Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#31

Post by Montana » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:36 pm

BavarianWheels wrote:
Montana wrote:I do not believe God is a relativist. I do not believe morality is relative. But I do not know how to justify this belief considering the circumstance of this issue.
I'm glad you don't believe this. Can the created understand things or ideas of the Eternal? Some things maybe, but not all. I think it should be enough to know that God's judgement comes. To some it comes swift, to others not so swift. Ultimately, judgement comes whether by human hands or divine fire from heaven.

I think csll hit the point correctly.
cslewislover wrote:In our country, say, if someone was found guilty of murder and put to death sooner after the sentence, as in earlier times, does that mean that our contemporary view of murder has changed simply because the court process has changed (and execution comes years later, if ever)? No. Other considerations have come into play, not the fact that murder is still just as wrong as it ever was.
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Well...let's back up for a moment here.

It seems like an "escape" to say the punishment is the same, there's just an increased period of wait time for death. For example...God ordered men to execute homosexuals at one time. OK, times have changed, the way in which punishments are met are different.

So then, would you say that it would be wrong for authorities to execute homosexuals today? If so, then don't we have an example of the punishment (execution) having a moral value? If you say that it is not wrong to execute homosexuals today and that it is an amoral issue (neither good nor bad), then you would have no objection if authorities rounded up all homosexuals and executed them? After all, what they are doing cannot be amoral...can it? There's no moral value attached to executing homosexuals (according to your argument).

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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#32

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:05 pm

Montana wrote: Well...let's back up for a moment here.

It seems like an "escape" to say the punishment is the same, there's just an increased period of wait time for death. For example...God ordered men to execute homosexuals at one time. OK, times have changed, the way in which punishments are met are different.

So then, would you say that it would be wrong for authorities to execute homosexuals today?
Today, yes. In this society, there is no law against being homosexual. You would first have to pass a civil law against homosexuality.
If this were a nation like that of Israel back in the day, then the killing of homosexuals MIGHT still be God's will for us to carry out.
(In light of the NT, today I would argue it is still not our place.)
Montana wrote:If so, then don't we have an example of the punishment (execution) having a moral value? If you say that it is not wrong to execute homosexuals today and that it is an amoral issue (neither good nor bad), then you would have no objection if authorities rounded up all homosexuals and executed them? After all, what they are doing cannot be amoral...can it?
A society (without God as it's core value system) deems on its own what is moral, immoral and amoral...not it's religious sects within.
What moral value are you looking for? Again, you're argument/question cannot be carried out today in a society that is not Theocratic.
If authorities started rounding up homosexuals for slaughter, what say would I have...other than protest and/or another diary like that of Anne Frank or acts such as Oskar Schindler and the like.
Montana wrote:There's no moral value attached to executing homosexuals (according to your argument).
Not when there is no civil law against homosexuality.
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#33

Post by Montana » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:13 pm

BavarianWheels wrote:
Montana wrote: Well...let's back up for a moment here.

It seems like an "escape" to say the punishment is the same, there's just an increased period of wait time for death. For example...God ordered men to execute homosexuals at one time. OK, times have changed, the way in which punishments are met are different.

So then, would you say that it would be wrong for authorities to execute homosexuals today?
Today, yes. In this society, there is no law against being homosexual. You would first have to pass a civil law against homosexuality.
If this were a nation like that of Israel back in the day, then the killing of homosexuals MIGHT still be God's will for us to carry out.
(In light of the NT, today I would argue it is still not our place.)
Montana wrote:If so, then don't we have an example of the punishment (execution) having a moral value? If you say that it is not wrong to execute homosexuals today and that it is an amoral issue (neither good nor bad), then you would have no objection if authorities rounded up all homosexuals and executed them? After all, what they are doing cannot be amoral...can it?
A society (without God as it's core value system) deems on its own what is moral, immoral and amoral...not it's religious sects within.
What moral value are you looking for? Again, you're argument/question cannot be carried out today in a society that is not Theocratic.
If authorities started rounding up homosexuals for slaughter, what say would I have...other than protest and/or another diary like that of Anne Frank or acts such as Oskar Schindler and the like.
Montana wrote:There's no moral value attached to executing homosexuals (according to your argument).
Not when there is no civil law against homosexuality.
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What is law is not necessarily what is moral. The two are not synonymous. You are erroneously treating the two as if they were the same it seems. Abortion is legal, yet Christianity teaches it is immoral. As such, the Christian community pushes against the law it believes to be immoral.

