Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

Just to set all of your minds at ease

this morning I'm having a bowl of grits with some maple syrup for breakfast. Look! Food!
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Muppet-

I just read through the diet thread and I am once again astounded by the ignorance and arrogance of people when criticizing someone else's diet. You will not suffer harm from a liquid diet for a few days. It is true that the fifteen pounds you lost is mostly water and glycogen but that is true of any diet. Your body isn't going to start plowing through the fat when it still has perfectly good glycogen lying around. As we all know glycogen holds approximately twice its mass in water so you can all do the math. This is why that first 5, 10 or 15 pounds anyone loses comes back so fast; it just represents a change in sugar storage.

Now that you have that off your diet and exercise should start chipping away at actual fat stores. The people who claim that if you fast for a few days you lose muscle and if you just eat less solid food you don't, are dopes. Please supply references for this absurd theory. Muscle mass loss is likely though not inevitable in any calorie dpravation situation.

Good luck with the weight loss.
Permalink name withheld out of cowardice 
August 17th, 2005
What's grits???

"Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o'clock at night, and lick the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold grits, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife."
Permalink el 
August 17th, 2005
Grits barely qualifies as a food. It's some sort of porrige style thing made out of coarsely ground corn, and it does have a texture and flavour very much like what I imagine actual grit would taste like...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 17th, 2005
Thankfully I've got people looking out for me on this board:

Muppet,

By way of introduction, you may know me as "bpd" from my few posting on JOS' ?off forum. If you don't recall, that's okay, it's not important that you know who I am. What _is_ important is that The Lord not only knows who you are (Jeremiah 1:5), but also your needs (Matthew 6:8). But _I_ do not presume to know you or your situation; rather, it is His message that I relay in hopes that it will be a blessing to you.

What little I do know from reading some of the ?off postings is that you have a long-standing illness. So I will bend the message toward that particular need; although the answer to all need is the same (Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.").


Health is but one of the many things that Christ has purchased on our behalf.

In Jeremiah 33:6 ("… will reveal unto them the abundance of peace …") and 33:9 ("…all the prosperity that I procure …"), the words "peace" and "prosperity" have been translated from the word "shalowm". "Shalowm" is not just peace with God and financial prosperity, but also health, deliverance and much more. Likewise, in Hebrews 7:25 ("…he is able also to save them to the uttermost …"), Acts 4:12a ("Neither is there salvation in any other") and many other versus, the word "save" or "salvation" has been translated from the word "sozo" (or a derivative). "Sozo" is not just salvation, but also denotes deliverance, health, prosperity and much more. Since Christ has already purchased your health (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24 – notice how Peter uses the past tense), you need only receive it (Galatians 3:14). But the word "receive" used in Galatians is not passive; it may be better translated as "take hold of". We must take hold of the provisions for salvation, healt
h, prosperity, etc., with which we have been blessed (Ephesians 1:3).

So then, by what means do we procure that which is already ours in Christ Jesus? Much of the answer can be found in Mathew 21:21-22. In this passage we can see three requisites: "have faith", "doubt not", and "say unto".

Faith is a trust and belief that continues, endures, persists and faints not (Galatians 6:9, Deuteronomy 20:3). But notice that Romans 10:9 tells us that it must be a heart-belief (as opposed to intellectual belief or "head knowledge"). It is not enough to know it to be true intellectually; we must believe it at the level of our heart. The heart, biblically speaking, is the place in which our _true_ beliefs lie. Believing one thing in our head and another in our heart leads to double mindedness (James 1:8). Changing one's heart-beliefs is a process of renewing one's mind (Romans 12:2).

Doubting (unbelief) is a counter-agent to faith (Matthew 17:20). Though only a tiny amount of faith is needed (mustard seeds are tiny), doubts prevent our receiving from The Lord. Not just our own doubts, but also the doubts of those around us. In Mark 8:23-26, Jesus had to lead the blind man out of the town of Bethsaida in order for him to receive his healing. Again, in Mark 6:5-6, Jesus could do no mighty works for the doubt (unbelief) that was present.

Speaking is important for several reasons. What we say, we also hear; and faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). Our speech wields great strength in both directing and influencing our lives (James 3:4-5). Just as God spoke creation into existence (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 29 "And God said...", John 1:1-3) we also, being created in His image (Genesis1:27), have the same creative (and/or destructive) power (Proverbs 18:21a, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue"). How we choose to speak can either provide benefit to our lives (Proverbs 21:23) or can deceive our hearts (James 1:26), thus effecting our lives for the better (Proverbs 18:21b, Romans 10:10b) or for the worse (Proverbs 17:20b).

Fortunately, you need not wait until your heart beliefs are in-line with the glory (view and opinion) of God to receive. Just as the unbelief of others can _adversely_ affect how we receive, the faith of others can _favorably_ affect how we receive. This explains how those with faith and belief can speak miracles into the lives of those willing to receive.


