ARCHIVES:

Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.

Archived Letters

Sunday, April 21, 2002                                                                                       View Comments

RE: RAY

Ray,

I appreciate your zeal and the compassionate tone of your letter. I believe your intent is good and your motive above reproach. I notice that you use several fallacious arguments in attempting to prove your points. This I will comment on and address, with your permission, of course.

First off, you claim, as do most modern Christians, that we are called to love the sinner but hate the sin. This is not scriptural, though it is a popular teaching:

“we are called to love the homosexual but hate the sin of it, just as all sins.”

The Bible says:

PSALM 18:40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

PSALM 139: 21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
Ecclesiastes 3: 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

PROVERBS 6: 16 These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Psalms 101
1 {A psalm of David.} I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; [it] shall not cleave to me.
4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked [person].
5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
6 Mine eyes [shall be] upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.

Exodus 32:27, 28. "He said to them, Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man and his brother, and every man and his companion, and every man and his neighbor. (28) And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men."

Hosea 13:16. "Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up."

Judges 21:10. "And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest and commanded them, saying, God and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children. (11) And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man."

1 Samuel 15:3. "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."
Jeremiah 13:14. "And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them."

Numbers 31:15, 17, 18. "And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? (17) Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. (18) But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."



This is not meant to be an all encompassing or comprehensive list of verses. Many more verses say the same thing, these I found simply doing a quick search on the word hate. Plainly, we are called, ultimately, to hate the sinner. All through the law of Moses, the command is to destroy homosexuals, not just their behavior. The sinner and the sin are inseparable. It is the sinner that is thrown in hell in Jewish and Christian theology, not the sin.

NEXT

You say you would gladly talk about the Bible as apposed to talking about books by men. I submit to you that the bible is nothing more than a collection of writings by men. To support my allegation, here are a few examples of why I think so:

Jos 15:21 "And the uttermost cities of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the coast of Edom southward were Kabzeel, and Eder, and Jagur, And Kinah, and Dimonah, and Adadah, And Kedesh, and Hazor, and Ithnan, Ziph, and Telem, and Bealoth, And Hazor, Hadattah, and Kerioth, and Hezron, which is Hazor, Amam, and Shema, and Moladah, And Hazar-gaddah, and Heshmon, and Beth-palet, And Hazar-shual, and Beer-sheba, and Bizjothjah, Baalah, and Iim, and Azem, And Eltolad, and Chesil, and Hormah, And Ziklag, and Madmannah, and Sansannah, And Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Rimmon:" all the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages: Why does the "inspired Word of God" say 29 when the actual count is 39?

Ez 1:9 "Now this was their number: 30 gold dishes, 1,000 silver dishes, 29 duplicates; 30 gold bowls, 410 silver bowls of a second kind, and 1,000 other articles. All the articles of gold and silver numbered 5,400. Sheshbazzar brought them all up with the exiles who went up from Babylon to Jerusalem." Why 5,400 when simple addition totals 2,499?

Ez 2:3-64 "The whole assembly numbered 42,360" Why 42,360 when the assembly listed totals 29,818?

Mk 9:2 "And six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves."

Lk 9:28 "And some eight days after these sayings, it came about that He took along Peter and John and James, and went up to the mountain to pray." There are at least twenty bible errors involving numbers which an inept, hurried monk might make, but hardly an omniscient God. If these errors are due to copyists, then what confidence can one have that there might not be other errors or that God who allegedly inspired the bible is Himself not subject to errors and omissions?

Num23:19 God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Jas1:17 Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.
"VS"
Ez 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him

I Kg 22:22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also.
Ex32:14 So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.
ICh 21:14-15 So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel; 70,000 men of Israel fell. And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw and He repented over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, "It is enough;
God contradicts Moses : God is just like man, God lies, and God changes his mind.

The Bible is full of contradiction and error. For one example, please examine this article on historical accuracy:
HERE.


