I'm still here :)The past week has been one of my busiest weeks of the year. I run a free all volunteer fellowship printing co-op (yes, I use the word church there!) and we were a bit overwhelmed with Easter service posters, bulletins, postcards and invite cards. Wednesday through Sunday were up to 16 hour days of printing, trimming, folding, packing and shipping!I'm back, though, and I'll regurgitate what has been said, pray about some direction and get some replies up today!I tried to put a response up last week for this post, but Blogger doesn't let me reply from my PDA phone (ugh).
Sounds good. I know Easter can be a very busy time. Talk to you sometime - I'll be happy to wait for you.
From "A recent and perhaps upcoming conversation":Rhoblogy: It was breathed out by God (2 Tim 3:16). You say His breath stinks, and you are a blasphemer.Blaspheming as defined in the New Testament is the action of refusing Christ the Savior by disrespecting Him through not acknowledging Him, not in witnessing that the mortals of the Old Testament, except for a rare few, were horrible individuals with no chance of withstanding Judgment becaues of their mortal desires. Even those mortals that God blessed weren't good enough to withstand God's Judgment, but it wasn't their "good actions" or "bad actions" that gave them righteousness -- it was their ability to follow through with God's Direct Commands for them. Modern Evangelicals don't seem to realize the definition of two words they use often -- blasphemer and heresy.Rhoblogy: Galatians 3 and Romans 6 witness against your error.You must be reading Galatians 3 differently, because I can see that Galatians 3 shows that Christ's reason for coming was to offer protection from Judgment for those who were unable to hold to the Law because they were dung in their ability to uphold God's Commandments. Romans 6? This has nothing to do with us, it was written to a specific crowd of people who Paul knew (through the Holy Spirit) would see that End of the Age Judgment. The Jews were tossed out of Rome because of the Christian movement (circa 49 AD). 5 years later, one of the heads of Revelation (Claudius) died, so that the main Beast in Revelation could take power (Nero). This Beast would be the one to fulfill Revelation, and he started it by allowing the Jews back within the city. This was very important for Revelation to be fulfilled just 16 years later, so Paul was telling the Romans what they needed to do to be part of God's Plan for reconciliation. These Jews would be the very ones Judged in those Last Days of the Old Covenant, so Romans was a huge testimony by Paul in how they must live in order to receive redemption from the pain, suffering and death soon to come, in that very generation. Just as Jesus prophecized, there were many false teachers in Rome, which was a sign of the imminency of the Parousia (presence) of Christ. For those early Jews, faith was their only hope for redemption.From "Hell is not in the Bible":Rhoblogy: Matt 7:13 - I don't know why I should care that history shows that many Jews died in Gehenna. Jesus bringing the image home to themReally? So it doesn't amaze you that in the very generation (40 years) after Jesus's Resurrection, millions of Jews died in Jerusalem, and their bodies were thrown into Gehenna where the bodies burned in the fires? This has no connection with Revelation? Instead, you dream that "this very generation" means 2000 years, again. I see Jesus talking to Jews of Jerusalem about an area near them, warning that very generation that they will be Judged and their dead bodies tossed into the fire pits of the local garbage dump they knew of. The fact that it happened, and that 3+ Jewish authors witnessed it, as an amazing fact that goes towards the fulfillment of Revelation. Rhoblogy: Matt 10:28 - how in the world could one imagine that one's "soul" could be destroyed in a physical Gehenna?If they died without receiving the redemption of their belief in Jesus, then the Judgment allowed them to die, and their lack of faith did not allow them to be reborn into eternity. It makes complete sense that dying a mortal death without Jesus at the time of Judgment (the Parousia) would not allow them to live forever.Rhoblogy: But Capernaum was destroyed *for unbelief*. Unbelief is the foundational reason for going to eternal punishment in the NT.Only in context of the very people who were warned. Jesus was specific in using "ye" to mean "you, the very people in front of me" when He spoke with non-believers. The context of who would Judged is very specific -- the Jews of Israel. Israel itself is the harlot in Revelation, and Israel was Judged and not redeemed. The world was, instead.Rhoblogy: OK, so when **in 70 AD** did the "the people of Nineveh...stand up against this generation...and condemn it"?Wow! This one is so simple to see from a Preterist perspective, but impossible to see from a Futurist one! I absolutely love these verses in the Bible because you can see and feel who Jesus was specifically singling out for Judgment -- the Pharisees. First, those unbelievers nearly demand a sign -- Matthew 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you."Then, Jesus starts the parable/comparison to who they remind Him of -- 39 He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.Then, He explains to them what He means -- 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.Then, He finalized it -- 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.This is simple to see from a post-Revelation perspective. Christ was not criticizing believers or simple Jews, He was criticizing the very Pharisees who were part of the harlotry of Israel -- the Teachers and Pharisees. He told them they would be judged because they were unlike the Ninevehs (sp?). The people of Nineveh repented and were not Judged by God, but the Pharisees refused. This is a great set