the Messiah tells of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21—

    Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”

    And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

    And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’

    But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”


    Summary:

    For a great many people, life is all about having fun, whereas others dream of achieving fame and fortune or have as their main goal the acquisition or accumulation of power. Sadly, many of these people will never realize until it is too late that they were victims of seductive lies and that they held extremely limited, shortsighted perspectives on life.

    In Matthew 16:26 Jesus is quoted as asking, “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” Of course, the forfeiture of life to which He was referring is an eternity spent in perpetual torment separated from God. Of how much value will one’s former fame, fortune, power or fun be then?

    Read Matthew 6:19-21 and 19:21, Luke 12:33 and 19:17-19, and Revelation 2:26-28. You will discover that the only things people can transfer to heaven are the good works they do as believers in the sense that God assigns positions of authority and treasures in eternity according to what followers do while here on Earth.

    It might therefore be argued that stated as simply as possible, what life is really about, according to Scripture, is making choices, building relationships and preparing for eternity. The most important choice we have to make is whether we will trust, believe and have faith in God. The relationship that transcends or surpasses all others is the one we establish, or fail to establish, with Him. And the best way we can prepare for eternity is to fully embrace God’s plan for our lives while here on this Earth.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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  4. Good1

    Good1

    This isn't really a question, it's a statement: God allows evil. Then you ask why? So you will not be suited to teach K-12 unless the objective is to frighten them into submission , satisfied to be confused forever .

    Anything that is not Good is not allowed.

    If you are experiencing something that is not Good, your experience is not true.

    A better question then, would be, how or why are we able to experience anything that is not trué?

    But christians are not likely to ask the hard questions. Why?

    It's important to know something about Good: Its not possible to break the "law" of Good. If there is a god whose law you think you can break, it is not Good.

    Furthermore it is arrogant to think you can (break the law of Good)..

    Imagination, then, is fundamentally arrogant, as that is the only "place" where lawbreaking can even seem to occur.

    What then is imagination?

    Imagination is not a normal function in the mind of Good, as it only deals with reality. Imagination, then , must be an abnormal application of the powers of Good. In the case of "this world" (where evil seems optional ) , it is an application (misapplication) of the psychological powers of the "Son of Good".

    Only in imagination does it seem possible to make a creature that can become something called "evil", as if it were possible to break the law of Good, which is: ONLY GOOD EXISTS, AND BESIDES GOOD NOTHING ELSE EXISTS.

    The existence of mankind breaks the above stated law. Since it is not possible to break Good's law, man's existence must be APPARENT (not an actual fact in reality).

    Question then: what is an apparition?

    An apparition is a manifestation of imagination.

    Man is a subset of the manifestation of imagination. As such, man is begotten of an I-DONT-KNOW mentality. As like begets like, man DOES NOT KNOW ANYTHING. This is because the domain of imagination denys the admission of KNOWLEDGE. (Only in the domain of imagination would the acquisition of knowledge be considered a "sin". Only in imagination could the distribution of ignorance seem to come from a place of knowledge).

    As such, man is an "image", or, an "apparition"...made after its maker (like begets like). Man's maker, then, is an image/apparition.

    As such, man's maker is an IDOL.

    An idol is an errant idea spawning an idiotic ideology out of an idle mind (a mind not about the business of reality ).

    Man can only break the laws of an IDOL. But neither man nor man"s idols can actually break the law of Good. This is the basis of the salvation of the "Son of Good". The Son of Good cannot, and so HAS NOT broken any laws ("is without sin", so to speak).

    What is imagination then? Why is it unable to break any laws of Good?

    Imagination is a strange twilight zone that appears in the mind of the Son of Good that does not exist. As such it does not break the law.

    Next, imagination is private. It does not affect (or hurt) the domain of Good, which is all that really exists. If it hurts, it only hurts oneself. The question then becomes : Can the Son of Good actually get hurt through what he imagines about himself?

    NOTE well: if Christ is Reality itself, then imagination is ALL ABOUT CHRIST...but only to MISREPRESENT. Hence, the Son of Goods imaginings are about himself tending toward self-sabotage. This remains man's biggest problem. It will remain man's biggest problem while man's very apparent existence functions as sabotage against Christ. Man is a manifestation of the ignorance of Reality (ignorance of Christ).