You say that Christ is terribly represented and you tried to make your point by placing myself in the center of some misrepresentation scenario. The analogy is flawed in that I am neither omnipotent or omni anything. GOD, however, is represented as being quite powerful and as I recall he promised that HE would build HIS CHURCH. I think he has been doing a terrible job of it. It is not the bricks that are to be blamed when a crumbling structure is found, it is the builder. You seem to be claiming that God is not able or not willing to bend people’s will. In light of the story of Pharoh and Moses, where God hardens Pharoah’s heart, your argument is fallacious. See also Eph 1 and Rom 9. The GOD of the Bible is totally in control of everything that happens or ever has happened, therefore he is building his church just the way he wants it. OR, he does not exist at all.

LORD LIAR OR LUATIC??
A False Dilemma is a fallacy in which a person uses the following pattern of "reasoning":
1. Either claim X is true or claim Y is true (when X and Y could both be false).
2. Claim Y is false.
3. Therefore claim X is true.
This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because if both claims could be false, then it cannot be inferred that one is true because the other is false. That this is the case is made clear by the following example:
1. Either 1+1=4 or 1+1=12.
2. It is not the case that 1+1=4.
3. Therefore 1+1=12.
In cases in which the two options are, in fact, the only two options, this line of reasoning is not fallacious. For example:
1. Bill is dead or he is alive.
2. Bill is not dead.
3. Therefore Bill is alive.

The Lord Liar Lunatic argument adds a third answer but not all the answers. It may be that Christ, who never wrote a word, was terribly misquoted. It may be that Christ, who’s live and teachings have no corroboration outside the New Testament, never even existed. Read this for support on my allegation: HISTORIC JESUS

Sincerely,

Dave VanAllen




Dear Dave,

I appreciate that you spent so much time presenting your collection of thoughts as well as your findings concerning the scriptures. But before I proceed, I would like to make a few comments and then following, a few questions.

First of all, concerning your findings on hating those who appose God. Note the many verses you found on hating those who appose God in the Old Testament. Note, that you will not find them in the new. In fact, you will find quite opposite as followed:

John 13:34 - A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another

1 John 2:8 - Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.

2 John 1:5 - And now I beg you, lady, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.

Notice that it is a new commandment given by the divine one, the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course this law, being encompassed by an OT prophesy concerning a new Covenant, is a fullfillment to what was to come to the Jew/Gentile world.

Jeremiah 31:31 - 31:31Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 31:32not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith Jehovah. 31:33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: 31:34and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith Jehovah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.

I would say also that as a Christian I have been called to be a light (math 5:14), a minister of the New Testament/reconciliation (2 Corinthians 3/5) as well as an ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20). I also am a letter read and known by all men (2 Corinthians 3:1-3). Therefore I am very careful not to give any offence to the Gospel as well as the ministry "give no offence to the ministry so that it may not be blamed, but approving ourselves as the ministers of God" ...

Therefore, I am very careful to say that I must hate the homosexual. I will say this, That God is under no obligation to offer his Gospel again. Especially to a creation that recognized not his son, and then crucified the Lord of Glory. The heart of man has always been evil, "none doeth good" "none seek after God" "all have gone their way"

God can harden the heart of the evil ones and withdraw his sovereign grace. I dare not attempt to play the election Game. I recognized that God is sovereign, but this does not mans responsibility to choose him. Of course, this can only be done by his spirit, as he convicts all of humanity. Yet God would send the light of the world "he lit every man who came into the world". This would indicate that from the natural state of depravity, that God would still reveal himself, convicting all mankind of sin. " God is light, in him is no darkness at all".

Also, you put together a conglomeration of verses of GOD COMMANDING ISRAEL TO EXTERMINATE THE GENTILE NATIONS. God has a law. Actually three mentioned quite generously in Romans chapter one to three. I will define them briefly.

