Keep the focus on candidates’ capabilities, not their faith

With former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney both believed to be gearing up for a … Continued

With former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney both believed to be gearing up for a run for the presidency, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has again found itself answering questions about what these two prominent members believe.

Post reporter Sandhya Somashekhar wrote in a story published Tuesday that Mormon leaders see the ascendancy of these and other Mormons (such as convert Glenn Beck) as a sign “that the community has finally ‘arrived,'” but added “researchers say there remains a deep mistrust of Mormons and that little has changed in public opinion to suggest that voters will be more open this year than they were in 2007.”

If conservative Christian and Mormons share a political agenda, why do suspicions still plague Mormon politicians? Do media personalities such as Glenn Beck help or hurt the cause?

Hardly ever can you get a right answer from a wrong question. In my opinion, the question for today is just that — the wrong question.

One of my earliest posts on the On Faith forum dealt with Mitt Romney, his Mormon faith and his views on religious freedom. Clearly not much has changed in the three years that have passed. It disappoints me that the media and the public continue to place such a strong emphasis on the faith of our candidates for public office. I have been a longtime advocate of reducing the disproportionate role that religion plays during the campaign season. It is an issue to which I pay particularly close attention, and from what I have seen when religion and politics are mixed, it is always for the benefit of the politicians and to the detriment of religion.

You ask: “Why do suspicions still plague Mormon politicians?” I ask why in our democracy, guided by a Constitution that clearly states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” we still question the validity of a candidate’s faith.

This is not just a philosophical question. The current occupant of the White House has felt it necessary to defend himself against accusations that he is a “secret Muslim” by making clear that he is a “committed Christian,” instead of just saying, “I am not a Muslim, but so what if I was?”

During the 2008 election cycle, Interfaith Alliance, the organization I lead, often found itself in the position of defending Mitt Romney against attacks based on his faith one day, only to turn around the next day to raise concerns about his using that same faith to ingratiate himself with religious conservatives.

Earlier this year, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life provided us with a striking example of the disproportionate role of religion in public life. Its report on the religious composition of Congress points out that despite 16 percent of the U.S. population identifying itself as unaffiliated, not a single member of Congress does. This point can only lead one to believe that a candidate for public office has already lost the election if he or she does not identify with a religious base.

The question that each and every one of us should ask about faith during an election season is: Does this candidate have a strong commitment to protecting religious freedom in this country? If the answer is yes, the faith or belief system of that candidate is not important. A Mormon president, or for that matter, a Muslim president, would be every bit as capable of protecting free exercise of religion in this country.

My question is whether or not we can enter the upcoming presidential campaign resolved to focus on a candidate’s capability to serve in the highest office in our democracy without the influence of a religious litmus test. And, if we cannot answer that question with a yes, we have much greater problems than who is available to serve as our president.

Welton Gaddy
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  • hrobert02

    I say there should be a religious litmus test. When we have a president that claimed he sought the Father for advice and not his own father who had been president and knew much about Middle East politics, we are in trouble.Add to all of this “speaking with God” talk the fact that a huge number of the U.S. population believes in the Rapture coming soon (which could easily mean a presidential candidate believing this too)then we had better get all of the cards out on the table before we start voting!

  • dcdinnell

    Despite political diatribe by the uneducated…Romney has successfully and profitably managed large businesses, created more private sector jobs and saved more private sector businesses (Domino’s Pizza & Staples, a few of many) than any other candidate. He knows and understands world economics.He has succeeded at every job he has had. Yes, that’s right, he is not a “Career” Politician.Funny. Half of MA loves what Romney did, the other half hate him, maybe because he left after completing only one term. Again, he has not been a “Career” Politician.Yes, he worked as the MA governor for his entire term for FREE!!! Who would do that!?MA had a huge deficit when he started, and he left MA with a surplus and balanced budget without raising taxes at the end of his term. Who has done that? He can’t help it if they screwed up after he left.Since states have their own rights as to how they operate, “Romneycare” never has been the same as “Obamacare”! MA’s super Democrat controlled legislature wanted desperately some kind of Universal Health care program. Romney, a republican, worked with them to create one that would work, similar to mandated auto insurance (what state allows you to legally drive without insurance?). It is estimated that 98% of the residents are now covered. Romney wanted the requirement that everyone should pay something towards it with no exceptions, and it was within projected budget, until Romney left and the state super Democrat controlled government made changes to the program and now it is costing them.He compromised on some things in order to keep the state government working together and moving forward.He turned around a struggling 2002 Winter Olympics and made it into one of the most profitable Olympics in history. And only took a $1 dollar salary. Who would do that!?He is against federalization & big government. Believes in state’s rights.He lives the example and believes in the importance of family.He is for a strong military and believes the borders should be better protected.The list of real positives is far greater than the supposed list of negatives.

  • PSolus

    MrMeaner,”Those question could form the basis of a debate between Rcofield and yourself, that would probably last through two threads, at least.”You think?”It should be riveting.”Perhaps; I guess that depends on your idea of “riveting”.”This is exactly the kind of discussion that Rcofield appaerntly lives for.”Are you guys getting a divorce?What’s going to happen to me?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco, you asked,February 10, 2011 11:20 AMi was just talking about the “probably finite” part.

  • MrMeaner

    And there is a correct answer to that question that you would probably find acceptable, if you would allow yourself to see it.

  • CHAOTICIAN101

    Keep religion out the campaign and service; end the ridiculous “faith” based opinions and actions on reality and scientific facts; indicate that a candidate is actually capable of rational, fact based thinking…. and I’ll forget about a candidates religion! Until then, anyone wearing magic underwear, following a convicted hustler and conman, thinks their founder found some gold tablets in his back yard from the lost tribe of Israel is not and can not be considered a viable leader of America! And that goes for those simpletons who don’t believe in evolution, think the world is 6000 years old, don’t see human caused global climate change, think that killing prebirth fetuses is murder while Jesus murders millions and is just oh well, who think packing six-guns is providing safety and security as well!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    yes

  • MrMeaner

    AhIt’s a shame. I thought it was a pretty good response, but I’m not sure reposting is worth the effort.

  • MrMeaner

    “Completely apart from the fact that I posted similarly before, your response is a categorical accusation typical of someone who is only looking for a fuss.”I won’t deny that people like you bring out the worst in me.As for the wh0re remark, I never compared you to anything. I merely reported the characteristics of the Harlot of Babylon. If you found similarity with your doctrine, that’s not my problem.

  • feri

    Mr. Gaddy, this particular faith IS important! Members are required to “sustain the Authorities” meaning mormon church leaders, who are considered divinely inspired. “Sustaining” means that even if one is a US president, one MUST obey the Authorities and their counsel. Does that not worry you?This is not just a Sunday church; it runs most aspects of its members’ lives. You will see many positive faces of mormonism put forth. That is what is called “the milk beofre the meat” and some really are positive. But don’t mistake the mormon church as a just a kindly bystander. It is hugely wealthy and powerful, primarily behind the scenes. The hold on a member’s decision making makes even a president unable to make his or her decisions freely–for us, vs. for the church.(I am a longtime Salt Lake City resident with a number of mormon family members.)

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner, Rcofield,I agree with you whole heartedly RCofield, on the following point.You’re kidding, right? Did he not tell his disciples in Mt. 28 that all authority has been given to him in heaven and earth? Do not other passages speak to the fact that God is now, in the present time, placing all of Christ’s enemies under his feet? Is not the gospel of the Kingdom being preached and received in more places and by more people than at any other time in history? – RCOAnd we see this fulfillment in of power and authority received in Revelation 5 and Daniel 7 where Christ goes up to the Ancient of Days in the heavenly realms and receives all power and authority and dominion and glory, and this power an authority is present in the hearts and lives of believers here on earth while Jesus continues to make His enemies His footstool and expand His kingdom presence, until as you say, one day He will consummate it. We see a multitude in heaven that no man can count, all purchased by the blood of the Lamb, by His sacrifice on their behalf.Sorry, I would like to expand on this but I’m off to work.

  • MrMeaner

    See RC?

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Perhaps you should learn something here Psolus, that sarcasm only works as a communication strategy when you use it sparingly, where you provide a distinct contrast between what is straightforward and honest, and you throw in a bit of sarcasm, and it is the contrast that makes the sarcasm bite.”Perhaps you should learn to recognize sarcasm before you presume to preach to others about it.”I guess you are saying that you are always sarcastic,…”No, you choose to believe I am saying that; I am not responsible for your beliefs, you are.”…and since there is no contrast, I think everyone here takes it as a uniform pattern of dodging and weaving.”It is a mistake to judge others according to your own limitations.”If you use it all the time, its a lot like the boy who called wolf over and over. Pretty soon you put the people to sleep regarding your true intent.”I don’t care.”Now, if you would simply answer the question in a straightforward manner,…”Why don’t you simply stop asking inane questions?”…we can move on.”I’ve already moved on; what anyone else does is up to them.”You have a Catholic History.”How do you know that?”You have placed that on the record.”No, you simply believe that I have.”And you have a streak of stubborn defiance in the direction of God, which goes beyond just “attitude”, which makes it likely that the priests and nuns would believe there is something extra operating in your world, and they might therefore consider you a candidate for an exorcism.”Again, that is simply something that you believe; you alone are responsible for your beliefs.”And my question is simply this, did the priests and nuns you had contact with recommend you for an exorcism, or try to perform one on you without your consent?”And my answer is simply this: Are you completely out of your mind?”Just give me a straight answer if you please.”Good luck with that.(fin)

  • MrMeaner

    Why do you continue to flail about wildly?”Except, of course, the fact that you completely reversed yourself”I have not. You lie.BTW, If you think Is. Ch.13 was completely fulfilled, I suppose you believe that, as recorded in Is.Ch.14, The king of Babylon was Lucifer, and also the Assyrian, because, as made clear, they are all referring to the same entity.Get a clue, then get back to me

  • MrMeaner

    Figure it out, RC.I’m going to spend the rest of this day doing something worthwhile.

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Moreover, in my discussion with Psolus, the subject of selling one’s soul to the devil came up.”He’s not kidding, folks; he actually accused me of selling my “soul” to his imaginary “devil”.”And I think this provides us with a principle by which we can evaluate the degree of wisdom that would be contained in any decision to vote for Romney.”Wisdom, indeed.”Just as Psolus has done, Romney sold his soul to the devil, in the advocacy of abortion rights, and homosexual rights, in his quest for the governorship of Massachusetts.”Dude, can you provide a list of all of the people who have sold their “souls” to the “devil”?Thank you in advance for this important public service.(fin)

  • RCofield

    MRMEANER,You’re not looking for a civil debate, you’re looking for a pissing contest.Find someone else.

  • RCofield

    WALTER,Don’t know if you’ve jumped here yet, but if so did you see my post to you @ February 9, 1:39 PM?

  • MrMeaner

    I ewould also say that it is the growth of the church, and the infiltration of those who destroy truth with happier sounding lies, that brings to pass the act of Christ’s enemies being made his footstool.

  • MrMeaner

    You’re looking for blind squirrels to follow your nuttiness.

  • MrMeaner

    You are cutting your losses, because you know that you can’t challenge what is written.

  • MrMeaner

    “Find someone else”Oh, but I’ve taken such a liking to you. I don’t think I’m going to be able to let you off the hook.I would make sure that your statements are compliant with Biblical doctrine, because you’re going to be hearing from me a lot, if they’re not

  • RCofield

    I tremble.

  • MrMeaner

    “So, while I, as a sentient being, am free to choose to not be a believer, I, as a sentient being, am not free to choose to believe nothing?””Are you saying that I am free to choose to not be a believer, but only as long as I also choose, or allow myself to be forced, to believe in something?”Psolus;

  • RCofield

    Those question could form the basis of a debate between Rcofield and yourself, that would probably last through two threads, at least. It should be riveting. This is exactly the kind of discussion that Rcofield appaerntly lives for.–MRMEANER
    Classy.

  • MrMeaner

    And funnyCome on, Mr. leader of the pack.Why don’t you respond to those references I mentioned, rather than retreating with your tail between your legs?

  • MrMeaner

    Some Christian warrior you are, RCofield

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco,

  • ozpunk

    Keep the focus on candidates’ capabilities, not their faithHAHA! Where do you think we live, Europe?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco, you said,hopefully! that would be so cool. and since there’s really nothing there, they would invent thousands of different, mutually exclusive, locally-attuned versions of what they saw…which future generations would take as the gospel.

