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When is Death Just?
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gogh
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Post: #31
RE: When is Death Just?

Re: "So why does a literal interpretation of Genesis not show that?"

Just because it doesn't/does not to you, doesn't/does not mean it doesn't/does not.

:coffeeread:


"......."This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Keep listening to him!" Luke 9:35
03-15-2011 09:23 PM
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Seraphim
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Post: #32
RE: When is Death Just?

That`s true!

03-15-2011 10:07 PM
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veritas re
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Post: #33
RE: When is Death Just?

Totaldismay Wrote:
So Adam/Eve got the death penalty for taking something that did not belong them, and all their children recieved the same death penalty. Hmm, that doesn't seem fair or just?



The death “penalty” does seem way over the top and most people would rightly feel repulsed at a penalty system so harsh and for a seemingly small indiscretion. No reasonable human parent would put such a penalty in place for their young children, so how could that be justified if anyone else did that including God?

Most persons from the above scenario will agree that there are lines around conduct in relationships, for example in a parent child type relationship, that there are norms of conduct that exist where parents are the responsible adult end of the relationship and that they maintain that stance in a loving and nurturing manner. How many times have you seen a child pitching a screaming fit yelling at their Mom in the supermarket checkout line – and everyone in line including you feels upset and irritated and wonder how a kid gets that awful so young, and how come the parents stand there helpless to do anything but beg the child to stop?

This scenario is a very simple yet profoundly understandable illustration - on many levels - because it’s a small scale model of what can happen in relationships between persons, nations, God and Man, where the relationship starts to have issues that block the normal free flow that happens with healthy relationships. I won’t list the many ideas persons have of how things should be in parent child relations but suffice to say that we all have some form of a rulebook so to speak that lists the whys and wherefores of one’s personal moral compass in this area.

A death “penalty”?
I’m not sure the word penalty is entirely accurate in conveying what took place the second that Adam and Eve ceased living – and delayed suicide seems a better term. Consider that YHWH told Adam that he and his family could eat of any plant in the place except for one certain tree, and Adam had explained all this to his new business partner. The result of eating of that particular tree was death, and Adam no doubt knew what death was seeing the many animals that live shorter lifespans that the man did. So when Adam ate that fruit from that particular tree, he knew going in that he would die – at some point he probably didn’t know for sure. Maybe he guessed he would die in time like the animals. Did Adam stop and think maybe the tree had poison fruit and he’d drop dead on the spot? If there were other trees in the garden of the same kind, no doubt he had eaten of those trees and possibly figured that the certain tree had the same fruit.

So why did Adam do it? Knowing he would die – sometime? Adam saw something in the deal that he wanted to get or that he wanted to keep - or both. I think it was a combination of factors – the most fatal of which was deferring to his business partner in her decision to eat of the fruit – with evidently no discussion pro or con, no thought of texting God a line or two asking questions about all this knowledge tree stuff: “YHWH, there’s this talking serpent that claims I won’t die, even that I’ll become like you, if I eat of that certain fruit you told me not to eat. Can I get some more details on this tree thing? ”. Adam killed himself, he committed slow acting hari-kari.

Think: You are El Shaddai and here’s one of your free moral agent children and he has broken a direct command of yours – and did it in front of his business partner, yourself, and all the heavenly realms. "What ya gonna DO now 'Most High' "? - "It's your move". Its my view that the answer to this question - is the narrative we’ve been looking at in Eden and history ever since - that has affected everything everywhere for thousands of years and that this question had to asked and that God was required by his own guidelines - even common sense - to answer it exactly as he has. But in what way could this be seen as "fair and just"? Was it fair and just?




v r


"...and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free."
03-16-2011 12:50 AM
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veritas re
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Post: #34
RE: When is Death Just?

Free moral agency could not exist were it not for the ability to set one’s own life course, to make decisions on right and wrong, good and bad – and make such decisions fully separate and independent from the Maker. I suspect that God was getting a little bored after existing apparently alone in the apparent void of non-physical ether, and he decided to create someone he could carry on a good conversation with – someone that could provide him an independent evaluation of the creative works spiritual physical moral and legal, someone that could think up a good joke to tell to share a good laugh and light talk with as well as dive into the depths of the many heavy duty topics of the universe, theology, philosophy, science and math. Maybe he just couldn’t wait to create intelligent beings and see how long it would take them to figure out what he had made.

But would such persons go along with God’s ways - or would they take exception and decide to go some other way? What justification would there be for the free moral agents to want to see and do things God’s way? Was there any justification? Hard to say when you are God and are able to decide whatever system of standards you want to have.