1. The law of creation- of course being a witness that their is a God.
2. The law of mans consciousness ( to tell us what is wrong and right, example:lying)
3. The law of Moses.... self explanatory.

and of course it sums it all up with Romans 3:Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.

In any case, if we break his law, you are subject and at the mercy of the judge/law giver( just like the courts).

So, God has always used an army or power (the nation he chose to be his mouth piece as well as representative) to exterminate evil. (Noah's flood........."he looked down at mans heart and it thought only continuous evil" )

One more, he is not the author of evil. He can use evil for his glory. hypothetical example. Israel would be blessed, yet they turned their hearts away from God to idolatry, he could REMOVE his grace from them and allow or stir up the hearts of the Gentile world to enslave them. Of course this happens often. And of course, they repent again for a right standing relationship with God. This is for the Glory of God (Prodigal son is an excellent example). NOTE THE REJOICING. I'm sure you have kids. If they disobey, you do not spare the rod........are you sinning because you know that the rod is the best for their correction? Again, I know we are talking about something more than just discipline, we are talking about death. All I can say is that God is righteous and his ways are correct as appose to ours, unrighteous and crooked.

Now to move on concerning this:
"You seem to be claiming that God is not able or not willing to bend people’s will " I appologize if I made you think that, this is not the caseand believe no such thing nor does the scriptures teach that. In fact, the scriptures teach a perfect will and a permissive will.
Example one. God gave Israel manna in the desert. Israel wanted meat. God told them they didnt need meat, just manna. Man didnt want manna, they wanted meat, so God gave them their meat and they became sick.

Example two. Israel wanted a king (like the other nations). God said you dont need a king, you have me. They wanted a king, so God gave them a king. Theocracy vs.mans desire of a democracy. (interesting enough, when the son of God came, they would then say " we will have no such man rule over us".

So we are in agreement.

Not continue....

The discrepancies you found was consistent to a case that I am presenting. Notice that most of them are numerical....In all do respects, if you have ever read the ancient TORAH and what the Jewish historians have written in the Exegetical notes as well as their Translational reference lexical aids, You would find that it is extremely difficult to translate the extensive numberings. I'm sure you haven't because you would know that when it comes to the big numbers (such as Daniel and the 70 weeks, its really hard to interpret. Of course their are no accent marks as well as little case and so forth........ Also, the KJV(next to the recommended ASV because it is more accurate) is not a recommended translation if one was to look for its laced with mistranslations. I know this being a Septuagint student. I know to well the history of the Textus receptus and know for myself they could have done a much better job. I will say this, the numbers issue I have never really gave much thought knowing the mental suicide these guys go through trying to figure something's out. I do know one thing, that along with myself, they have done the best they can when it comes to translating numerology according to the scriptures. BUT, this does not change two facts.

1. Gods doctrine concerning righteousness. You must believe to be saved and its only through his son." I am the way, the truth and the life, none come to the father, except by me"

2. Prophecy. OT is clear concerning most of the messiahs prophecies. How can one explain the 333 prophecies concerning the messiah? I know them to well being a Jew. That he will be pierced (psalm 22)
betrayed by thirty pieces of silver . That they would cast lots over his garments. His lineage to David through both Mary (Luke) and Joseph ( Mathew). In any case, I'm sure you know to well what I am talking about. These many prophecies were fulfilled accurately. My family is still in amazement how we could have been so blind.
(I would read "more than a carpenter for some simple details)

Also, with the 500+ writings of our early Church fathers (first, second, and third century).... Clemente (Pauls disciple) as well as Plato, etc..(quote the entire NT in their writings for the exception of 4 verses). I would hardly say that the NT in coine is misrepresented. (read expositors Greek NT by Nicoll, Greek-English lexiconal notes by Thayer, Biblical-Theological Leion for NT Greek by Cremer as well as Light form the ancient east by Deissmann for Proof.) along with Jewish Historians such as Josephus...clearly quote and prove the ministry of Christ Jesus. The words and works of Christ are undeniable!!!! For sure and without doubt, history tells the truth about Jesus through both the Christians and those who were Christ's detractors-The Jews!.

leads to my question again from your comment below:

The Lord Liar Lunatic argument adds a third answer but not all the answers. It may be that Christ, who never wrote a word, was terribly misquoted. It may be that Christ, who’s live and teachings have no corroboration outside the New Testament, never even existed.