of verses that shows who would receive Judgment specifically.Rhoblogy: You claim that's not eternal. On what textual basis?In Judgment, it doesn't matter. "Their worm shall not die" -- God isn't going to come and kill the worms and save them. "Their fire shall not be quenched" -- God isn't going to come and put out the flame. This says nothing of "forever and ever" as other parts of the Bible does, it just says that nothing is coming to stop that Judgment.Rhoblogy: So I guess the worm DID die and the fire WAS quenched.The Bible never said that it would be forever and ever -- you're reading into it what you were indoctrinated to believe. Instead, you should see that the Bible speaks of Judgment -- what will save you from feeling the fires and the bugs? Nothing, no one. If the fire goes out 2 seconds after they mortally die, it wouldn't matter to them, because they're dead forever. Yet if God came and saved them 2 seconds BEFORE they died, then they would be saved. It isn't about eternity, it is about not being saved from fire and worms while they were still alive.Rhoblogy: But this letter was written to ROMANS. What happened to those unbelievers in Rome in 70 AD that would conform to the description:Oh, no, that's a common misconception. The letter was written to the recently unexiled believers in Rome -- the Roman Christians, to make it simple to understand. The historical context is clear (as I explained above).Rhoblogy: this is what I mean that your god is too small. Everything is Jerusalem for you, it seems.Again, these people are in ROME. Same questions for Rom 2:5.God's Judgment was for Israel, not for the entire world or galaxy. Israel was in grave danger for being a harlot, and God was returning to Judge them and seal the Covenant with Moses.Rhoblogy: since we are justified and clean from that slavery to sin, let's become slaves to righteousness. What is this WE stuff? Romans was written to the Christians believers in Rome -- both Jewish and Greek. Your Bible says "Gentile" but it should say "Greek." There were many Greeks living in Rome. Romans was written because it was getting close to the time of Judgment (Parousia), 54 AD. The Christians in Rome were hearing false teachings from false teachers, there was much debauchery, and many people were falling from the faith -- as prophecy revealed would happen. Paul was fearing this, because Paul knew that Rome was important in the finishing of prophecy and the Judgment.Rhoblogy: I can relate, but think about it this way.Christ's Bride is the Church, and on the Day we will be joined (by "we" I mean me and the believers in Christ, excluding you unless you repent) in marriage to Him and dwell w/ Him forever.All are already part of His Bride, in His Church here in His Kingdom. We all have Christ, and we are all free to inquire to God's desires for us by praying to the Holy Spirit in private, worshiping God in all we do, and doing good things for others in secrecy. As we see from history, only a very few people (believers) entered the Kingdom then and there. I believe the number was 144,000. You think that some part of 2 billion Christians are the ones who will be "chosen," against God's Book. W/o Hell, His Bride is tarnished and spotted.Why? The only ones who were Judged were those 2000 years ago who were around during the time of Christ and refused to believe. No one is Judged any more.Also, who are you to judge God as unloving for sending His enemies far away from Him? God DEFINES love - that is not up to you. You are judging God by a human standard, which is blasphemy.No, God loves everyone -- and He sent Christ to reconcile everyone, especially believers. That's God's Book, and you haven't answered why 1 Timothy 4:10 shows that Christ came for everyone, especially believers, not just believers.Finally, unbelievers (those headed to Hell, like you) rejected Him in life - what makes you think they would want to be w/ Him for eternity anyway?There is no Hell, as I proved before. It doesn't exist -- the organized religion that wants power and control over your life created that. Fear = power = control = profit. Organized religion is the very thing Christ came to fight. Instead, He organized all men equally to love each other and not judge each other. You love to judge, and control, and scare others. I am surprised people have faith in your faith. I don't have faith in Christ -- I _KNOW_ Christ. You continue waiting, I will continue loving. You continue hoping, I will continue knowing.The Book is not written FOR US to follow, it was written for us to understand WHY Christ came for all men. The Great Commission is over (even the Book itself says that the whole "world" heard the Gospel!). Now we have a Kingdom where we can love all, not judge, not murder, not hate. But many Christians fail to realize that Christ's Presence is here and now. Christ's Presence came when Israel, the whore of Babylon (Rome) fell, losing God's covenant that was theirs alone.I can pinpoint, line by line, how Revelation was completed in 63AD to 70AD. The Beast, the Harlot, the Mountains -- it all points to Rome, Jerusalem and Christ's Presence as His Apostles knew would come in their very generation.I still have to address the last post you made...
and while you're adressing things, I'd still like to know which parts of the Bible you consider binding on moderns, and what distinguishes them from the rest. You've already excluded the teachings of Jesus, Paul, James, Peter, John, and the whole Old Testament... is there anything left? If not, in what possible sense can you call yourself a Christian?Secondly, I'm wondering about your thoughts on sin. You've said it doesn't exist anymore, in the sense of not being punished. Therefore, ethically speaking, are you a complete relativist, or how does that work? Concentration camps, soup kitchens, brothels, birdhouses... same difference, in your mind?
