The Pastor of my Old Church Tried to Re-Convert Me Yesterday

by cofty 2596 Replies latest jw experiences

  • bohm

    Kate: You are the one who is off-topic. The topic is about the God of christian theism, ie. a God with specific antropomorphic properties such as compassion, love, forgiveness, intelligence and so on. It aint atheists who came up with that God, it was the jews/canenites more than 2500 years ago.

    Please respect that other people have different definition of God than you and Einstein and they might be interested in discussing those.

  • KateWild

    okay bohm, point noted

    cofty has defined the God he wishes to debate about. I just think it's could be seen as a tad disingenuous to lukers who have a belief but are not sure which way to go, I thought they should be aware that the bible also teaches that God is NOT a'morphic in Isa 55.8,9, Where it states God's thought are higher than human thoughts. Therefore God does not act or think in a human way.

    Is not this the God of the OT too bohm?

    Enough said though the bible is clearly contradictory on the subject of anthropomorphism anyway. Kate xx

  • bohm


    cofty has defined the God he wishes to debate about. I just think it's could be seen as a tad disingenuous to lukers who have a belief but are not sure which way to go, I thought they should be aware that the bible also teaches that God is NOT a'morphic in Isa 55.8,9, Where it states God's thought are higher than human thoughts. .. Is not this the God of the OT too bohm?

    Yes it is. But you are committing to errors here, one of fact and the other of logic.

    Firstly, to say god have thoughts is to ascribe antropomorphic properties to god. Look, its a rather simple question: Does the bible teach God is loving? I have not met a christian who would say no. Sure they exist, but in this case we can rest assured we are discussing a concept of god >95% of christians accept as true and there is no reason for you to keep making accusations.

    Secondly, that the bible ascripte one property to god ("higher thoughts") in one place, does not mean the other properties the bible ascripte to god (love, kindness, anger, etc.) other places does not apply.

    I think this is really very silly and off-topic and I am not convinced you are making this argument in good faith. You really ought to stop making arguments for arguments sake, consider how the board would operate if we all did it.

  • EdenOne

    I don't know how many times I've answerd those questions, yet here it goes again, with references.

    Q: Does God cause natural disasters?

    A: He can do it. Bible history says he did it a few times. Also tells us that God had a purpose when he did it, usually, to bring punishment upon wrongdoers. Floods (Genesis 6:17; 7:6), volcanic activity (Genesis 19:24, 25), droughts (1 kings 17:1), famines (Amos 6:4-9; Ezekiel 14:13; Genesis 41:22-32); disease outbreaks ( 1 Samuel 5:11, 12), sinkholes (Numbers 16:32); earthquakes (1 Samuel 14:15).

    Q: Does God cause all natural disasters, then?

    A: No, for there are other natural disasters recorded in the Bible and God isn't credited as having anything to do with them. (Amos 1:1; Zechariah 14:5; Acs 27:14-20)

    Q: Can God prevent natural disasters?

    A: I have no direct biblical proof of it; yet, if God brought the universe about and is "great in power and mighty in strenght", I have to assume that he has sufficient power to do such things. (Isaiah 40:26; Matthew 8:24-26) The Bible doesn't say that God ever stopped a natural calamity from happening, though.

    Q: Can God at least forewarn people of impending great natural disasters that cause massive killings, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos, floods?

    A: I believe God can and does forewarn people about great natural occurrences when they are originating from him because he is in control of such events. However, he appears to use discretionary power to choose who he wants to be forewarned, usually in favor of those who acknowledge Him as God. As for impending natural disasters that he has caused, He forewarned his servants and forewarned others, if He has as objective that they repent for salvation from punishment.

    Q: Can God forewarn people about natural calamities that aren't being caused by him, then?

    A: The future cannot be known because it doesn't exist. God cannot know a future that doesn't exist yet. However, God can calculate with great accuracy the probable outcome of the actions of people, and he also can cause anything to happen according to His will. In this sense, He can predict the future. So, probably God can predict an earthquake, if he decides He wants to measure how much pressure is building upon the edges of the tectonic plates or seismic faults; and likewise he can predict a volcanic event, or a flood, or just about anything else, even when he's not driving it, because he can access all data he chooses to. But that only happens only if God decides he wants to know such thing. Empirically, I'd say God chooses to not know such things before hand.

    Q: But didn't God have an intervention in human affairs in Bible times?

