Hi TEC et al,
Hebrews 11:1 is the cornerstone scripture for FAITH in the ENTIRE Bible, since it's where Paul attempts to define Christian faith in a methodical manner; the entire chapter attempts to present examples of men who showed faith in the OT.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Per Paul, a Christian's FAITH is the ENTIRE foundation upon which the Christian's hopes are built, serving as all the evidence of the spiritual realm any Christian could ever NEED (and could HAVE, since you cannot perceive the imperceivable, see the invisible, etc); obviously, the spirit realm is not discernable with sensory organs.
BY DEFINITION then, faith is defined as BELIEVING in things when there's absolutely NO DISCERNABLE DETECTABLE EVIDENCE on which to base that belief (and NO, the Bible, although it's a physical object and IS VISIBLE, it doesn't count as CREDIBLE PROOF of ANYTHING, since for one, there's this new genre of literature which writers call FICTION, and sometimes readers mistakenly confuse the stories inside it as NON-FICTION. It's a thing, a fad, and I don't expect fiction to stick around for long....). I discuss the 'visible evidence' found in the Bible later, as it pertains to KNOWLEDGE, as well as how accepting the knowledge inside the Bible as truth constitutes the substance of FAITH.
Note that you say unseen evidence; meaning there is still evidence... it is just not seen, in the physical.
You DO realize "invisible evidence" is just meaningless gibberish, right? It's a paradox, like a "round square", etc. Just because words can be strung together to form a sentence that respects the rules of grammar does NOT mean the words contain a coherently possible or logical concept.
"Invisible evidence" would be like someone handing you a blank piece of paper, telling you it's actually a bill of sale for the item they just sold you, saying, "Don't worry: YOU just can't see the transaction details I've written on it, because I used invisible ink." And if you ask to verify the presence of the details of the transaction that are supposedly recorded on the paper (say with a UV lamp), they tell you, "Oh, sorry, but it's a new type of invisible ink that is invisible under UV, so you need a special type of bulb which JUST burned out in my lamp. I ordered a new one, and it'll arrive next month. You can check it out THEN". So you cannot VERIFY it contains the details of the transaction, etc, but they say, "Hey, don't worry! TRUST ME!"
Fine, but what if ANYONE ELSE needs to be able to read the bill of sale; say, the Police who want to arrest YOU for being in possession of stolen property, when you can only say, "but I HAVE a bill of sale with the guy's name on it who sold it to me right here! He OBVIOUSLY stole it!" The Police OBVIOUSLY cannot read ANYTHING on a blank piece of paper, which is written with invisible ink that may or may not even exist. See the problem there? If it's not visible, then HOW would you be able to prove what the note says to anyone ELSE?
In the examples Paul offers of the men of faith, the evidence is not only UNSEEN, it is UNSEEABLE by them, too: that's exactly WHY they ARE called the men of FAITH, since they are said to have acted ON FAITH, TRUST, COMPLETE CONFIDENCE in God ALONE, completely trusting that "nothing will go wrong" since God is in control and they had complete trust in God.
In the case of Abraham, Paul even says that Abraham completely trusted in God, reasoning that He would be able to resurrect Isaac if he slit his throat (never-mind that resurrection was an anachronistic belief in Abraham's time, as resurrection was introduced into Judaism MUCH LATER than the time in which the story of Abraham is set). The apolegetist Paul says Abraham remembered that God had earlier made a promise to build a Nation on Isaac, and rationalized that he could resurrect Isaac. Making decisions, rationalizing, and even KNOWING on the basis of FAITH (unseen evidence) is STILL FAITH, since making decisions on questionable assumptions is the very definition of FOOLISH decision-making. The ironic bit is how Jesus warned against building a house on unstable foundations, but then Paul says to base one's belief in Jesus and God on FAITH, defining it as what we'd hope is true, saying it's unseen evidence?
Besides, would it even matter if God HAD reneged on His promise, since "might makes right"? There's not much else you can do when your deity ORDERS you to kill someone, but to do what it demands, right?