  • D-0f-G

    This subject matter is just another illustration of what keeps us divided as a nation. It also illustrates the prepetuation of deep seated ignorance by all expresssions of Christian dogma that, by its very nature, maintains the status quo of misrepresentation, fear, and prejudice that has no relevance to any arcane understanding of the Christian God concept. Even the very use of the word “faith” is indicative of the distance between what can be actually known by self discovery vs. this idea that God is somewhere “out there”, and all we have to do is “believe”(by some other lost person’s direction) for the rest of our lives for something that can be found and tested in our own lives RIGHT NOW!The fact is that despite our pretension that there should be a bright line between church and state, we still pretend other wise, which illustrates that the state, AS IT HAS ALWAYS DONE, no matter the system, or point in history has used religion in sysbiosis as a mechanism of cultural control. We are just still evolving our consciousness as a species, not understanding that, ultimately, NO man can be “teacher of Man”!”The kingdom of heaven is in you and all around you”! fr-The Apocryphal Texts of St. Thomas

  • GoldenEagles

    [Edit Correction – If a tapeworm had enough sense to protect its interest, the first thing it would do, would be to try to make the victim believe that it’s imaginary, so the victim would take no action in the direction of its removal, so it could just continue to munch away at your innards in peace.]

  • areyousaying

    Christocons will no more tolerate a Mormon president than they do a black one.

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Is that an example of your sarcasm?”Keep trying, if you try hard enough, you may someday get it.”Who authors and supports this agenda that has the people believing that the devil is “imaginary”?”Who authors and supports the agenda that has many people believing that the “devil” is real?”It is the devil himself.”The imaginary “devil”?”Think about it.”If I had written that sentence, it could be taken as sarcasm.Since you wrote that sentence, it can be taken only as irony.”If a tapeworm had enough sense to protect its interest, the first thing it would try to make the victim believe is that it is imaginary, so the victim would take no action in the direction of its removal, so it could just continue to munch away at your innards in peace.”Are you sure that you’re not thinking about Keyser Soze?”I think that’s what RcoField means when he signs his posts with “Peace Brother.””I’m not following.The sign of the direct action of the “devil” (a demon on the astral plane leaning on the feeling world of the victim) is in the presence of strong feelings and thoughts that go counter to the Reality of God.”Still not following.”That would begin with Atheism, the “vast cathedral” of which Psolus stands just upon the threshold, or perhaps he has one foot into the foyer, where the magnetic power of darkness which pours out of the front door, makes it impossible for his mind and feelings to get a positive connection into the Reality of God.”Have you ever been to Chartres?”WHY cannot Psolus get any connection into the Reality of God, let alone a strong connection?”Perhaps because PSolus is not superstitious?”It is because of the controlling presence of the demon.”Your imaginary “demon”?Your imaginary “demon” has no power over me.”That is the only explanation.”I think not.”Truly, the amount of evidence as to the Reality of God is overwhelming.”It is?I, and many people, don’t see it.”The only thing that can steer the mind and feeling world away from this evidence, is the magnetic power of darkness imposed upon the minds and feelings of the victim by a demonic presence on the astral plane.”Yeah, that must it. [That, by the way, is sarcasm.](fin)

  • lufrank1

    Religious dogma and superstition: Mankind’s Bane!(Of course, people who deny evolution won’t understand the previous statement)

  • iamweaver

    I doubt it, GoldenEagles. Given that Thomas Jefferson wanted a country where Jew and Gentile, “Mohamdan” and Pagan could feel comfortable, I think the defining line is pretty obvious. It’s only some modern Christians who feel the need to push God into government.

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Is that sarcasm?”No.”Or is that a statement of BELIEF on your part?”No.”I take it as a statement of BELIEF on your part.”And, I take your statement as a statement of belief on your part.”I feel confident therefore, in proclaiming that we have caught Psolus in a statement of BELIEF.”And, I feel confident, therefore, in proclaiming that you have not.”Regarding this BELIEF,…”Regarding your belief?”…Psolus, how do you KNOW that the demon has no control over you?”How do you know that your imaginary “demon” “How do you KNOW that?”How do “If you would look at what the agenda of demons are,…”The imaginary agenda of imaginary “demons”?”…and look at the words that come out of your mouth in Regards to God, your behavior reflects a close and sympathetic association with the demonic agenda in that area.”Well, imagine that.”First, they want to be considered imaginary.”Your imaginary “demons” “Second, they want people to believe that God is imaginary.”Your imaginary “demons” “Third, they want people to believe that there is no standard for truth.”Your imaginary “demons” “Fourth, they want people to waste their life opportunity away, in doing this, or that, or that other thing, while ignoring the central purpose that God gives us Life in this realm, and that is to work to have our relationship with Him healed, so that we will feel good about returning home to the heaven world, and he will feel good about having us back home.”So, your imaginary “demons” appear to be behaving exactly as you have imagined them to act.Imagine that.(fin)

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco,we can come back to this later, if you like, but let’s stay focused on the first cause → yahweh discussion.*i understand “earns” will get your dander up a bit because you think salvation is a gift by god’s grace etc, etc, but one HAS TO BELIEVE to be saved, right? so you have to DO SOMETHING (i.e. earn it) to get into heaven.

  • D-0f-G

    Posted by: GoldenEagles,D-0f-G quotes the Apocryphal Texts of St. Thomas:In the Christian bible it is sated that God is the “Alpha and the Omega”. Is this profound rhetoric? No! This is a concept that can be expressed in geometric terms. And the only geometric shape that expresses this concept is the “circle”, and more succinctly-the “sphere”-the “divine paradigm”- an expression with no beginning, nor ending! Thus, an existence that cannot be explained! That’s why our current cultural paradigm hinges on a “beginning”; for beginnings will always have a need for a narrative. And a narrative will always need explanations: and thus, those to follow them!This knowledge goes all the way back to Amenhotep IV aka Akhenaten-the first king to establish monotheism, until his death by the PRIESTHOOD! To get a glimpse of that history see the movie “The Egyptian”, or research the many books that are just out there ready to be discovered.

  • bobdog3

    In America today, religion trumps everything.

  • johnturkal1

    Amen to all of the above. But it’s far worse today than when JFK ran for office.

  • iamweaver

    I think you learned some skewed history, Goldeneagles. Those *are* Thomas Jefferson’s words – and his world was certainly not entirely Christian. In fact, a number of 18th century intellectuals weren’t Christians; they were either Deists (like TJ himself) or agnostics like Thomas Paine. TJ owned and read the Koran. He was familiar with “hindoo” philosophy. There was a small Muslim community in Boston. The political world in the turn of the 19th century was as varied as it is today, in most respects. There were conservatives, liberals, libertarians and authoritarians. So – yes, there were undoubtedly some of the founding fathers who were thinking that the world would always be a Christian one. But certainly not all. There’s a huge amount of space in the private arena for personal and organized religion. But lets keep our government secular, thanks.For me though, the most telling thing is – no one has ever offered up a good reason to include it in government, in terms that is beneficial to its citizens who don’t share those views. Personally, I loved all of the Christmas hoo-hah done by our town government as a kid. But I’m a Christian…

  • Martial

    Surprising to me is that the issue of a politiician’s religion has again emerged. Of course being a Mormon matters not in the least. The problem for Mormons is that Mr. Romney made religion an issue by saying he would never hire a Muslim staff member. Then, please remember, persons started suggesting Mormons were not real Christians. The ones suggesting this were honestly putting forward their beliefs, which would have had not the slightest mention but for Mr. Romney’s bringing religion up. These prayer breakfasts should be eliminated unless the full panoply of religion is included; specifically a canaballist from New Guinea should say grace over the meal.

  • MrMeaner

    LOL I find myself pitying you this morning.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    psolus,

  • Utahreb

    If the “Prophet” of the LDS church has a revelation, then all members are supposed to follow that revelation, no matter what it is.So what would Romney or Huntsman do if that revelation was directly in opposition to the rights of the general public?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    possibly the only more unelectable demographic than mormon would be “muslim”, or, god-forbid, “atheist”. heck, in this shallow day and age thomas jefferson would be unelectable.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    holy moly rco,given only “so, in summation, my answer, which i accord about the same certainty as my standard guess of “tails” on a coin toss, is “(but it really would not “rock my world” if someday we found out time, and matter/energy for that matter, was infinite.)

  • American68

    Religion doesn’t necessarily equal faith.

  • areyousaying

    “Surprising to me is that the issue of a politiician’s religion has again emerged.”When did it ever go away in regard to Obama?

  • jckdoors

    The very fact that this article was written shows there will never be a time politicians will not separate the two.And to those who love to say a person is qualified to be Prez because that person is a succesful businessperson: NO. Running a business is nothing like a government. When you’re a CEO, people have to listen to you. In government, you are not the “boss”.You are working for the people, you have to put up with the upstarts in Congress, etc. Apples and oranges.

  • DaveHarris

    Mormons don’t have to worry about being discriminated against, since most Americans are completely ignorant of religion. All they know is that if they pretend to believe in one of them they can claim to be better than someone else. Plus, it’s an opportunity to cheat somebody by pretending to have ethical values. Mormans have traditionally excelled at this sort of thing.

  • rambollini-1

    Considering that Mormonism is more of a business than a religion, how can a Mormon businessman become president when said Mormon businesses have/get contracts with the federal government? And how do we keep Mormon-paid “missionaries” from working for Romney or Huntsman during their campaigns??

  • iamweaver

    Frei writes:This same argument arose when JFK, as a Catholic, ran for president. It’s a good intellectual exercise that seems to be, historically, trumped by practice (as can be shown by Mitt Romney’s voting record, for one). One can always assume that a presidential hopeful is some sort of Manchurian Candidate (just look at current innuendos surrounding Obama), but the majority of the electorate seems willing to assume that world-wide conspiracies are best found in comic books.

  • iamweaver

    I agree, JCKDOORS. It’s really difficult to translate success in any hierarchical structured power model into the realm of politics – whether business, military, etc. The best that one can do is look for “earmarks”: has the person shown flexibility, an interest in learning new things, the ability build solid teams, a willingness to compromise with their fellow businessmen/general officers, etc.?But to be on-topic: I won’t lie. I’m not 100% religion color-blind when it comes to candidates. But their religious preference sits at the bottom my list of priorities – after shared goals, competency, moral rectitude and political experience.

  • PSolus

    stevie7,”One could easily replace ‘mormon’ with ‘catholic’ and have the exact same argument.”Are you sure?Aren’t most catholics “cafeteria catholics”?”Why the focus on mormonism?”How many mormons, do you think, are “cafeteria mormons?

  • stevie7

    stevie7,”One could easily replace ‘mormon’ with ‘catholic’ and have the exact same argument.”Are you sure?Aren’t most catholics “cafeteria catholics”?”Why the focus on mormonism?”How many mormons, do you think, are “cafeteria mormons?I guess I was focusing more on the religious-institution-as-a-business analogy

  • dstreet208

    Thomas Jefferson – On religion”Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle.” –Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813. “I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.” –Thomas Jefferson to Edward Dowse, 1803.”Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone. I inquire after no man’s, and trouble none with mine.” –Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 1814.

  • MrMeaner

    PH”There is a danger of ‘private interpretation’ if you just read whatever you want to into the Scripture.”I would also add that the same danger exists for those who leave parts out of scripture, or who do away with the things don’t fit, by dismissing them as metaphors, or symbolism.

  • MrMeaner

    not sure how that spacing thing happened.

  • MrMeaner

    GEAlso, in the NT where the words “eternal” and “everlasting” are used, it is the Greek word “aionios”. That word means perpetuity…past and future. I believe I Cor Ch. 15 attempts to explain the immortal body, also.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    golden eagles,but jefferson himself was a deist through and through. he thought jesus was just a regular flesh and blood human, certainly not born of a virgin, who offered up some fine philosophy. i’m sure you know about “the jefferson bible” – he tossed out the o.t., and expurgated (thanks psolus!) all the cartoonish miracles and magic messiah nonsense from the n.t. to distill for himself a nice little pamphlet about morals.as for the “nature’s god” and “creator” that he wrote in the declaration of independence, i once wrote this:The Declaration of Independence (not a legal document) says that America is entitled sovereignty by “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” “Nature’s God” is decidedly and to disabuse you of the notion he and the founders were just trying to regulate between one chtistian sect and another:You cannot say that “Nature’s God” and “Creator” are code words for “Christ” either. Jefferson and Madison also wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. In his autobiography, Jefferson recalled, “Where the preamble [to the Statue] declares that coercion is ‘a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion,’ an amendment was proposed, by

  • MrMeaner

    The Jeffersonian Bible was created for the indians. It was designed to expose them to the Judeo/Christian value system, without encroaching on their own religious practices.Quite American, I would say

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    GoldenEagles,

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Next time you go out on a hike, Psolus,…”What makes you believe that I will be going out for a hike, either in the near future, or any time in the future?How do you even know whether or not I am ambulatory?This particular belief, like most of your beliefs, is based on assumptions that you are incapable of knowing.”…in your favorite wilderness area,…”What makes you believe that I have a favorite wilderness area?Extrapolate from the above.”…consider this truth,…”What “truth”?”…and Nature’s God…”Your imaginary “nature’s god”?”…will affirm it for you as you walk through the woods,…”What makes you believe…?”…along the creeks ands streams, and up the sides of the mountains.”You believers crack me up.I can’t remember the last time any of you got it right.(fin)