    This question , or questions like this, launch/launches the mind of the Son of Good INTO THE UNKNOWN. The question leaves it up to imagination to supply the answer. As such, none of the answers will be true, however there may be an unpleasant experience suggesting that the Son of Good could be hurt (feel pain and die).

    What is KNOWN by the Son of Good is nothing exists that can hurt Good. This is why stupid questions like this LEAD INTO THE DOMAIN OF IGNORANCE.

    What is ignorance? It's where the mind ignores reality. If reality is a perfectly safe place, then the domain of ignorance is going to be a dangerous place. And so is man's experience. From this ignorance comes what is described as "evil", which is a kind of unwanted pain and suffering . It is the domain of victors and victims.

    Within imagination, all of this pain and suffering following on imagination's ignorance, is done to the Son of Good, so to speak. Again, this is because the Son of Goods private imaginations can only hurt himself, so to speak.

    As such, man is the imagined son of good. If man can be hurt, so too can the Son of Good be hurt. As man dies, so does the Son of Good.

    Man, as such, is PROOF that the Law of Life can be broken...that Life itself can come to an end. If the Son of Good is Life itself, then man proves Life can be hurt/broken.

    Man is the stupid answer to a stupid question.

    Man could hurt the Son of Good if man could capture and possess the mind of Christ, at least that fragment of the mind that has been devoted to idols within this strange temple called imagination. If the mind of Christ could be permanently compromised, then man could continue to seem to exist...at the expense of Christ.

    Stupid questions, like why does god "allow" this only extends the stupid answers at the expense of Christ . it explains why christians are more interested in a dead christ than a live Christ. Their "salvation" depends on the dead christ...not the Live One.

    Man is not allowed. Evil is not allowed. Stupidity (ignorance) is not allowed. It's up to the Son of Good to realize this and ACCEPT IT. This acceptance is how Jesus overcame a world of idols built upon the sands of imagination.

    The question is: why do YOU keep implying that something other than Good can exist?

    Next hard question: Who are "you"?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  5. Good1

    Good1

    Well, Christ=Life=Reality=Good.

    One might ask, what is Christ about?

    But people are more interested to understand what their own apparent existence is all about.

    Fundamentally, man's existence is about CHANGE. When change comes comfortably, it's called "life". When change comes rapidly and radically (uncomfortably too fast) it's called "death". In this way, man's existence is oxymoronic: neither alive nor dead...some twilight zone where the dead never die.

    But what change?

    Man is an expression of a changed, changeable, and/or changing Christ. Thus, man is all about changing THE UNCHANGEABLE. Man is an attempt, within an imagination zone carved out of the mind of Christ, to PROVE that there is MORE to Christ than already exists, as is. Man is a kind of proof-of-concept. Man is the product of a question, a naive (stupid) question, that can only be answered in a strange domain i call IMAGINATION. The imagination arises to explore concepts that go beyond the known reality into an unknown unknown. The intention is not to destroy the known (Christ), but rather to ADD to the known what may be called "unknown". This unknown domain is ruled by FAITH, which is the strange ability to "manifest" whatever a mind wishes to be "true", regardless it is "real". When talking about "reality", we must always be talking about Christ. So, when talking about "faith", we must always be talking about what we wish Christ to be, whether or not it is true.

    Man, then, is a concept that arises in a psychological exploration beyond the known Christ (beyond the known Reality) as the mind of Christ wanders further and further away from reality, it is lead onward by it's "faith" (ignorance of Christ). Man is armed with the ability to reach...to reach out and get things...things he needs...as well things he does not need. Always, man is reaching out for MORE than what he currently has. This expresses the concept that begets man in the first place: Man is an expression of a Christ that reaches out for MORE than what Christ is and/or has at present, as if there was MORE to be had. As Christ reaches out into the unknown, through faith, man becomes the manifest expression of that concept.

    The objective is either to gain something that Christ does not have, or to see if anything can be gained, in order to add to what Christ already is. As this concept functions, it produces a bifurcated existence where opposites seem possible to exist together: where life and death seem to coexist together, and where good and evil seem to coexist together.