Obviously, the content of this message has only scratched the surface of these topics. Michael, I hope you will accept and pursue this message further. If you choose to do so, please feel free to reply or contact one of the following like-minded ministries:

Cecil & Lisa Paxton Ministries (www.clpmi.org)
Andrew Wommack Ministries (www.awmi.net)
Impact Ministries (www.impactministries.com)

The Paxton ministry has a focus on healing and runs a help line that can be used to order ministry material and/or request prayer. BTW, healings can be performed at a distance (Matthew 8:8-10,13).

The Wommack ministry provides on-line material on a wide range of topics (free and for purchase). Andrew also runs a help line for ordering and prayer requests. Andrew has an extensive archive of his broadcasted messages on his website.

Impact is run by Dr. James B. Richards. It is a local church, worldwide ministry and bible college. Jim has written several books and recorded many messages. I especially recommend Jim's materials and "sermons" – if you can make it to Huntsville, AL, to attend one. :-)

Brian P. Duckworth
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
So, ummm, God wants you to lose weight??
Permalink example 
August 17th, 2005
Wow.

*There's* a great big, steaming, WTF.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
I like the part where he calls me Michael. I think I'm going to have cards and checks printed with that name.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
I'm glad I don't put my email address on here - has anyone else got one of these?
Permalink qwe 
August 17th, 2005
I've gotten several raging hate mails from Mr. Denman, along with a couple of other oddball messages. On the flip side I've gotten some very interesting, enjoyable emails from some of the more sane participants.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 17th, 2005
<<I just read through the diet thread and I am once again astounded by the ignorance and arrogance of people when criticizing someone else's diet>>

hear hear. buncha retards.
Permalink Kenny 
August 17th, 2005
I've gotten a few rather... odd in an intimate sense... emails from Sathyaish or an impersonator. I've gotten a few letters of encouragement from people who agreed with one tirade or another.

I used to get stuff from the mods but now I've been cast down, unworthy.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
"I used to get stuff from the mods"

For whatever reason, Outlook 2003 stuffs all the inter-moderator messages in the junk mail folder. It has a limited ability to "teach it", and refuses to change its ways, so I'm sure I miss most of these.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 17th, 2005
"I think I'm going to have cards and checks printed with that name."

If I got your name wrong, I appologize.
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
Everybody gets my name wrong, bpd. I find it humorous, is all. Michael Feltman is my pen name, not my real name. I was under the impression that everyone here knew my real name at this point, but it seems not to be the case, which is fine with me.

As for your email, I've already accepted Christ into my life, thanks, but I don't believe for a minute that God intends for us all to have pain-free lives here on earth, no matter how hard we pray or how strong our faith. Thanks for the good intentions, and I hope you're not too offended by my posting of your message, I just found it amusing. :-)
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
The last email I got was:


====
Subject: zgMy horny schoolmate likes to do it in doggy style.

Good afternoon mt  ,

igy: =Real bad_girl Gabriella.
Forcing people to cross the road i||egally because she parked the car on the lines is very bad! dtr
But she is very s*xy y0un' girl and we got her doing great blo_w_jobs with swallowing the c*m. tiflfv
She should know well how to be a good citizen...with very hot asszzz :) :) :)bi   
<<url deleted>>
:)tp    :)pes   





>>>>animate cryptanalyst antipathy dismal,
>>>>archibald autism chute colonial caryatid bursty brocade advertise.
====


I don't know about you, but "tiflfv" gets me hot & heavy.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 17th, 2005
"...I don't believe for a minute that God intends for us all to have pain-free lives here on earth..."

Why not?
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
bpd -

What would be the point? If we have heaven here on Earth, then what will we learn?
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
bpd - you've obviously never (insert something salacious Aaron can add to his database) before. Oh wait, God didn't intend for us to do that either.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 17th, 2005
I'm pretty sure there is a direct quote from the bible that to follow Christ is by definition a path where you will suffer, but I'm at the office so don't have a bible handy to give a reference.
Permalink qwe 
August 17th, 2005
"If we have heaven here on Earth, then what will we learn?"

I would think there would be lots of things &#8211; mostly of a spiritual nature.


"What would be the point?"

Are you seriously asking what's the point of a healthy life while here on earth? If so, how's peace, joy and comfort sound to you &#8211; just for starters.



I would think that 3 John 1:2 (" Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.") would, if not convince you, at least give you pause for longer than a minute to consider His desire for our health.
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
There's a passage in the Bible somewhere that says that the faithful should be glad for their suffering, or chastisement by God maybe, because it is preparing them for salvation or something like that. I don't know the particular passages and I can't be more specific, but I don't think that God intends for us all to live in bliss during our corporeal lives.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
C'mon people, if it were the intent of an omnipotent God for a thing to happen, it would. Without fail.

So either it's not God's intent, or God isn't omnipotent. Since God isn't telling which, I'll let you decide.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
qwe, perhaps one of these (taken from www.blueletterbible.org):

Matthew 24:9, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake."

Luke 21:12, "But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute [you], delivering [you] up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake."

Acts 9:16, "For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake."


But then there's also:

Matthew 19:29, "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."