But that is not the case with executing homosexuals. There is no push for doing so.

Regardless, you have just argued in favor of relative morality (by saying that the moral value is contingent upon what society and law say). Is that a position you truly take or is it the unintentional consequence?

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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#34

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:25 pm

Montana wrote:What is law is not necessarily what is moral. The two are not synonymous. You are erroneously treating the two as if they were the same it seems. Abortion is legal, yet Christianity teaches it is immoral. As such, the Christian community pushes against the law it believes to be immoral.
Exactly right. CHRISTIANITY TEACHES...not our civil laws. So while living in THIS society, one cannot kill a homosexual because "God said so". It then becomes a matter of defying what God says to do, "give unto Ceasar...". Is it sinful to not kill homosexuals? If you don't do God's "bidding", He cannot find another means to His end?
Montana wrote:Regardless, you have just argued in favor of relative morality (by saying that the moral value is contingent upon what society and law say). Did you intend to further this position?
I have no problem with this if the society doesn't claim God as their central authority. Do you? Morality IS RELATIVE if there is no God. What argument do YOU have against this?
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#35

Post by J.Davis » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:28 pm

I want to say something concerning church members pointing out the sin of their brother or sister and rebuking them.

It happened to me...

I have a huge love for Jesus (God) and I love him more than anything and I love helping people out of their bondage. I am a music minister and I write songs, play piano and minister to Gods people (I LOVE IT!). I was ministering at my home church one Sunday and everything was awesome, or so I thought. The band and I had just finished ministering through music and I continued to play softly as a guest pastor (and prophet) being to walk up on stage. Not one minute passed before he begin to act as a prophet...and I was first. He launched his finger in my direction and said, you are just like David (Yeah, heard it all before) you have his good characteristics but you also have his weakness (wait, that‘s new), you praise and worship the lord with all your heart but you also worship YOURSELF! (ouch...what the?!?!). In short, this man just morally beat me down, destroyed my good Christian image in front of everyone I knew. And he was right about my sins and the effect they were having. I had never experienced a prophet doing this to anyone, I simply continued to play and nodded my head one time in agreement (So humiliating).

And I have never been so freaked out in my life...LOL...that dude wiped me out. After he was done beating the crap out of my image he pointed to the next person. I am telling you that everyone that he pointed to was literally shaking...lol. But he did not give anyone but me a beating, everyone else got the usual good stuff. Now, I discovered that I can be pretty intimidating with my size, gifts and position in the church, and no one had ever done this to me or anyone I knew before. And this guy was short and small...but after he got done beating me down he looked 10 feet tall and built like a tank...lol! He didn’t care not one bit about anything but what God said.

I went home, dropped all my music equipment and looked up and said....God??? Did it really have to go down like that?? Really? (I thought we were tight, lol). Fine, I hated doing it anyway, let’s kill it. I prayed and prayed, one day then the next and with God’s help defeated one weakness after another. And God reviled all kinds of awesome things to me and gave me new gifts and we were even closer than before. Also, the entire church improved. Everyone treated me very nice and seemed to understand that the same could of happened to them too. But the point is that I could take the rebuke, I needed it to happen and deep down wanted to be free. It may have been the only way for me.

