Kurieuo wrote:You're arguing a strawman Kenny. Many Christians believe God has written morality on our conscience, and it is by our own conscience we will be judged. (see Romans 2:15-16) You will be judged accordingly Ken.
Furthermore, if one doesn't have the Law (or God's commandments, say as given is Israel and found in the Torah), then they can't be held accountable for breaking such. (see Romans 5:13) While such commandments were specifically part of Israel's said covenant with God, nonetheless Christians can glimpse at what God desires through them (and Jews of course) to appropriate them to us today. Yet, fundamentally, God has implanted within each of us a moral conscience, Christian and non-Christian alike, Jew and non-Jew alike, and it is by such many Christians believe we will be judged.
So you believe God will judge us according to our conscious? So because (for example) My grandfathers conscious told him “race mixing” (interracial relationships) was wrong, that God would judge him in the context that interracial relationships is wrong, and judge me differently because my conscious tells me interracial relationships are okay; is this what you are saying?
Kurieuo wrote: According to the moral conscience God has placed within us. Do you really think your grandfather's moral conscience was so different from yours?
In some areas we may be similar, but in many areas we are different. My grandfather was a man of his time and environment, and I am a man of my time and environment. As I've said before, what was seen as good yesterday is not always seen as good to day; and visa versa.
Of course, but notice that it isn't his moral conscience that you are saying here is different? Rather it is the time and environment. Different time and environments generate different facts
that we believe are true. Also, I think, for practical reasons, in your grandfather's day it'd be unwise for two of an opposite race to marry. Just all that social baggage, their children which no have to battle with racism from both sides of the fence, and the like. Doesn't mean it is right, but in addition to all the other struggles marriages go through, it'd take a really, really strong couple and family I think to get through such.
To offer an alternative scenario, consider if we lived back in more medieval times, say at the time of the now infamous witch trials. We know today that such was wrong, yet today we also don't really believe there were witches like the people then believed. Yet, if we did believe in women running around, placing curses upon people, babies being stolen, men being seduced under spells, blood rituals where people die and the like, well we might think it justice that such women (i.e., "witches") receive their due. What is different here are "matters of fact
" not necessarily "matters of moral conscience".
Kurieuo wrote: I personally think moral differences are often overplayed and come down more to differing beliefs of fact rather than moral intuition. I can only guess at your grandfather's beliefs, do you know his reasons for why one shouldn't racially inter-marry? Let's say he was a pure racist, believing black people as something less than human only good for slaves. If we also saw white marrying black akin to marrying a monkey, then we might agree with him. Similarly, if he saw black people like an ordinary white person, he likely wouldn't see any issue. So then, we see the difference is more with our knowledge of facts about reality, rather than having a differing moral conscience.
My grandfather was a black man as well, so obviously his prejudices were directed towards white folk. But I see the point you are making; I just believe much of what he believed had more to do with the environment he was raised in as opposed to ignorance; and the same applies to me. But if I understand you correctly, your claim is that God would not judge my grandpa harshly because he viewed all white people as “devils” but he would judge me harshly if I believed that because the environment I was raised in is different than his. Is that what you are saying?
I don't believe God would judge your grandpa harshly, but then at the same time all sin must treated harshly by God if God is indeed ALL-good (like we would want God to be). It must be dealt with in some way, which you know is where Christ comes in for Christians, in whom we place our hope
in His promise that He can indeed wash away our sin if we come to Him. If our hope is in vain, what we believe isn't true, then we are to be most pitied. But, I see no other religion offering anything that seriously deals with sin, except to say do better -- but such never deals with sins previously committed, that we will continue to do here and there, or even sin we aren't even aware to in our own lives.
This is kind of difficult to explain, but there are kind of two forms of sin: 1) sin that is known; and 2) sin that is unknown. God being God sees the full consequences of sin, including the sin we might be ignorant to. Your grandpa's beliefs against white people may have helped foster fear and hatred in others. It pollutes other people if you will, maybe even leads to violence against some, even killing. So then, while your grandpa might have been raised in a different time and environment and believed certain facts which made him not know such was wrong, and God lovingly wouldn't necessarily punish Him for such anymore than a parent might punish a baby for taking a toy from another kid, nonetheless your grandpa is responsible as a matter of any consequences his actions had.
In that day I believe God judges each of us by Christ (Paul says our secrets will be judged - Rom 2:16), I believe everything about us will be laid bare and brought to light -- both good and bad. Further, right now, we all know in part, see the world through a glass darkly, yet then when before God that which is had in part will be had more fully. Everything will be fully revealed, the truth will be recognised and indisputable by all. Amongst other things, I draw these Christian beliefs from 1 Cor 13:9-12.
So then, your grandpa, in that day, will see the truth of everything. Will see where his time and environment might have been wrong in their beliefs on this and that. Will see the moral consequences of such untruths, and realising his participation in such, his own conscience will then recognise based upon "new" absolute truth of the matter, that he was wrong. So then, as I see matters, God merely needs to show the REAL true facts, and then our own conscience will judge ourselves, and we'll likely just want to run and hide from all our wrongs we now realise, and the extent of the pollution our sin (both known and once unknown) caused in the world.
Understand the nature of sin, and its pollution within a Judeo-Christian context is here important. Sin isn't just something we do wrong that we need to be judged for, but rather it has consequences and effects that often run deep without our even knowing so. So then, your grandpa, while God might treat him like an innocent babe at the same time must make someone accountable for the destruction such sin has caused in the world. Therefore, in love, God desires to just take your grandpa and say, "I understand, you didn't know!
" (Luke 23:34) But, then as a matter of justice and what is fair, it is obvious your grandpa is responsible regardless of whether or not he knew. And, this is where our wrong and the "sin" caused by such really tares at God's "fabric" who is both infinitely loving and yet also infinitely good. In the story of Christ we see God's love win out for us.
So then, yes sin must be judged and punished. The sin we are aware to causing our conscience obviously immediately bares witness to the fact when we do wrong. Yet, wrongs we aren't aware to, such nonetheless also has natural consequences in that it pollutes ourselves, the world and environment around us with sin. To deal with sin isn't simply a matter of punishing it in people, but also of purifying that which it has tainted -- the environment it destroys, the world and other people it negatively impacts upon and kills, etc.
This video I'll share I see as a kind of prerequisite to understanding sin in the Judeo-Christian context. It isn't making any argument, it is just explains some of which I've been saying above with sin, and how it pollutes, regardless of whether or not we are aware to all our sin.