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”I take it, then, that you were never a member of the Boy Scouts.”What makes you believe that?”I have always enjoyed hiking in the wilderness areas, I just wondered whether we had that common ground to share.”Don’t you already believe everything that you need to believe about me?”Have you lived in a big city your whole life?”Do you believe that I have?”I will adjust my wilderness reference then.”Are you changing the reference to conform with your new beliefs?I can’t wait to see what your new beliefs are.”Next time you watch your favorite nature show on the national geographic channel, Psolus,…”What makes you believe that I get cable?”…perhaps one showing the beauty of one of your favorite national parks,…”What makes you believe that I have a favorite national park?”…consider this truth…”What “truth”?”…[that God made all of this],…”What makes you believe that that is a “truth”?”…and Nature’s God…”You imaginary “nature’s god”?”…will affirm it for you as you are taken on a walk, via the miracle of video technology, through the woods, along the creeks and streams, and up the sides of the mountains, and even to the top of Everest.”What makes you believe that that will ever happen?(fin)

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,”Where in the NT are we told of the rebuilding of the Temple?” – Meanswered on February 9, 2011 4:18 PM, and 4:38PM – MrMSo then you believe that Revelation 11:1 “Go and measure the temple of God” refers to…what? How do you measure God? What holy city are the Gentiles trampling on for 42 months in verse two? After all, the temple was destroyed along with the city in 70AD. The temple has not been rebuilt, so either there is another temple that will be built, the temple they are referring to is the temple that existed before its destruction in 70AD, or as you say the temple they are measuring in Revelation is a metaphor about God and Jesus Christ. So explain.”Where are we told that Israel will become a nation again in the last days?” -MeThe most obvious place, the one where the duality in interpretation is probably the most obvious, is Ezek. Ch 37,- MrM[22] And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:’The land upon the mountains of Israel?'”For not all who are descendants from Israel are Israel…On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’I contend that the promise land is Christ, for all God’s promises are yes in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). The Israel of God is Christ. He is the king of the eternal kingdom and in Him is the eternal covenant put in place that was established with the destruction of the city, temple and Old Covenant. Remember, the old covenant officially was not put to an end until the temple was destroyed.”By calling this covenant ‘new,’ He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will What would be considered ‘soon’ by most Hebrews reading this epistle just after it was written?[23] Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.That can only happen for those in Christ.[24] And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.Again, I believe the reference of David is to Christ (2 Samuel 7:14-17; Acts 2:14-36), just as the reference to king and shepherd are to Christ(John 18:37; 10:11, 14, 16) and this was all fulfilled in the first century.

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,Are you absolutely certain which people are responsible for Christ’s crucifixion….which in itself, was a necessary fulfillment of prophecy? -MrMYes, and if you accept God’s word as our highest authority then the matter is settled. If not then whose do you accept as final, ultimate?”Men of Israel, listen to this….This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge, and “Men of Israel…”Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: Rulers and elders of the people…then know this, “But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed….They all answered, ‘Crucify Him!’…Talk about judgment.”You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now “For you brothers, became imitators of God’s church in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your countrymen the same things those churches suffered from Notice Again speaking of the judgment that ‘has’ come upon them and is shortly to be carried out with the destruction of the temple and city.

  • rambollini-1

    Can we really trust Romney or Huntsman not to listen to the current Mormon prophet/”profit” when a lot of their business dealings rely on said “profit” center support for funds?

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,BTW, If you think Is. Ch.13 was completely fulfilled, I suppose you believe that, as recorded in Is.Ch.14, The king of Babylon was Lucifer, and also the Assyrian, because, as made clear, they are all referring to the same entity.
    Get a clue, then get back to me. -MrMI’m with RCofield on this one, once again, that the oracle concerns Babylon. God uses hyperbole and symbolism often to emphasize judgment on both His people and other nations, as He does in Matthew 24, Revelation and elsewhere.’The day of the LORD’ is a day of judgment on Babylon, just as it is on Israel during the NT times, as well as a day of rejoicing for those who are His.As I said before, it is a day of judgment on Israel and the Old Covenant by bringing it to a close and replacing it with the New Covenant. As Paul says to the brothers in the church at Corinth,”Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as He keeps His people, the Christians at Corinth, blameless so that they escape the coming judgment and wrath of God on Israel for rejecting the Son and ‘heaping up their sins to the fullest.’Paul, to the church at Thessalonia,”Now, brothers, about times and dates, we do not need to write to you, for Now read this passage and tell me to whom is Paul addressing? Is he addressing people thousands of years in the future or are you reading something into your system of belief that is not there? Please be honest with yourself concerning what the text actually says. Notice again, that it speaks of judgment/destruction. These people, these Jews, who are outside of Christ ‘will not escape.’ Only those who are in Christ are spared.At the time of writing, the Jewish system of economy and sacrifice that has proved over and over again to be inept will disappear like a thief in the night, like the destruction of the heavens by fire, in which the elements of this system melt away in the heat of judgment and God ushers in the new heavens and new earth, ‘the home of righteousness’ for His people, for they are new creations in Christ Jesus. (see 2 Peter 3:10-13) regarding ‘that’ day.You have skipped answering many of my questions. In Matthew 28 we see that Jesus has been given all power and authority, as I mentioned we are given witness to in both Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 5:6-14 or even Philippians 2:10.So does Jesus have all power and authority in heaven and on earth now or not, as He said in Matt. 28 that He had?

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,What do you take as literal language and what do you take as figurative language in Matthew 24?When do you see the prophesy of Ezekiel 38-39 as taking place, modern end time Israel or ancient Israel and what do you take as literal concerning it?What do you liken the parable of the wretched tenants to (Matthew 21:33-49)? Or the parable of the wedding banquet (Matt. 22:1-14)?

  • peterhuff

    MrMeaner, Here is an except from the Introduction for you:”Finally it is appropriate in these introductory remarks to call attention (as I shall have occasion to do once and again in the pages that follow) to the striking and immensely significant fact that the entire system of “dispensational teaching” is modernistic in the strictest sense; for it first came into existence within the memory of persons now living; and was altogether unknown even in their younger days. It is more recent than Darwinism.Think what it means that an elaborate, ramified and comprehensive system, which embraces radical teachings concerning such vital subjects as the preaching and ministry of Jesus Christ, the character and “dispensational place” of the four Gospels, the nature and era of the Kingdom of God, the Sermon on the Mount, the Gospel of the Kingdom, and other Bible topics of first importance, a system of doctrine that contradicts what has been held and taught by every Christian expositor and every minister of Christ from the very beginning of the Christian era, should have suddenly made its appearance in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and have been accepted by many who are prominent amongst the most professedly orthodox groups of Christians! It is an amazing phenomenon indeed. For the fact is that dispensationalism is modernism. It is modernism, moreover, of a very pernicious sort, such that it must have a “Bible” of its own for the propagation of its peculiar doctrines, since they are not in the Word of God. Ample proof of this will be given in the pages that follow.Nevertheless, what I now urge in view thereof is only:–First, that we have in these historical facts a most cogent reason why we should, each for himself, scrutinize this modern system most carefully in the light of Scripture; and second, that the above stated fact, of the very recent origin of the system, raises the presumption that dispensationalism is not in accord with the truth of God, and is not to be accepted except upon clear and ample proof.In concluding these introductory remarks I would point out that this modern system of “dispensational teaching” is a cause of division and controversy between those followers of Christ who ought to be, at this time of crisis, solidly united against the mighty forces of unbelief and apostasy; and further that it tends to bring the vital truth of our Lord’s second coming into discredit with many, because it associates that great Bible doctrine with various speculative details for which no scriptural support can be found.”

  • MrMeaner

    GEI agree that even in the fulfillment of that act, there were sins committed by individuals.I’m down for the evening, folkshave a good one

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,Let me finish up for the night.”In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” (Romans 9:6-8)” – MeThen why does Paul report that all Israel will be saved? – MrMBecause the true Israel of God are all those in Christ, those grafted into the true branch as well as those of the natural branch in Christ, those of the promise, the elect, those who are saved, those chosen by grace, chosen by God, those who have had their sins taken away, the ones who have ears to hear.”The promise was spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. The Scriptures does not say ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your Seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ.” (Gal. 3:16)”God did not reject His people whom He foreknew.” (Romans 11:2a)”For not all who are descendant from Israel are Israel.” (Romans 9:6b)”When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him, ‘Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.'” (John 1:47)” contend that the promise land is Christ, for all God’s promises are yes in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). The Israel of God is Christ. He is the king of the eternal kingdom and in Him is the eternal covenant put in place that was established with the destruction of the city, temple and Old Covenant” -MeIsrael is Israel.
    If you want to know what God thinks about Israel and Jerusalem, her sins, God’s anguish, the punishment she received, and her redemption in the end, read Ezekiel Ch. 16.
    If that doesn’t prove to you that Israel is still Israel, nothing will – MrMYes, the covenant is in Christ. Those who are in Christ are part of the new covenant. Those apart from Christ are not.”But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God –

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    oldiesfan1, you said,i agree that those are “wacko” beliefs. but, are you making a distinction between “god the would you vote for someone who was atheist? or agnostic? or deist? are those beliefs “wacko enough” to call into question a politician’s “grounding in reality” on other issues?

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner, You have me going now. “What holy city are the Gentiles trampling on for 42 months in verse two?”Jerusalem – MrMCorrect, but when?As for the temple, my best guess is that the temple, as reported in the final chapters of Ezekiel, refer to the millennial temple, which is an actual temple, albeit a spiritual one, inasmuch as we will have already been “changed”. (I Cor 15:51,52)
    At the end, after the final judgment, and death and hell, and those not found in the book of life have been blotted out, we receive the new heaven and a new earth…and a new existence, I presume.
    It must be a more spiritual existence, where the reference citing the Father and Son as being the temple of the kingdom, probably won’t be as symbolic as we in flesh can only imagine. -MrMHere we are in Revelation 11 and the new Jerusalem is only revealed in Revelation 21, and there is no temple, for as you correctly said the Lord God Almighty and Christ are its temple. So how do you measure it?I think you look for the most far fetching reasons to make your interpretation stick, especially since Josephus tells us in his accounts that the temple (in historic 67-70AD) was trampled on by the Gentiles. As a Jew he recognized the significance of this, for he wrote about it. If Christ had not been nailed to that cross, where would that leave us? -MrMIs this a rhetorical question? Dead in our sins, guilty before God.It had to happen, It was prophesied to happen. It accomplished the victory that man has awaited since the fall of Adam. How can the accomplishment of that act bring about wrath from God? – MrMThey rejected the one means that God provided that could atone for all their sins. Will the holy, righteous, pure, just God not punish what is wrong? If He turns a blind eye on evil then how could He be just or holy or pure or righteous? Christ came to meet that purity for us and to offer Himself and His sacrifice in our place so that we would not have to offer our own filthy sacrifice. He took the wrath that was ours upon Himself and paid the debt. He was willing to take the wrath that was Israels, yet many of His own would not receive Him. But even more than that He came to change and transform us into the image of Himself by giving us a new nature, one that is open to His Spirit and leading. It all points to Him.

  • MrMeaner

    PH

  • oldiesfan1

    Walter-in_Falls Church continued the interrogation:Would you vote for someone who was atheist? or agnostic? or deist? are those beliefs “wacko enough” to call into question a politician’s “grounding in reality” on other issues?It is “normal” Christian belief that God the father was always “God” and that God the Son was both mortal and God at the same time. The belief that we can all some day be “gods” and that “our” God was at one time mortal is not.Atheist, Agnostic, Deist are really mainstream belief (or lack-of-belief) systems. But, your questions does make me think – if you are an atheist, what really motivates you? This thread, though, isn’t about which beliefs are wacko are which aren’t. It’s about would you, indeed, vote for a presidential candidate who you thought had wacko religious beliefs, and my answer is NO! Which beliefs I think are wacko is secondary to the first question.

  • MrMeaner

    As far as my February 5 comment, I’m sorry I didn’t specify that the entire concept you are espousing is insane. It would have prevented you from picking out the only two paragraphs of your three-part post that wasn’t insane, and attached my reply out of context, in order to make it seem as though I made some claim, the reversed myself.Pretty shameless RC.Even for you

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    oldiesfan1,romney’s crazy mormon beliefs would not stop me from voting for him. were i to apply the standard of not voting for people with crazy religious beliefs, i couldn’t vote for anybody…!

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,I woke up this morning, and water was pouring out from under my house.
    I guess the last freeze was too much for my water pipes.
    I’ve been busy trying to rig some temporary water, but I will review your links, and try to get back yo you this evening, if possible – MrMI understand. I’m working Monday and Tuesday so take your time. I am hoping however that when you get some free time that you will address some of my concerns. I also realize, since I am in the same boat that you are, that family time/time with our wives, is something that should not be neglected. That is usually why I burn the midnight oil and neglect my sleep (not a wise move either). I’ve got one more post of yours to work on, then I’m all caught up.