Mark 13:13, "And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

Where the last word in the Mark passage, "saved", has been translated from the word "sozo"; meaning health, prosperity, deliverance, salvation, etc.
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
When I wrote it, I meant Zoso, as in Jimmy Page, but had another fit of dyslexia.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 17th, 2005
Aaron -

Flawed argument. Many of the blessings of the Lord require faithfulness to receive, according to the Bible (disclaimer: this is just my understanding, I am not an ordained priest or a Bible scholar) and therefore those who do not receive all fo the blessings intended for us by God are probably not faithful or not faithful enough. This does not mean that God doesn't intend them to be blessed or that he isn't omnipotent, it means he has standards/procedures and the "cursed" fellow in question isn't following them.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
"So either it's not God's intent, or God isn't omnipotent."

Or perhaps, Aaron, there's another explanation that's not being considered. Such as God has given up omnipotent control to us (Genesis 1:26, "... and let them have dominion..."). Whereby "we" proceed to screw things up (Genesis 3) and He restores peace between us and Him through Christ (Romans 5:15).
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
Muppet,

I got to thinking more about what you said ("&#8230;I don't believe for a minute that God intends for us all to have pain-free lives here on earth&#8230;").

Even if you don't believe that that's God intention for us all, do you believe that it's God intention for any particular individual? If you believe that it's only for some, why might God excludes someone from the intentions he relates in passages like 3 John 1:2?
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
I think dying tends to hurt, so everybody on earth will have SOME pain in their lives at some point.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 17th, 2005
My head is spinning. It seems that muppet and bpd just switched sides.

Now muppet seems to be saying that not getting blessed is the result of disobeying God, and bpd is conceding that, yes, the Bible does talk about the persecution and suffering of Christians.

bpd, so is it that God lets other people inflict pain on Christians, but they can't get sick?

muppet, weren't you just saying that Christians can suffer even when they're doing what God wants them to do?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
Yeah, that's a benevolent God. Reminds me of the mob.

"Nice store there. You might want a little fire insurance. It'd be a real shame if it burned down."

Fuck that.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
"bpd, so is it that God lets other people inflict pain on Christians, but they can't get sick?"

Jim, given our privalege to choose, I'd have to say that God does indeed allow one person to injure another. No less so than He allowed, Adam & Eve to make the wrong choice, thereby bringing the world into a fallen state.

As for "can't get sick", they most certainly can - and frequently do. But His provision allows for their healing. That said, it is possible to maintain a level of faith that would allow you to not get sick in the first place.
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
Yep, Jim, I am, but that's not counter to my earlier points. I think that we're all meant to have pain in our lives, else how could we perceive joy, or be grateful for prosperity?

However, there are blessings that God gives only to the faithful, I just don't think that the "purely" faithful will have blissful, perfect lives on Earth.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Right.

And witches float because they're made of wood - I mean, because they sold their soul to the Devil. If someone sinks, they're clearly not a witch, but if they float, you should promptly burn them at the stake. You know they'll burn because they're made of wood.

Er...uh...
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
+++That said, it is possible to maintain a level of faith that would allow you to not get sick in the first place.+++

Nope, this is what I don't buy. If, through strong faith, we led perfect lives here on Earth, how would we ever know the gift that we're being given?
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
bpd - your last statement that it is possible to maintain a level of faith that would provide for you to not get sick in the first place is not correct.

Jesus' disciples asked Jesus why a man was blind, whether because he sinned or his parents sinned. Jesus said neither, it's to show the glory of God. Then He healed him.

Sometimes we are afflicted with things to show God's glory; when we are weak He is strong.
Permalink Nathan 
August 17th, 2005
"No less so than He allowed, Adam & Eve to make the wrong choice, thereby bringing the world into a fallen state."

Yeah, get annoyed with someone who does the wrong thing before they know the difference between right and wrong and punish not only them for it (until they die) but all their descendents. Great parenting example there.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
So Aaron what you're saying is that since you know the complete nature of the universe and therefore all of God's motivations and reasons for His actions, you can safely conclude that He is a dick, is that it?
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Nope. Claiming that I won't have anything to do with worshipping a God that pulls the crap this one is credited with.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
For starters, Original Sin is horse shit.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
+++ Yeah, that's a benevolent God. Reminds me of the mob.

"Nice store there. You might want a little fire insurance. It'd be a real shame if it burned down."

Fuck that.+++

Where in the world did you draw THIS from?
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Something along the lines of:

"Nice soul there. You might want to worship Me. It'd be a shame to have it roast in Hell for all eternity."

Again, fuck that.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Ah. I see. To me it seems more like:

"Hi. I created your soul and gave you life. Here's how things work in this Universe, simplified so that you can understand the rules if not the reasons, which frankly are beyond your comprehension. You don't have to follow these rules if you don't want to, but I really recommend that you do because I can't protect you from the consequences."
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Right. Nice ruleset that automatically places one in eternal agony by default.