    In truth, opposites cannot coexist together. Nevertheless, through faith, opposites are made to coexist, producing many strange phenomena such as mankind. For example, it's not possible for light and darkness to coexist. But through faith, man is made to depend on alternating "light" with it's opposite, darkness. Note that i put quotations around the term "light", because man's light is not really any kind of knowledge, which is what light really is. Man's "light" is a bomb that will eventually explode, reverently called a "star" or "the sun". Another example, it's not possible for life and death to coexist, and yet, man is "proof" that life and death can coexist, depending on the speed of change. Nor is it possible to be awake and asleep at the same time. And yet, man exists by alternating "awake" with asleep. I put quotations around "awake" because man's woke-ness is not the same as knowledge, which is what awake/awareness is really all about.

    In summary, man "life" is about juxtaposing the qualities of Christ, with the opposite of those qualities. In every case, the qualities of Christ are "mocked", as in FAKED, pretended, or misrepresented. Man's "life" therefore, is a mockery of the Life of Christ. Man's "good" is a mockery of the Good of Christ. Man's "knowledge" (light) is a mockery of the Knowledge of Christ. In this way, every quality that belongs to Christ is expropriated and mocked. Then, in addition to the mockery, an opposite quality is ADDED so that there might be MORE than the qualities of Christ, and so, MORE THAN CHRIST. For example, Christ only has light (knowledge). But man has both light and darkness, and so, has MORE than Christ. Christ has only knowledge, awareness, awakeness, whereas man has both awareness and unconsciousness (asleepness), having MORE than Christ. In all cases however, none of man's qualities rise higher than a MOCKERY of Christ's qualities. This includes man's so-called "life".

    Between each mockery and it's juxtaposed opposite, there is a continuum of qualities that borrow more or less from each extreme. Between man's light and dark there are 50 shades of gray, so-to-speak.

    Arguably, none of this has any real meaning or purpose. We might also ask what was the purpose of the proverbial prodigal son's journey away from his home, the proverbial "kingdom" (of Good)? He ended up working for peanuts in a pig sty, hungry. Theoretically, the prodigal son might have thought there was something to gain by leaving and exploring. But it turned out there was nothing to gain, and everything to lose.

    Man's purpose, therefore, is theoretically to GAIN something that Christ does not already have. It is Christ, expressing itself as "man" (through man), that is attempting add this gain. In the attempt to make a gain, Christ's faith builds a whole new "world": an alternate "universe" so to speak. In theory, Christ gains this entire new "reality", adding a neo-Christ (so to speak) to the original Reality/Christ. And in this attempt to gain, he stands to lose everything, especially his "soul", the very memory of where he came from, and the knowledge of what he actually is: Christ.

    So, rather than speculate about man's purpose, maybe it's better to reason about Christ's INTENTION when manifesting man as an aspect of a neo-Christ (new world/universe/reality) within the domain of imagination through faith. We've heard about the "intelligent design". Now i've discussed it. It is certainly intelligent, but it's purpose, to ADD to Christ, is IMPOSSIBLE and therefore ultimately unachievable.

    This explanation of the design should caution any man from claiming to have a "life" or to "live". This is actually dangerous, for whenever imagination goes up against reality, it is the imagination that is in danger. When faith (or the products of faith) clash with knowledge, its the products of faith which are in danger. Furthermore, the self-sabotage function of imagination is still very much in effect, if ever, whenever, and wherever anything that is not Christ claims to exist. This claim to existence goes directly against Christ. But it is not Christ that can be hurt by this: rather, it is that which mocks (pretends to be, misrepresents) Christ that is vulnerable to the danger of what would destroy Christ if it could. To be clearer, anything that could be added to Christ would ultimately destroy Christ because ultimately, any such concept would be some kind of opposition that could not coexist with Reality.

    Despite high hopes for (the concept of) man, the FUNCTION of man works toward the sabotage of Christ. If man could exist, Christ could not...and visa versa. As such, the "relationship" between Christ and man is CONVERSE. For man to rise, Christ must fall (die). Conversely, for Christ to rise, man must fall (die, disappear, cease and desist). Beware, then, any group of mankind that advertises a "relationship" with Christ, but depends upon the "death of Christ" for it's continued existence (salvation).