Is he Liar, lunatic or Lord.

I am not trying to pin you down, I simply want to know what you believe. Is Jesus the Son Of God? If you don't believe he even existed then the answer would simply be no.
If he did exist, yet you don't believe his recorded works, then perhaps he is a liar. If you don't believe his words, then perhaps he is a lunatic. I am simply asking for what is really in your heart. Can you muster in your heart to say he was Liar?. He said he was God! No one can change that he did not exist! Nobody can change that he did great miracles, Nor what he said. The Jews that hated him never rejected his lineage nor his works. If you don't believe me, go to Israel and see what they have to say, you would be shocked. They simply reject him as the Son of God and call him a great prophet. Again, this does not dismiss his statement that He is God. Who is he to you?

Kind Regards,
Raymond

My desire is to win you for Christ sake. I would appreciate it if you have rejected Christ and his offer once and for all, please let me know. Of course,If you are still open, I would like to continue, for Christ sake. You are an extremely bright gentleman and I would hate to go around in circles making a fool of myself.

PS forgive my spelling and grammar, I typed this up rather quickly as well as what seemes to be fragmentary verses, my memorization is out of the Nestle & Aland NT greek receptus. As I am sure you know, it does not have a brilliant flow like the KJV.

Ray




Ray,

John 13:34 - A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another

1 John 2:8 - Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.

2 John 1:5 - And now I beg you, lady, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.

Those commands are for Christians to love Christians. This is the same as the Old Testament where Hebrews were to love Hebrews, ie, their neighbors as in Leviticus 19:
17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.



For the non-believers or those who reject the message of the cross from the NT:

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Luke 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

Acts 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.

2 John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works

1 Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (ACCURSED!)

Concerning Omniscience VS Free will

I have given some thought to the omniscience / free will paradox, and I've had some insights that I would like to share. I formulated my argument as follows. "A" refers to any given action, e.g., "post this article." "~A" refers to the opposite of that action, e.g., "not post this article."

1. God's knowledge cannot be wrong.
2. God knows that I will do A.
3. If I have free will, then (I can do A) and (I can do ~A).
4. If I can do ~A, then it is possibly true that I will do ~A.
5. If it is possibly true that I will do ~A, then God's 'knowledge' that I will do A is possibly false.
6. If God's knowledge that I will do A is possibly false, then God's
'knowledge' can be wrong.
7. Therefore, God's knowledge that I will do A is not possibly false.
8. Therefore, it is not possibly true that I will do ~A.
9. Therefore, I cannot do ~A.
10. Therefore, it is false that (I can do A) and (I can do ~A).
11. Therefore, I don't have free will.

Anyone who accepts premises 1-6 will logically reach the conclusion of the non-existence of free will. Any other person, or even God Himself, could be subsistuted for "I" in this argument.

There have been many attempts to refute this argument, but most of them have the ring of desperation, not the ring of truth. Some, for example, have chosen to deny logic. This is absurd, self-stultifying, and renders all speech meaningless. If an omniscient being could also be non-omniscient, what would it mean to say it is omniscient after all? Or if the law of contradiction could be both true and false, what would it mean to deny the law of contradiction? Can't you see that the truth of the principles of logic are established by the attempt to say anything at all? If we don't follow them, we talk nonsense, and our statements are meaningless.