Comprehensible or not, that's a bullshit rule.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
muppet,

I think you just boiled down a shelf full of theology books into a single paragraph. Good show.

bpd, go read Job again.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
There's no evidence that God invented that rule. People say that God is omnipotent but I don't know what the Bible actually says about it. It could be that God has a particular framework in which to work, Himself.

Also, Revelations seems to imply that there is no Hell, but rather simply obliteration of your immortal soul if you are an unbeliever, which is fine for atheists since they expect that anyway.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
"Nice ruleset that automatically places one in eternal agony by default."

Huh? By default everyone was in Paradise. They decided they could do better, but it didn't work out too well.

More like "Eternal joy or eternal agony. Your choice."
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
Yeah, I've talked with Jehovah's Witnesses before, too. The just being dead bit they go for rather than eternal pain is an interesting take on it.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Well put Muppet.
Permalink Jared 
August 17th, 2005
Muppet,

"Nope, this is what I don't buy. If, through strong faith, we led perfect lives here on Earth, how would we ever know the gift that we're being given?"

Because you weren't born that way. At some point you decided to accept Christ. As a result of not having Him, and subsequently receiving Him, you know that gift. In the same manner, you do not now have health, prosperity, or whatever. But when you receive it (as you received Christ), you will, going forward, know the gift that you were given. You will remember the days that preceded your acceptance and give all the more praise for the provision &#8211; just as with salvation.


Nathan,

I believe I was not clear when I said "in the first place". I did not mean to imply "in their entire lives". I meant to say something more along the lines of: After having accepted and believed, you can, going forward, maintain a healthy state without becoming sick again.


Aaron,

I don't think you understand the reason that dominion was handed over. God wanted fellowship to be based on man's choice. Yes, God allowed man to make the wrong choice. And yes, man did in fact make the wrong choice. The benevolence was shown when God restored the relationship Himself &#8211; for we couldn't do it ourselves. He paid the price so we wouldn't have to. And did so so as to maintain the relationship.

A better analogy than the mob would be your children (assuming you have one/some). You allow your child to make mistakes, knowing full well that they will make them. You give them counsel, provide sound advice, point them in the right direction, but in the end, the choices/mistakes are theirs to make. But afterward, you are there to help them, accept them, love them and provide what you can to restore them.

The difficulty with love is that it's risky. But if you force it, it isn't really love.

As for your "great parenting example" comment&#8230; Have you ever watched as your children made what you knew was going to be a big mistake? After having told them the right way (don't eat of the tree) you allowed them to make their own [wrong] choice and there was nothing you could do about it (short of force) except be there for them during the aftermath? Should your children have nothing to do with you because you let them make the wrong choice?


Jim,

Job was prior to the restoration through Christ. During the time of Job, the provision was not available.
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
"Huh? By default everyone was in Paradise. They decided they could do better, but it didn't work out too well."

By all the accounts that I've been able to remember off the top of my head, the war of the angels took place prior to the creation of humanity, and was a separate event. Holding humans accountable for the rebellion of Satan is also rather fucked up.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
> For starters, Original Sin is horse shit.

I've had "Hell" defined to me as being "the state in which you're separated from God".
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 17th, 2005
bpd -

I've seen my kid disobey me, sure. But I certainly won't hold his kids accountable for his mistakes. Just him.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
"I've had "Hell" defined to me as being "the state in which you're separated from God"."

So have I. And defining that as the default is a load of crap.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
> So have I. And defining that as the default is a load of crap.

I've also had it explained to me that people are separated from God because they *choose* to be separated (e.g. by choosing the sin of pride).

As for whether it's "the default", perhaps you're pointing out the fact that there have been people who, through an accident of birth and no 'fault' of their own, might have no knowledge of God: in which case you might find the last couple of paragraphs of http://jloughnan.tripod.com/limbo.htm interesting.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 17th, 2005
"But I certainly won't hold his kids accountable for his mistakes."

Well, clearly the father-child analogy breaks down. It's not as though God held Adam's sin against Adam's offspring, it's more like Adam, made as mess of it for everyone else.

But the good news of the gospel is that God is no longer holding _anyone_ accountable. Atonement has been made by Christ. But we still experience the consequences of living in a fallen world.
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
Wow, Chris, I think that you have just posted the single IDEAL example of the exact opposite of an objective article. :-)
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Limbo as a concept is not new to me. Jesuit highschool. I also call bullshit on that. Holding someone separate from God at all before they have any capability to choose one way or the other solely because they weren't Baptized? Bogus.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
"But the good news of the gospel is that God is no longer holding _anyone_ accountable. Atonement has been made by Christ. But we still experience the consequences of living in a fallen world."

Sure, that accounts for why the world we live in is crap, but God still holds people accountable, otherwise you wouldn't need Baptism to was away Original Sin.

Again, I call bullshit.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Right, Aaron, and you know that because you understand all of the Laws of the Universe.

I wish I had your understanding so that I could be as sure as you are.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
To make it completely clear:

I don't claim to understand all the laws of the universe.

I'm agnostic, got it?

I'm not sure whether or not there's a God at all.