Turi: and while you're adressing things, I'd still like to know which parts of the Bible you consider binding on moderns, and what distinguishes them from the rest.Christ spoke of two different things often -- the imminent Judgment, and the way that men should act regardless. I do believe that He spoke of the Judgment of Israel, and Israel alone, while He also spoke of the Kingdom(s). It seems there is a Heaven (an Kingdom eternal), and then there is a Kingdom here on Earth. He even told the Pharisees that the Kingdom existed even then, but they refused to see it. Only a few would see the Kingdom, but that doesn't mean only a few would be "saved" and see eternity.Too often Christians confuse Kingdom-living with eternal living in Heaven directly in God's Love. Turi: You've already excluded the teachings of Jesus, Paul, James, Peter, John, and the whole Old Testament... is there anything left?No, I haven't. I excluded most of the very acts that men did in the Old Testament -- almost nothing they did was good enough to be with God forever. I also exclude the acts based strictly on "salvation" from the imminent Judgment in that first generation after Christ's Resurrection. These were focused particularly on legalism and keeping the Body united until His Return. I'm not saying these things aren't GOOD to do, but I am saying that no one has the right or power to tell others to live that way.Turi:If not, in what possible sense can you call yourself a Christian?And how can you? There is a HUGE difference between Christianity and Churchianity. Churchianity is what most Westerners practice, including many who actually serve and work within a congregation. They want to model "Acts" and "Romans" because they feel that is what Christ's Ecclesia should look like. I disagree, but I don't disparage them for their actions. I feel sorry in my heart to see mortal lives wasted trying to live like the Pharisees, but that's OK, it isn't my life.I do believe that there is a difference between being a Christian and being a member of God's Body. Furst, a Christian is one who believes that Christ lived, died to cleanse the sins for all, was Resurrected and was sent by God. I don't believe "Christian" means believing in the Trinity, believing in water baptism, believing in a future or past coming/presence, etc means much.Second, a Christian also believes that the best way to convince others is to bear good fruit. Forcing others to do things against their will is NOT bearing good fruit. Stealing, lying, killing, judging, enslaving -- all these things are against Christ. This is why I am of firm opinion that a Christian should never involve themselves with government or any job based on government taxation. This is why I am firm opinion that a Christian should never be involved in the military. Christ was specific about how one sees the Kingdom -- servitude, love, secret prayer (I don't believe in corporate prayer, mind you), and uplifting others.Turi: Secondly, I'm wondering about your thoughts on sin. You've said it doesn't exist anymore, in the sense of not being punished.Correct -- sin's power over us is gone, as the Law and Judgment is over.Turi: Therefore, ethically speaking, are you a complete relativist, or how does that work?Definitely not! I do believe in "good" and "evil" just not spiritual good and spiritual evil. I believe the source of evil is banished (I have no strong opinion on if that would be a Devil or what, though!). I still believe that all things are self-possessed, including man. Plants want to overtake other plants (see weeds). Animals want to rule over the weaker (see gorillas). Viruses want to spread to the world (see the Flu). Are these evil things, or are they merely aggressively self-possessed? We, as humans, can overcome our self-possession because we know Christ did it! We don't have to be like animals or viruses or weeds.Turi: Concentration camps, soup kitchens, brothels, birdhouses... same difference, in your mind?It doesn't matter, Christ showed great knowledge when He said not to judge others. The beam of self-possession is so big in our own eyes, that we can not focus on the speck of self-possession we see in others. Even Christ would agree with your statement -- if you think hatred in your heart, you are committing the same self-possessive action as you would in murdering that other person you hate.The most important thing for a Christian to do is to practice, not preach. Stop preaching. Stop telling people what to do. Gay marriage, don't like it? Don't do it -- have a GREAT hetero marriage (seeing how many men moan about their wives in men's group leads me to believe that they have no clue what marriage is). Abortions, don't like it? Don't do it, AND go and adopt as many children as you can from those who want abortions. Poverty, don't like it? Take in a homeless person, into your home or a spare room.Christians who just espouse beliefs verbally are doing NOTHING for God. Christians with debt are unable to serve the King. Christians who vote ignore that God criticized mortal kings in the Old Testament, and we got what we deserved!Through all of the Bible -- NT and OT -- we see God showing us the way is within us, and us alone. Each individual has the power to be their own mortal king, uplifting all power and glory and wealth to God. But modern Christians refuse God, they instead put power in other men. Oh no, two gays want to marry! Give my power of love to Congress to pass a law, and enslave/tax those sinners!It is obvious to me, time and again, that the base value for God, repeatedly, is the bearing of good fruit -- the ability to serve others in a loving way, not a judgmental way. I don't judge the fruit of others, except when they start spewing the fact that they're Christians. And it is then that I realize that the fruit is not born, it withers and dies, which is a sad waste of one's mortal chance to do more for eternity.
So then, if I understand you properly, this 'kingdom eternal' is what we have now, correct? Christ isn't coming back, and this, to put it very simply, is more or less as good as it gets, and will go on without significant alteration for all time. Let me know if I have that straight.I am still waiting, however, to hear about which bits of the Bible you have NOT rejected, because at the moment it sounds like your conception of Christianity in the modern age is based on approximately three heavily edited sneezes from the gospel of Luke, chapter twenty-five. I jest, of course, but I would like to see you reference a couple of passages you consider applicable to the modern age, and then cite your means of distinguishing them from the rest.Now, you have stated a number of what I shall term doctrines: that no Christian may be supported by taxation, that Christians must pray secretly, may not perform military service, et cetera. I do not understand where on earth you have found these. Some of them are certainly nowhere to be found in Scripture: Jesus certainly never forbid taxes, and John the Baptist was pretty chummy with the legionaires. Is there some other source of revelation you wish to share with the class?But speaking of ethics, given that there is, in fact, no negative side to your system - no punishment, effectively no cosmic justice; and for that matter no positive side - no kingdom on a renewed earth, no particular blessings from the abdicated ex-God...why on earth should anyone follow any of your rules?I consider myself a Christian because I believe that God is not incompetent and that Jesus and the Apostles and the Prophets were not a mob of filthy liars. Jesus prayed for God's name to be hallowed on the earth, not spat upon. God claimed to be immutable and just, and promised to establish a kingdom of righteousness in which he would be worshipped forever, not spend eternity as a divine invalid. John said that Jesus would return to judge the nations, plural, not just Israel. Paul told the Ephesians that the Church was to endure forever, to all generations.You, on the other hand, categorically deny all of this. You suggest that when Jesus talks of 'ruling the world' he actually means 'not ruling in any intelligible sense'; that God's victory over sin resembles an eclipse, and that the Church, as such, is nonexistent, or so inclusive as to lose all meaning whatsoever. That's why I have difficulty accepting your position; let God be true, the Scripture says, though every man be called a liar.I look forward to your thoughts on this.