  • PSolus

    walter-in-fallschurch,Bingo!

  • FredJ1

    Worthy of a second read: (from poster CClaxton)”…This is not an indictment of Faith itself, but of the illogic of Blind Faith. Faith, when it is based on experience and conforms to logic can be a powerful force for good in the world. But when Faith is based on what is written in an ancient document written in a time when science and logical thinking was not applied, and was written entirely by men who had a sexist view of the world, and was written with other similar flaws, then Blind Faith leads only to irrational thought.”

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”It is the Democrat Party, which”It is the Democrat Party, whichAll you have done is show how impotent your imaginary god is against mere “liberal” humans.

  • oldiesfan1

    I certainly take beliefs into account.If a candidate holds a wacko view on anything, be it God, the economy, education, I won’t vote for them.So, yes, if I think if a specific candidate adheres to a religion that I think is wacko, he won’t get my vote, because If he’s not grounded in reality in that aspect of his life…

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    oldiesfan1,

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,PART 2I can’t think of a better example than the parable of the fig tree.
    Jesus cursed it (The city fell at the hands of Titus), but then he promised that when the fig tree would begin to re-sprout forth, that generation would not pass away before all things are fulfilled. –MrM

  • pwlohse

    I am LDS but I would not vote for either candidate because I think that the Republican agenda is damaging the United States. The pitiful state the country is in is largely due to poor governance during Republican presidencies.

  • peterhuff

    Hi FredJ,You quote:”…This is not an indictment of Faith itself, but of the illogic of Blind Faith. Faith, when it is based on experience and conforms to logic can be a powerful force for good in the world. But when Faith is based on what is written in an ancient document written in a time when science and logical thinking was not applied, and was written entirely by men who had a sexist view of the world, and was written with other similar flaws, then Blind Faith leads only to irrational thought.”The Christian faith is neither blind, illogical nor irrational.

  • RCofield

    MRMEANER,In one of your last posts to me you accused me of lying concerning your reversal on my initial post to you on eschatology.I gave evidence of your “flip-flop” in my response @ February 10, 8:45 PM.Do you intend to own your reversal or not?

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Concerning the Eternal”One of the most obvious examples of God’s Omnipotence, is found in the rising, and the setting of the sun. Mankind has no power at all to stop the rising and setting of the sun.”Do you believe that sun revolves around the earth, or the earth around the sun?”However,… This scenario must sound eerily familiar to you, Psolus.”No, it doesn’t.[remaining superstitious gibberish expurgated]”Concerning the Eternal[still more superstitious gibberish expurgated]”Apparently, Psolus, you are an example of such an individual.”No, I’m not.[even more superstitious gibberish expurgated]”It is very foolish therefore, Psolus, to do a mindless jig of defiance,…”It is never foolish to do a mindless jig of defiance.[a final bit of superstitious gibberish expurgated]

  • cclaxton

    Welton,But I have to disagree on the idea that Faith should be kept out of the decision to choose our leaders. We live in a pluralistic society, and we should be choosing leaders that are rational and tolerant and can make good decisions for us all. The problem is that anyone who subscribes to the irrational circular logic of Faith (Faith is based on knowlege of God/Jesus/Mohammed/Krishna/etc., which is based on ancient documents, which is based on …Faith) cannot be trusted to make rational decisions for a pluralistic society. This is not an indictment of Faith itself, but of the illogic of Blind Faith. Faith, when it is based on experience and conforms to logic can be a powerful force for good in the world. But when Faith is based on what is written in an ancient document written in a time when science and logical thinking was not applied, and was written entirely by men who had a sexist view of the world, and was written with other similar flaws, then Blind Faith leads only to irrational thought. If we can get commitments from those running for office that they will set aside their Faith and make decisions based on logic and the common good of our pluralistic society, then I can support that as long as they are not deceiving us. (Yes, there are candidates that are secretly fundamentalist, and run as centrists, but have radical agendas, and they “rationalize” their lies by Faith in their God/prophet.)But do keep up the good works at Interfaith Alliance.

  • RCofield

    PETER,Excellent link to Philip Mauro’s work. That may be the best “undressing” of dispensationalism I have ever read.He even calls attention to the arrogance of this “system” in that it ignores the work of numberless luminaries of bygone years–a caution I raised with MRMEANER earlier.Brilliant.

  • oldiesfan1

    Walter-in-Falls_Church asked me:——————————————But, since you asked, a belief that we can become Gods and have our own spirit children and that God the Father was once a mortal man is right up there with believing in a space alien named Xenu.

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,That brings another question to mind.
    If Christ’s crucifixion was a pre-ordained directive, prophesied throughout the OT, why would God bring about a judgment against a nation, for being the place where his own plan came to fruition? And if he preordained the crucifixion, wouldn’t it be likely that he also preordained the destinies of those who carried out the act? – MrMLoraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, cites the Westminster Confession:”In the Westminster Confession, which sets forth the beliefs of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches and which is the most perfect expression of the Reformed Faith, we read: “God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.” And further, “Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet hath He not decreed any thing because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.”Violence was not offered to the will of the creature, so in other words, they voluntarily did this. They killed the Author of Life. They were asked, ‘Choose this day who you will serve.’ God put before them blessings and curses; they chose curses. God was patient with them through the ages and they were a stiff-necked people. They were warned over and over again and still did not heed God. He sent them prophets to warn them. They did not heed them. So He sent His Son. They did not heed Him, but nailed Him to a cross. Finally judgment.

  • MrMeaner

    PHIf Christ had not been nailed to that cross, where would that leave us?It had to happen, It was prophesied to happen. It accomplished the victory that man has awaited since the fall of Adam.How can the accomplishment of that act bring about wrath from God?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    GE, you said,well, never say never.of course your main point is correct: for the most part, religious people are scared to vote for people not of their own religion… that’s why we’re even having this discussion about romney and huntsman – ’cause christians aren’t sure they’re christian enough…

  • MrMeaner

    “”What holy city are the Gentiles trampling on for 42 months in verse two?”Zech Ch 14[1] Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.Now come on, surely you have to admit that that hasn’t happenedSince we’re in Zechariah, what about all of the prophecies there dealing with the house of Israel , and separately, the house of Judah.And this was written after the book of Hosea.end

  • RCofield

    WALTER,Picking up on our former discussion:If you accept:A) The probability of the universe having a first and moving cause.B) The probability that time (as we understand it) began with the universe (Big Bang).do you accept the probability that the cause of the universe exists outside of the time/space continuum of the universe?

  • APaganplace

    Well, that’s the precise problem, really: the Right in America is seeking to impose its own particular religious agenda: frankly, when we have right-wing candidates from *any* proselytizing religion, talking about imposing their religious “values” on everyone else regardless of our own beliefs or logic or reason, then the religion becomes and issue, of course, because they’ve *made* it one. Of course the most intolerant among the religious Right will single out the Mormons for being *different,* but to me, the issue is, they look the *same.*

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco,it’s funny because we all know how scrupulous politicians have been – even with the unofficial “must be judeochristian” litmus test… rco, you asked,yes.(but it really doesn’t make sense to me. like with the “time thing”: if there was something “before” the big bang, then time had alread “started”…by the time it happened. i mean, how could time have started with the big bang, if there was something before the big bang? “before” indicates a sequence of time… anyway, i’m probably thinking of “time” in the old pre-einstein sense.i’d have the same “disconnect” with the idea of something existing “outside” the “space” of the universe. if i imagine something exists “outside” of the universe, then it’s not really “outside” of, but part of, the universe… similarly, i have trouble imagining what something like a “parallel universe” or “other dimensions” are. sure as a concept, but to actually think another me is living somewhere or whatever, that seems like gobbledygook.and of course as soon as i imagine this first cause hanging around before the beginning of time getting ready to make the universe, i wonder, “where’d THAT come from?!” it is indeed an infinite self-referential regression.)nonetheless, yes. a way out of this infinite regression is supposing an out-of-time, out-of-space first cause. so, yes, lets consider that.

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,Let me digest what you have said today for a couple of days. Things are getting busy again.Thanks!

  • mahonri

    It is interesting to me that such an intelligent and articulate view as that expressed here by Welton Gaddy should generate so many comments that ignore or miss the point. Differences of opinion on the issue of faith are such an inescapable part of the American political discourse that the founders made the protection of freedom of religion part of the very first amendment to the Constitution. This principle is at the very foundation of what we believe, and yet it is misunderstood or misapplied by far too many in our society.There are those who claim to believe in freedom of religion, by which they mean they don’t want anyone to interfere with their practices, while they hold other religious traditions, or lack thereof, in much lower regard.Others seem to believe more in freedom from religion, wanting to be protected from all expressions of belief in the public arena.The reality is that the constitution protects both freedom of religion (in the free exercise clause) and freedom from religion (in the establishment clause). Those who truly believe in the First Amendment must work to protect the rights of ALL, including believers of every kind and non-believers as well. Anyone who is not fully committed to this principle is not qualified to be president.If Mitt Romney wants to be president, he should be able to fully practice his religion just like any other citizen. But he should also be prepared to defend everyone else’s right to be free from the influence of that religion, just like any other president. He must be prepared to separate private devotion from public duty. If he can, then his religious beliefs should be no impediment to his election.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    guys,but then there’s gen:carry on.

  • Vanka

    Mormons who go into the Mormon temples are “endowed”. In order to become endowed, Mormons have to pass an interview (like a catechism for Catholics). The endowment ritual includes many things Mormons are not allowed to talk about outside of the Temples. These secret (“sacred”) things include special promises and covenants Mormons make to the Church and to God. One of these “oaths” promises total and complete loyalty to the LDS Church and its leaders, including being willing to give all your possessions to the Church if needed.The oath is something like this:”Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, …that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.”Mitt Romney has made this oath, and repeats this oath each time he returns to an LDS Temple.For a POTUS to have made such a secret oath violates the oath of office of the POTUS. The POTUS must not have ANY higher loyalty than to the United States of America and Constitution.”Endowed” Mormons should be automatically disqualified because of their secret oaths in their temples that place their loyalty to the LDS Church above their loyalty to the United States of America.

  • Rom08

    @Vanka,Well, first of all, the Mormon temple ceremonies can’t be all that secret, now can they? I mean, people are all over the internet and television (and now this board) claiming to know their contents.But more importantly, why is it that you and others on this board can only attack Mormons for what they used to do or believe? Let me make a suggestion. All you have to do is make friends with a Mormon and they will tell you what they really believe. Then you can let go of all of your silly misconceptions.It is true that committing oneself to the building up of the Kingdom of God is an important part of Mormonism (and the rest of biblical Christianity). However, you may rest assured that religious pluralism and self-determination are just as important.the Mormon’s 11th Article of Faith states that:”We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”As for the presidential oath of office, a President need only pledge to faithfully defend the Constitution of the United States. Of that Constitution, Mormon scripture has this to say:Doctrine and Covenants 101:77″the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles.”Doctrine and Covenants 109:54″Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.”So a Mormon President, at least as much as any other religous person, can uphold his oath of office without violating any other commitments he made to the Kingdom of God.I’m sure you are relieved to here it.

  • MrMeaner

    RC”The verse (Eph. 1:11) says God works all things (no exceptions) according to the counsel of His will. That is a comprehensive statement. Many more passages can be provided if necessary.”But that staement is based on qualifiers in vs.4,5.[4] According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:which is much in line with Romans 8[28] And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”Precisely. Which is a leading indicator that many of God’s promises to Israel were not to “national” Israel but to “elect” (in Christ) Israel (the “remnant”). This is Paul’s entire argument in Romans chapters 9-11 (see especially 9:5-8 ff):”My rebuttal to that was in a quotation from the Hosea passage cited in Romans 9:23-26″The dispensational view of “national” Israel receiving all of the promises of the OT at some point in the future does not comport with Paul’s argument in Ro. chapters 9-11 (and many other passages in the NT).””National” Israel doesn’t receive all of the promises.The true church is the wild olive tree grafted in among the broken branches, and WITH THEM, patakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree. (based on Rom11:17)Rom 11:25__________________

  • MrMeaner

    “[1] EPH 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”That refers to the elect. Not all of mankind.”ROM 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”I agree, and it’s a nice statement, but it doesn’t mean that “his ways” aren’t allowing people to exercise free will, and aid in influencing them to make the right decisions.”HEB 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.”Thank you for that.”the immutability of his counsel”Immutability=”ametathetos”, in Greek. It means UNCHANGABLEYou’ve just proven that God did not renege on his promises, because his counsel (purpose, in Greek) is unchangable….because, as it clearly says in the very next verse, it is impossible for God to lie. His promises will be honored.

  • schnauzer21

    “I say there should be a religious litmus test.”

  • MrMeaner

    PHI agree with the reasoning for authorship, but, as you can probably imagine, I disagree with his analysis of the content.

  • MrMeaner

    RC I”ve answered almost all of those questions. You just don’t seem to be understanding what I”m saying.Have you read all of the exchanges thus far?