But I do know that the one the Bible and Christianity is not one I'd worship.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Right, you know that because He's an unfair prick and you know THAT because you understand all of the laws of the Universe. I mean, you MUST if you understand the context under which God works well enough to know that He's being unfair to you.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
"Holding humans accountable for the rebellion of Satan is also rather fucked up."

Uh, where are humans held accountable for the actions of Satan? I think you're starting to argue with yourself, now.

But I was unclear in that by Paradise I was referring to the Garden of Eden, not Heaven. Adam and Eve chose to try something different.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
Baptism to wash away Origional Sin? I'm not familiar with that practice. If you care to post a reference I'd be happy to comment.

"&#8230;but God still holds people accountable&#8230;"

Well, I've already disagreed with that statement, but let me expound. Christ paid once for all (Hebrews 10:10). God does not hold us accountable for Adam's sin, but we do have to accept Christ's payment on our behalf.
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
"Sure, that accounts for why the world we live in is crap, but God still holds people accountable, otherwise you wouldn't need Baptism to was away Original Sin."

The sinfulness of man is an observable phenomenon. Let's simplify. If you are without sin, you don't need to be forgiven.

Now, regardless of whether you believe people are automatically born with sin or not, do you know anyone who has nothing to apologize for or be forgiven of?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
Not just me, everyone. Holding someone accountable for someone else's crime? That's pretty much the opposite of what any civilized society tries to accomplish.

I mean, if you think it's ok to classify people and hold all members of groups guilty for the crimes of a select few within that group, go for it. Have fun at your KKK meetings, and maintaining your glass ceilings, and ethnic purges, and jihads.

I'll have no part of it.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
" God does not hold us accountable for Adam's sin, but we do have to accept Christ's payment on our behalf."

Why? Isn't God the one who has to accept the payment?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
I think that "born with sin" MIGHT possibly be a reference to the fact that you will inevitably sin, and though you have free will, God already knows what's going to happen. Since you're inevitably destined to sin, you're already guilty.

Now, this isn't the typical canonical interpretation, but it works well enough for me.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
"Let's simplify. If you are without sin, you don't need to be forgiven."

So a sinless person, if there was one, who doesn't believe in Christ goes to Heaven?

A newborn who dies immediately after birth? What sin have they committed? Do they go straight to Heaven?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Free will and perfect precognition are irreconcilable.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Not really, Aaron. If the guy ahead of you in line at the subway offers to pay your fare, but you refuse to allow it, then you must still pay yourself. We have free will, so for God to force us to accept Christ's payment on our behalf would be contrary to that.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
+++ Free will and perfect precognition are irreconcilable.+++

Because, again, you understand ALL of the laws and vagaries of the Universe and you are qualified and capable of making this rather confident, presumptious claim.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
"Baptism to wash away Origional Sin?"

I think at this point we're starting to argue different strains of Christianity. Presumably, this is something Aaron learned from the Jesuits, but the role of Baptism is one of the most controversial things across Christian churches.

bdp,

Was God in the Old Testament incapable of healing and protecting those who were, in God's own words "blameless and upright"?

But kudos for getting a Gospel message into the sidebar, even if I don't quite agree with the theology therein :).
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
"Because, again, you understand ALL of the laws and vagaries of the Universe and you are qualified and capable of making this rather confident, presumptious claim."

Nope. That one doesn't require knowing ALL the laws. Just a few.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Aaron -

Since I don't have a perfect understanding of the nature of time, I can only speculate, but if one argues that time is a measurable dimension, and that somewhere along a timeline you will make X choice, why is it impossible that God could fast forward to the end of that timeline, which you were left free to create yourself, and see the outcome and the reasons for that outcome? Why is this inconceivable? Are you convinced that time is constant? We've already proven that that's not the case with relativity. Just because YOU are doomed to travel along it in a straight line does not mean that God is.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Knowing what someone *will* do means that they had no choice to not do it.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
See, Aaron, that may be an indisputable truth to you but to me it sounds ridiculous. You, at one point on your timeline, will make that choice. It will be your choice to make. Since the universe, arguably, is boundless in terms of matter, why can't it be boundless in terms of time? You could argue that everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen is all wrapped up in our Universe in one big package. The fact that we're only allowed/able to see a particular slice of that package doesn't mean that God can't see the rest. The fact that God can see what you're going to do next Tuesday doesn't mean that you're not free to do whatever you like next Tuesday, it's only that from God's perspective, you've done it already.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
"Do they go straight to Heaven?"

My belief is yes. Basically, I trust God to be fair and just, even though I don't totally understand all the implications or the workings out of what fairness and justness and righteousness mean.

I have similar beliefs about those who never heard the gospel in this life. Again, how God will work all this out, I don't know.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
"Why? Isn't God the one who has to accept the payment?"

He _has_ accepted the payment, but so must you. By way of analogy&#8230; If God is the ticket taker at a concert (I understand there's good music in heaven) and Christ is standing there with free tickets, you still can't get it without a ticket. The ticket is free and God will honor it, but you still have to accept the gift Christ offers.
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
See, muppet, that may be an indisputable truth to you but to me it sounds ridiculous.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
"Knowing what someone *will* do means that they had no choice to not do it."