Turi: So then, if I understand you properly, this 'kingdom eternal' is what we have now, correct? Christ isn't coming back, and this, to put it very simply, is more or less as good as it gets, and will go on without significant alteration for all time. Let me know if I have that straight.Mortally, yes. We live in a Earthly Kingdom where God Loves all, Judges none, and no one is barred from eternity of living in God's Love. What the afterlife looks like is beyond me -- we do see what it looks like for the chosen twelve in Revelation, but I'd guess they are closest to God because of their actions leading up to the Tribulation in 63-70AD. I'm really not sure what we will do in the afterlife, but I think that the idea of spiritual treasures is reasonable, and that we will live in glory eternal with tasks isn't beyond comprehension, I just don't have a good Biblical support for it -- yet.Turi: I am still waiting, however, to hear about which bits of the Bible you have NOT rejected, because at the moment it sounds like your conception of Christianity in the modern age is based on approximately three heavily edited sneezes from the gospel of Luke, chapter twenty-five. I jest, of course, but I would like to see you reference a couple of passages you consider applicable to the modern age, and then cite your means of distinguishing them from the rest.Again, I don't reject any of the Bible as God's Story. I reject many parts of the Bible as pertinent to how we live today. God doesn't command us to go to war with others since all people are His people. He warned men who wanted mortal kings in the Old Testament, so I have to assume He also despised the idea.I think the most pertinent parts of the Bible are what Jesus taught to everyone without inferring the imminent Judgment ahead. Live peacefully. Don't hate. Love others more than yourself. Don't judge. Don't murder. Don't covet. Don't amass worldly wealth. Share. Give. Accept. We are all part of the Ecclesia of God, but how we act here will have some eternal ramifactions -- what, I don't know yet. I haven't taken time to read what awaits us after the mortal body is gone.Turi: Now, you have stated a number of what I shall term doctrines: that no Christian may be supported by taxation,Taxation is theft. Theft is force. Force is counter to Christ's teaching. If Christians would share all their excess with those who didn't have, we wouldn't need taxation, or government. Charity is from one individual or family to another individual or family. Group charity/welfare has too much bureaucratic overhead and vying for position.that Christians must pray secretly,Christ ALWAYS prayed in secret -- always. There were times He "gave thanks" but this wasn't prayer, this was worship. Thank you Lord for this food. He didn't do the group/corporate prayer mumbo jumbo that modern fellowships do -- I can not think of one place where Christ bothered to pray with anyone else. He went up to the mountain, away in the forests, up to the rooftops -- to pray alone. He chided His Apostles for not doing the same. He warned about praying out loud in the Temples, bringing attention to your own needs. His prayers weren't about specific needs, but in thanks to God.may not perform military service, et cetera. I do not understand where on earth you have found these.Jesus chided those who lived by the sword, did He not? He chided those who hated, since hate is no better than murder, right? Christ never used force against anyone (except in the Temple against the money changers, which was important to fulfill prophecy to get the Pharisees to desire to kill him). He was completely non-resistant to others.Some of them are certainly nowhere to be found in Scripture: Jesus certainly never forbid taxes, and John the Baptist was pretty chummy with the legionaires.Of course He was anti-taxation... Matthew 22:21 -- all on this Earth belongs to God, right? Nothing is Caesar's. Yet He didn't say to FIGHT taxation by not paying it. We just shouldn't support theft by anyone, not even the State.Turi: But speaking of ethics, given that there is, in fact, no negative side to your system - no punishment, effectively no cosmic justice; and for that matter no positive side - no kingdom on a renewed earth, no particular blessings from the abdicated ex-God...why on earth should anyone follow any of your rules?Because we will be blessed in the afterlife. Earth and Heaven are both renewed post-Parousia. On Earth, we are not Judged, but we are awarded in the afterlife for our actions in the mortal life.Turi: I consider myself a Christian because I believe that God is not incompetent and that Jesus and the Apostles and the Prophets were not a mob of filthy liars.And yet you believe that Christ lied when He said He was coming in that very generation, quickly, at hand, soon. You believe that Christ lied when He said He came to fulfill the Law.Jesus prayed for God's name to be hallowed on the earth, not spat upon.And today it IS hallowed on all the Earth -- maybe not BY all the Earth but it is definitely hallowed by Christians throughout the globe, not one Nation existing without a fellowship of Christians. This was not that case at Christ's