But God said it is right to do and I really appreciate that prophet, I don’t even know his name. But if you run into a short humbly dressed man with no fear, black hair and eye’s that burn with fire...be afraid...very afraid. Seriously though, I would really like to shake his hand and thank him. He was honest with me and maybe the only minister that did not try to be nice to me for his own benefit. I really appreciate his obedience to God, it did more for me than all my years in church. And I never want to go back to where I was...LOL!!! I will say that this man was lead by God, there is no way he could of known what he knew without God telling him. So make sure you are lead by God if you do this to a Christian (not the unsaved) , you never know what effect it will have on someone

Thanks prophet guy!
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#36

Post by cslewislover » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:33 pm

Montana, God gave us a new covenant. Times are different, circumstances are different, and those things are real. We can't control them all, whatsoever, so to somehow place better or worse morality on punishments doesn't make any sense. The act itself - say with murder or homosexual sex - is immoral. For us not to go out and kill homosexuals today isn't immoral relative to the laws of Israel. We live in a land where the killing of homosexuals is illegal and deemed morally wrong. Even if we thought that we would be doing God's will by killing homosexuals, we would be going against the law of the land here by doing so. Did the Jews go against the Roman law when Rome ruled them? Pretty much the answer is no. Do you think, as Christians, that we have a basis for taking over our government so that we can implement the laws of the OT? According to you, this would then make us consistent. But it wouldn't; the morals are consistent, but how God implements justice in regards to them is within His will. There should be an answer that you can accept, since ever since Christianity began, it has been like this.

I have this book that I use a lot, that I really like, Hard Sayings of the Bible. In it there's a chapter called, "Why Does God Seem So Angry in the Old Testament & Loving in the New?" It hits on the morality aspect and judgment. I wish I could post it all here for you, but that would take a lot of typing. As the author says, it's "a difference between judgment within history and judgment at the end of history." We are following God's will by letting Him punish and judge later. God forgave the Ninevites after He sent Jonah to them, and they repented. Was God inconsistent in doing this? Maybe Jonah thought so! His laws carried out in Israel were not the same as in the rest the world. And it's like that today. In Matthew 5, Jesus tells us to judge ourselves, basically. He's not telling everyone to go out and stone their neighbor, but he's telling us to reflect on our own sin and seek to stop it. But Jesus talks of judgment a lot - and it is future. If God is going to judge sin, then how important is it for us to always implement punishment here and now consistently? We can only do what we can do with the circumstances we're in, but we are also supposed to lead people to repentance. God's primary wish is for people to come to Him and repent.

As for shooting someone, like a child, whether it's moral or not depends on the situation. Killing a child purposefully for stealing is wrong. Killing a child by accident is amoral. Killing a child who has bombs attached to himself, running toward you, is moral, I believe. To save many lives from someone intent on murdering them, even if that someone is a child, is a good thing. The immoral person in that case is the one that had the child run toward people with bombs attached. (This scenario is a real one, told me by Nathaniel from military people in his family.)
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#37

Post by J.Davis » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:33 pm

Wheels!?!?...LOL! Come on! :beat: Like I said, I had my say concerning this topic...lol
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#38

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:55 pm

J.Davis wrote:Wheels!?!?...LOL! Come on! :beat: Like I said, I had my say concerning this topic...lol
I don't get the humor...what is the beating for? Topics that deal with the same principles usually have the same arguements for and against them.
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#39

Post by J.Davis » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:31 pm

Yeah, I know!

It’s just the beating I would give you if I continued in this debate 8) ...LOL Joking!!! No, we disagree but I appreciate your commitment to your beliefs, it’s shows that you will be just as committed when you grab on to truth... :ewink: lol

Hey, after all the fun we had during the last debate, I couldn't leave without taking at least one jab at you :boxing: ...I’ll keep an eye on the thread, maybe we can have more fun..lol. :duel:
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#40

Post by cslewislover » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:34 pm

@ JDavis, maybe YOU should have a Kenpachi avatar! :lol:
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#41

Post by Montana » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:50 pm

BavarianWheels wrote:
Montana wrote:What is law is not necessarily what is moral. The two are not synonymous. You are erroneously treating the two as if they were the same it seems. Abortion is legal, yet Christianity teaches it is immoral. As such, the Christian community pushes against the law it believes to be immoral.
Exactly right. CHRISTIANITY TEACHES...not our civil laws. So while living in THIS society, one cannot kill a homosexual because "God said so".
Right...one cannot...but neither is it suggested to do so. And it certainly was not suggested for an individual living in Israel to do so. Instead, courts were appointed and the civil magistrate decided and carried out the punitive action. But Hebrews as individual could at least acknowledge the retributive action and see it as something that ought to be done (even if they weren't the ones themselves meting out the punishment. So that is an irrelevant point you seem to be making, no? No one has argued about executing homosexuals as individuals. Only as a nation, and by authority of the state or civil magistrate.