    A: The Bible says He did, especially in the OT. However, little - if any - intervention is shown after Christ returned to heavens. Some miracles performed by and for the apostles can show some limited evidence of discricionary intervention of Christ in favor of the Christian congregation. But God appears to be utterly absent from these actions; and if we strictly limit the scope of these events to natural disasters, then we see none.

    Q: Why doesn't God intervein more actively in human affairs, especially now?

    A: God has given humans free will and free choice to decide their course in life, whether they would choose to be led by God or lead their lives alienated from God. The only times God has interfered in human affairs was to defend and protect those who were loyal to him, and punish those who posed a threat to their existence. In those instances, sometimes he caused natural disasters. But empirically, we don't see that happening anymore. Thus we can conclude that, since the resurrection of Jesus, God restrains himself from direct intervention in human affairs that may pose a limitation to the human right of free will. That includes offering miraculous protection from natural disasters, for it would influence people's opinion about God, who would then be determined, not by love, faith and hope, as it's God's will, but by sight. - 1 Corinthians 14:13

    Q: Isn't that unloving and uncaring from a God that has the power and the knowledge to act, but chooses to not know and not act?

    A: Only God can answer that question fully. From a Christian believer prespective, God's ways are beyond our ability to fully comprehend them and God may well have ulterior, superior motives to allow for natural calamities to harm objectively good people and not taking action to prevent it or offer an escape. If God would use his discretionary powers to protect everyone's lives from every harmful situation, people would simply take God for granted. However, for the believer and the unbeliever there is hope of salvation in a spiritual domain, after earthly life is over. For that, one only has to put faith in Christ. And as for those who never could, never knew, or never had a choice of putting faith in Christ, God will offer a 'resurrection of judgement', where these ones may prove worthy of salvation, depending on their choices. That's not at all unloving nor uncaring. Until then, God teaches us to deal with the suffering, even the suffering caused by natural disasters such as the Tsunami of 2004, and expect us to put faith in salvation as generously extended by him. After all, before Adam and Eve there was no other expectation for humans other than the completion of the circle of life, without any hope for a brighter future.

    Q: Since natural disasters cause human deaths, don't they reveal a design flaw by God?

    A: They are only "disasters" from a human point of view. From a natural point of view they are simply natural occurences. Arguably, there wouldn't be life as we know it if it weren't for those natural "disasters" taking place. Quite possibly, there wouldn't be intelligent life on earth. If tectonic plates didn't get stuck and built presssure against each other, there wouldn't be mountains. In turn, the planet might be eternally under water. Perhaps we might have fish, but hardly any intelligent life. in any case, to assume that there was a "design flaw", you have to assume that tectonic plates were a product of design. Were they? And, to c&p what I wrote before, p erhaps that's the acceptable trade-off for life itself to exist. There's no absolute perfection in the universe except perhaps in the very person of God. "Perfection", in the relative sense, is something being optimally adequate to its purpose or function. In this sense, our world is adequate for producing and sustaining the life, even the intelligent life we find in it, therefore, "perfect". If you can produce me a world where material intelligent life came to existence, and where tectonic plates don't cause earthquaques and tsunamis and havoc and destruction, perhaps I'll be willing to revise my position.


  • KateWild

    You really ought to stop making arguments for arguments sake, consider how the board would operate if we all did it.-bohm

    Ok fair comment you made me realise I probably am without realising it, I suppose I am at a loose end and wanted some excitement. You are right, I don't want posters to think I am argumentative, I just like a good debate, it's fun to pass the time. I will go away and do something more constructive now.

    Bye for now Kate xx

  • cofty

    Eden I am typing on my phone but I look forward to responding to your post later. Most of it has beeen thoroughly refuted already. You just keep tweeking your answer when it is shown not to work.

  • Viviane

    It's amazing how, when confronted with the holes in their stories, logic or thinking, they don't step back and say "Hmmm.... let me re-think this for a minute". Instead, they just get a bigger shovel and keep digging.

    It's really easy to determine if you, as a person, are more moral than God. In any given situation, like warning people about the Tsunami, pretend it's your children that would die, be harmed, etc., and ask yourself what you would do.

  • cofty

    Kate you could try responding specifically to any of the 21answers in the summary so far. Try to avoid using the words Einstein and anthropomorphism.

  • KateWild

    Try to avoid using the words Einstein and anthropomorphism.-cofty

    hahaha thats a challange for me, I may try tomorrow. Kate xx

  • bohm

    Kate: Fair enough :-).

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