time.God claimed to be immutable and just, and promised to establish a kingdom of righteousness in which he would be worshipped forever, not spend eternity as a divine invalid. And He does, reigning in the New Kingdom of Heaven, for all to witness after they leave the mortal life. Few will see the Kingdom on Earth, Christ said that. Few do, even within the faith.John said that Jesus would return to judge the nations, plural, not just Israel.Actually, He returned to Judge the People. Matthew 25:32: All the people will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. It also sense "in his presence" harking to the Parousia -- a spiritual presence, not a physical one. Christ Judged the people (Jews and Gentiles of Jerusalem) using the Roman Army.Paul told the Ephesians that the Church was to endure forever, to all generations.The Ecclesia has, for 2000 years, even with madmen and liars trying to pervert it. It is going nowhere, even if many of the teachings may be false, the Book still lives on.You, on the other hand, categorically deny all of this.I really don't. What I deny is what the modern fellowships teach based on faulty translations. Do you know how many Evangelical Pastors love the Scofield Reference Bible, even though Scofield was a fraud? How many respect Moody even though Moody was arguably a liar unfit to lead Christians in faith? God does not want us to have kings of mortals -- we are to be kings for our own lives. I deny some teachings because they don't exist in the Bible as it was written and intended. Context is everything, and to me the context of much of the New Testament is about preparing that very generation for Tribulation while leaving teaching for believers for eternity to follow.You suggest that when Jesus talks of 'ruling the world' he actually means 'not ruling in any intelligible sense';I will need your help on this one. I am not familiar with the verse(s) that show that Christ will rule the world. If you can get me a book/chapter/verse, I can study this more, I am very interested.that God's victory over sin resembles an eclipse, and that the Church, as such, is nonexistent, or so inclusive as to lose all meaning whatsoever.Why should it make sense from our perspective? God wanted reconciliation with all men, and He got it. God is not about "sense" but about "mystery." It does make sense to me that God would set things right the way that HE wants them set right.That's why I have difficulty accepting your position; let God be true, the Scripture says, though every man be called a liar.Amen, brother. There are days when Dispensationalists and Evangelicals throw me for a curve because they read a verse or two that do make little sense from my perspective. This is why I pray (in secret), read the Book, and try to find the context in the grand scheme of the story. Often times, prophetical language seems to be so literal, until you read the entire story (OT and NT) and find that the very same exact prophetical language has been used before historically by God, and the way He fulfilled the prophecy was NOT literal. Other times, He did do things literally, but not as His People expected Him to.God is a confusion, that is sure. This is why we don't have God with us -- He is reigning in the Heavenly Kingdom forever! I don't want to know God while I am mortal, my brain and soul can't handle the image. We also don't have Jesus specifically -- He came for a reason, to reconcile us with God. He, too, rules with God in the Heavenly Kingdom, forever!We do have the Spirit to guide us from right and wrong. Often times people ask me to "prove" my views on government or money or murder or war or sex or relationships, and the best I can do is to mimic what Jesus did:1. Go to a secret place to pray. Be away from the cell, the TV, the family, the car, the house. The top of a hill or a forest or anywhere you can get away from the world so your spirit is closer to God's.2. Thank God in prayer. You don't need your eyes closed or your head bowed or be on your knees. Sit and focus on the Spirit. Let God know your thanks for the Kingdom you live in and the Kingdom to come in the afterlife. Don't ask God for magic tricks or miracles or heavenly blessings.3. Ask for direction on the issue that perturbs you. If you believe government is good and just and Godly, ask. The Spirit will guide you. It doesn't happen overnight, but it does work. I firmly believe that the Spirit guides us when we are ready for it, but He isn't easy to listen to when we're praying around 50 other people or praying in the car with traffic and music loud or praying at home with the dogs and the phones and the kids.Christ prayed in secret. He did show His followers once how to pray, but every other situation, He prayed in secret. His greatest miracles and insight came from prayer in secret. I think the key to Kingdom living is to move past your indoctrinated learned beliefs and focus on what the Spirit wants for you.Note that I firmly believe that it is MUCH more difficult to listen to the Spirit when you are in debt and enslaved to others. I do believe the #1 goal for Christians is to be debt free so we can focus on serving the Lord and only the Lord.
