thanks, I had missed Mathew 5:48, i'll bookmark that one for future reference
Those of you that appreciated Age of Reason might also like to read The Blind Watchmaker and The Selfish Gene, both by Richard Dawkins, maybe not, but personally they were exceedingly instrumental to me in destroing my faith in the JW doctrine.
Following the train of thought... If God is Perfect, then Adam didn't really "sin"... he did exactly what God planned...
And God's perfect angle Lucifer is acting according to God's perfect creation...
Unless of course, you assume that someone Perfect, like God, could infact create something Imperfect on purpose... but why would he do that? I figure he was bored and wanted to play in an imperfect sandbox and see what happened.
Interesting line of thought.
But probably the "perfect" question should not be considered outside of the context of the angels. They were also considered "perfect" yet many of them sinned (one third at the time of Satan's being kicked out of Heaven).
So "perfect" probably, and especially in the JW setting is generally applied in contrast to being 'imperfect' with respect to the condition of morphology of the human state after Adam sinned. In that regard god did not create a defective organism in the beginning, but morphology and anomony result from sin in the human species. This does not seem to be the case with angels though, who are spiritual.
As to whether or not God knew ahead of time what would or might happen, I would think so. If so it would seem the plan was to get rid of Satan legally. On a higher spiritual plane, the whole concept of man and "sin" and the physical universe is to enable laws and penalties. That is, up in heaven there really were not any rules of conduct that would constitute a real sin. I suppose you could be very disreprectful, but could you steal from another angel, kill him? Commite adultery with his wife? etc.
Yet, if Satan had already become a nuisance and showed a tendency toward disrespect and showed this and God wanted to clean up the heavens, one way to do it was to create a PHYSICAL UNIVERSE, where "acts" could create sin and laws applied so that breaking those laws would cause penalties. If you created "free moral agents" to make choices, then probably God knew that a certain percentage would fail or rebel, as they did. Only in the spiritual world before the physical universe, there was just "philosophy" and "hypothetical". The REAL world made REAL acts possible. MURDER, etc.
So in that sense the test given to Adam and Eve to be faithful was a test for the angels as well, particularly Satan. When God imposed laws upon man int he physical universe, it affected the angels in heaven as well. It was now possible for them to sin--or show their loyalty and obedience to God. Thus the physical univese could be seen as a HIGHER STANDARD for both Heaven and Earth. Those wishing to live forever would now be hinged upon respect for the creator of their life and obedience. And that obedience was constructed in such a way that it is selfless. That is, LOVE of God without regard to personal life was the way to gain that life. You have to let go of your life, for love of God in order to get life back. If you don't have that much love then you will lose your life, that is, your temporary life.
Now this might seem a bit complex and convoluted but not when you understand a subtle message God incorporated in animals and plants and that is a wonderment and glory for a short time. A flower is planted, it grows up and blooms, spawns seeds and withers and dies. Was it worth it? Sure! It was beautiful. Animals the same way. They have a life for a short while then die off the scene. That is LIFE and all that God would give each of us...the life of a plant or an animal, even if it's thousands of years. The prize of EVERLASTING LIFE, though, are extended to those who CHOOSE GOD out of love.
When you think about it in these big-picture terms, therefore, and look at the final result, what happened was that God is able to use the physical universe to clean out the heavens and improve things in the universe to a higher standard. Adam and Eve were not the only persons tested by God's laws about man. The angels were as well. The process is painful though and "expensive" but in the end, certainly worth it.
Those of us who are servants of the Most High, are not particularly concerned with these philosophical issues, other than to be in awe of them, since at some point we consider this as "God's business"--he can do what he wishes in his own garden, right? Thus the delight is in just enjoying the presence of the Creator and what he has provided for us who love him to enjoy the universe as he has planned it. Understanding all the while, that some, like Satan and a third of the angels, will want more than what God has outlined for them and in their disappointment, choose a short life of "sin" rather than a long life of pleasure in the company of a God they don't particularly care for.
So yes, God knew the POTENTIAL of what was going to happen when he created the physical universe. It's PERFECT in every way, including a PERFECT TEST and CLEAN-UP MECHANISM.
In the end, Satan is the ultimate FOOL for falling into God's trap.
Where's there a will....there's a way.
God's way is always the best way.
From G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness: - of full age, man, perfect.
Most of these scriptures do not refer to perfect people or perfect behavour, but coming in to a more complete understanding of what Christ has done for us. If we look at this as full grown and complete rather than perfection, I think these scriptures make more sense.
Knowledge of the complete purpose of God (Romans 12:2, Eph 4:13, Col 4:12). To know Christ is in us, completely (Col 1:28). Jesus' more perfect tabernackle, paid by his blood rather than that of goats. (Hebrews 9:11) Wisdom. (1 Cor 2:6, Col 1:28, James 1:4) Perfect love (1 Cor 13:9, 1 John 4:18). Perfect gift (James 1:17) Perfect law (James 1:25) Perfect talk (James 3:2)
As for the young man who wanted to be perfect, I personally think Jesus gave him a rather sarcastic reply:
Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. (Matthew 19:21 ASV)
As well... interesting line of thought, i hope you find my reply equally interesting.
" perfect " probably, and especially in the JW setting is generally applied in contrast to being 'imperfect' with respect to the condition of morphology of the human state after Adam sinned
So does the following sentence make sense with the definition of morphology inserted?