Skipping to the end of the book to see what happens is not the same thing as writing it.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
"The ticket is free and God will honor it, but you still have to accept the gift Christ offers."

And Christ is the only one offering tickets.

Right.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
"Skipping to the end of the book to see what happens is not the same thing as writing it."

Because a book, once written, can change itself partway through by the actions of the characters in the book.

Right.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
And Aaron, thanks for your participation. I'm a big fan of religious debates, and there wouldn't be any debate here without your willingness to carry on against superior numbers :).
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
Glad to. To me, it's an old debate, and one I probably shouldn't bother with, since I know none of you are capable of changing my mind on it...so it's not really a debate, is it?

:)
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
"Because a book, once written, can change itself partway through by the actions of the characters in the book."

No. Each of us only gets to write the book of our life once.

God, however, can read our book in any order he likes.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
"God, however, can read our book in any order he likes."

Even the parts as yet unwritten, eh?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Aaron, I know this is going to sound even more messed up, like a further man made justification for their beliefs make any sense, but I'm going to say it anyway. It's fine and reasonable that you wouldn't worship any God without some sort of encounter with Him first. For, even if you could reason yourself into an impersonal belief in God, what is the point of worship?

God doesn't shun reason, he likes reasonable people. But, human reason doesn't have much to do with God. There are times in a person's life when they will they are promted by the spirit of God himself to let go of themselves and believe in Him. But, these are subtle enough that if you deny him then, the experience wont be one that would prevent you from doing things your own way. In other words, on earth, God has left us the capacity to reasonably deny Him if we would rather direct our own lives. But I firmly believe that at some point, perhaps subconsciously, you are prompted and make your decision.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 17th, 2005
Was God in the Old Testament incapable of healing and protecting those who were, in God's own words "blameless and upright"?

Absolutely not. Besides passages like 2 Kings 8:1a, all of the healings that Christ performed were still during the time of The Law (Old Testament). The New Testament didn't start until some time after Christ's death.
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
"And Christ is the only one offering tickets."

So what? How many persons from whom you can get free tickets do you need?
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
Jeff, that may be the case, and I've had experiences that might be classified as "spiritual", but none of them had anything to do with the Christian God. I've seen nothing that makes me think of that being as one worth following.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
+++ "Skipping to the end of the book to see what happens is not the same thing as writing it."

Because a book, once written, can change itself partway through by the actions of the characters in the book.

Right+++

No, but the author was free to write his book his way, regardless of what page you read first. Just because you are currently experiencing your life in a sequential manner doesn't mean that God has to. If He is able to leap forward in time and view the end result of your choices, does that make them not your choices? How? You've only stated it as fact without any explanation for why you think that's so.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
"So what? How many persons from whom you can get free tickets do you need?"

If you're going to be giving away free tickets, and behind the curtain the person giving away the tickets is really the person accepting them...why bother with that rigamarole? Why not just let people in? That's a really tedious way to do things.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
muppet, do you understand modal logic?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Ah Aaron, I see, human models of how the Universe works are perfect an unassailable, and that's why you're able to say with conviction that God is an asshole.

We've been here already. :-)
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Yes, we have. And once again, rather than explore it, you go on with your life.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
And once again, rather than explore it, you go on with yours.

:-)
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Except that I already have explored it, whereas you have not.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
See, just because I'm unconvinced by your arguments doesn't mean I haven't already seen them. I have, and because they were weak before, and they're unaltered from what I've already seen, they're still weak. It's a case of "Been there, done that."
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
> Limbo as a concept is not new to me. Jesuit highschool. I also call bullshit on that. Holding someone separate from God at all before they have any capability to choose one way or the other solely because they weren't Baptized? Bogus.

It seems to me that you didn't read the article I cited, which concludes "Having said this, the Church leaves the matter in God's hands".
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 17th, 2005
Actually, I skimmed it. I did catch that.

And it's pretty much all in God's hands, isn't it? So that's rather a null statement.

With that, it's too nice out to stay inside, so I'm going to play hooky and go to the fair with my wife and kids.

Later!
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 17th, 2005
Of course, Aaron, because you already know that I haven't heard YOUR arguments or many many many of the logical constructs disproving God or making Him very very unlikely.

What a pompous ass you've been in this thread.
Permalink muppet 
August 17th, 2005
Yeah I really don't understand trying to convince someone via reason that God is real. Jesus didn't come and write a bunch of books full of irrefutable arguement pointing towards a loving God and man's need for a saviour.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 17th, 2005
By the way, my copy of John 3:5 says,

  "I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."

That phrase, "kingdom of God", reminds me of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kingdom_of_God_is_Within_You ... I wonder, could it be that *baptism* isn't especially needed for a soul's entry into celestial Heaven after a person dies ... rather, it's needed for entry into God's kingdom *on earth*, e.g. the church of people who profess that God is king ...
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 17th, 2005
"I'm going to play hooky and go to the fair with my wife and kids"

Will he need a ticket for that? ;-)
Permalink bpd 
August 17th, 2005
and here I was thinking all along that God was just another name for Cosmic AC (Assimov).....