I'll break in here too...ADAM: Stop preaching.RHOLOGY: Even though Christ told us to. (Not that Jesus ever commanded us to do anythg. I'm just saying.)ADAM: Christians who vote ignore that God criticized mortal kings in the Old Testament, and we got what we deserved!RHOLOGY: Great idea! Since we have bad politicians, let's just stop voting altogether!ADAM: I don't judge the fruit of others, except when they start spewing the fact that they're Christians.RHOLOGY: Which is a distinction w/ its foundation in mid-air. You made it up according to your likes and dislikes.Reminds me of Philippians 3:18-19 - many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.ADAM: I think the most pertinent parts of the Bible are what Jesus taught to everyone without inferring the imminent Judgment ahead. RHOLOGY: But earlier you said that you would never say that Jesus *Commanded* us to do anythg.W/o a law in place, w/o commandments from God, why should I live peacefully? Why should I not hate? Why should I not murder? I've asked that before - would you mind answering here?ADAM: We are all part of the Ecclesia of GodRHOLOGY: Ecclesia in Greek = "called out ones". What are we called out of if EVERYONE is a member?ADAM: Taxation is theft.RHOLOGY: So what? There are no commandments.ADAM: Force is counter to Christ's teaching.RHOLOGY: But since He never commanded anythg, and I won't be judged for it, why should I care?ADAM: Christ ALWAYS prayed in secret -- always. RHOLOGY: Except in the Lord's Prayer. And when He prayed a blessing of thanks for the bread and fish before multiplying them to feed the 5000. And when He prayed before the tomb of Lazarus.ADAM: He chided His Apostles for not doing the same. He warned about praying out loud in the Temples,RHOLOGY: Correction - He corrected the **Pharisees** for praying w/ blast of trumpet and fanfare. He taught both - in secret and in community. Why else Acts 2:42 - "they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer"?But again, there's no judgment anymore, and no sin, so why should I care what Christ taught?ADAM: Nothing is Caesar's. RHOLOGY: A blatant misquotation. Romans 13.Not that I like paying taxes or don't think the rate is too high in the US. But they have a legitimate right to SOME taxes.ADAM: On Earth, we are not Judged, but we are awarded in the afterlife for our actions in the mortal life.RHOLOGY: You're making my head spin. Is there sin or is there not sin? ADAM: And yet you believe that Christ lied when He said He was coming in that very generation, quickly, at hand, soon. You believe that Christ lied when He said He came to fulfill the Law.ADAM: sin's power over us is gone, as the Law and Judgment is over.RHOLOGY: You have a long way to go before you can claim that these are anythg but bald assertions.ADAM: The Ecclesia has, for 2000 years, even with madmen and liars trying to pervert it.RHOLOGY: The Ephesian church was not equivalent to "the population of Ephesus" in 71 AD. And again, since sin and judgment have ceased since 70 AD, who cares?ADAM: I am not familiar with the verse(s) that show that Christ will rule the world. RHOLOGY: Gladly. Revelation 2:27. Revelation 12:5. Revelation 19:15.ADAM: God is not about "sense" but about "mystery."RHOLOGY: A bald assertion begging for an argument.ADAM: I don't want to know God while I am mortal,RHOLOGY: Clearly - that is why you cling to your heresy.ADAM: If you believe government is good and just and Godly, ask. The Spirit will guide you.RHOLOGY: ...said the Mormon missionary.You answered Turi's question about which Bible verses apply to us today w/ a confused mishmash of moralistic Adam-says-thus statements and something about a heavenly kingdom, whose rewards may or may not depend on our good or bad behavior on earth.Would you mind answering his question directly?Peace,ALAN
Rhoblogy: Even though Christ told us to. (Not that Jesus ever commanded us to do anythg. I'm just saying.)My mistake. I meant stop preaching about errors in people's live -- live the life you want others to live and "preach" by example. There is nothing wrong with preaching about Christ's life and the reason for His death. Many Evangelicals preach AGAINST negative actions rather than preach (and live!) for positive actions.Rhoblogy: Great idea! Since we have bad politicians, let's just stop voting altogether!It is a good idea. My solution for voting is what I consider the best: I vote for myself, straight write-in, every ballot position. I also know hundreds of others who now do what I recommend. It skews the voting record by showing a batch of people who voted against all other candidates. If every Christian wrote in their own name, no major candidate would win with anything more than maybe 10% of the overall vote. Imagine: Obama 8%, Guiliani 7%, Other: 85%. That would be amazing, and show the rulers that we don't agree with using force to better mankind.Rhoblogy: Which is a distinction w/ its foundation in mid-air. You made it up according to your likes and dislikes.This isn't a unique retort, I've heard it before. Yet we have examples of what it means to bear good fruit, and I doubt anyone can defend the typical Evangelical actions as 'bearing good fruit' -- especially Evangelicals like Hagee, Bush, Falwell, Dobson, Lindsey, etc. In fact, Christian Theologian Laurence Vance seems to see the same problems with Evangelical "leaders":http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance85.htmlRhoblogy: But earlier you said that you would never say that Jesus *Commanded* us to do anythg.W/o a law in place, w/o commandments from God, why should I live peacefully? Why should I not hate? Why should I not murder? I've asked that before - would you mind answering here?Jesus commanded us to do nothing, but He did explain to live by example. He gave us that Example (His Apostles may not have, because they were also told to prepare for the imminent Tribulation ahead). Living a Christ-like example means to not murder. Those who don't murder or hate will reap treasures in Heaven. That should be the key focus on a bountiful life: to give your mortal treasures to others, and to set yourself up for eternal treasures once there.Rhoblogy: Ecclesia in Greek = "called out ones". What are we called out of if EVERYONE is a member?Interesting. According to all 3 of my Greek dictionaries, Ecclesia just means "Assembly of Men." I'll have to inquire further to your definition, maybe I am misusing the term and should just use the term "Kingdom." I'll look deeper.Rhoblogy: So what? There are no commandments.And we should live by example of we want to see the Kingdom here and now, and store up treasures