So if it were the law, to execute homosexuals...would it be moral today? You seem to be arguing yes, but I'm not sure. My position would be that it would not be. What is moral is not necessarily what is law.
It then becomes a matter of defying what God says to do, "give unto Ceasar...".
So is our society and our religion defying what God says to do (execute homosexuals)?
Is it sinful to not kill homosexuals?
That's what I'm asking YOU. I've answered "no" several times already I believe.
If you don't do God's "bidding", He cannot find another means to His end?
Sure He can. But that is irrelevant to the issue of it being immoral to do the bidding in the first place. Refusing to follow God's command doesn't make the command moral or immoral...it only speaks of your decision to follow out the command. And that's neither here nor there. The issue is : "Should Christians advocate for the execution of homosexuals?" and "What is God's command on the issue today?" and if the command has changed, has the moral value of executing homosexuals thusly changed?
Montana wrote:Regardless, you have just argued in favor of relative morality (by saying that the moral value is contingent upon what society and law say). Did you intend to further this position?
I have no problem with this if the society doesn't claim God as their central authority. Do you? Morality IS RELATIVE if there is no God. What argument do YOU have against this?
Problems as I see them...

1) For Christians, God is always the central authority. His law supersedes that of man's. Abortion is an example.
2) Merely because different societies have different values does not show that morality is relative, rather it shows that there is disagreement on what the moral value of the act is.

For example...is it moral to round up a particular ethnic group of people and murder them all simply for the sake of them being a different ethnic group? Hitler said "Yes". What would you say? I would say no. These are not examples of relative morality, but rather disagreements on the moral value of whether of mass murder. Since God values life, and has decreed that murder is a capital sin...it's safe to say that murder, on a large scale or otherwise, is sinful (immoral).

Also, one doesn't necessarily need to resort to scripture to justify absolute morality. Kant defended absolute morality via the categorical imperative.
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#42

Post by J.Davis » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:11 pm

@ cslewislover, Yeah, (a bleach fan?) I like it...lol! And my avatar section does look rather boring. Maybe I’ll look for a pic.
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#43

Post by cslewislover » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:18 pm

For Christians, God is always the central authority. His law supersedes that of man's. Abortion is an example.
What versus would you cite for the abortion aspect?

I don't know why you're arguing with Bav the way you are. You seem to turn things around much. You claim that you believe God's morals aren't relative. Bav does too.

So? The concept of Justice I think is a moral. How we get justice is something different. Judgment and punishment are in God's hands, ultimately; they are a means to create justice.

You keep saying that God said to kill homosexuals, but that's not the end of the story. We are not to do that anymore, under the new covenant, and in different places. You are making an argument where there isn't one, and we keep explaining why but you don't want to accept it. It seems pretty clear to most Christians who read the bible, as I cited the Sermon on the Mount, that we are to love our neighbors, not judge and kill them, in the Church era.

Why don't you point out how/why, in the New Testament, you see that we Christians are to kill homosexuals?
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#44

Post by cslewislover » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:20 pm

J.Davis wrote:@ cslewislover, Yeah, (a bleach fan?) I like it...lol! And my avatar section does look rather boring. Maybe I’ll look for a pic.
We put a couple of pics up in linkmaster's ghost thread, and he hasn't responded about them. So I suppose you're free to use one of those if you like.
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Re: Is God inconsistent...or are Christians?