Others have tried saying that "God is outside time" and "God observes all time." This talk of "outside" and "observing" time is very anthropomorphic, and I don't know what the theist "really" means when they say that God is "outside time." Did God walk out the door of "Time" restaurant for a smoke or something? Can I go outside time for a walk? Is God sitting on his couch watching space-time on his 4d television? I have no experience of things "outside time," so I don't know what the theist means. But, even granting the plausibility of being "outside time," the theist is still faced with the problem of God's free will. After all, the theist's reason for positing free will is that "God does not make robots. Love must be freely given and freely received." Surely God Himself is not a robot. If God has free will and makes choices, then God must have a future. Does God know His own future? If so, we have the perfect foreknowledge / free will paradox all over again. If not, God cannot be said to be truly omniscient. Further, if God interacts with this universe and makes prophecy (even becoming incarnate once), it would seem that God is "inside time" from time to time (see what I mean about the incoherency of this "outside time" talk?), so this line of defense must be rejected as a total failure.

In most cases the argument goes right over the head of the theist. They say, "So what? Does God knowing what you will do mean that He is forcing you to do it? No." They equivocate "having free will" with "not being forced to do things by God." But free will as defined above means the ability to do A and the ability to do ~A. The argument states that omniscience implies the lack of free will, not that omniscience implies that the omniscient being is making choices for you. The omniscient being could very well be powerless and unable to interact with the physical world, but this does not affect the argument in any way. This 'objection' makes as much sense as "So what? Does God knowing what you will do mean that Bill Clinton has a remote control on your brain manipulating your every action? No."

With this nonsense out of the way, let us look at the problems for the theist who denies the premises of the argument.

1. God's knowledge cannot be wrong.
2. God knows that I will do A.

The Bible describes God as having infinite understanding and knowing everything, a doctrine called omniscience (Psalms 147:5, 1 John 3:20). This is supposed to include knowledge of the future (Jeremiah 1:4-5, Mark 13:40, Acts 2:23). If God is not infallible, it is strange that theists look to Him for the ultimate answers in life. Without the power to know the future, the prophecies from God, including as those about the afterlife and the end of the world (as well as those about history), carry no more weight than anybody else's guess. Imagine: "I assure you, one of you is about to betray me...but your guess is as good as mine." In Christian theology, God would have become incarnated without even knowing whether the Jews and Romans would act such that His plan for salvation would be successful. Thus, most Christians believe that God is omniscient.

3. If I have free will, then (I can do A) and (I can do ~A).
4. If I can do ~A, then it is possibly true that I will do ~A.

The alternative to accepting these premises is to accept compatibilism, that free will is consistent with determinism. This is plausible enough for atheistic philosophers such as Michael Martin and Daniel C. Dennett. The compatibilist may define "will" as the action that a person wants or intends, and a will is "free" if the person will succeed in doing this action without coercion (i.e., if the outcome hinges on the person's decision or will). There have been a few different theories of "intention," which are not detailed here. This position does allow for some moral responsibility between men for their actions willfully done.

However, I do not see how compatibilism fits with a theism in which the creator God judges men based on their actions. This would be like a programmer punishing a computer because it gave the wrong answer. If God is an omnipotent creator, he would logically have simply made humans do what he wanted them to do in the first place (instead of making them so they do what he doesn't want and then punishing them for so doing). Thus, compatibilism makes God an incompetent.

5. If it is possibly true that I will do ~A, then God's knowledge that I will do A is possibly false.
6. If God's knowledge that I will do A is possibly false, then God's knowledge can be wrong.

These statements are self-evident given appropriate definitions of "possibly true" and "possibly false."

However, the conclusion is:

11. Therefore, I don't have free will.

Although it may not be explicitly in the Bible, free will is a central doctrine to many theologians for at least the two following reasons:

1. Free will allows a defense for the origin of evil in God's creation. "For everything created by God is good..." (1 Timothy 4:4)
2. Free will allows a defense for God's punishment of perdition. Judgment and condemnation makes no sense if the 'guilty' party had no choice.