But oddly enough, and contrary to your position, my Lord called me OUT of the wts, and ANY religon, so as to not put my faith in MEN, but in HIM. HE has not led me wrong. Not once.
See, with all your other talk of 'testing Jesus', ultimately that would require YOU to make an INDEPENDENT moral determination of which course is correct, whether to follow the orders of 'heard' Jesus or the written words of Jesus (where 'love above all' also is a written principle of Jesus). So your method of verifying claims is as useless as teats on a bull, since YOU would STILL have to use your OWN morality to decide which course of action was correct! And if that's not bad enough, suppose Jesus told you to kill someone as a display of the very greatest act of love for them, yet you were offered no rational explanation to do so? You do KNOW that you would have to rely on your FAITH in Jesus, right, since Jesus is telling you to do something? You see the 'fly in the ointment' with FAITH, of deciding on morality EVEN BEFORE knowing what the action involves?
Would YOU, Tammy, stand up to Jesus and say, "No, Jesus! That would be wrong!"?
If you say "YES", I'm saying BS, unless you're admitting to having the faith of a faithless Israelite: TRUE FAITH means there is no room for doubt, BUT you're supposed to blindly follow orders and place TOTAL TRUST in Jesus, knowing that it IS the proper course and that YOU are a mere maggot who lacks the "big picture" view only seen from Heaven.
If you say "NO", then you're being honest and admitting to be personally amoral (i.e. you actually have no NEED for morals, since you're only being trained to follow orders: you have FAITH that God possesses "superior moral laws" so you only need to follow HIS laws to the tee, and not worry about determining morality on your own two feet). You're also admitting to making a "special pleading" case for God/Jesus for their requests, doing WHATEVER they TELL you to do, EVEN IF it seems wrong to you.
You see how HAVING FAITH is another way of saying, "becoming an automaton" who exercises no independent moral judgment of your own, when ORDERED to do something?
(The other option is to ask for more evidence before deciding, but don't forget that Apostle Thomas did that and is forever remembered to believers as "Doubting Thomas", the weak-in-his-faith skeptic who refused to believe claims without direct personal experience, but instead asked for visible proof of Jesus' resurrection. Point being, per Hebrews 11, faith is SUPPOSED to be used AS IF IT WERE VISIBLE PROOF, AS IF IT'S EQUAL to evidence that can be seen, even though IT ISN'T. Do you want to live in a country where YOU can be charged with a crime and sent to prison based on "invisible evidence", where your lawyer is unable to examine or challenge its reliability (it's incriminating nature), since the prosecutor doesn't even have to produce it? Of course not: that's not fair, it's not justice.
It SHOULD be clear then that Paul is engaging in "special pleading", and creating a 'false equivalency' by saying that faith IS ALL the proof a Christian SHOULD need, since for a Christian invisible evidence is THE SAME as visible evidence. Believing in what cannot be and is not seen is FAITH; evidence that can be and is seen leads to KNOWLEDGE, not faith.
But you say you're going to be the mortal who violates company policy and runs the show YOUR way, by calling Jesus on the carpet? WOW! So you're not only fantasizing about Jesus, but even being BETTER than Jesus by daring to REPROVE him (like Abraham did with Jehovah, by negotiating on behalf of the unknown righteous men living in Sodom and Gomorrah)? You GO, Girl!