What I am surprised at is that this debate has been constrained only to the Abhrahamic interpretation of God http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrahamic_religion.
Permalink ShyK 
August 17th, 2005
"What I am surprised at is that this debate has been constrained only to the Abhrahamic interpretation of God"

Do you have any viewpoints from other religions you would like to enlighten us with?

I'm guessing most of the posters here have been raised in a culture with a dominant Abrahamic faith (and most of those Christian). Would any of our Indian friends like to insert a Hindu point of view (yes, presumptuous of me to assume a person from India is a Hindu, I know)?

Any other faiths out there?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 17th, 2005
"And on the sixth day, God created grits."

To whomever complained that grits taste like the box they come in, try them with a little salt and pepper and even a bit of butter. Down south they put ham or bacon in grits, but thats overkill as far as I'm concerned.
Permalink Dana 
August 17th, 2005
Grits were the leftover parts they fed the slaves.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 17th, 2005
Here's some of what I learned from Buddhist literature:

* Life is *not* necessarily a bed of roses; in fact it's because life isn't, because ills such poverty, sickness, old age and death are inevitable, that the Buddha wanted to discover the cause of suffering, and how to end it

* No sentient being wants to experience suffering

* Suffering and pleasure, people's experiences of 'heaven' and of 'hell', are both temporary/transient (which rather contradicts the usual 'Christian' notion of eternity, though the the Sanskrit "kalpa" is a very, very, very long time indeed)

* Neither [deliberate] suffering nor hedonism are the vehicles via which to attain enlightenment ... instead it recommends your prefering a 'Middle Way' between these two extremes

* The Buddha found and recommends various ways to alleviate [begin to end] suffering

* Tend to your body with the same care as you would a wound

Buddhism seems to me to be mostly carrot ("you'll benefit from practicing it") and not a lot of stick ("you'll go to hell if you don't believe") ... it seems to imply that the unenlightened world is already bad enough, even without any extra supernatural punisher/punishment ... though it includes the notion of "bad karma", it seems to talk about karma as though karma were an observable phenomenon ... personally I find metaphysical discussions (karma, reincarnation) e.g. http://www.sgi-usa.org/buddhism/faqs/karma.html less useful than ... well, just less useful.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 17th, 2005
"To whomever complained that grits taste like the box they come in, try them with a little salt and pepper and even a bit of butter."

I did, and they were still NASTY. Maple syrup made them bearable as long as there was at least as much syrup as there was grit, and providing you just swallowed it as quickly as possible.

It's a close run thing as to whether it's the taste or the texture that's the most unpleasant aspect, and how anyone can enjoy eating the stuff boggles the mind. I'll eat pretty much anything but I'd have difficulty choosing between grits and starvation. :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 17th, 2005
>> Down south they put ham or bacon in grits, but thats overkill as far as I'm concerned. <<

Shrimp & Grits is a South Carolina Lowcountry specialty. I just wish they didn't charge $11 for it.
Permalink example 
August 17th, 2005
"Will he need a ticket for that? ;-)"

They were free.

;)
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 18th, 2005
>Do you have any viewpoints from other religions you would >like to enlighten us with?

Life is a journey to attain knowledge - the supreme realization. To learn is to know to differentiate between piety and sin or simply put differentiate between right and wrong. Religion just puts some guidelines around right/wrong and knowledge thereof

If you do not learn - you spend that much longer in the school of life (or reincarnations). That in itself is a suffering. The concept of 'detention in hell' is not really justified.
Permalink ShyK 
August 18th, 2005
"Life is a journey to attain knowledge - the supreme realization"

I go for this view of life/afterlife, too. although I didn't receive any sort of formal religious "education" (so to speak) about it.

Actually, while I believe faith is essential to mankind, I don't have a very good opinion of "religion", as an institution.

Anyway, I believe in each of our passages through this world, we have a goal, something to learn. The tricky part (there is always a tricky part) is discovering what it is :)
Permalink Paulo Caetano 
August 18th, 2005
and I missed adding

'God' is just the omni-present (maybe omni-potent, but definitely omni-present) being that helps you focus on what is right.
God teaches you to do the right thing (and that is why the King, parent and teacher are also considered to be God's 'avatar's) and like any teacher might punish you for not learning. But that punishment does not translate to eternally condemning one to damnation and hell.
Permalink ShyK 
August 18th, 2005
"Actually, while I believe faith is essential to mankind, I don't have a very good opinion of "religion", as an institution."

Neither did Jesus.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 18th, 2005
I'm rather fond of grits with hot sauce and cheese myself. Any additional sugar added to them is just wrong, and putting syrup in them might actually get you shot in my neck of the woods.

Having said that, my wife (a northerner) insists on drowning them in syrup too.