These defenses can be criticized in their own right, but they are now compounded with the problem posed by omniscience, which is mutually exclusive with free will.

Therefore, God does not exist, at least not as "God" is defined by many Christians.


Free Will would be theoretically possible if:

1. God didn't know what his creations would do (not omniscient).
or
2. God didn't have the ability to control every aspect of what He was creating (not omnipotent).
or
3. God didn't create the entire universe (not creator).

Without modifying one of these three attributes, there is no alternativeto a deterministic universe with each event explicitly controlled by God.

Finally consider these:

1. How could Adam and Eve ever have sinned if God had actually created them perfect, even if they did have free will? If God created them imperfect, how could a perfect omnipotent being create anything imperfect?

2. How can evil exist in the world if God is simultaneously good, omnipotent, and loving? Why is it that no theodicy stands up under rational scrutiny?

3. Why does the church say God did not create evil, when he himself claims that he did in Isaiah 45:7, Lamentations 3:38, and Amos 3:6?

4. Why does God expressly take credit for creating disabilities (Exodus 4:11)? If these are God's doing, then why does the evangelical church insist that disabilities are the result of the fall, or of Satan's work?

5. Why would a loving, omnipotent, benevolent god cause people to believe falsehoods so that he can condemn them (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)?

6. Why is the Bible inconsistent on major theological issues such as the nature and existence of an afterlife, the efficacy of works of the Law with regard to salvation, and the distinction between soul and spirit?

7. Why does the evangelical church speak of absolute values when the Bible teaches situational ethics?

8. Why is it not possible to formulate a systematic theology that agrees with the Bible in all points? Roman Catholic theology introduces unbiblical and irrational ideas; Calvinistic reformed theology stumbles at the existence of evil; covenantal theology muddles the biblical distinctions between Israel and the church; dispensational theology is too hopelessly complex to be credible because every major inconsistency is explained away by spuriously introducing a new "dispensation;" and Arminianism destroys the sovereignty of God.

9. Why doesn't the Bible itself present its own "revealed" systematic theology. Doesn't God want us to have a consistent and complete framework of theology to support right decision making and teaching others?



That's enough for now.

Cheers,

Dave VanAllen




Dear Dave,

You wrote...........

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Luke 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

Acts 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.

2 John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

For the non-believers or those who reject the message of the cross from the NT:

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Luke 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

Acts 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.

2 John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

None of these verses teach me not to love the unbeliever......... perhaps their is a misunderstanding of what love is. Love is not an emotional feeling, like the world. Love is an action. "God so loved the world he gave....", "he who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me"... and so forth. NT does not teach to hate them. It teaches me to show them Christ. It also teaches me not to accept their doctrine nor to welcome them to my home. As mentioned above. Of course, that is a far cry to hate them. As for you reap what you sow... well, let them be accursed, and let them be rewarded according to their works (as mentioned in revelation in Rev 19 at the Great white throne. BUT, God says "vengeance is mine" so we leave these payments up to God.

You mentioned also mentioned:

1. God didn't know what his creations would do (not omniscient).-Quite clear that he knows.... OT*/NT is clearly prophetic... concerning the nations and people, they are perfectly fulfilled, in his timing.........

2. God didn't have the ability to control every aspect of what He was creating (not omnipotent). HE can, yet he allows man to move in an arena, he allows them to choose, yet he already know what they will choose before the foundation of the world.

3. God didn't create the entire universe (not creator).-Its clear that he did Gen 1 and so forth. So I guess Im forced to play some mental twister which I cannot do.

As for the Evil God created. NOT possible.