Like thinking that the verse 'all scripture is inspired and beneficial' means that the entire bible is inspired and inerrant. A, not all of the bible is scripture or inspired. Some of it is letters, or history taking, or investigative accounts (like Luke, who states that he investigated things... not that he received them via the spirit : inspired) B, there is nothing in Paul's statement there, that states that scripture is inerrant, or not subject to misinterpretation, mistranslation, and so... scribal errors (lying pen of the scribes) C, that statement does not say that the scriptures are then the basis on which to build faith. Only that scripture is beneficial... and it goes on to say what it is beneficial/useful for... teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. In any case, that verse does not mean what you (and granted, many parts of 'christianity') say it means. M'kay. If you say so. I mean, you're the one who's BFF with Jesus, right? Actually, you are correct in that many people ASSUME that 2nd Tim is referring to THEIR Bible, the version they're holding in their hands, the "all scriptures" that 2nd Tim is referring to. Nope. Being that the NT wasn't canonized when 2nd Tim was written, it couldn't apply to much more than the Torah, and perhaps parts of the Tanakh. BTW, 2nd Tim uses the same Greek word for "evidence" (elengchos) as Hebrews does, which appears in "the evidence of things not seen" portion ('not seen' referring to the existence of God; of heaven; of angels; of the glories of the Heavens which are promised to those who will be saved). The word rendered as "evidence" occurs in the New Testament in Hebrews 11 and 2 Tim 3:16, ONLY, where it is translated as 'reproof', not 'evidence'. However, the point is that 2 Tim 3:16 is the connection to Hebrews 11, which explains the claim made that "all scriptures" serves as the VISIBLE EVIDENCE (eg via reading the accounts of the men of FAITH, which have to be taken as TRUE, based on 2 Tim 3:16, and useful upon which to base one's faith by BELIEVING. Christians don't build faith on THE BIBLE ITSELF, but upon the words and accounts contained IN the Bible, since it IS second-hand testimony, and unverifiable: that requires FAITH.
Odd again, that we are told to ask for eyes to see, and ears to hear. You are right in that this does not refer to our physical senses... but our spiritual eyes and ears, as we ARE spirit. So that faith is not blind and deaf... but is simply not in the physical things of this world; but in the spiritual.
Yeah, how convenient to have spiritual eyes and ears, to be able hear and see that which cannot be detected in this Earthly realm, and to build one's faith in the unproven and untestable, the invisible and unhearable, which cannot be detected with one's Earthly ears and eyes. That is describing EXACTLY the perception that is experienced by those who perceive auditory and visual hallucinations, which are KNOWN to be perceived in organic (naturally-occurring) disorders of the brain. No kidding, people REALLY DO experience hallucinations, sometimes driven by an INTENSE DESIRE to experience them, and to misattribute them to external causes (like spirits).
You DO realize that you're demonstrating your OWN ignorance of basic medical terms here, since 'auditory hallucinations' is NOT a diagnosis, but a SYMPTOM (which you may or may not even experience; I see now you've flip-flopped on that claim, denying experiencing auditory hallucinations above).
Point being, you relied on an invalid untrue belief to reach a faulty conclusion to make an allegation which just isn't true: I didn't diagnose you with jack (which would be silly anyway, even if I COULD/WOULD; for one, I don't give away services for FREE).
I didn't flip flop on anything. I never claimed to have auditory hallucinations to begin with. Hallucination is YOUR diagnosis.
That is what YOU have taken from what I said. So you HAVE diagnosed me, and you speak to me with that diagnosis already accepted by YOU.
For the LOVE of Jesus!
You clearly don't understand the difference between basic terms which are CRITICAL to understand ANYTHING in medicine (which may explain why Jesus didn't know about the value of handwashing: he didn't know much about biology, either).
So repeat after me:
AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS ARE NOT A DIAGNOSIS, but a SYMPTOM.
Try it again?
AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS are NOT a DIAGNOSIS, but a SYMPTOM!
Doctors make diagnoses based on the COMBINATION of symptoms that the patient reports (as well as clinical findings, eg blood work, etc); auditory hallucinations are a symptom shared by MANY diagnosable conditions which often have many OTHER SYMPTOMS associated with them. Tthe unique combinations of symptoms MAY allow the proper diagnosis of the condition that CAUSES the symptom(s), but the symptoms are a MANIFESTATION of the condition, and NOT the condition (diagnosis) itself. Does it matter? Heck, yeah: many conditions can SHARE common symptoms (say, cough), but the treatment for the symptom will depend on the underlying disorder, eg the cough caused by pneumonia needs to be treated differently, if it's caused by viral pneumonia vs bacterial pneumonia.