  • MrMeaner

    I apologize for my impatience, RCLet me try to answer as follows:”But (and please correct me if I am wrong) aren’t you interpreting many of the end time prophecies with the reconstitution of national Israel,” “rebuilding of the Temple,”that has already been discussed ” reinstitution of the sacrificial system in view? “That’s been discussed as well, but maybe I can expound further;Even though that system is still in practice by some orthodox sects, the real meaning, IMO, as related in Daniel, for example, is that when the future “king” takes control of the Holy land, he will cause those rituals to cease. Because the only religion allowed will be the one that seeks,(and aquires) global domination.”Ro. 11:26 to mean when Paul says “so all Israel shall be saved”?

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”You said earlier, if I recall correctly, that you do not have a soul.”I indeed wrote that.”A couple (or 3) questions:1) As far as I know, yes. (Others may disagree.)2) Probably, in one form or another.3) I’ve been known to. (Again, others may disagree.)

  • Rom08

    Vanka,It is you who is being deceptive. You are the one taking Mormon beliefs out of context in order to portray the Mormon church as the boogey-man. You clearly know enough about the Mormon church to know that the Mormon eschatalogical belief structure is not material different that any number of other Christian faiths. Like many others traditions, the Mormon faith holds that the resurrected Jesus will return, and when he does all will know that Jesus was and is the Christ.There is nothing about Mormon beliefs in general, or Mormon temple ceremonies in particular, that would cause a Mormon public official to violate his or her oath of office.You say the the Mormons practiced polygamy for an additional 10 years after it was officially ended by their church. Even if that is true, it still ended more than a century ago. When you quote peoples beliefs out of context in an attempt to imply an inaccurate conclusion you are still lying. Fortunately, anyone who has taken the time to get to know a real Mormon knows it.I do give you credit for finally identifying your real motive. It is no secret that proponents of same-sex marriage are trying to delegitimize those who support traditional marriage by emphasizing Mormon involvement in Prop 8. The widespread ignorance of the Mormon faith tradition makes them an easy boogey man.But your argument is simply inaccurate. It is not the Mormons or the millions of other religious Americans that supported Prop 8 that are trying to impose their religious beliefs. They are not the ones who have, time and again, used their allies on the courts of this country to create by fiat rights that don’t exist in the Constitution. Likewise, they are not the ones using the courts to elevate those imaginary rights above the explicit constitutional protections of religious freedom. I might add that they are not the ones on comment boards across the internet intentionally lying about other peoples’ beliefs.It is true that Mormons do have some peculiar aspects of their theology that differentiate them from many of the other Christian faith tranditions. But there is nothing secret about it. Mormons across the world are more than happy to tell you about what they believe. (In fact, you might have seen a few of them, they send out a whole bunch of young people in name tags.)

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”The “soul” is the seat of the mind, will, emotions, affections, etc.”What makes you believe that?”It appears you may have a soul after all.”No, it appears that you may believe that I have a “soul”, just as you may believe that I am a “sinner”, just as you may believe that I must be “saved” by your imaginary “jebus”, just as you may believe that your “bible” was written by your imaginary “god”, and just as you may believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old.”Modern psychology is the study of the mind/will/emotions. The term (psychology) is derived from the Latin psyche and Greek psykhe, each referring to the animating principle of the “soul” or “spirit. Hence psychology is literally “soul-study.”Sounds to me like a lot of belief-logic is at work here.”Can you believe it?”No, I can’t, but I suspect you have no choice but to believe it.”….. 🙂 ….”Whatever.Who, exactly, are you trying to convince here; me, or you?

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”Just pointing out that you do, by your own admission, have a soul.”No, I stated that I have no “soul”.That statement appears to have threatened you to such an extent that you attempted to “trick” me into writing something that you could use, via application of your belief-logic, to somehow indicate that I may have actually admitted to having a “soul”, even though I have already stated that I don’t have a “soul”, because “soul” is a superstitious concept, and I am not a superstitious person.Why is my having a “soul” so important to you?Do you fear that I have no “soul”, then you may not have a “soul” either?Are your “beliefs” failing you?Isn’t there a loop-hole in your bible that you could use to say that even though I don’t have a “soul”, it is perfectly “believable” for you to have a “soul”?”I’m already “convinced,” so flip a coin.”Are you sure?Is “convinced” the same as having “faith”?Will your “jebus” save you if you are only “convinced”?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco,i really think that’s a distinction w/o a difference.what is “tempting” but a testing of will/resolve?did god “tempt” or “test” adam/eve?goldeeagles, MrMeaner,

  • MrMeaner

    correction:(which by the way, means empty, and completely destroyed)not completely correct, after re-checkingempty, and to lie waste.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,You said:if there was something “before” the big bang, then time had alread “started”…by the time it happened. i mean, how could time have started with the big bang, if there was something before the big bang?Walter, this is puzzling. If something exists outside of time that is eternal, how can it have a start? If that something has no beginning then then how can it be in the realm of time. If you started counting backwards in time to eternity past how would you ever get there? If the universe of multiverse is eternal then how would we ever arrive at the present? In order for us to arrive at this current point of time, as of today, then there must have been a start in order to get here. To you that start is probably 13.7 billion years ago, or that at least is the current belief by those enlightened by philosophically natural science.

  • peterhuff

    PS, sorry for the typos.

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,Who, exactly, are you trying to convince?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    MrMeaner,so, the next question is: evolution, yes or no?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    So, if we can reasonably consider that:A) The universe probably had a first and moving cause…andcan we reasonably consider that the cause of the universe is probably without beginning?Peace, brother.Posted by: RCofield | February 14, 2011 10:15 PMi’m having a really hard time saying “probably” to all those. “possibly”, sure, but “probably” is too confident unless maybe you mean 51% on each step. nonetheless, this is a totally possible, nay plausible “A,B,C” belief system you’ve laid out so far. i’m curious as to where it goes off track. please proceed.btw, yeah, funny about my “big but” – but it is a big but.

  • RCofield

    PEREGRINE,You said earlier, if I recall correctly, that you do not have a soul.A couple (or 3) questions:1) Do you have a mind?

  • Vanka

    ROM08,Please cease the deception. You know very well I did not attack Mormons for what they USED TO believe. I explicitly pointed out the stuff that was PAST and that which is CURRENT.The CURRENT temple oaths that I cited are oaths that Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman make in their temples every time they visit Those oaths don’t just promise to build up the generic “kingdom of God” – they are specific oaths to give all possessions and even one’s life to the LDS Church!As for your quotes from LDS scriptures, that is no comfort. We know from history that Mormons believe the word of their living leaders above scripture.Case in point: The Mormon Church leader told all Mormons to “do all you can” to fight against same-sex marriage (Prop 8 in California). This despite the fact that LDS scriptures clearly state:”It is NOT JUST for religions to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied” (D&C134).Even polygamy was continued secretly for around 10 years after LDS Church leaders swore to Congress that the practice had ceased in the Church (see Quinn).So, please, stop the lies. Stop denying what your Church really is: a secretive, elitist, imperialistic cult aspiring to “put an end to all nations”, and rule the world for a thousand years when “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess” that the Mormon Jesus is in charge!

  • peterhuff

    Continuing MrMeaner,Romans 1:18-19 sums up our fallen nature very well.”The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth in their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” They exchange the truth of God for their own truth. They are dead in their hearts to Him.That sinful nature is dead to God. It always put self before God and will not submit. Paul put it this way, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air; the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following it desires and thoughts. Like the rest we were objects of wrath.” (Eph. 2:1-3)It requires the mercy and grace of God to escape that and rescue us, free us, from this bondage.

  • MrMeaner

    I agree with all of that, PH.

  • MrMeaner

    RCI’ll get to your questions this evening when I get home from work.Would you mind explaining the “slick one” I pulled?I simply described what was reported on a TV show I saw recently.

  • peterhuff

    MrMeaner,”What holy city are the Gentiles trampling on for 42 months in verse two?” – MeJerusalem – MrMCorrect, but when? -MeThe final time will be while this is happening [as you quote Zechariah 14:1-9] –MrMAre you saying Zechariah 14 is speaking of the final coming rather than Christ’s second coming in judgment to those who pierced Him? The NIV translated Revelation 1:7 in reference to Zech. 12:10 “even those who pierced Him: and all the people of the Now come on, surely you have to admit that that hasn’t happened –MrM,/blockquote>

  • MrMeaner

    Walter,I don’t have much lunch time left, but let me just say that there is a difference between “created”, “made”, and “let there be”Only created has a meaning that implies something was made from nothing. The other words suggest procurement, or creation from existing material

  • MrMeaner

    One more thing before I head back to work, How do you explain the fact that genetic mutations result in a loss of information?

  • MrMeaner

    “Are you saying Zechariah 14 is speaking of the final coming rather than Christ’s second coming in judgment to those who pierced Him?”I’m saying there’s a distinction between those who pierced him and who you are calling “Jews”, that I’ve made allusion to in scriptual references regarding genealogies.

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner, I agree with all of that, PH.
    Even though we are free to choose what we do, he already knows the choices we are going to make.
    But, we are free to make them. -MrMBut the point I made yesterday was that in Adam’s inheritance and outside of Christ we are not free. In Adam we always choose what our sinful natures desire. It takes God to rescue us from that bondage, as I pointed out with various verses last night. We are free in the sense that we will make our own choices, have our own volition, but we are dead in our transgressions, dead to God. This means in ourselves, in our bondage, we are not capable of choosing God without His mercy and the wooing of His Spirit through His word of truth. So we are not free to choose Him. What can a dead person do? We need to be born anew of His Spirit.Our old nature in Adam is always influencing us. Our human pride and self gets in the way of us having freedom. It wants to be in control and have its own desires met. That can only change in Christ. Many people will go to their graves resisting God with every dying breath. They don’t have the freedom to choose Him. Their nature will not bend the knee to Him because it means giving up self, giving up what they prefer, admitting they are wrong, admitting He is deserving of worship and majesty. They are not free to humble themselves before Him, not free to admit that He is good, because that in turn would mean that they have fallen short of His glory. They are not free to admit that they cannot earn their salvation apart from Christ. Some will even allow a synergistic effort on their part and God’s part, but not God alone in saving them.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    MrMeaner,

  • MrMeaner

    “The word earth can just as easily be translated land and when you look at Zech. 12:10 which speaks of the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the clans or tribes it makes sense. So, with this consideration, the translation of land instead of earth seems more appropriate. So I think you can make the same case for Zech. 14″But what about the references to the mount of Olives, etc?

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,I should make this the last post tonight.I’m saying there’s a distinction between those who pierced him and who you are calling “Jews”, that I’ve made allusion to in scriptual references regarding genealogies. -MrMDo you think Jesus made that distinction? His physical lineage can be traced through Abraham, just as the divided kingdom of Israel and Judah can.

  • GoldenEagles

    Regarding Combustion Chambers, Everyone benefits when they make the effort to train their attention to go in the direction of the truth.

  • GoldenEagles

    [Typo correction: The structure of life on earth, as we know it, was consciously created, by God, to express this basic principle, that it is impossible to create something out of nothing, as a check against the propensity of the human imagination to jump off the edge of the cliff (of reason) without a parachute.]

  • RCofield

    One more thing before I head back to work, How do you explain the fact that genetic mutations result in a loss of information?
    Wrong question. Walter has already pointed you to the evolution-committed science that is coming up with all sorts of minutia to try and create the illusion that mutations actually increase information by default (a complete joke).The proper question is this: Where do they come up with enough mutated That, my friend, is beyond mathematically impossible.The vast majority of mutations produce compromised information–that’s why we call the result a “mutant.”