God was really asking for trouble when he created free moral agents, and it’s interesting that trouble is what he definitely got. Didn’t God see it coming? Or did he have no clue? Did God setup the tree thing in Eden knowing that mankind would likely eat of it? God knew what he was doing, and he knew there was a high likelihood of rebellion – but this option had to have an equal chance of happening for God’s own purposes to make any sense. So with the good that God did opened the possibility for the bad to occur as well. With good comes rewards – but why? Because God defines himself by what he does, and he is the essence of good. But how do you keep “good” in the universe when its very possible for the “bad” element to compete on at least a fifty fifty basis?

You do it with “choice” – free choice – in that you state your line or lines in the sand and you state the consequence of non-compliance or even outward rebellion, which is death since God would not be able to maintain creation according to his design specs if he was weak and allowed – even enabled – chronic and purposeful bad conduct and practices.

So I think that God’s intention of killing evil persons and removing evil conditions is right and true, "fair and just". Its fair because the guidelines were said up front in plain terms, its just because this allows God to preserve desirable conditions for persons with desirable qualities, and if that means killing chronic and purposely bad free agents that will not change – then since he’s God he must be responsible for preserving what he has made so the ones that liked his ways could have peace.




v r


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03-16-2011 01:50 AM
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wolfie
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Post: #35
RE: When is Death Just?

Seraphim Wrote:
If you take Adam as literal and his death as literal then of course they don`t equate because Jesus saved people spiritually. Death was not reversed in the same way it was caused, if you take the Genesis account literally that is. The parallel is being born again, and that is not the resurrection, which only comes after literal death. So its not that I don`t have any substance to what I'm saying.


I thought all my life everyone took adam and the genesis account as literal until just a little bit ago--I think Jesus took it pretty literal also...

''And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.'' Matt. 23: 35....I can't see this ''righteous blood'' coming from a make-believe person. ANd--if Abel was real surely Adam was real....

''By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even tho he is dead.'' Hebrews 11:4 ..

again, it sounds pretty literal to me unless it is a make-believe faith given to a pretend person (which makes NO sense to me at all) and would be pretty sad if the only faith to emulate on this planet had been those of make-believe people...

I think you can see, Brian how this would affect everything else to those who view it this way--and again--if Abel was real then Adam had to be real and if Adam was real then the garden was literal --and on it goes...

To so many people if you take away the Geneisis account--the foundation --then you annihilate the Bible......

and didn't we need to be saved spiritually? didn't we need a 'savior?''


''In the midst of winter I finally learned that in me there was an invincible summer.'' Albert Camus

''live simply, speak kindly, love unconditionally''
03-16-2011 09:15 AM
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Seraphim
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Post: #36
RE: When is Death Just?

I can see the reasoning for sure. I was raised as a JW so that biblical view is very familiar.

There are many things Jesus said as if they were literal and about people as if they were literal people but they were in fact parables. Even visions were provided of real people who were not actually real people to the extent that the disciples were convinced they were real. It was only later that the spiritual truth and point of visions and parables were understood for their spiritual significance without depending on it being literal reality. The fact that Jesus talks about Cain and Able doesn't mean they have to be literal people because parables contain real truth as though they were real. The rich man and Lazarus parable still provokes debates on the question of if it proves hell or not among JWs and other Christian's. Its not entirely clear if a literal reality is being alluded to, or a completely symbolic spiritual truth is being conveyed. One of course would want to be like Lazarus rather than the rich man but that doesn't prove literal or parable. For these and many other reasons the fact that Jesus talks about them as though they were real doesn't mean they literally were.

Deuteronomy 24:16 Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.

This verse doesn't sit well with a literal view of Genesis for obvious reasons.

James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

This verse doesn't sit well with a literal view of Genesis. Remember a literal reading makes clear than Adam didn't know the difference between good and bad at this point. Also bad must literally be nakedness according to Genesis yet God made them naked. He didn't even design them with fur but had to make clothes for them which is not natural and begs further questions.

On an on the list could go and im not even mentioning the logical contradictions in the creation account itself if taken literally.

Its simply not true that taking away Genesis from the bible equates to not taking it literally, or not tacking it literally equates to removing it from the bible and Christ's foundation as well. Its not removed, its understood as inspired but in the non literal mode. My faith is stronger than ever and has in fact increased since coming to understand a few common sense things about the world, theology and styles of writing. My faith in Jesus and spiritual foundation has not been removed. I'm not the only one either so what does that prove? It proves that the bible is still the foundation for our faith in Christ without having to ignore the evidence from the natural world.

03-16-2011 10:39 AM
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Derek
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Post: #37
RE: When is Death Just?

Hi Iso,
Does Brian's view affect the Grace of God?
No doubt God had foreknowledge of Eden's outcome and planned to send his life giver.