Auditory hallucinations are a SYMPTOM seen in conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, even severe stress/loss of a loved one, etc. The proper diagnosis is MADE by looking at the COMBINATION of symptoms being reported by the patient, as well as how it responds to treatment.
(I see you've since back-peddled from "auditory hallucinations", so we're back to a vague "hearing Jesus" claim.)
i'm not sure i understand what you are saying here... but no problem. I can rephrase my question. Why do you seek to apply one motive to me, over another? Why do you say that I am trying to be 'special' (showing off, teasing others, etc... as you have stated) rather than trying to 'help' others who are seeking or asking questions? You claim to hear Jesus' voice: you cannot DENY the extraordinary nature of the claim, RIGHT? I mean, you're not attributing it to hearing the voice of Thomas Jefferson, John D. Rockerfeller, or even your deceased Aunt Edna, but only the MOST FAMOUS and desirable male religious icon in Western Civilization EVER! That's not exactly ordinary, and you must KNOW that it's going to attract alot of attention by saying it (ironic, since it's "following in Jesus' footsteps", since Jesus attracted alot of attention by claiming to be the Jewish Messiah, and we all know how THAT ended up for him). Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but I am aware of more-terrestrial causes that might explain WHY someone would honestly believe that they WERE in contact with Jesus, legitimately leading them to make that claim, ACTUALLY BELIEVING that they were hearing the voice of Jesus (when they actually aren't, but they BELIEVE it since they're unable to discern an internally-generated voice that has become detached due to an error in their self-identity system). As I explained earlier, often-times the ones MOST RELUCTANT to hear that the voice is only coming from inside themselves is often those who are experiencing it, as they potentially lose a "special friend" that keeps them company, serves as an invisible buddy/friend, or provides them with a sense of protection, etc. The PROBLEM is exacerbated when the ID claimed is a powerful figure, like Jesus: that's a high-status ID. Of course, the problem with such a strategy is it's not "really real", and hence their coping defense mechanism is enabled and supported by others who similarly WANT to believe in their claim or fantasy, for THEIR own personal reasons. After enough time, we have a LARGE GROUP of believers who all support a shared delusion, even if it exists in many different flavors as there are believers. Sometimes the groups coalesce around a common belief, and you have the formation of a religion. HOWEVER, there are those who'd claim such a belief HONESTLY KNOWING it's not real, but it's a safe low-risk way to gain attention; these types are malingers, faking claims, using driven by a desire to gain some benefit, whether as an attention-seeking strategy, or as a means to fit into the "cool kids" clique. The reasons vary, but the key is the motivation of WHY. It's impossible to discern over the internet, but the PROBLEM with falsifying the claim is it's deceptive, a lie: it's just not TRUE. Further, it's basically mimicing (if not mocking, or at least diverting attention) from those who DO actually experience auditory/visual hallucinations, as part of a legitimate organic disease; they are NOT faking their claims, but experience EXTREME DIFFICULTY maintaining a grasp on reality as it is, without being egged on into believing fantasies by those who are only "playing", where they're FORCED into playing a role in the story, whether they want to or NOT! For such patients with psychoses, religion is NO JOKE, but often a horrific scary experience (esp with the graphic violent imagery that groups like the WTBTS push like porn). Religious ideology is absolutely TOXIC for anyone struggling with discerning fantasy from reality, and the LAST THING they need is to be encouraged into "joining in to play a virtual reality game" when they lack normal protective barriers that tell 'normals' that it's only fantasy, make-believe; many Christians don't "really" believe in Jesus, but think attending church is a nice thing to do on Sunday, good for the kids, etc. Pushing religious ideology is NOT without a cost to society, eg the recent suicide of Rick Warren's son with bipolar disease highlights how such individuals may be especially suspectible to the threat of hell-fire, etc, and they may make deadly choices. It's socially-irresponsible to push such ideology on them, esp. by untrained and uneducated believers who do so to feed their OWN egos, esp in the FACE OF, and even in SPITE of VERIFIABLE PROOF that shows the beliefs are based on ancient superstitutions and old racist beliefs and bigotries. Religion just AIN'T that moral, when it comes right down to it, but don't expect a Jesus believer to be able to admit it: they're generally too wrapped up and addicted to the rush that feeling "the luv for Jesus" gives them in their hearts, and they're addicted to their own endorphins and aren't going to give THAT up for ANYTHING, much less for something as bothersome as incontrovertibe evidence and proof. Most religions like Christianity are BULLET-PROOF to skepticism, as it was BORN in an environment where rationalist Greek thought was developing, as well. Christianity thus developed/adopted traits which allowed it to not only survive, but to THRIVE, such that Christianity IS the 2nd-largest religion in the World (#1 spot is held by Muslims). Still, both are Abrahamic religions, so there's clearly something compelling that makes them popular (and that's not a GOOD thing, BTW: you only need to watch the VMA to realize that Lady Gaga and Twerker Girl ain't exactly showing anything but the seedlier and uglier side of human nature, and alot of Christians are secretly buying their stuff). Adam: Sigh, the infamous Christian persecution complex is kicking into high-gear, I see?