in Heaven. Anything else we do is just for our mortal selves.Rhoblogy: But since He never commanded anythg, and I won't be judged for it, why should I care?From a mortal perspective or "salvation" from Judgment, you shouldn't. From an eternal perspective, good deeds will be rewarded.Rhoblogy: Except in the Lord's Prayer. And when He prayed a blessing of thanks for the bread and fish before multiplying them to feed the 5000. And when He prayed before the tomb of Lazarus.The Lord's Prayer was Jesus's direct teaching in a REQUEST from the Apostles to learn how to pray. John 6:1-14, feeding the 5000, never shows Jesus praying. He did "give thanks" which is a form of worship, but not prayer. Neither the Greek nor the Hebrew translations show the word for prayer. English mistranslation.John 11:41-43, again, Jesus gave thanks as a form of worship. Neither the Greek nor Hebrew texts show prayer is involved. English mistranslation.Rhoblogy: Why else Acts 2:42 - "they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer"?Of course they devoted themselves to prayer. It doesn't say corporate prayer. Since Christ only prayed once in public, at the request of His Apostles to teach them, we have to believe that prayer was understood to be private and personal.Rhoblogy: A blatant misquotation. Romans 13.Not that I like paying taxes or don't think the rate is too high in the US. But they have a legitimate right to SOME taxes.Come on, do you really believe this? Jesus was being trapped by the Pharisees, so He gave them an answer that amazed them -- He challenged their own faith. He said give to Caesar what is Caesars, to God what is God's. The Pharisees knew that everything was God's, so the need to give to Caesar only belongs to those who believe Caesar trumps God somewhere in their lives. You and I both know that government can not trump God as to what belongs to them.Rhoblogy: You're making my head spin. Is there sin or is there not sin?Trust me, my many readings of the Bible after I fell away from the Evangelical school of thought (due to dozens of Pastors in my lifetime refusing to answer questions I had!) caused my head to spin. There is no sin, but there is evil nature -- that exists in all living things, and it was Created by God before He created Adam. Living by good, for good, will reap you treasures in Heaven. Living for evil, by evil, brings you no rewards. There is a difference between "good deeds" to be "saved" (go to Heaven), and doing "good deeds" to earn "rewards" in Heaven.Rhoblogy: You have a long way to go before you can claim that these are anythg but bald assertions.You are correct, which is why the month of May will be a month that I will start going through the Bible, verse by verse, in Reverse-Book order, to try to find historical perspectives to my viewpoints, and try to defend my viewpoints as acceptable from a Christian standpoint. I still don't say that I am correct, I just have a view that makes more sense to me (and to millions of others, it seems) than the standard pro-force Evangelical view. Even N.T. Wright has come out of the Preterist closet, as have other theoligical leaders. The Evangelical Theological Society just recently (last year or two) voted 2/3rd to accept Preterist perspectives within the Body (although there are still many detractors!)Rhoblogy: The Ephesian church was not equivalent to "the population of Ephesus" in 71 AD.And again, since sin and judgment have ceased since 70 AD, who cares?A very close family friend of mine asked me at fellowship not long ago: "If you're right, what is life all about?" If I am right (and I don't think I'm close, but I hope I am closer than some!), we are to return to what Adam and Eve were meant to do -- steward over God's Earth. Be good to each other. Teach and nurture. Love and protect. Share and develop. Since Judgment is gone, of course there is no NEED, no COMMAND to be good. But if you look forward to eternity, the idea of storing treasures in Heaven brings a great taste to your heart and soul.Revelation 2:27Considering that many of the people of Thyatira DID rule for hundreds of years AFTER the fall of 70AD, even when the Roman Empire fell, I'd say this was fulfilled. It wasn't EVERYONE who would rule, just the Thyatrians who were spoken to in Rev 2:27.Revelation 12:5A great story. "She" (Israel) will give birth to a son (Jesus) who was snatched up by a Dragon (Rome), and was caught up to God (Resurrection/Ascension), to rule in Heaven. Then she (Israel) was scattered to the wilderness for 42 months (during the Exile from Rome, which is true!) until the war. Interesting that later in those verses the Dragon takes a stand near the sea, just as the Roman Army did during the seige on Jerusalem, where the army waited by the sea while Jerusalem whithered away before pending Judgment.Revelation 19:15English mistranslation. The word for "nations" here is ethnos, which in context means "assembly of men, troops, a tribe or tribes." In fact, that SAME EXACT wording is used in the Old Testament to describe pagans who didn't worship God! Scofield and KJV both did damage to the Book by saying "nations" when it fact it is not nations at all. Bad, bad error. Read the Greek and Hebrew again, correlating the words with the ancient texts and you'll see the problem with the English bibles in general especially here.Rhoblogy: You answered Turi's question about which Bible verses apply to us today w/ a confused mishmash of moralistic Adam-says-thus statements and something about a heavenly kingdom, whose rewards may or may not depend on our good or bad behavior on earth.Would you mind answering his question directly?I'm not sure it CAN be answered easily, with less than a book or a few chapters. There are MANY parts of Jesus' teaching that was purely by example -- example for all. There were many parts of His teachings that one can decipher what His view of man's role will be in the New Kingdom. I don't think I can write it all in a blog combox, but that is part of the reason for one of my sites -- I hope to undertake that task with a good overview of what verses seem to speak to Jesus' view of man's role (then and in the post-Tribulation Earth eternal).We saw God threatening to destroy the Earth in the Old Testament -- He never did. In fact, God promised never to destroy the ACTUAL earth, which was perfect in His Plan. Instead, we see ignorant translations that translate "tribe" for "world" or "Israel" for "world" or "Jerusalem" for "world." Time and again, the Greek and Hebrew words, which are contextually written, make more sense than the English words which are vague and possibly untrue.