Frankly, I find the whole subject of the Atonement very multifaceted and difficult to understand. I have faith in Christ blood shed for me but I cannot comprehend Calvary unless I see it terms of God reaching out to us as individuals and being with us in our suffering as creatures of flesh and blood.

We are redeemed, primarily, because God loves us, and not because of our legal position. In fact this view, I think, enhances one's love for God.
regards
Derek


isomam Wrote:

Seraphim Wrote:
I don't think it takes anything away from the redemptive value of Jesus if Adam is not literally the human race's father.


i strongly disagree.



We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
And needing more each day Thy grace to know:
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
“We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.”
03-16-2011 01:27 PM
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wolfie
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Post: #38
RE: When is Death Just?

Hi Brian--

my view of genesis isn't from the witnesses--I learned these bible stories in the Baptist church and my faith was established as a very very very young child--even before I could read and the sunday school teacher read the stories to us. I love those day--(you know the good old days) I have often said I was born believing.
I am not sure how much it matters in the long run, brian, if we think genesis is a true story or event or a parable or not. To me I can't make sense of anything after that if I look at it as all myth. If there was no first family and no cain and abel and no murder and no going off by cain and no descent of line to follow for Jesus then it is all for nothing as far as the history goes. In Matthew Jesus used abel and Zachriah together as an example--we know without doubt zechariah was a real person do we not? It would seem to me to be a bit strange to mix a real person and a parable character together in such a way--it doesn't seem honest in some ways so I can't really wrap my brain around it, Brian. But I am not trying to change your mind--just explain how someone else might see it.... :heartbeat:


''In the midst of winter I finally learned that in me there was an invincible summer.'' Albert Camus

''live simply, speak kindly, love unconditionally''
03-16-2011 03:48 PM
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Seraphim
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Post: #39
RE: When is Death Just?

I understand, its a common viewpoint. I used to have the same view although I got it from the JWs.

The honesty question mark doesn't just occur with a non literal view of some characters in the bible. It also arises with a literal view because of internal contradictions within scripture that view generates. Also the same happens when the evidence from outside the bible doesn't line up with a literal view. Of course some characters in the bible were real people but others I don`t think so. There is no way Jesus would spend time explaining scientific truths or reorganising the ancients way of recording history, which was very different to how we do it today, to a people who had no concept of it. He would not have bothered correcting common misunderstandings of ancient biblical writings if they did not affect his purpose and message. He had enough trouble correcting their misunderstandings on weightier matters as it was. That wasn't his purpose.

Jesus did hint though that the spirit had many things to teach which could not be coped with in his day. Progressive Revelation is always how God has dealt with man. He meets him on his level and only gradually raises it as one does a child. This means that in the future we will understand things in ways we cant possibly imagine right now. The bible attests to this:

Corinthians 2:9 (New International Version)

9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him

In my view it makes far more sense, and takes less manoeuvring to except that different styles of literature were used in the bible. Some literal and some not. That it was written for specific audiences of the time, so that needs to be taken into account, and that extra biblical evidence should guide a view to interpretation as opposed to changing the laws of physics and the laws of evidence. If the laws of evidence are thrown out we inadvertently cut off the historical foundation of faith. We might have protected Genesis from a non literal interpretation but we have also protected/insulated Christ from evidential support. We have to be consistent in the way we deal with evidence or no evidence will count for anything. That price is too high and the casualties will be the young ones in the faith, and even an erosion of our own as we seal ourselves into ever narrower ideologies in order to cope with new evidence.

03-16-2011 04:42 PM
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gogh
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Post: #40
RE: When is Death Just?

Regarding your comments Seraphim:

Re: "For these and many other reasons the fact that Jesus talks about them as though they were real doesn't mean they literally were."

and:

Re: "...our faith in Christ without having to ignore the evidence from the natural world."

Please consider scripture that describes close relationship between faith and the natural world that includes miracles and miraculous events:

Hebrews 11:1...

