God and Gender

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Gman
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#31

Post by Gman » Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:10 pm

zoegirl wrote:Thanks ,

nicely put
I agree, :-)
Thanks zoegirl.. I didn't write that second part but I thought it made things perhaps a bit clearer..

Frankly I liked number 10 the best...

10. The Bible defines the function of leadership as the empowerment of others for service rather than as the exercise of power over them (Matt 20:25-28, 23:8; Mark 10:42-45; John 13:13-17; Gal 5:13; 1 Peter 5:2-3).

So if you want to be number one in God's rank you have to serve.. :wink:
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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#32

Post by adam » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:42 pm

Hi Judah

Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.
I am still confused by your response, it seems that you are saying that faith is virtuous as long as it "makes sense" to you. I hope you understand my point that faith itself cannot possibly be a virtue if it is deemed that one persons faith is superior to anothers based on whether it makes sense to you or not.

You state emphatically that islam faith does not have the same merit as christian faith. this surely devalues faith. it is in my opinion hypocracy to say that faith is virtuous as long as it fits my paradigm.

With regards to individual thought, Yes, I do hold it in high regard and perhaps you do also (to a point) judging by your responses. Were it not for individual thought we would still be living on a flat earth. I found this quote on the internet today- " Belief in a flat Earth is found in mankind's oldest writings. In early Mesopotamian thought, the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean, and this forms the premise for early Greek maps like those of Anaximander and Hecataeus. Many theologians and biblical researchers maintain that writers of the Bible had a Babylonian world view according to which Earth is flat and stands on some sort of pillars. "

I found it interesting that you said "Coming back to Christianity was not something I did lightly or easily," I do get the impression that faith is simply something that gives you comfort, so you defend it, even to the point of not accepting the irrationality of your arguments. Do you think that this sounds rational " I eventually made my decision for Christ, and I shudder to think of that now and how close the call was, that I could have died in my agnostic state."

So, God only accepts you if you believe in him. I consider myself to be a reasonably kind and generous person (not because God tells me to be this way) but indirectly you are saying that God would accept a serial killing rapist before me simply because he believes in him, Surely you can see an incongruity here.

Judah, I sincerely hope you do not think I am deliberatetly being confrontational, I am simply speaking my mind.

Best Wishes

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#33

Post by Judah » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:58 pm

adam wrote: Hi Judah

Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.
I am still confused by your response, it seems that you are saying that faith is virtuous as long as it "makes sense" to you. I hope you understand my point that faith itself cannot possibly be a virtue if it is deemed that one persons faith is superior to anothers based on whether it makes sense to you or not.
Hello Adam

My position is that faith in God, the Creator of all, the One who is revealed in Scripture and in the person of Jesus Christ, is indeed virtuous. On the other hand, to have faith in a false god is not, just as it is futile to have faith in your ability to fly unaided since you do not have wings. As I see it, the virtuosity of faith depends on the object of faith together with the purpose for which you have faith in that object. I have faith in Christ as my Redeemer as none other can redeem us in the eyes of God. That is my personal belief, and that of all Christians, and I am very aware that it will naturally seem arrogant to those who do not hold that belief. My faith rests on the words of Jesus as reported in John's Gospel: John 14:6,7 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

If Jesus really is who He says He is, and the whole message of Scripture is true, then faith in Him cannot be anything else but superior to faith in any other system of spiritual belief. If it wasn't, and something else was, then I would be foolish to have faith in it. We are each responsible and accountable for our own decisions regarding the gospel message. To me it does make sense, thus I have faith in the tenets of Christianity as the truth. However, the virtuosity of faith in Christ does not rest on whether it makes sense to me or not. It rests on God who has revealed Himself to us and invites us to believe accordingly.
adam wrote:You state emphatically that islam faith does not have the same merit as christian faith. this surely devalues faith. it is in my opinion hypocracy to say that faith is virtuous as long as it fits my paradigm.
Faith is virtuous if it fits God's paradigm. Islam does not proclaim Jesus as the Son of God, our lord and saviour and redeemer. Allah is not the God of the Bible. Therefore faith in the tenets of Islam is futile for salvation, and those who follow it thinking that it is are deceived. You talk about my paradigm, but it is mine only in as much as I have accepted it for myself as the truth. It is actually God's paradigm. Note the following words from Scripture...
1 And God spoke all these words:
2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 "You shall have no other gods before me.
4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
6 but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:1-6)
Is it really hypocracy to say that faith is virtuous only if it fits God's paradigm? In my books, it is what God says that matters. He has the last word - always.
adam wrote:With regards to individual thought, Yes, I do hold it in high regard and perhaps you do also (to a point) judging by your responses. Were it not for individual thought we would still be living on a flat earth. I found this quote on the internet today- " Belief in a flat Earth is found in mankind's oldest writings. In early Mesopotamian thought, the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean, and this forms the premise for early Greek maps like those of Anaximander and Hecataeus. Many theologians and biblical researchers maintain that writers of the Bible had a Babylonian world view according to which Earth is flat and stands on some sort of pillars. "
It is wrongly believed that the Bible teaches that the Earth is flat. In fact, it does not do so at all. Yes, a number of clergy taught that it was, but that was a cultural belief at the time, not a Biblical belief. Perhaps they were trying to be "modern" back then, revising Scripture and ignoring the accurate interpretation of language in order to promote the idea of the Bible being true to their belief in a flat Earth.