TEC: Not at all. Just truth, even if you don't see it yourself. And I'm not crying about it, or even caring. Just stating it. That is a tactic that is used, and has been used on me before. Shame someone into silence; scare them into silence (as the wts does, regarding partaking); mock them into silence; etc.
Just as you cannot resist the urge to repeatedly STATE that you hear the voice of Jesus, too. A moment's thought SHOULD make you realize that if you don't actually hear auditory hallucinations, you really shouldn't suggest it; if you DO experience auditory hallucinations, then you need to find the cause, as there's some life-threatening conditions (eg tumors) that can cause such symptoms, and need to be eliminated as the potential cause. If you're referring to the Christian metaphorical claim to "hear his voice" (which is like MOST Jesus followers would express their experience of Jesus and feeling the "Holy Spirit"), then you probably should tone down the claim to make it seem not so 'fake' to the skeptics and fellow believers, alike.
Hey, what you do is up to you; it's not my life, and not my call....
Christ. Because I listen to HIM... I am not in danger of that.
If you understand what Jesus is commanding in the Bible, telling you to build and display FAITH (showing 'blind obedience' to him, another way to say having 'utmost faith' in him), you are either at some risk as it means you're in denial (which means at GREATER risk, since your compliance with following rules is actually GREATER if you're not even aware of the control being exerted; it's THAT insidious), or a hypocrit (weak in your faith, and you're a Doubting Thomas who constantly demands perceptible proof).
Hebrews 11:1 says what faith is: knowing; confidence; assurance.
2/3 (66%) ain't bad (well, actually it constitutes a FAILING grade in many courses), but Hebrews 11:1 does NOT mention "knowledge" (gnosis). Now GRANTED, there are OTHER scriptures which mention building faith by gaining a knowledge of God, but it ain't Hebrews 11.
Knowing, as in not merely thinking that something might be true, or thinking that it is probably true... but knowing that it IS true.
Faith is KNOWING. Not just thinking... not just hoping... but knowing. Being SURE.
AGAIN, TAMMY, you are INSERTING a word that doesn't appear ANYWHERE in the entire Chapter of Hebrews 11: "KNOWING". Actually, gnosis (knowing) DOES appear ONE TIME in Hebrews 11, but it's followed by the word 'NOT' (i.e. not knowing) to describe how Abraham followed God's commands to enter the Promised Land as an alien on FAITH, NOT KNOWING where he'd pitch his tent as an alien living in a foreign land!
You're engaging in MASSIVE eisegesis by inserting 'knowledge' and knowing into Paul's words, where he actually pointed out the EXACT OPPOSITE condition: NOT KNOWING.
The scriptures can help, yes, while we are still walking by sight... before we learn to walk by faith (which is not in what is SEEN, as the scriptures are... but is in what is unseen, as the Spirit who speaks IS) They can help point us to the One who is NOT seen, but He is heard. In faith, and in spirit.
And you are missing a point... the scriptures are SEEN.
