The sick account of Abraham and Isaac!
Hi, Humbled. I suppose you mean that Josephus and the "LDS prophet" (he's actually not, he's a biblical scholar who is admittedly LDS, but what does that have to do with anything?) not being kosher are either 1) not germane to the discussion or 2) that it’s somehow unfair to use their points of view, I wasn't sure. Either way, theists and atheists are never going to agree on the Abrahamic test because atheists are intent on portraying God as a horrible role model, a murderer, child abuser, pro-slavery, pro-incest and just an all round nasty fellow who throws thunderbolts at people who piss him off and torment others just to see how they'll react.
Ultimately it’s all about context. We, who are admittedly here without all the facts, are attempting to sit in judgment of a God who is all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful and, thankfully, merciful. But what are the parameters of the discussion? Is it that the Hebrew God is too bigoted, narrow-minded, petty and vindictive to exist, or that he exists and simply happens to be guilty of those traits?
As Paul so pervasively foresaw: “...in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers…unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good…heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God...ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
As the well known adage says, “Well, he speaks of YOU highly!” In fact, Paul calls such men “evil” when he writes: “…evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3)
So it comes down to just who it is who are deceiving themselves and others. Atheists say that Christians are deceived; however, Christians believe it is the atheists who not only deceive others, but who deceive themselves. But the prophecies seem to happen whether people believe in them or not. The prophets said that Judah would come out of the nations and gather back into their ancestral homelands, and it’s happened. And Paul describes today’s Western societies perfectly, saying that in our day “there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3)
And since you mentioned LDS prophets, as early as the mid-1800s, the Lord, through a modern prophet, stated: “And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel; but they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.” Also: “I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man.” Yet as Paul declares, the scoffers will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For… all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” The wars, the weather, earthquakes, fires, all in record numbers; yet it will not be enough to change the heart of man.
There also are those who say that even if there is a God, he’s so unjust, so cranky, mean and inconsistent — the biggest sinner of them all. Not worshiping him would be a matter of principle. Well, good luck with that argument! Let me know how it works out for you.
did we get threatened again by a disciple of the Almighty. That happens alot....
Dear Cold Steel,
Why do you call me an atheist? It was my defense of God's character that caused me to get thrown out of/leave the WT Organization.
My reason for rejecting the mainstream interpretation of God calling for a blood sacrifice of Abraham's Isaac as a test of faith was not based on a personal preference. It was based on faith that what God had revealed about himself was constant and true: God condemns human sacrifice, He does not lie, He does not test anyone with evil when he himself had declared that human sacrifice was evil.
That Jesus appealed to common-sense reasoning to the common folk to whom he preached was a powerful incentive to rejecting the illogic of God contradicting himself. I realized that there was a vast distance between myself and the scene of Genesis 22. I had to be as steady in my bible reading for me to be steady against elders like yourself, Cold Steel, that warned me that I was guilty of pride or stupidity or both not to yield to men of better minds and greater faith.
I had to trust that God would at least give me credit for not accepting the central moment of the OT and the basis for the NT would not be a total contradiction of all Jesus taught.
It took years of study and research into the development of written Hebrew, the manner in which the OT had been edited (Job and Genesis 22 likely untouched by that process), the discrete differences between the Hebrew words for sacrifice and burnt offering. It meant collating the instances in which they appeared side by side and individually in scripture. Yes, Cold Steel, It involved context.
Above all I looked at context.
Ultimately, I looked at myself in the context of religion. I saw that religion demanded that I must endorse a central precept of God that violated God's own descriptions of who the true God is. If I pretended to believe this I could not live my life with honesty. So I had to accept my own limited understanding of who god might or might not be and be honest with others about it. I had to have faith that I would not have to fear the wrath of God for this. I would in fact have to trust his mercy.
I believe that a wounded love is what holds life together, that suffers with us. I believe that we are burnt offerings that live within the smoke of a dark hope.
I do not believe in your god, Cold Steel. But this does not make me an atheist. It doesn't make me brilliant or stupid. It does make me honest. Not Thomas Aquinas, nor Hugh Nibley, nor Josephus, nor the apostle Paul can prevail upon me to believe a god of love said "Kill the lad."
Not even did the bible say it.
But what are the parameters of the discussion? Is it that the Hebrew God is too bigoted, narrow-minded, petty and vindictive to exist, or that he exists and simply happens to be guilty of those traits? - CS
God does not exist but people like you worship a moral monster of your own imagination.
What does that tell us about your psyche?
Cold Steel you disappered for weeks just after there was a documentary on UK TV exposing your cult's disgraceful manipulation and control of young mormon missionaries. Did you see it?
How can I truly love a god who threatens me with horror and death if I do not love Him?
You quote selections from one person and another, Cold Steel. Why do you pick some and not others to quote? You yourself have had to implicitly ignored centuries of other theologians to embrace the teachings of Joseph Smith and subsequent prophets of the LDS church. Myself, I am no more inclined to the believe earlier theologians who invented the Immaculate Conception than I am to believe that Joseph Smith walked with God in the Sacred Grove in New York State.
Don't I stand then on as good a ground as you if I declare that you are wrong to accept the sayings of such and such prophets? What makes them prophets, gives them the right to tell you or me what god says? How can you judge my faith?
In the end, though you may believe it when others say they know that God spoke to them, what they believe may not be true. But religions form around these men who speak for god. Religion uses at least mild coercion to form its body, true? sometimes more than mild coercion. Shunning? Shaming? Even death.
You have no way to shame or frighten me with scriptures that threaten me for failure to believe that god said so-and-so through this man or that. Wouldn't a god worth his salt will know if I am actually unconvinced of the doctrines I had pushed on me and was simply afraid to say so?
Revelation promises a lake of fire awaits those who are liars and cowards.
Why isn't love and honesty enough for you, Cold Steel?
I thought of pulling this just after posting it. I had re-read your last response and I do not see a conversation of value emerging from our exchange. The thread concerns the Abraham/Isaac test and it is true that I no longer buy into the imposed story line that Christian theism demands from biblical readings.
So flog away, Cold Steel, you are right to think I am not with any religious programs. I am away to meditate on how to love better and how to be more honest.