Dr Gleason L. Archer, Jr points out in his "Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties" (1982)...
Evidences of prescientific inaccuracy have been found by some critics of biblical authority in such expressions as Genesis 15:17: "When the sun went down," and Genesis 19:23: "The sun was risen upon the earth." If that charge is just, then it equally applies to our century, for we still - even the scientists among us - employ the words "sunrise" and "sunset" in our daily speech, even though we are well aware that it is really the earth that rotates rather than the sun that revolves. This is a perfectly acceptable type of phenomenal terminology, employed by all languages at all periods of their history. In fact the wrods for "east" and "west" in most of the Semitic languages are literally "place of rising" and "place of setting". This type of argument is really quite puerile and betrays an amazing naivete on the part of the critic who raises it.

The same is true of the modern myth that the Bible teaches that the earth is a rectangle rather than a globe because it employs the expression "four corners of the earth" (e.g., Isaiah 11.12). The word for "corners" is kânâph, which means "wings", i.e., wing-tips, such as one uses on compasses (even today!) to indicate the four directions: north, south, east, west. But as for the shape of the earth, Job 22:14, Proverbs 8:27, and Isaiah 40:22 all speak of the earth as a chûg ("circle", "disk", or possibly even "sphere"). No one has yet come up with literal corners on a circle, not an ancient Hebrew - or a modern scientist!
For reference:
kânâph - From H3670; an edge or extremity; specifically (of a bird or army) a wing, (of a garment or bed clothing) a flap, (of the earth) a quarter, (of a building) a pinnacle: - + bird, border, corner, end, feather [-ed], X flying, + (one an-) other, overspreading, X quarters, skirt, X sort, uttermost part, wing ([-ed]).
chûg - From H2328; a circle: - circle, circuit, compassive

Yes, I do appreciate individual thought, but only in as much as it corresponds with reality - where that matters, that is. Creative thinking in literature, music and the arts, etc, is a great gift to humankind. Discovery of those facts about our world that assist and benefit our lives is hugely important. But tell me that it is safe to step off the top of the Eiffel Tower because gravity will be temporarily suspended at that moment, and you are most welcome to your individual thought. I will not entertain its truthfulness for one moment! Likewise, tell me that Allah is the real supreme being and faith in Islam is superior to faith in Jesus, and I will stick with my faith in God as He has revealed Himself elsewhere instead. Individual thought must be reigned in by truth where truth matters.
adam wrote:I found it interesting that you said "Coming back to Christianity was not something I did lightly or easily," I do get the impression that faith is simply something that gives you comfort, so you defend it, even to the point of not accepting the irrationality of your arguments. Do you think that this sounds rational " I eventually made my decision for Christ, and I shudder to think of that now and how close the call was, that I could have died in my agnostic state."
What is irrational about my arguments? If I had died while agnostic and therefore without the salvation offered by Christ, then I would be separated from God for all eternity - and I certainly shudder when I think of that now. What is irrational about that?
adam wrote:So, God only accepts you if you believe in him. I consider myself to be a reasonably kind and generous person (not because God tells me to be this way) but indirectly you are saying that God would accept a serial killing rapist before me simply because he believes in him, Surely you can see an incongruity here.
Ultimately, yes. We are taught in Scripture that we are all sinners and that sin separates us from a full relationship with God. becuase there is little we can do ourselves about that, God has offered us salvation through faith in Christ and the sacrifice He made for us on the cross. Realizing and repenting of our sinfulness and accepting His gift of salvation by faith in Christ will restore our relationship with Him. It cannot happen by good works. No matter how good you are, how kind and generous - you simply cannot be good enough by your own efforts in order to be accepted into the eternal presence of our holy and righteous God.

There is an excellent debate by William Lane Craig and Ray Bradley that addresses this situation - Can a Loving God Send People to Hell.

Also, C.S. Lewis writes extremely well on this situation in his book "Mere Christianity" which is well worth a read.
adam wrote:Judah, I sincerely hope you do not think I am deliberatetly being confrontational, I am simply speaking my mind.