That's why 2nd Tim 3:16 says the Bible contains stories and passages which serve as the 'visible evidence' to gain KNOWLEDGE of the Bible, but TRUSTING AND BELIEVING in the credibility of the scriptures is a matter of FAITH; of course, accepting the ACCOUNTS INSIDE the Bible as truths is an exercise which is supposed to build one's Christian faith. It's not seeing the physical appearance of the book itself which serves as the evidence, or even the individual words printed on the page in ink, themselves. You certainly MUST KNOW the Bible is not magical, as if a talisman, where holding it close is going to give you either knowledge and/or faith, right? It's BELIEVING in it's credibility, infallability, inerrancy, etc, that is a matter of FAITH (invisible evidence); however, learning doctrinal concepts and memorizing passages, etc. is the matter of gaining KNOWLEDGE (which is the 'visible' evidence).
Adamah, if the scriptures and the bible is all that was needed... what point is there in the Spirit? What point in Christ? In listening, and hearing? Why did He never say, all you need are the scriptures... instead of saying the opposite, "you diligently search the scriptures because you think that by them you have eternal life, but you refuse to come to ME... to have life?"
Jesus was saying that some people study the Bible as an intellectual pursuit, alone, to gain KNOWLEDGE (which CAN serve as visible evidence). HECK, I do it like that ALL THE TIME, and I know the Bible pretty well (even better than most believers, I dare say), but I have ZERO FAITH in it. ZILCH. I wouldn't be an atheist, if I didn't KNOW it as well as I do. I USED to be a believer, but that was BEFORE I gained knowledge of the outside world AND studied the Bible itself; NONE of it added up, and had all the hallmarks of a SCAM.
Jesus also accused the Pharisees of over-intellectualizing the Torah, making the Law of Moses as a burdensome thing, and losing sight of the spirit of the Torah. It's no coincidence that Jewish lawyers have the reputation for being great sticklers for details, and engaging in semantics, losing sight of the forest for the trees.
Your view may well be corroborated by some branches of the religion of christianity, as well as by some parts of the bible (if you ignore context and other parts)... but it is not corroborated by Christ. The ONE to whom a christian is supposed to listen TO.
Unfortunately Jesus flip-flopped, too. You cannot SEE it, since you aren't WILLING to see it, but perhaps you could ASK (and I'm trying to resist the urge to say you need to pray to Darwinovah, the God of Rationalism, and ask for spiritual ears to hear His message. Couldn't resist the urge, so 10 'Hail Charles' for me as penitence!)
Going with "internal validation" of the Bible, huh?Go back and read what you said to me on this. YOU said that the bible verified what you had said, because anyone could read it... so I just questioned how you could to that, but I could not.
I was referring to theological KNOWLEDGE, and making a KNOWLEDGE-BASED claim, which although it is subject to translation/interpretation errors (a quite academic analytical mechanical method is used to reduce their effects), the claim was about KNOWLEDGE (visible evidence), not FAITH (belief).
It seems to me you need to reflect heavily on the DIFFERENCE of what you BELIEVE based on KNOWLEDGE, and what you BELIEVE based on FAITH; NOT just in the Bible, but EVERYTHING in your life. You're in good company, as I dare say 95% of believers haven't even given the matter a moment's thought, even though understanding the difference IS part-and-parcel of Christian thinking, and Philosophy 101 for those who went to college and took an introduction to philosophy course (and took it seriously, not just showed up but reflected on the principles).
Do yourself a favor and look up what 'weasel word' means, since 'jibe' is NOT a weasel word. It just ISN'T, no way, no how.
Okay, I can receive that.
OMG! Is that a glimmer of hope, a ray of light I detect?
So what is it called when you add an adjective to lead the reader into seeing something your way? Because that is what you did.
Hmmm, I don't know. It SOUNDS alot like 'an effective use of logic and rhetoric', or 'presenting a compelling argument to someone who can reason on their own two feet and decide to use their own mental faculties'? In other words, per the Bible definition, that would constitute a 'sin'.