    Man's purpose is to EXIST . This is accomplished through a strange relationship between birth rates and death rates. Mankind exists continually even as mankind is constantly dying. However, man's existence is not in the best interests of the existence of Christ. In truth, mankind only exists for what has faith in mankind. If the faith was withdrawn, mankind would disappear into the null and void twilight zone from which faith takes it's substance. Individually, many a man wishes it were true that he/she could live (exist) "forever". This would be considered some kind of "salvation". But it is not the salvation of Christ, which requires that mankind cease and desist from mocking the life of Christ, and adding to it some strange opposite ("death") to get more than what Christ has/is.

    I would not say that the Life of Christ is "about" anything. It does not have an "intention", as if something has not yet been achieved. If it's possible to be "about" contentment and satisfaction, then that is what the Life of Christ is "about". The Life of Christ is about constant joy, or even a constantly increasing joy. The constantly increasing joy may be due to constant pro-creation, each Christ sharing everything with each next generation Christ. This is possible only as each generation remains the same, not adding, nor subtracting from the perfection. Besides this, there isn't anything more perfect, or less perfect, as there can be no such thing as more or less perfect. The Life of Christ is the enjoyment of a perfection. The experience is perfect joy, happiness and bliss constantly if not actually increasing constantly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  6. There are things in this universe which are currently beyond our ability to comprehend, call those things a god if you will. These things do not allow anything. They do not judge, reward or punish, that is all on us.
    One day you will die. On that day you may be enlightened, or not. You may dissolve into the vast nothingness of time, or not. You may move on to some higher level of life, or not. Until then we best accept that which is painfully obvious. This all powerful god either can help and won't, or he can't, which means it is either indifferent to our current situation, or there are greater powers who are also indifferent, or at present perfectly fine with watching us grop around in the dark looking for answers to questions which wouldn't help us even if we knew.
    And just for the record I do believe in some greater level of consciousness in this universe, one that can be tapped in to if you choose to. It's not all that difficult to do, but extremely difficult to maintain the connection for any length of time. Our ego, lack of true humility, and general tendency to serve ourselves first prevent any permanent connection. It's just the human condition, nothing evil or sinister, just who we are.
     
  7. stu

    stu

    When it comes to 'The Hard Questions', God's best defense is that he doesn't exist.
     
  8. expiated

    expiated

    What is sin?

    The Bible tells us that sin is fundamentally a revolt against God's authority. It is a seeking...to rob God of his glory. It is a transgression of God's law. It is a violation of God's character. It takes the form of disobedience, and then is translated into all of our lives.

    Furthermore, the biblical understanding of sin reminds us that we do not merely become sinners by our sin. We are born sinners under the federal headship of Adam. This is the doctrine of original sin. We are conceived in sin. There is not a single human being after Adam who has to do anything to achieve the status of being a sinner. That comes by the fact that we are of Adam's seed.

    Thus, the doctrine of original sin tells us that we begin even the entirety of our lives as sinners, and as all of the historic creeds and confessions of the church remind us, as soon as we become able, we sin on our own. Our own will is involved in sinning and thus every single one of us is a sinner and every single one of us will, the scripture says, answer for our sin at the judgment seat of Christ.

    But there's more to it than that, of course, and that's the background of the gospel, the great good news of God's salvation of sinners through the atonement accomplish by the Lord Jesus Christ. So that those who come to believe in him have [their] sins forgiven. Our sin is imputed to Christ on the cross. His righteousness is imputed to us by faith. That is the great good news of the gospel, the gospel of the forgiveness of our sins in Christ and of the promise of that forgiveness to all who call upon his name, who come to believe on him... That's the great good news of the gospel.

    It becomes good news, of course, over against the horrifying reality of our sin and our inability to deal with our own sin, but the Bible presents an entire comprehensive biblical worldview of sin. It...basically comes down to the fact that when sinners sin, it has consequences in the society around us. Sin corrupts every single human system in one way or another, because it's made up of sinful human beings...

    So, in its simplest understanding, the biblical conception of sin begins with sin as an offense to God, a breaking of God's law, a transgression on the part of a human sinner.

    ~Dr. Albert Mohler
     
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  9. Where is your proof?

    Link please..
     
  10. Overnight

    Overnight

    "Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

    The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist,'" says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

    "But," says Man, "The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."

    "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic."


    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/35681-now-it-is-such-a-bizarrely-improbable-coincidence-that-anything
     
    #10     Jun 24, 2020