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,I don’t want to add to our current discussion by compounding a discussion on Genesis 1-3. But I want to make at least one comment for now and then put the issue on the back-burner.You said:There are other scriptural references that I believe to give a basic account of the things that might have led up to the Earth becoming (or being rendered)void and without form
    (which by the way, means empty, and completely destroyed) -MrM

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco,hahahaha… no.. that’s just regular old science. you’ll find regular scientists with ALL KINDS of religious and non-religious beliefs. but, the ONLY scientists who see the evidence as supporting a young earth w/no evolution are religious… and almost all judeochrislamic at that…. hhhmmm…..anyway, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here. please present your next step in the case for yahweh.MrMeaner,

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”And what, precisely, is my “superstitious concept of ‘soul’”?”Oh, you know; Gift from your imaginary “god”, riddled with “sin” and “guilt” upon receipt, must be “cleansed” by your imaginary “god” in order to be “saved”, immortal, goes to “heaven” for “eternity” if one is good, goes to “hell” for “eternity” if one is “not saved”, accumulated “black marks” for every “sin” that is committed; you can fill in the rest, it’s your superstitious concept, not mine.”Please tell me, because I’m just dying to know.”Why don’t you ask your imaginary “god”?”I think you are so accustomed to “dodging” that you can hardly make the distinction.”Do you really believe that?”If you’ll go back and look you answered all three questions in the affirmative.”Did you “believe” me?”That’s OK, Peregrine.”Yes, that’s OK.”That’s just your opinion, and we both know that even you don’t believe your own opinions.”Do you really know that?”Bwaaahahaahaaa.”Well crafted.”Now, Peregrine, when you state “I don’t have a soul,” are you absolutely certain of that or is that just your opinion?”Whichever you choose to believe is fine with me.”(You know why I have to ask that.)”Actually, I don’t.”Just pointing out that if you indeed did not have a soul, as you so foolishly contend, you would be an inanimate object.”How did you come to believe that bit of superstitious nonsense?”(You seem to repeat yourself a great deal when you are unsure of yourself.”Do you really believe that?I understand how that may be a comforting belief for you.”Do you stutter blusteringly as well?)”Do you want to believe that I de?Will you find it comforting to believe that?Be my guest.”Why, because we are “fellow travelers” who share the common experience of having souls, Peregrine.”First, we are not “fellow travelers; you may be thinking of your comment chorus.Second, we do not share the common experience of having “souls”; you believe that you have a “soul”, I do not believe that I have a “soul’.”Well, I think “fixate” is a little strong, don’t you?”No, I don’t.”You are aware that this is a discussion forum, aren’t you?”Yes, I am.”But don’t get me wrong, you are special, Peregrine.”You’ll never know.”You really are.”Really, you’ll never know.”Yes, you’ve shared that with me before. But you were talking about the bible.”I was writing about all the various “bibles”.”I’ve noticed that you often seem to have little understanding of many things that are not superstitious.”What you should have noticed is that I don’t pretend to have an understanding of things that I do not understand.”Perhaps you should get out a bit more or perhaps read a bit more.”Perhaps; perhaps not.”You’re really selling yourself short.”I’m not selling myself; long or short.More…

  • PSolus

    More:”Maybe now that you’ve discovered that you have a soul you’ll do better.”Can’t seem to let go of that monkey on your back can you?Don’t you have a 12-step program that addresses that?”Is this “judas” character in some way related to this “jebus” character you keep referring to?”Perhaps.”Thank you.”You’re welcome.”I did.”Actually, you didn’t.”So what do you mean by your use of the term?”Nothing more than that it is among other superstitious terms that you have used in the past.(fin)

  • MrMeaner

    “You are taking one of the meanings of the word to mean destroyed, but in the context I don’t think that fits.”I did post that it meant destroyed. I still think that is what is implied, though “to lie waste” would have been more accurate.The only other time the phrase void and without form is used is in Jer. Ch.4:20-28. The meaning should be clear in that passage.And I’m not advocating ID.I do use some of their arguments that refute Darwinism, but that’s about all we have in common.

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”Do you always use run-on sentences when you feel threatened?”Do you always ask leading questions when you feel trapped by your superstitious beliefs?”No “trickeration” here¸ Peregrine. I simply asked you 3 straightforward questions relative to the definition of the concept of the soul.”No, you asked three questions that had no relation to your superstitious concept of “soul”.”You affirmed that you possessed all 3 of these elements which animate every living human.”No, actually, I dodged the questions, and you didn’t seem to notice.”The bare fact that you don’t understand what the soul actually is does not, by default, render it a “superstitious concept.””No, the concept of a “soul” renders itself to be a superstitious concept.Your getting your knockers in a twist when I state that I don’t have a “soul” is simply icing on the cake for me.”Perhaps because I am of the opinion that possessing a mind whereby one can assimilate and analyze information is a good thing;…”What’s that got to do with me, and whether I share your superstitious beliefs?”…and that having a will whereby one can act upon said information is a good thing.”What’s that got to do with me, and whether I share your superstitious beliefs?”And perhaps because I consider emotions/affections rather useful in analyzing the motions of one’s mind and the actions resulting from one’s will.”What’s that got to do with me, and whether I share your superstitious beliefs?”Such things are unimportant to you?”Why is What is so special about me that you have to fixate on what I think?”Not at all. Though you have only recently affirmed that you have a soul I was aware that you had one all along.”No, you believe that I have a “soul”, but you appear to be so threatened by my stating that I do not have a “soul” that you are going to unhealthy lengths to try to make it appear that I admit that I have a “soul”.Why is that so important to you?Is your belief weakening?”Are you of the opinion that my “beliefs” are “failing me”?”You tell me; they’re your beliefs, not mine.”Your lack of familiarity with the bible is showing again.”How observant; you know that I do not read superstitious fiction.”That question further demonstrates your oft-evidenced misunderstanding of the nature of faith.”I have little understanding of all things superstitious; that is “Who is this “jebus” character you keep referring to?”Why, you little judas!”And may I ask what you mean by your use of the term “save”?”You may.

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,Let me try my earlier post again.You said:There are other scriptural references that I believe to give a basic account of the things that might have led up to the Earth becoming (or being rendered)void and without form (which by the way, means empty, and completely destroyed) –MrMYou are taking one of the meanings of the word to mean destroyed, but in the context I don’t think that fits.As Robert Reymond cites in his Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, p.393,”1. The word ‘day’ (yom), in the singular, dual and plural, occurs some 2,225 times in the Old Testament with the overwhelming preponderance of these occurrences designating the ordinary daily cycle….Furthermore Robert Reymond states:”2. The recurring phrase, ‘evening and morning [taken together] constituted one day, etc.’ (1:5, 8, 13, 23, 31), suggests Then Reymond goes on to list a number of other reasons for treating Genesis 1-3 as a plain interpretation of Scripture. Some of those reasons are the genealogies, Jesus’ teaching, especially the two verses on Adam and Eve that dates man to the beginning of God’s creation (Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9), as well as treating the accounts of Noah and others as literal, historical happenings. You can also glean the same from Paul’s writings in Romans 1:19-20; 8:20 and others. The fact that death was introduced into the world by the sin of Adam is another example that suggests taking the passages plainly. An error is to complicate the matter by taking the authority of philosophical science as your starting point rather than that which is greater – the word of God. As RCofield mentioned today, origins is not repeatable science. It is a onetime occurrence that we have to interpret. For three hundred plus years now science has been tunnel visioned into looking at things from an evolutionary framework. Phil Johnston has written on the indoctrination against ID with numerous books.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco,just one of the many problems which are not even time scale problems, but sequence problems. the bible has the earth being created before “light” – but that’s plainly NOT the scientific view.gen1 has “lights in the sky” (stars, moon, sun) created well after earth – not the scientific story.gen1 has “seed-bearing trees and plants” appear “on land”, whereas scientists think life started in the water and remained there for most of it’s existence.etc…i wish religious people who accept the realities of modern science wouldn’t try to contort the bible into “matching” the scientific account. it’s better (i.e., more faithful to science and the bible) to just call genesis an allegory or metaphor or whatever.

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”If God our Father withdrew his attention and conscious will from you, Psolus, what you consider yourself to be, would instantly fall into a pile of rubble.”Well, that explains why I am currently a pile of rubble.”Yes, what you are, is only held together by the Conscious Will of God.”Well, I’ll be damned; get it?”Using the above fact as a benchmark for reality, we can accurately gauge the distance, measured in light-years, between the domain of truth, and the content of your mind wherein you have your imagination telling you that God is “imaginary”.”Is it Please let it be “This is not so much different than hiking across the Golden Gate Bridge, and believing you are walking on air.”Well, it does kind of bounce when big trucks go by.”That would not be a very accurate sense of reality either.”If you say so.”This can be a new source of thanksgiving for all of us, as we remember to Thank God, each day, each hour, each minute, for holding us together.”Praise the “lord”?(fin)

  • MrMeaner

    PHDid you read Jer 4?What did you think of the details of that event?Didn’t you find it odd that God gives an account of a destruction that left “no man”, that destroyed all of the cities at the presence of the LORD, and placed the Earth in a condition much like the one descibed at the beginning of Genesis?Whether or not it’s an example meant to be understood by the people at the time, in relation to another historical event, the fact remains that he did bring up this event as an example.

  • MrMeaner

    “most put the universe’s age at around 14,500,000,000 (others at 13,500,000,000) or so”Oh yeah, that’s right.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco,i’m not really planning an extended discussion w/them – just asking for their views on some basic science questions.so…what’s next in our discussion?we’re pondering an out-of-space-and-time first cause about to “poof” the universe in existence? i can’t wait to see how do you get from there to the 6-day creation week.————it’s 67 degrees here now, but long-range models and forcasters are beginning to make noises about a possible snow storm here early on tuesday. i’m very excited. i give it about a 10% chance of delivering.

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,Why would he allow those he knew would be evil to be born, if it wasn’t so they could make amends, by committing acts of their own free will that God would find acceptable?
    If God determines the outcome of every flesh existence, why not just allow what he has determined to be good, to exist on Earth? – MrMHe planned it that way. If He did not give us our own volition all we would be is zombies, robots, automatons. But in doing so He knew the consequences that man would choose to do his own evil thing. Man would discover evil in being disobedient to God and inventing his own ‘good.’ Ravi Zacharias wrote a book titles, ‘Can Man Live without God.’ It is a testament to man’s attempt to do that very thing.But the plan from before the foundations of the world was to save a people for Himself that He would bring to the revelation of His goodness and love so that we could ‘enjoy’ and worship Him in His majesty forevermore. We are compelled by the love of Christ to tell others the good news in the hope that they as well will have ears to hear His voice speaking to them.

  • MrMeaner

    Does anyone else find it ironic that Psolus keeps using the term “jebus”?Pslous,Jebus also means threshing-floor, where is where the chaff ends up after harvest.Jebus is calling for you, Psoluslol

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”That’s interesting.”What’s interesting?”I recently had a dyed-in-the-wool fundamentalist member leave the church where I pastor because, as he so angrily put it, my preaching and teaching were too “anti-fundamentalism.””That’s not interesting.That’s freaking funny.”Go figure.”Go figure indeed; even the members of your own herd don’t believe what you are shoveling them.Bad herdsmanship.

  • PSolus

    MrMeaner,”Does anyone else find it ironic that Psolus keeps using the term “jebus”?”Apparently not.”Pslous,Well, that is a non-interesting bit of useless information.”Jebus also means threshing-floor, where is where the chaff ends up after harvest.”You seem to be just full of it, don’t you.”Jebus is calling for you, Psolus”So, you Did RCofield tell you? Did you tell him?”lol”Do you own a “Hello Kitty” backpack?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    i find the word “jebus” extremely amusing.

  • PSolus

    MrMeaner,”It wasn’t useless at all.”To me, it was completely useless.”It gave me a hearty chuckle.”Yeah, well, you sound like a real wild man.”Amusement?…yes”Sure you are; if you believe it hard enough, it will be like it is true.”Yes. Yes I do.”Well, good for you.”How, you ask?”No, I don’t ask; I also don’t care.”Well, actually this video explains a lot.”[link to potential fundamentalist video expurgated]As I wrote: I don’t ask; I also don’t care.”That was 1996.”What was 1996?”Haven’t you gotten over your trauma by now?”What trauma?

  • MrMeaner

    lol……..no, wait…………..

  • MrMeaner

    Psolus,Why do you mock Christians, yet are compelled to understand what we believe?

  • PSolus

    MrMeaner.”Why do you mock Christians,…”Because it is fun, and, it is easy.”…yet are compelled to understand what we believe?”What makes you believe that I am compelled to understand what you believe?”Surely you aren’t here to verbally persecute anyone,..”How do you know that?”…because you’re so bad at it.”If I’m so bad at it, what’s the problem?Why do you respond?”Is there a part of you that wants to be convinced,..,”About your superstitious beliefs?No.”…or are you REALLY bored?”I wouldn’t say “REALLY” bored – maybe “a little” bored, or “somewhat” bored – but not “REALLY” bored.Why do you ask?

  • MrMeaner

    “Because it is fun, and, it is easy.”hmm. Are you entertained by your own simplicity?”What makes you believe that I am compelled to understand what you believe?”I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, because if you’re here to cast aspersions, you really suck at it.”How do you know that?”Because I assumed that your pleasure in lfe isn’t demonstrating your ineptitude.”If I’m so bad at it, what’s the problem?”It presents a quandary. Is it possible that some people have so little in their lives, they choose to devote their time making inneffective digs at Christians on web site comment sections?”Why do you ask?”Why do you exist? What purpose do you serve?

  • PSolus

    MrMeaner,”hmm. Are you entertained by your own simplicity?”Yes.”I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, because if you’re here to cast aspersions, you really suck at it.”I’m not surprised; I didn’t even know what “casting aspersions” meant until you mentioned it, and I Googled it.I’ll try to do better in the future.”Because I assumed that your pleasure in lfe isn’t demonstrating your ineptitude.”You may be wrong to assume that.”Maybe I was wrong.”Yeah, as I said.”It presents a quandary.”What sort of a quandary?”Is it possible that some people have so little in their lives, they choose to devote their time making inneffective digs at Christians on web site comment sections?”Well, that certainly sounds possible…”It’s really a sad commentary on your life.”Do you really think so?”Why do you exist?”Gee, I don’t know; I guess I exist simply because I do exist; if I didn’t exist, well, then I wouldn’t exist.”What purpose do you serve?”Well, I do make people laugh.”Are you just an indistinguishable meat-sack, with no direction, no motivation, nothiong significant to offer your fellow man?”Well, now that you mention it…”Are vapid, meaningless one-liners the extent of your communication skills?”I’m not sure…Would your “jebus” have written your comment?