The Hebrew word used in all three (Isaiah 45:7, Lamentations 3:38, and Amos 3:6.) is ra. It could mean misfortune, a mischief,a wickedness caused on another. But it does not insinuate that he is the author of evil. He judges righteously on the wicked (all creation) yet this would become a misfortune/mischief on ourselves...The essential meaning of ra is the inability to come up to a good standards (definition is found in any OT/NT Lexical aid). Your best bet is to speak to an orthodoxy Rabbi/scholar and he will give you the same answer. I will say again, that the King James could have done a better Job. That is why knowing the original lanugos can be beneficial. Contextual accuracy is the utmost importance.

As for Adam and Eve. They were in an environment where their was no sin..."God is of purer eyes and cannot behold evil, he cannot even look upon it" Hab 1:13. But it is certain that they had a will. They were deceived, they yielded to it, they brought sin into the world, and as a result, they were "Adam/man was driven out"-ramifications.

As for this statement: Why would a loving, omnipotent, benevolent god cause people to believe falsehoods so that he can condemn them (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)?

I previously answered this question. God is under no obligation to ever give the Gospel again. If he desires to retract the offer, which he says he will in Romans 1, He is still righteous. meaning he is right, we are wrong. Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts.. 1:26 for this cause GOD gave them up unto vile affections...1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind...

It is clear that God has always given man over to their sin.... the final ruling is mention in 3:19 "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law (all mankind as mentioned before 1, law of creation 2, law of conciseness 3, law of Moses) that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God" Could it be possible that when God gave man will.... they could only do evil. Perhaps that's why we wait for the hope that is in us (holy spirit) for the day of redemption... for we will not be able to sin no more in heaven. A new body, that cannot sin.... perhaps that is the deeper meaning to "when sin did abound, Grace did abound MUCH MORE. Grace provided (by his blood) sanctification for not only positional, not only practical, but full sanctification...That is glorification.

As for this suggestion: Why does God expressly take credit for creating disabilities (Exodus 4:11)? If these are God's doing, then why does the evangelical church insist that disabilities are the result of the fall, or of Satan's work? It does not say that God made them dumb. It says that God created the Dumb and the deaf. And when sin entered in the world so did the 2nd law of thermodynacs..... along with the Law of entropy... A syllogism (sin+time=death) . everything tends to disorder(or get older/break down) and this is consistent (time) till death.

This is an opinion.......How can evil exist in the world if God is simultaneously good, omnipotent, and loving? Why is it that no theodicy stands up under rational scrutiny

Let us consider the "so-called" contradicting verses.........And if your gracious, please stay with the NT. Why is the Bible inconsistent on major theological issues such as the nature and existence of an afterlife, the efficacy of works of the Law with regard to salvation, and the distinction between soul and spirit?

I don't understand this statement, nor am I concerned with the overall church. They are more in number Carnell and unlearned. Very few actually study the scriptures. Also, I'm not concerned what the church teaches, I'm concerned what the book says..... Why does the evangelical church speak of absolute values when the Bible teaches situational ethics?

This is the churches feeble way of denominating themselves. They create a bunch of doctrines that contradict themselves.....I am under the conviction that We don't have the complete mind of God, and some things have been left for further explanation when we get to heavens shore.....Why is it not possible to formulate a systematic theology that agrees with the Bible in all points? I do not know.... I just study it in its generality with OT and New.

Not biblical at all: Roman Catholic theology introduces unbiblical and irrational ideas;

Thank God I am not a Calvinist... God teaches that he chooses his elect in Christ, Not choose the elect for their salvation.Calvinistic reformed theology stumbles at the existence of evil;

Robs the Christian Hope for the rapture and so much more: covenantal theology muddles the biblical distinctions between Israel and the church;

This is a way to study the bible... Its not the perfect way. dispensational theology is too hopelessly complex to be credible because every major inconsistency is explained away by spuriously introducing a new "dispensation;" and

Clearly the scriptures do not teach we lose our salvation Cor 3:13-15, James 5, Although this is true, the believer can experience a death.... "to be carnally minded is death" ....Not physical, but more spiritual I suppose. ..Arminianism destroys the sovereignty of God.