Best Wishes
It is far better to speak your mind honestly and sincerely, raising questions and discussing issues, than not do so for fear of causing offence. There is nothing offensive in genuine questions of this nature.

Likewise, I am well aware that Christians often seem incredibly arrogant by asserting the exclusivity of their beliefs. Unfortunately it can be no other way. Christianity is exclusive in that Jesus said Himself that one can come to the Father only through Him - that there is no other way. He also taught that we are sinners in need of redemption and justification in order to be right with God and to enjoy His presence for all eternity. He taught that anything else amounted to death - "the wages of sin". These are not ideas that I have made up. They are His, as taught in Scripture - and we have a choice to believe them or not.

Blessings,
Judah.

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God and Gender

#34

Post by andyredeemed » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:30 am

Zoegirl-No, I am saying that man or woman on their own do not entirely, or perhaps I should say satisfactorily, fulfill God's intent in creating mankind. I am not saying either that God couldn't 'pull it of' by creating just one gender so had to try to cobble something together. God is in himself a community-a trinity-and us, (humans) being made in God's image reflect that desire for community. Maybe God made us like this to teach us something about Him as well as ourselves.
Like I say, I'm not particularly good at this kind of thing, so your patience is much appreciated.
God is good

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#35

Post by zoegirl » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:02 am

satisfied :D
thanks

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#36

Post by Judah » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:20 am

Adam, a postscript to my post above as I neglected to comment on what you said...
{clip} ... but indirectly you are saying that God would accept a serial killing rapist before me simply because he believes in him, Surely you can see an incongruity here.
A lot of folk find this to be unfair. But remember the crucifixion scene? Jesus was crucified between two criminals. And this happened:
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence?
41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:39-43)
So yes, if a serial rapist murderer repents and believes, he is forgiven all his sins and is saved. And if a "good" person who has done many acts of charity all his life doesn't accept God's gift of salvation through belief in Christ, then he is not forgiven of his sins (and we are all sinners, even the best of us) and spends eternity apart from God.

That is not incongruent. We are all sinners. None of us is perfect.
Salvation is not based on "works" or good deeds that we do in a lifetime. You can never do enough good deeds to cancel out the fact that you are still a sinful person. If that was the case, then yes, it would be incongruent - but it isn't the case.
Salvation is the free gift from God to all, regardless of anything and everything, who realize they have sinned and need forgiveness, who repent and believe in Christ - to the most vile and terrible mass-murderer and torturer just as much as the kindest and most caring generous person you know.
God is merciful to all who repent and ask forgiveness, and who confess faith in Christ as lord and saviour.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." —John 3:16 (NIV)

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." —John 10:10 (NIV)

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23 (NIV)

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." —Romans 6:23 (NIV)

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." —Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)

"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." —Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)

"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ." —1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)

"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." —1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." —Romans 5:8 (NIV)

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." —Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." —John 1:12 (NIV)

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." —Romans 10:9 (NIV)
Sorry Andy and Zoegirl, we seem to be playing leapfrog a bit here! :?

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#37

Post by zoegirl » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:42 pm

no I'm good- I know that was a bit off topic :D

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Re: God and Gender

#38

Post by Ramtharthegreat » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:08 pm

andyredeemed wrote:My reference to the Holy Spirit was not to suggest that the Holy Spirit is not an equal part of the Godhead, but simply to highlight a common misconception of what a helper (or comforter) is. If you ever get the chance to see the baioux (I have NO idea how that should be spelled)tapestry, there is an image of King Harold poking his soldiers in the back with a spear, driving them into battle. It is entitled "King Harold comforts his troops". We commonly think of a helper as being subservient to the one being helped, but this is not true. A surgical consultant is there to help junior doctors by passing on skills and knowledge to them: They consult him, he serves/equips them, he is still in charge. This is exactly the role of the Spirit.
I was browsing through some of the old threads and saw this one and just had to comment. While I do like the point you are trying to make with the comfort thing and the spear in the back and all that, and I hate to be a history nerd, this isn't quite what the Bayeux Tapestry shows. The section you are talking about shows Bishop Odo and the Latin says "hic odo episcopus baculum tenens confortat pueros" which translates to roughly "here bishop Odo with a staff in his hand encourages his squires". So it is bishop Odo, William's half brother, not King Harold, (Odo and William's enemy) that is show. And the bishop has a staff in his hand, not a spear, and it is clearly show that it is in the air, not in anyone's back. A staff is specifically mentioned because bishops were not permitted to spill blood, so they got around this in battle by carrying clubs and staffs to fight with, so that technically none of their enemy's blood would be spilt, as would be the case if they carried swords or spears. so while I do agree with your point that to "comfort" can be meant more in a way that means to encourage, press on, or give inspiration to, I just wanted to point out a few things about what the Bayeux Tapestry shows and says.

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