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  1. #8146
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PwrdOn View Post
    To some extent though, I can understand why so many Christians reject the idea of their faith developing organically and gradually from a blend of polytheistic faiths and other influences and insist that it has been transmitted unchanged through the centuries.
    Sure. Human beings in general seem wired to see things in black and white, and it takes a conscious effort to dive into the complexities of a human existence. We tend to prefer our religion and politics come with pre-packaged labels.

    If you accept that the Bible is probably neither historical nor infallible, and that much of what it commands people to do is morally repellent, and that even the New Testament is open for interpretation as well, then what exactly are you left with?
    A lot, actually! I'd argue that you get more from the Bible when you read it as a narrative rather than some kind of technical manual that tells you exactly what to do or say or feel in any given situation.

    As for whether the Bible is 'historical' I don't think it's a simple yes or no. Some books are clearly intended as historical chronicles (not unbiased, mind you), while others take more poetic license (Job strikes me as a drama, not a history, and the beginning of Genesis is a mythology).

    And I think interpreting the scriptures boldly (i.e. being willing to accept both its fallibility and its divine inspiration) frees a person to love God with all their mind and soul, as opposed to shutting down their brain when contradictions arise, or hardening their heart when horrors are justified).

    That said, this is my personal experience, and I don't argue that everyone has to come to God in the same way. I'd say God meets everyone where they are, regardless of their religion (or lack thereof). The real obstacle to being 'saved' in the biblical sense isn't unbelief but self-righteousness. When a person believes God has damned those who don't see the world exactly as they do, they unwittingly create a barrier between God and themselves. For me, personally, Christ is the One in whom God's riches are hidden, but I certainly don't think anyone will suffer hell for seeing God differently (or not believing). Empathy and kindness are what matters most. We are all already 'damned' to the extent that our love isn't perfect, and we are all already 'saved' to the extent that it is. But I think God won't stop until everyone has been reconciled to His/Her/Its love 100%.

    At that point the religion is just a set of scattered teachings that you can pick and choose from using your own judgment, and churches exist primarily to just be a focal point for communities and to preserve local traditions. And if we're being honest, that's probably the part that the vast majority of religious people actually cared about anyway, arguing over finer points of doctrine is something most people are neither willing nor able to do.
    I don't think discernment with regard to the scriptures is the same as 'picking and choosing,' though I understand why it might be seen that way. To see the value of every individual scripture, I weigh it against the biblical narrative as a whole. Is making blasphemy a crime, for instance, loving one's neighbor as oneself? It is not. But does that scripture still have value? Yes, because seeing it as a danger, it warns me of the traps into which I might fall even with the holiest of intentions.

  2. #8147
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancj View Post
    So why is he still punishing us for someone else's sins?
    How is God punishing you?
    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.--Isaiah 40:31

    “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it.” – Batman

    “You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world!"--The Doctor

  3. #8148
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's devotion:

    THE LORD’S ARMY
    https://www.todayintheword.org/issue...tions/july-09/
    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.--Isaiah 40:31

    “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it.” – Batman

    “You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world!"--The Doctor

  4. #8149
    Oni of the Ash Moon Ronin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Whovian View Post
    How is God punishing you?
    Some one asked, I don't know who or when, as to why God didn't make people perfect and sinless? The answer was given that he did and they went and mess it all up by eating an apple unleashing sin in to the once pure clean world like the plague that infects all of us. So now mankind has been "punished" by having a sinful nature. Thus the "someone else did it yet we all gotta pay for it". Though looking at it God didn't make Adam and Eve without a sinful nature or else he would not have sinned (hypothetically). So then the original question remains open as to why God made people with the ability to sin. That is where you jump down Kirby's rabbit hole of free will.
    Surely not everybody was kung fu fighting

  5. #8150
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Whovian View Post
    How is God punishing you?
    From a quick Google... expulsion from the Garden of Eden, intense pain during childbirth for women, no legs for the snakes, having to work hard for food, women being domineered by men.

  6. #8151
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    From answers on this thread (I asked a similar question) paying for an original sin seems to be mainly a Catholic thing. Christians here have said it's not so much as paying for what A&E did, as all people have sin in their nature and they need to ask forgiveness through Jesus. I agree with your problem with paying for the sins of ancestors.
    But we still get the punishment.

  7. #8152
    Extraordinary Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancj View Post
    But we still get the punishment.
    Well sure, unless you do what any of the many specific sects tell you to do.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  8. #8153
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's devotion:

    CROWN HIM LORD OF ALL
    https://www.todayintheword.org/issue...tions/july-10/
    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.--Isaiah 40:31

    “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it.” – Batman

    “You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world!"--The Doctor

  9. #8154
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.--Isaiah 40:31

    “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it.” – Batman

    “You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world!"--The Doctor

  10. #8155
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    Well sure, unless you do what any of the many specific sects tell you to do.
    There are sects where the women don't have intense pain during childbirth?

  11. #8156
    Extraordinary Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancj View Post
    There are sects where the women don't have intense pain during childbirth?
    point taken.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  12. #8157
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's devotion:

    REBUILDING THE TEMPLE
    https://www.todayintheword.org/issue...tions/july-12/
    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.--Isaiah 40:31

    “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it.” – Batman

    “You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world!"--The Doctor

  13. #8158
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's devotion:

    FROM FASTING TO FEASTING
    https://www.todayintheword.org/issue...tions/july-15/
    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.--Isaiah 40:31

    “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it.” – Batman

    “You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world!"--The Doctor

  14. #8159
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's devotion:

    JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS
    https://www.todayintheword.org/issue...tions/july-16/
    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.--Isaiah 40:31

    “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it.” – Batman

    “You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world!"--The Doctor

  15. #8160
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's devotion:

    THE ARRIVAL OF THE KING
    https://www.todayintheword.org/issue...tions/july-17/
    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.--Isaiah 40:31

    “Everything’s impossible until somebody does it.” – Batman

    “You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! Best weapons in the world!"--The Doctor

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