#45

Post by Montana » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:28 pm

cslewislover wrote:Montana, God gave us a new covenant. Times are different, circumstances are different, and those things are real. We can't control them all, whatsoever, so to somehow place better or worse morality on punishments doesn't make any sense. The act itself - say with murder or homosexual sex - is immoral. For us not to go out and kill homosexuals today isn't immoral relative to the laws of Israel.
To be clear, I'm not advocating individuals nor groups to do this. To be consistent, like the Hebrew magistrate would carry out the sentence, so too then, would the modern magistrate in this argument (if it were indeed, a moral thing to do).
We live in a land where the killing of homosexuals is illegal and deemed morally wrong. Even if we thought that we would be doing God's will by killing homosexuals, we would be going against the law of the land here by doing so.
But again, the argument from consistency isn't saying that Christians would go out and do this (in this hypothetical), but rather that is what Christians would advocate (as a political will). That is, while they personally would not carry out the sentence on the streets as individuals, they would push their position through the legal system as it would be a law that conformed with their moral values (assuming again, it is moral to do so).
Did the Jews go against the Roman law when Rome ruled them? Pretty much the answer is no.
But going against the law is irrelevant here. We aren't suggesting that. The question is, should Christians push to make it the law of the land that homosexuals are executed by the authorities of the state? After all, since it was commanded by God for Israel to do so, and it was moral to do so, to be consistent would it not be moral for Christians to hold this position as well?
Do you think, as Christians, that we have a basis for taking over our government so that we can implement the laws of the OT?
I don't know. I guess that's what I'm asking. My belief is no, but I cannot explain why logically. I'm looking for answers and a way out of the seeming inconsistency.
According to you, this would then make us consistent. But it wouldn't; the morals are consistent, but how God implements justice in regards to them is within His will. There should be an answer that you can accept, since ever since Christianity began, it has been like this.
I think this is WHY my belief is such as it is...but I don't know that it fully explains the issue of the moral value changing (if one existed in the first place) or there not being a moral value attached to the punishment.
I have this book that I use a lot, that I really like, Hard Sayings of the Bible.
Thanks for the reference, I just bought it from Amazon. ;)
In it there's a chapter called, "Why Does God Seem So Angry in the Old Testament & Loving in the New?" It hits on the morality aspect and judgment. I wish I could post it all here for you, but that would take a lot of typing. As the author says, it's "a difference between judgment within history and judgment at the end of history." We are following God's will by letting Him punish and judge later. God forgave the Ninevites after He sent Jonah to them, and they repented. Was God inconsistent in doing this? Maybe Jonah thought so! His laws carried out in Israel were not the same as in the rest the world. And it's like that today. In Matthew 5, Jesus tells us to judge ourselves, basically. He's not telling everyone to go out and stone their neighbor, but he's telling us to reflect on our own sin and seek to stop it. But Jesus talks of judgment a lot - and it is future. If God is going to judge sin, then how important is it for us to always implement punishment here and now consistently? We can only do what we can do with the circumstances we're in, but we are also supposed to lead people to repentance. God's primary wish is for people to come to Him and repent.
I THINK I understand, but it certainly isn't crystal clear. I didn't have such a problem with the issue until I was challenged by an atheist on the matter. And because I have to explain this to an atheist, I have to fully understand this issue before getting back to him.
Killing a child purposefully for stealing is wrong.
But if it is punishment...how can it be immoral (if punishments are amoral)?

I mean, I'm in agreement with you, but it seems inconsistent with what you were saying previously about punishments not containing a moral value (or is it the type of punishment that matters?). Now we have an example of a punishment (reaction to an immoral act) with an attached moral value.
Killing a child by accident is amoral. Killing a child who has bombs attached to himself, running toward you, is moral, I believe. To save many lives from someone intent on murdering them, even if that someone is a child, is a good thing. The immoral person in that case is the one that had the child run toward people with bombs attached. (This scenario is a real one, told me by Nathaniel from military people in his family.)
I agree w/ this. But IMO, it's a softball, which is why I phrased the situation to be a punishment for an immoral act...something a bit more relevant to the issue of execution as a punishment.

I do appreciate your time and patience however. I am having this discussion on about 4 other boards, and thus far, you are probably closest to providing the best argument. I just feel like there needs to be a bit of filling in the gaps so to speak...and it may very well be the case that a forum just isn't the place for it (which is why I ordered the book). I wish Geisler, Rhoads, McDowell, Zacharias, etc... tackled this issue somewhere, I have quite a few books from each of them...yet they are silent on this specific instance.

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