It's Good Friday and I have some time.ADAM: I meant stop preaching about errors in people's live -- live the life you want others to live and "preach" by example.RHOLOGY: You're missing the point. What reason do I have to do that? Just the fact that Jesus suggested it? The fact that YOU suggest it?ADAM: Many Evangelicals preach AGAINST negative actions rather than preach (and live!) for positive actions.RHOLOGY: Would you say that Jesus would COMMAND them not to do that?ADAM: That would be amazing, and show the rulers that we don't agree with using force to better mankind.RHOLOGY: It's tangential but it's a fun idea. I don't know how to fix the problems w/ the American political system; maybe that's not a bad course of action.ADAM: Yet we have examples of what it means to bear good fruit, and I doubt anyone can defend the typical Evangelical actions as 'bearing good fruit'RHOLOGY: But you continue to decline to say that we are COMMANDED to bear good fruit. Did Jesus command us to bear good fruit? If not, please explain why I should care to do so.If so, please explain why those things Jesus said back then would still apply to me today. Include exegetical reasons to be more persuasive.ADAM: Jesus commanded us to do nothingRHOLOGY: See what I mean? Why should I care, then, what He said or what you say?By contrast, I serve a Lord Who has the moral authority and power to command obedience and the wherewithal to enforce obedience and punish disobedience, not to mention the mercy to forgive repentant sinners. ADAM: Ecclesia just means "Assembly of Men."RHOLOGY: It has both meanings. "Called out ones" is the etymology, the significance of the combination of the 2 Grk roots.ADAM: And we should live by example of we want to see the Kingdom here and now, and store up treasures in Heaven. RHOLOGY: You keep saying "should" for no reason. If you want to make moral injunctions, you need to give a reasonable authority to back them up. In other words, a law. A law that includes judgment for disobedience. And that's the distasteful thing for you, so you keep saying "you should" but refuse to hold to the obvious foundation.ADAM: From an eternal perspective, good deeds will be rewarded.RHOLOGY: How do you know that? If you say "from the NT," please explain how those statements are not also revoked now that the Judgment and Parousia have come.ADAM: John 6:1-14, feeding the 5000, never shows Jesus praying. He did "give thanks" which is a form of worship, but not prayer. RHOLOGY: He spoke to God, thanking Him. But it wasn't prayer. Whatever.ADAM: John 11:41-43, again, Jesus gave thanks as a form of worship.RHOLOGY: Why should I accept your defining away of the issue?ADAM: Since Christ only prayed once in public, at the request of His Apostles to teach them we have to believe that prayer was understood to be private and personal.RHOLOGY: I've already disproven "once", and besides, if it was at least once, why do "we have to believe" it was only private?ADAM: He said give to Caesar what is Caesars, to God what is God's. RHOLOGY: Your hermeneutic is tiresome in its inconsistency. I could cite Romans 13 to you where it EXPLICITLY says to pay taxes to the gov't, but you would say "that doesn't apply now that the Judgment has come." So why should these words of Jesus apply now that the Judgment and Parousia have come? Why are we even discussing what He meant? If I make a convincing point, like, say, that Jesus had asked them to hold up a denarius (coined by the Roman gov't, BTW) and said "give to Caesar", you'll just say "no, that doesn't apply b/c the Judgment has already come." ADAM: my many readings of the Bible after I fell away from the Evangelical school of thought (due to dozens of Pastors in my lifetime refusing to answer questions I had!)RHOLOGY: Then you have no excuse to remain in your heresy now that you have read my points up to now.ADAM: There is no sin, but there is evil nature RHOLOGY: OK, there is no sin.As Turi brought up, WW1, WW2, Darfur, the Holocaust were not sin. ADAM: I still don't say that I am correctRHOLOGY: You've been given plenty of evidence just here on this blog that you are more than just 'incorrect'. ADAM: Even N.T. Wright has come out of the Preterist closetRHOLOGY: Prove he's a Hyper Preterist. "Partial Preterist" is closer to what I am than to what you are. ADAM: Since Judgment is gone, of course there is no NEED, no COMMAND to be good.RHOLOGY: You and I worship two different gods.ADAM: It wasn't EVERYONE who would rule, just the Thyatrians who were spoken to in Rev 2:27.RHOLOGY: True, I misspoke there and miscited the psg. But where does it say that their rule would end?ADAM: "She" (Israel) will give birth to a son (Jesus)...while Jerusalem whithered away before pending Judgment.RHOLOGY: You wrote all that and never interacted w/ my point. You said the Bible doesn't say Jesus will rule the world. I supplied the psg and you ran an end-around.ADAM: Rev 19:15 uses "ethnos"RHOLOGY: Just defining the word correctly (as "nations", no argument here) does not end the argument. Context is as important as grammar.Rev 19:15-16 - 15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.Sure, He's King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but when it says He will rule "the nations" it doesn't really mean ALL of them. ADAM: There were many parts of His teachings that one can decipher what His view of man's role will be in the New Kingdom.RHOLOGY: That's b/c you unnecessarily complicate things by making Him say things He never said.ADAM: We saw God threatening to destroy the Earth in the Old Testament -- He never did. RHOLOGY: EXACTLY. He **HAS YET TO DO IT**. But He WILL at the coming Judgment. You have admitted defeat. Peace,ALAN
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