  • MrMeaner

    I take it all back, Psolus.I’m not sure what this is that you do, but you’re obviously the best in the world at it.

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”Just as I thought. Not even in the ball park. That’s your Catholic background still influencing you.”Is your imaginary “god” proud of you now?How does basking in vain-glory feel?It feels kind of good, doesn’t it?Maybe that’s why you were told to believe that it’s a “sin”.”I know that you earlier stated that you don’t believe your own opinions. Your philosophical skepticism leaves you no other choice.”Can you inform me of other things that leave me no choice?”Yes, but that is just your opinion, and even you don’t believe your opinions.”Can you inform me of other things that are just my opinion, and whether or not I “believe” my opinions?Whatever did I do without your keen insights?”Yes, but you’re confused about the genre.”Oh, it’s the “genre” now; I think I’ll have another glass of Chardonnay and some more of that heavenly smoked Gouda.”Actually you’re wildly inconsistent on that one.”Do tell.”For example you label the bible “superstitious” even though you obviously understand nothing about the bible.”Oh, my.”That’s pretending to understand something that you do not understand.”Did you win your wings with that one?”Kinda like a nose; its there whether you hang on to it or not.”Tell me about it, preacher.”Your Catholicism is showing again.”Your fundamentalism is showing, as usual.”Is see that you are as confused about that term as you are about your soul.”As I have previously stated, I am confused about all things superstitious.That’s just one more way of recognizing superstition.

  • PSolus

    MrMeaner,”I take it all back, Psolus.”You do?”I’m not sure what this is that you do, but you’re obviously the best in the world at it.”I doubt that I’m “the best in the world”; probably just the best that you’ve seen so far.I’m sure there are some who are much better than I am out there.But, thanks anyway.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Vanka,

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Don’t be too quick, MrMeaner, to sell short some of your most penetrating insights.”No, one should never be too quick to sell short any of one’s most penetrating insights.”Given his response, I believe it fair to say you stung his conscience where it counts.’I’m guessing that you would need to believe that irrespective of my actual response.”For a moment, he could see his own face in the mirror you held up.”Again, I’m guessing that you actually need to believe that.”Your statement is of such high quality, that I think Psolus should carve that in stone, and hang it on the wall of his living room.”And risk my damage deposit?Not on your life.”Truly a memorable query that goes to the heart of the matter.”You have to believe that, don’t you?”Stone carving chisels are not too expensive, and one can come by a good slab of granite at a local mortuary.”But, you have failed to address the problem of the damage deposit.(fin)

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”I will translate. Psolus is saying to MrMeaner,…”[mindless translation expurgated]”Yes a FRAUDULENT appeal to MrMeaner’s conscience for speaking the truth, a truth you needed to hear.”Again, you have failed at recognizing sarcasm.Congratulations.”As you know, the forces of evil, as you are well aware, often hide behind the mask of humor. It is a mechanism of self-deception.”I’m sure that you believe that.Be my guest.”For a moment, MrMeaner served as an instrument of truth, to rip the mask away, that you might see what is really there, and perhaps begin the process of turning your ship around before it sails off the edge of the earth.”Ships cannot sail of the edge of the earth; your flat-earth belief is, as are most of your beliefs, incorrect.”Two crashes of thunder adorned the valley with the Voice of God.”I didn’t hear anything.”I caught the second one on tape.”No, you didn’t; you just believe that you did.(fin)

  • Vanka

    ROM8,Please specify exactly what I have written that is “deceptive” (untrue, inaccurate, wrong).Anyone who researches it will find I have written only the truth, in context, accurately portrayed.But YOU try to divert the point (we call that using “red herring” arguments). My arguments showed clearly and factually that:1) Mormon leaders will “lie for the Lord” (as demonstrated by their false report to congress regarding the practice of polygamy)2) Mormon leaders will violate their own sacred scriptures (D&C 134) to mix religious influence with civil government in a way that denies other citizens of their equal rights under the law (Proposition 8). It is well-documented that the LDS Church was the deciding factor in Prop 8.3) Mormon leaders have such cultish power over the members of their Church that they can (and did for Prop8) “command” their followers to deprive others of civil rights, and it is written clearly in their Temple oaths and covenants that members are expected to give all their possessions and use all their positions and opportunities (“everything with which the Lord has blessed you or may bless you”) for the building up of the LDS Church. This includes oaths to give one’s life for the building up of the LDS Church. That is an explicit oath regarding a willingness to “give one’s life” (suicide) for the Church.4) The LDS Temple ceremonies at the time Mitt Romney was “endowed” included graphic depictions of cutting one’s throat, disembowling oneself, and other acts of suicide as a penalty for revealing the secret oaths and failing to be faithful to them.These are not lies. These are facts. These are not taken out of context. They are true, accurate, and reliable.As such, your unsupported assertion that “nothing about Mormon beliefs in general, or Mormon temple ceremonies in particular, that would cause a Mormon public official to violate his or her oath of office” is just not true.As I have shown, Mitt Romney and other temple Mormons have made explicit oaths and covenants of allegiance to their “Prophet” that take priority over their political responsibilities, civil government, civil law (“the philosophies of men” and “the evil world”), ethics, and common sense.Finally, you (ignorantly) wrote: “I do give you credit for finally identifying your real motive…”Nothing I wrote indicated I am a “proponent of same-sex marriage”. That is your false assumption. My personal beliefs are irrelevant. What IS relevant is that you have provided NO arguments to counter anything I have reported about Mormonism and Mitt Romney.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    rco,

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Psolus, you should have more faith in my witness.”No, I shouldn’t.”This was for your benefit – [link to fundamentalist Website expurgated]”No, it wasn’t.”The second clap of thunder that resounded throughout the valley as I worked on that last reply to you,…”No, it didn’t.”…I caught it in a crystal goblet for you to savor for the rest of your life.”No, you didn’t.Your beliefs, and your “witness”, are meaningless to anyone but yourself.Enjoy.(fin)

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”For a moment, Psolus, you have abandoned any and all attempts to make people “laugh.””What makes you believe that?And, what makes you believe that people have stopped laughing at you?”I wonder if we should read anything into that.”One is free to read anything into anything one wants, as you well know, and do.”For example, one might speculate that your response indicates the attitude of one backed into a corner, with no where to go.”Yes. I am backed into a corner. I am so frightened. Where am I to go? Oh, woe is me.”Did you at least listen to the [link to fundamentalist Website expurgated]?”No; did you stupidly believe that I would?I do not navigate to, nor provide links for, fundamentalist Websites.”(Which I posted to MY website).”Yes, your fundamentalist Website.”And if so, how did you feel being so close to an expression of God that was clearly pointed in your own direction?”You’re just not getting this, are you?”As we listen to this thunder,… [superstitious claptrap (haven’t used that word in a while) expurgated]”We are not listening to your imaginary thunder.”Does not thunder break, for a moment, the suffocataing chains of human pride, allowing the heart to soar into the domain of awe and appreciation even if it is only for a moment or two?”No.(fin)

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Who is “we”? (no need to answer that, I know)”You have no idea, do you?”And the next question would be, what are YOU afraid of, that you will not even listen to a clap of thunder meant to reach your own ears?”Oh, I am in mortal terror of your imaginary thunder coming to get me.”And moreover, I am wondering, in all honesty, how can you support the contention that this thunder is imaginary?”How can you support the contention that your imaginary thunder is “Especially if you have not listened to it.”Why don’t you go listen to it a few more times.”If 10,000 people listened to that recording, 10,000 people would say that it is a recording of real thunder.”I don’t care.”By calling that thunder “imaginary”, and then using the same word “imaginary” to refer to God, then I think we must reach the conclusion that you have more respect for the Reality of God than you let on.”Do not confuse “thinking” with “believing”; you do not think – you simply believe.”Keep in mind Psolus, that during this whole storm here in imaginary southern California, the home of Hollywood after all, there were only two (2) claps of thunder.”How many?”Only two.”Only two?Can you be more specific?”One clap of thunder came at the beginning of writing my response to you (February 19, 2011 6:59 PM).”That must have been a truly magical clap of thunder.Did you wet your pants when you heard it?What about the second magical clap of imaginary thunder?”The second and last clap of thunder (which I caught on tape) came when writing the last part of that response to you.That must have been an even more magical clap of imaginary thunder than the first.Did you soil your pants when you heard it?”There was no thunder either before that, or after that.”Huh?What about the first truly magical clap of imaginary thunder?”Correction – In my post dated February 18, 2011 2:08 AM – I see that the subject of thunder came up there first (Kentucky Thunder).”Are you sure that it wasn’t Tennessee imaginary thunder?”Was that a coincidence?”Was what a coincidence?(fin)

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”Riiiiight….you’ll post anything necessary to try to dismiss clear evidence that you have no idea what you’re talking about, won’t you?”Will I?”That is what happens when the absence of integrity meets with anonymity, “Peregrine.””So, you believe that I lack “integrity”?Are you also envious of my anonymity?Isn’t that a “sin”?Bear in mind that you are the one who chose your washingtonpost.com User ID.You are the one who chose to make money by telling other people how you believe they should live their lives.You are the one who chooses every day to believe in superstitions that simply don’t make any sense.

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Psolus, back in November and December of 2010 we had here in Southern California an unusually long period of rain. Normally we get only trace amounts during those months, but we received a whole season’s worth during that period. And during one of those storms, we received the blessing of the voice of thunder, and I became very interested in getting some of that thunder on tape. But as circumstances unfolded, the thunder was largely gone before I could get my recorder set up. And to my disappointment, I only managed to capture one thunder event, way in the distance, and quite faint. From that point on I was intent on capturing a good thunder event, and I had my recorder always at the ready. But there followed a long dry spell with no rain, no storms. And then sometime in January we got a little bit more rain, and I set my recorder out, but there was no thunder. And the same at the beginning of February. No thunder accompanied that storm either.”Riveting.”Finally this last storm arrived, which will help to keep the grass on the valley hillsides green for some time to come. And as I witnessed to you, when I sat down to work on a response to you, I heard the first thunderclap of not just this storm, but of the year. It was close by and loud. And so, I eagerly set out my recorder to see if I could catch another one on tape. And lo, indeed, another giant thunder clap sounded while I was still working on the response to you.”Fascinating.”And so, you can better understand why I took these thunder claps to mean so much.”No, actually, I can’t.”As I was, for a matter of months, strongly desirous of capturing a good thunder event on tape, yet nothing came, until that point where I was working on the response to you.”Do you believe that “Wherein, I stopped for a moment to set up the recorder outside the office door. And I returned to work on the response to you. And I finally got my recording, with a second thunder clap, while I was till working on my response to you.”Do you believe that “Two strong thunder claps occuring during my work on the response to you.”Well, I’m just gobsmacked.”And so, you can better understand why I took these thunder claps to be not just for me, but for you as well.”No, actually, I can’t.(fin)

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”Obviously so.”Obviously?”Anything to avoid conceding that you are wrong at any turn.”I am wrong at any turn?”The “fundamentalist” accusation is a case-in-point.”Accusation?”I do indeed.”Indeed?”You have demonstrated that on a number of occasions.”I have?”Why would I be “envious”?”Yes, why indeed?”Are you covetous of your anonymity?”Why would I be covetous?”Indeed I did, as did you.”Did I?”And you chose anonymity, which would indicate that you want to avoid having your name attached to your asinine posts.”My asinine posts?”Of course, that’s understandable given the nature of your posts and that you have owned that even you do not believe your own opinions.”I don’t believe my own opinions?”Wrong again on two counts.”Two counts?”I receive no financial support whatsoever from my congregation.”None whatsoever?”I earn my living with the work of my own hands.”Your own hands?”And I don’t tell people how I believe they should live their lives;…”Well then, what do you tell them?”I tell them what the Word of God says about how we all should live our lives.”But, that is simply your interpretation of what you believe that your imaginary “god” wrote in your imaginary magic bible, right?”Obviously you feel threatened by that and are misdirecting your angst.”I obviously feel threatened and am misdirecting my angst?”You are aware that you merely labeling the truth superstitious and nonsensical does not make the truth superstitious and nonsensical, aren’t you?”You are aware that believing that you know the truth does not make your superstitious nonsensical beliefs the actual truth, aren’t you?Did any more of your herd wander off over the weekend?