Now faith is the assurance of things we hope for, the certainty of things we cannot see.
For by it our ancestors won approval.
By faith we understand that the universe was prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are invisible.
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did, and by it he was declared to be righteous, since God himself accepted his offerings. And by faith he continues to speak, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken away without experiencing death. He could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he won approval as one who pleased God.
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently search for him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, reverently prepared an ark to save his family, and by it he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
For he was waiting for the city with permanent foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith Sarah, even though she was old and barren, received the strength to conceive, because she was convinced that the one who had made the promise was faithful.
Abraham was as good as dead, yet from this one man came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
All these people died having faith. They did not receive the things that were promised, yet they saw them in the distant future and welcomed them, acknowledging that they were strangers and foreigners on earth.
For people who say such things make it clear that they are looking for a country of their own.
If they had been thinking about what they had left behind, they would have had an opportunity to go back.
Instead, they were longing for a better country, that is, a heavenly one. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, because he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac. The man who had received the promises was about to offer his unique son,
about whom it had been said, "It is through Isaac that descendants will be named for you."
He was certain that God could raise people from the dead, and figuratively speaking he did get him back in this way.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons "and worshiped while leaning on the top of his staff."
By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites and gave them instructions about burying his bones.
By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after he was born, because they saw that he was a beautiful child and were not afraid of the king's order.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh's daughter,
because he preferred being mistreated with God's people to enjoying the pleasures of sin for a short time.
He thought that being insulted for the sake of Christ was of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
By faith he left Egypt, without being afraid of the king's anger, and he persevered because he saw the one who is invisible.
By faith he established the Passover and the sprinkling of blood to keep the destroyer of the firstborn from touching the people.
By faith they went through the Red Sea as if it were dry land. When the Egyptians tried to do this, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not die with those who were disobedient, because she had welcomed the spies with a greeting of peace.
And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets.
Through faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, received promises, shut the mouths of lions,
put out raging fires, escaped death by the sword, found strength in weakness, became powerful in battle, and routed foreign armies.
Women received back their dead through a resurrection.
Others were brutally tortured but refused to accept release, so that they might gain a better resurrection.
Still others endured taunts and floggings, and even chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned to death, sawed in half, and killed with swords. They went around in sheepskins and goatskins. They were needy, oppressed, and mistreated.
The world wasn't worthy of them. They wandered in deserts, mountains, caves, and holes in the ground.
All these people won approval for their faith but did not receive what was promised,
since God had planned something better for us so that they would not become perfect without us."


Do you not agree that accounts of miracles and miraculous events, recorded in scripture, is faith strengthening, Seraphim?

:coffeeread:


"......."This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Keep listening to him!" Luke 9:35
03-16-2011 04:44 PM
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Seraphim
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Post: #41
RE: When is Death Just?

Yes I do think they are very encouraging and faith strengthening. Scientific evidence for miracles does not exist even though miracles do exist. Historical evidence works a bit differently than does scientific and can support the validity of miracles. The writer of Hebrews may not have known that not all the examples he used may not literally have been valid, but they are all spiritually valid with some I believe literally so. Would you like me to detail some miracles in my own life that have helped convince me that miracles and the supernatural are real? Some of them depended on my having enough faith to act on them!

03-16-2011 05:01 PM
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gogh
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Post: #42
RE: When is Death Just?

re: "...detail some miracles in my own life that have helped convince me that miracles and the supernatural are real? Some of them depended on my having enough faith to act on them!"

Looks like a different topic....possibly destined... controversial?

:coffeeread:


"......."This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Keep listening to him!" Luke 9:35
03-16-2011 05:09 PM
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Seraphim
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Post: #43
RE: When is Death Just?

I guess that's because the faith is so strong in miracles today like the writer of Hebrews intended it to be, that some cant cope with them happening today. Isn't that because of a slightly literalistic interpretation of Corinthians?

03-16-2011 05:16 PM
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gogh
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Post: #44
RE: When is Death Just?

Re: "The writer of Hebrews may not have known that not all the examples he used may not literally have been valid, but they are all spiritually valid with some I believe literally so."

Re: "some I believe literally so"

Which examples he used have you determined literal?

:coffeeread:


"......."This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Keep listening to him!" Luke 9:35
03-16-2011 05:47 PM
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Seraphim
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Post: #45
RE: When is Death Just?

In my opinion its the ones generally after the flood because the life spans go back to normal. I'm sure the exaggerated life spans were not literal and perhaps used as a device to illustrate figurative, illustrative text. A bit like how Aesop's Fables used animals to illustrate moral and in this case spiritual truth. The talking snake in Genesis is im sure a bit like that, with part of the meaning being the dangers of idolatry. Flying snakes of fire were well known in that time which is where we get the word Seraphim from. A snake would have been a primary target for worship because of its seeming life from death characteristics. To the ancient mind a snake shedding its skin must have seemed amazing.

On this point of Genesis and idolatry, it turns out that the sun and moon did have perfectly good Hebrew words to describe them but these were not used in the text of Genesis. Instead they are simply described as luminary's, although literally the moon doesn't produce any light. This is probably because the sun and moon were objects of worship back then, and so the reason is to illustrate that to the true God they are just big oil lamps in the sky as it were, that an ancient person might set on a table for use and convenience. The convenience being to mark out the passage of time for us. A literal view of Genesis would make the moon produce its own light and lead one to miss the message against idolatry. The same message against idolatry has I believe been missed concerning the `each according to it kind` phraseology contrasted with man`s creation that doesn't have that phrase connected with him because he is of a different kind and over the animals and thus should not worship them.

03-16-2011 06:51 PM
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