""perfect" probably, and especially in the JW setting is generally applied in contrast to being 'imperfect' with respect to the condition of the study of the form and structure of organisms of the human state after Adam sinned"
uuuh ?. Not really, or, in case you were referring instead to Linguistics:
"perfect" probably, and especially in the JW setting is generally applied in contrast to being 'imperfect' with respect to the condition of the study of the structure of words in a language of the human state after Adam sinned"
Which makes even less sense?. So I don?t understand by what you mean by morphology at all. Which brings me to anomony ? which isn?t a word at all from what I can see, unless you meant to type something different.
Then we have: "This does not seem to be the case with angels though, who are spiritual."
Is it or isn?t it, your about to make some grand statements after "does not seem", which is dangerous if your not going to quote directly from the Bible.
"As to whether or not God knew ahead of time what would or might happen, I would think so "
I don?t need to make my point, I think highlighting it is sufficient.
Then you say the following:
"If so it would seem the plan was to get rid of Satan legally" and then right after that: "That is, up in heaven there really were not any rules of conduct that would constitute a real sin"
So I ask you: If there are no laws in heaven, why would God need to get rid of him legally? If God is as intelligent as Jehovah?s Witnesses claim, surely he could devise a more efficient method of disciplining or disposing of Satan?, particularly if Satan was truly mental and God could rely on his remaining angels to support his ultimate decision, perhaps God never reported all that happened up there. And also, if there were no laws, disrespect would have no behavioral social definition in the heavenly class of society, so God would merely be chastising him for not thinking the same way as himself, God in this case would merely want to save face, create as you say a solid "legal" counter-defense to simply getting rid of him.
And why do you presume that an act can only be applied to this physical universe? Was not the creation of the angels and God?s "heavenly realm" an act? Act is defined as " something that somebody does " in the Encarta Dictionary, this seems like a fairly solid definition so I?ll continue standing on it: Does the Bible say anywhere that an act can only be an act if it?s related to the physical universe?
"So in that sense the test given to Adam and Eve to be faithful was a test for the angels as well , particularly Satan . When God imposed laws upon man int he physical universe, it affected the angels in heaven as well ."
So now your saying that because God created the whole physical universe he could apply physical laws to Heavenly existence? Why did he need that? And why in all of creation did he go to such an outlandish scale in creating the Universe with the uncountable phenomena, galaxies, planets, etc, etc, etc simply to judge Satan and keep his angels in line? seems a tad over-the-top.
And I?m sorry? but this following seems to be a concept understood through osmosis by members of the JW?s alone:
"Now this might seem a bit complex and convoluted but not when you understand a subtle message God incorporated in animals and plants and that is a wonderment and glory for a short time. A flower is planted, it grows up and blooms, spawns seeds and withers and dies. Was it worth it? Sure! It was beautiful."
Now I beg of you, please, what message? You mentioned a message but never gave it, and, also? you started explaining about legal judgment and Satan then we jump to?. A beautiful plant? I don?t see the connection between the two subjects.
You also said we should be in awe, I wonder though, have you ever read the definition of awe? Do you know what it means? I?ll save you the trouble:
" mixture of wonder and dread: a feeling of amazement and respect mixed with fear that is often coupled with a feeling of personal insignificance or powerlessness" Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
"?personal insignificance or powerlessness" that certainly would be a feeling a loving creator would want eh? Insignificance or powerlessness? Fear? Truly loving indeed.
So I?m sorry, but I simply can?t find the solid foundation for your logic? I don?t recall any quotes from the Bible in your response. Moreover, I would be very interested to read anyand all society publications that teach this theory of yours, as thus far I am not aware of it in JW doctrine.
You read the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia too much!
Put it down! Read something else!
The Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia has been cutting millions off the figure of Jews that died during the holocaust every time it has been updated! It is laughed at in Europe! When they decide to make up their mind, then you make up yours. Use the knowledge you have, don't cut and paste it from the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia.
That aside, good comments.
thanks, i wasn't aware of the discrepancies in the Encarta database, i'll use other sources from now on unless the data i qoute is verifiable.
Most of these scriptures do not refer to perfect people or perfect behavour, but coming in to a more complete understanding of what Christ has done for us.
I think this applies to most pauline (or sub-pauline) texts, but hardly to Matthew or James, who call for a radical, absolute, supramoral stance or attitude in life, without any reference to "what Christ has done for us".
By the way, in Matthew 19 I rather feel irony in the first part of the dialogue (v. 16ff), which sums up the "common morality" of the Decalogue (plus the Levitical "love your neighbour as yourself") and leads to the young man's admitting he is not satisfied with that (v. 20). The second proposition (v. 21), unacceptable as it was to the young man, was quite serious to Matthew, since the "perfection" it required is equated to "entering the Kingdom of heaven/God" in v. 23f.
I believe there is a definite strand of "perfection" teaching, both in Matthew and James, which is very different from the Pauline definition of "perfection" (or "completeness", or "maturity") as a subsequent development of a religious, mystical salvation based on Jesus' death/resurrection. The only common point in those views, perhaps, is that they have nothing in common with the shallow WT concept of "genetic perfection" which is altogether foreign to the Bible.
Narkissos, thank you for the finer analysis of "perfection" in the greek scriptures. Frankly, I wanted to squirm out of James altogether.
I KNEW there was something inherently WRONG with the JW association of "perfection" with "sinlessness". I was confused for the longest time as my JW honey referred to his "errors in judgement" as imperfection. I was raised to believe that sin is a willful act. Beezlebub was an angel higher than all the others, beautiful and talented. His fall was the result of a willful turning away from his Creator. If he could fall, how could sin be a result of some sort of imperfection?