So, the question is, if you hate them that much why eat them? Why not use cream of wheat or whatever that stuff is? Does the diet specify grits?
Permalink Steve Barbour 
August 18th, 2005
He eats what he hates, because he's muppet. Since he hates everything, what else could he eat? And enough people hate grits that they might agree with him long enough to prolong a thread.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 18th, 2005
I never said I hated grits. Why would I eat them if I hated them? I just happen to like maple syrup on them.
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
I'm the one who hates grits. Please, don't confuse me with muppet. :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 19th, 2005
Sorry, the length of this thread combined with my distractability confused me.

Plus I fell asleep during the theological discussion...

Anyway, as any self respecting southerner would tell you, you can't really like grits if you put maple syrup on them. It hides the taste.

<tongue firmly planted in cheek>

Hotsauce and cheese on the other hand, do nothing whatsoever to mask the heaven that is "real" (instant grits aren't "real") grits.

</tongue firmly planted in cheek>
Permalink Steve Barbour 
August 19th, 2005
"Free will and perfect precognition are irreconcilable."

Why?
You, with a limited abitily to see and understand what happens around you, can occasionally figure out what is about to happen.

Guy on ledge w/ sweaty face and desperate look.
You: He's about to jump!
Your realisation does not make him jump.

Your kid on a tricycle staring at the garden.
You: OH Crap! He's about to ride through!
Your realisation does not make him peddle.

You're outside on a cloudy day when the temp drops, the steady breaze dies down, and you smell that funny smell.
You: It's about to rain.
Your realisation does not make it rain.

------------------------------
In all of these cases you are usually right, but sometimes wrong; YOU arn't God.

Given how much greater a God must be than a human, why is it so surprising that God can look at your soul, and tell what you will do in twenty years w/o actually causing what you do?
Permalink Steamrolla 
August 19th, 2005
"why is it so surprising that God can look at your soul, and tell what you will do in twenty years w/o actually causing what you do?"

Because if all your future actions can be determined by any means, it means that (in a philosophical sense, at least) you have no choice in your actions -- your destiny is pre-ordained, and any sense of free will you have is just an illusion. It's got nothing to do with God *causing* these actions -- if what you're going to do in 10 years time can be known now then in what sense do you have free will?
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 19th, 2005
Mat, are you saying that because God knows the choices you will make that you don't really have choices?
Permalink bpd 
August 19th, 2005
That's pretty much what I'm saying, yes. If God knows exactly what's going to happen during my whole life then effectively the choices I'm making are made already and I'm just following a pre-determined path; my destiny is set and there's nothing I can do to alter it, so I have no free will.
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 19th, 2005
Although I believe I see your point, I disagree.

Your statement "...then effectively the choices I'm making are made already..." could be true from God's perspective - as He's the one that can see them (which also explains things like: why nothing we do takes Him by surprise, why He knows our need before we do, etc.). But from _your_ perspective, they've yet to be made.

God's _knowing_ the choices you will be making does not _force_ the choices you will be making. I don't accept that His knowing in any way influences your choosing.
Permalink bpd 
August 19th, 2005
"I don't accept that His knowing in any way influences your choosing"

But if he knows what choice I'm going to make, I am not making the choice, regardless of whether he made the choice for me or whether it's just that he got a sneak preview of the script. From my perspective it may *feel* as if I'm choosing of my own volition, but if the outcome of the choice is predetermined then there was never any chance I was going to choose something different, so it's *not* a choice.

(Although this is all by the by -- I don't believe in god, I don't believe in predestination, and I take comfort in knowing that as the universe consists entirely of clouds of probability it's not possible to know the future with any degree of certainty. I'm still undecided on whether free will truly exists, or whether our consciousness is more of an observer in events than an active participant (experimental evidence suggests that this isn't an entirely implausible notion), but that's more of a philosophical problem than a real one. Like characters in The Matrix, does it *really* matter whether any of it is real or not? Probably not...)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 19th, 2005
Mat,

You were obviously predestined to hate grits.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 19th, 2005
Mat -

This is obviously a logical block for you, but why do you think that fore-knowlege of a choice's outcome removes the choice? You're over-abstracting the issue.
Permalink muppet 
August 21st, 2005
Because if the outcome of the choice is known before the choice is made, and there is no way that the outcome can be any different from the foretold result, then there is only one possible outcome. One possible outcome != choice.

If I were to tell you that I could predict every single thing you were going to do between now and the day you die and that nothing you could possibly do could make your life deviate from this prediction, do you think you'd feel that you had any control over your life? Doubtful. I'd put money on it feeling like all the choices in your life have already been made for you, and you're just tagging along for the ride...

Note that I *do* *not* believe that it is possible to know the outcome of all life's choices ahead of time, I'm just saying that if it *were* possible it would effectively do away with any notions of free will.
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 21st, 2005
Well Mat, it seems that your mind is simply wired differently. I'd argue that it's unfortunate that your ability to conceptualize is so hampered, but that's rather specious, I think. :-)
Permalink muppet 
August 22nd, 2005
And I think it's sad that your ability to grasp the philosophical implications of predetermination and its effect on free will is limited, but it takes all sorts to make the world go round... :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 22nd, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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