It is Age of innocence, government (perhaps), covenant with Noah, the law, grace and truth, and the millennium (for the literalist). In any case, study the scriptures any way you want...... No way is wrong. Although I will say that studying it systematically will give you a better flow and understanding. ......Why doesn't the Bible itself present its own "revealed" systematic theology. Doesn't God want us to have a consistent and complete framework of theology to support right decision making and teaching others?

In any case, Is it ok to say "imp not sure". The passage is somewhat foggy and it is better that I receive the simple verses than the complicated verses.. Science is somewhat in that fashion. We don't understand everything,,,, in fact that is why we have theories. Paul even said, that the was caught up in the third heaves, and it was not lawful/able to speak of it...........I think that pride is the building block to much preached doctrine. I would rather say... .lets look at the verse and see what it says to the chapter..... Perhaps they would call me weak, stupid and foolish. But I apologize, their is no man who understands everything. If anything, they are pompous, self-righteous and they deceive themselves....Is it ok to say, I do not know how electricity works but I certainly enjoy the light when I flick the switch. Or the stars at night, or just think how the earth is sustained.... I guess we can feebly try to explain that, but one thing is certain, we enjoy it. I have faith in Christ my God and I enjoy it.

I pray that you are giving me some elbow room here and hoping that some of my answers are acceptable. I try not to get to philosophical (ex your complicated algorithms on Calvinism).

I would enjoy further on other issues but I chiefly want to discuss the most important issue when follows. I was curious to hear your response concerning the validity of OT prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe (at least one reason) that The NT is valid by the old. That is the prophecies concerning Christ. Also, the comments I made concerning the accuracy of his existence as well as his works and words. They are to my advantage and are undeniable! As before mentioned:

1. Gods doctrine concerning righteousness. You must believe (recieve christ John 1:12,13) to be saved and its only through his son." I am the way, the truth and the life, none come to the father, except by me"


2. Prophecy. OT is clear concerning most of the messiahs prophecies. How can one explain the 333 prophecies concerning the messiah? I know them to well being a Jew. That he will be pierced (psalm 22)
betrayed by thirty pieces of silver . That they would cast lots over his garments. His lineage to David through both Mary (Luke) and Joseph ( Mathew). In any case, I'm sure you know to well what I am talking about. These many prophecies were fulfilled accurately. My family is still in amazement how we could have been so blind.
(I would read "more than a carpenter for some simple details)

Also, with the 500+ writings of our early Church fathers (first, second, and third century).... Clemente (Pauls disciple) as well as Plato, etc..(quote the entire NT in their writings for the exception of 4 verses). I would hardly say that the NT in coine is misrepresented. (read expositors Greek NT by Nicoll, Greek-English lexiconal notes by Thayer, Biblical-Theological Leion for NT Greek by Cremer as well as Light form the ancient east by Deissmann for Proof.) along with Jewish Historians such as Josephus...clearly quote and prove the ministry of Christ Jesus. The words and works of Christ are undeniable!!!! For sure and without doubt, history tells the truth about Jesus through both the Christians and those who were Christ's detractors-The Jews!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

which leads me to my final comment and question, again.
I beg that you forgive me for stating. ...............You still have not answered my question. And I know you know what I am talking about. Why? Is it true that their is some ray of hope in your heart or have you finally cursed Christ and rejected his offer. You have done a fabulous Job discrediting the scriptures and Christianity altogether... perhaps they deserve it. I do not know.

You know when Saul ran into the risen Lord at the road to Damascus... He said "who is it Lord? I am Jesus who you persecute, It is hard to kick against the pricks" and Saul would then say "Lord, what does thou desire me to do........"

Please tell me, I beseech you, Is he a Liar, a lunatic, or The Lord?

Kind Regards,

Raymond

I would like to speak to you over the phone if you may permit it. The emailing is killing me. I would have more liberty and time over the phone.