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”More than you could possibly realize.”Your bogeyman does not frighten me.”You may be confusing my age with the mentality of your posting persona.”No, I’m guessing that most people lose their fear of the bogeyman before they turn twelve.”No, that’s definitely one of the few things you have written that you have yet to contradict.”You don’t know that.”Both with the bible and the Constitution, the problem more often than not lies with the reader, not the framer(s).”What makes you believe that?”Then, of course, there are those such as yourself who farcically dismiss one or the other without even having read them.”Farcically?”And I’ll bet you would posit that the interpreter is the one who determines the meaning, right?”Isn’t gambling a “sin”?”No, I think you did.”Again, you are a believer, not a thinker.”You’ve posted nothing here that would indicate you are thinking, let alone indicate that you understand the distinction between thinking and believing.”How do you know; you are probably just misinterpreting everything that I post.”Yet you believe that you believe nothing,…”No, I believe nothing; perhaps you need to brush up on your interpreting skills.”…thereby negating your contention that you believe nothing.”Another example of misinterpretation, and belief-logic.”That really is over your head, isn’t it?”My hat is over my head.”I had better believe that?”Do you have a choice?”You, by your own admission, do not believe that.”Well, I’m not a believer; you are nothing but a believer.”I’m in no way obligated to chase your tail with you.”I don’t have a tail.”Just as I thought; you obviously still don’t know what fundamentalism is.”Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.”You apparently live under one intellectually.”Good one, preacher.”Sure it does.”No, it doesn’t.”Bouts of dizziness would be one obvious drawback.”You might be confusing it with drinking.”Oh, I’m sure believing “superstitious nonsense” does have its drawbacks.”And, you should know.”But focus, now, and let’s not loose sight of the absurdity of your brand of skepticism.”Absurdity?

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”Yes.”Well, I’ll be damned. (Heh, heh.)”Of your anonymity?”Yes, of my anonymity.”Your posts say about all that needs saying on that point.”How efficient of me.You’re welcome.”No.”Well, I’ll be damned. (Heh, heh.)”You have stated you believe nothing, including your own opinions.”And, you believe me when I write that?”Correct.”Well, OK then.”No, it is the plain meaning of the actual bible given to those who bother to read it by the only authentic God.”Then, why do you, and each of your fellow travelers, interpret it differently, according to each of your individual, imaginary, “gods”?”“Actual truth”?”Actual truth.”Who do you think you are kidding?”Right now, I am kidding you, sometimes I kid peterhuff, sometimes I kid GoldenEagles, sometimes I kid MrMeaner; there are many others.”Did you forget that you don’t believe “actual truth” actually exists?”No, I didn’t, and I see that you haven’t either.Do you believe me when I write that?”Did you figure out what a fundamentalist is over the weekend?”Do you have a particular fundamentalist in mind?”Why don’t you give us your definition of fundamentalism?”Why are you in such need of my guidance in these matters?

  • peterhuff

    Hi RCofield, Walter,Great job RCofield! I like where your logic is leading with your last two posts to Walter.Walter, I look forward to seeing your answers. I does seem awfully hard for an agnostic or atheist to make sense of anything when the foundations of their beliefs are explored.Walter, have you, like PSolus, built your foundation on nothing, as a couple of Christian author’s wrote about concerning Relativism – ‘Feet firmly planted in mid-air’????

  • PSolus

    GoldenEagles,”Rcofield, I Give You PsolusMy, my.”Indeed, every word of Wisdom spoken into his ears, he spits out, like Gollum spit out the Elvin Bread.”I prefer Entenmann’s Coffee Cake.

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”That will change when you stand before Him in judgment.”You actually believe that that will happen, don’t you?”Experience.”Or, so you believe.”So, do you posit that the interpreter determines the meaning of a text?”What makes you believe that?”That’s just your opinion, and even you don’t believe your opinions.”I believe nothing.”Perhaps you should post more thoughtfully.”Perhaps you should interpret more thoughtfully.”You should brush up on your logic.”Good retort.”Your emphatic insistence that you believe nothing is betraying you.”What makes you believe that?”I see that one is still over your head.”Do you really believe that?”Try thinking.”Good one.”Among many other things, apparently.”Another good one.”Do you really believe that?”I believe nothing.”Chasing a tail that you don’t have hardly improves your position.”Does it occur to you that you are thinking about me way too much?Shouldn’t you be thinking about the members of your herd instead?”And still you do not know what fundamentalism is.”But you do, and that’s what’s important.”Do you think?”Yes, constantly.”If you were capable of debate this would be the point at which a debate should begin to take place….alas…”Alas?”How many glasses of Chardonnay did it take to come up with that one?”Who keeps count?”Absurd, cockeyed, derisory, laughable, ludicrous, nonsensical, preposterous, ridiculous….something along those lines.”Indeed.

  • RCofield

    PETER,Hi, brother. I’ve missed you in your brief absence.I hope MrMeaner will make another appearance. I thought you dealt with the eschatological issues he raised quite handily.I’d love to see some more exchanges between the two of you. It’s been a long time since I have visited that subject, and I found your perspective refreshing.

  • RCofield

    PETER,Thanks for the links.

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”You well may.”Scary.”I certainly hope not, but the leading indicators aren’t very promising.”How old are you, twelve?”That’s one of the few things you have written that you have yet to contradict.”That’s one of the few things that I have written that you want to believe that I have yet to contradict.”Why do Supreme Court Justices interpret the Constitution differently?”Because the Constitution was written by men, as was your magic book of superstitious beliefs.”This is not an anomalous issue.”No, it isn’t; all things created by man need to be interpreted.”I think you did.”No, you simply need to believe that I did.It is much easier to believe than it is to think.”But, of course, you don’t actually believe that actual truth doesn’t exist.”But, of course, I believe nothing.”That’s just your opinion and even you, by your own admission, don’t believe your opinions.”I believe nothing, and you better believe that.”Still don’t know what a fundamentalist is, huh?”I recognized you, didn’t I?”You seem a little reticent to stick your head out from under your rock now.”I have a rock?”This “I know nothing” and “I believe nothing” skepticism does have its drawbacks.”No, it doesn’t.However, this “I believe in superstitious nonsense” does seem to have

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    wow… just heard this and thought “if only”…Imagine there’s no HeavenImagine there’s no countriesYou may say that I’m a dreamerImagine no possessionsYou may say that I’m a dreameroh well… never happen… we’ll forever be killing each other over (false) religions and (imaginary) national borders. sigh…rco, re your first cause challenge: that’s just going to be a waste of my time. i’m not going on some sort of googling expedition to find god that made the universe. are you making the distinction that other religions had many gods and your religion has one god (because that seems more like a corporate restructuring than a new idea aboput god(s).)? all peoples, when pondering “how did we get here”? answered, “god(s) did it.”i’ll answer your other questions later today, if possible.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    here are 10:

  • MrMeaner

    Here’s the problem, guys.What neither of you have done, is explain how it is that God’s written purpose for the nations, Israel, and Judah has been “changed”, thus making the entire Old Testament null and void.

  • peterhuff

    Hi RCofield,That is astounding about Justin, your daughter and her future husband! Your youth group seems to be very dynamic. It is nice to see great thinkers that can get behind the facade of these false world-views and challenge the culture of our times with the truth of the Gospel.You seem to have had a bit of a breakthrough with PSolus. (^8He said, “I I believe, I believe, I believe! He believes ‘nothing’! Hilarious PSolus! Certainly a mass of contradiction.

  • peterhuff

    Hi MrMeaner,Wow! You said:Here’s the problem, guys.
    You are debating about things like verb tenses, and the antiquity of objects mentioned. -MrMDo you not think time indicators or verb tenses are important in conveying information?Do you think God is capable of saying what He means? When Jesus says, “When He says to His disciples “at What gives you the reason to interpret Scripture in this manner? Do you think it may possibly be that you have been influenced by others to think this way, rather than listening to God’s word for what it is saying?Who is Jesus speaking to? Who are the elect spoken of here? When was the abomination of desolation to occur? When was this period of great distress, ‘unequaled since the beginning of the world’ to take place? What does the ‘sign’ of the Son of Man mean? What does coming on the clouds mean? Is this term to be taken literally? Can you give evidence from Scripture and link it together to back up your interpretation so we can see how you make sense of Matthew 24? Can you explain away the historical references of Josephus and his accounts that seem to mirror much of what Jesus had to say in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13? Can you explain away why so many of these phrases and terminology such as persecution and trials found in these three accounts of the Olivetti Discourse are found in other portions of the gospel (i.e., Matthew 24:9-13 with Matthew 10:17-23 or Luke 17:20-37 with Matthew 24:23-28, paying special attention to Luke 17:20-21 in reference to the kingdom) concerning the disciples, and then seemingly fulfilled in the book of Acts and other epistles and accounts?

  • peterhuff

    Hi again MrMeaner,I’m going away for the weekend so this may have to be continued when I return depending on the time I can find tomorrow night.You said:I’ve explained those differences as typologies, which you both acknowledge exist….except in the cases where you don’t believe they exist. -MrMMany of the typologies of the OT are explained in the NT. Hebrews is a prime example. Remember the old saying, ‘In the old contained, in the new explained?’ I’m not sure if that always applies but it does very often for Christ came to fulfill what was written about Him (Luke 18:31-34 or Luke 24:25 or Luke 24:44).What neither of you have done, is explain how it is that God’s written purpose for the nations, Israel, and Judah has been “changed”, thus making the entire Old Testament null and void.”

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”I do, as that is where the evidence points.”Superstitions are like that; they can point to anything that you want them to point to.”I also know He can change your heart…”What’s he going to change it into?”…(you know, that “soul” thing you don’t think you have)…”Were you home schooled?”…before you stand before Him in judgment.”Again, how old are you, twelve?Are you still being home schooled?”Wouldn’t that be something?”Yeah, that would be “something”; for you perhaps.”Except that you believe you believe nothing,…”No, I believe nothing; I am aware that you are incapable of understanding that.”…which negates your contention….”Only in your believer-mind.”…well, you know the drill.”That’s your “drill”, not mine.”Give me something to work with.”I think that I have already over-challenged you as it is.”No, you really should brush up on your logic.”No, you want me to agree with your superstitious belief-logic; not my thing.”Your emphatic insistence about what should logically be a neutral stance.”You are again confusing logic with belief.”I’m here to do more than simply make “good retorts.””That is not obvious; besides, I was just being sarcastic.”I didn’t think so.”Do you think at all?”Heck, I even pray for you.”And I deflower virgins for you.You’re welcome.”Do you find that unsettling?”No, I rather enjoy deflowering virgins.”I’m a multi-tasker from ‘way back.”Sure you are.”Why not post some of your thoughts?”Did peterhuff give you a tongue-lashing?”Do you find that it dulls the pain only temporarily?”What makes you believe that there is any pain to dull?More superstitious believing?

  • PSolus

    peterhuff,”You seem to have had a bit of a breakthrough with PSolus. [Hello Kitty emoticon expurgated]”Do you really believe that, or is it just bluster?”He said, “I believe nothing….” so he has at last admitted to believing something, a belief which is nothing. [Hello Kitty emoticon expurgated]”Do you believe that out of fear, or embarrassment?”I believe, I believe, I believe!”Yes, you are a believer; you are apparently nothing without your beliefs.”He believes ‘nothing’!”That is correct; I believe nothing.”Hilarious PSolus!”Glad I could be of help.”Certainly a mass of contradiction.”Isn’t everything that you cannot understand a contradiction?

  • PSolus

    peterhuff,”You seem to have had a bit of a breakthrough with PSolus. [Hello Kitty emoticon expurgated]”Do you really believe that, or is it just bluster?”He said, “I believe nothing….” so he has at last admitted to believing something, a belief which is nothing. [Hello Kitty emoticon expurgated]”Do you believe that out of fear, or embarrassment?”I believe, I believe, I believe!”Yes, you are a believer; you are apparently nothing without your beliefs.”He believes ‘nothing’!”That is correct; I believe nothing.”Hilarious PSolus!”Glad I could be of help.”Certainly a mass of contradiction.”Isn’t everything that you cannot understand a contradiction?

  • PSolus

    peterhuff,”You seem to have had a bit of a breakthrough with PSolus. [Hello Kitty emoticon expurgated]”Do you really believe that, or is it just bluster?”He said, “I believe nothing….” so he has at last admitted to believing something, a belief which is nothing. [Hello Kitty emoticon expurgated]”Do you believe that out of fear, or embarrassment?”I believe, I believe, I believe!”Yes, you are a believer; you are apparently nothing without your beliefs.”He believes ‘nothing’!”That is correct; I believe nothing.”Hilarious PSolus!”Glad I could be of help.”Certainly a mass of contradiction.”Isn’t everything that you cannot understand a contradiction?

  • PSolus

    RCofield,”Speaking strictly from the standpoint of Scripture, either:[bibley superstition expurgated]OR,I do pray that it is the former.”You are such a silly little preacher.You know that your ignorant superstitious beliefs do not apply to me.Your childish prayers are meaningless, except to you.Continue praying; I will continue to deflower virgins.Have fun.