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Old 07-08-2010, 02:33 AM
 
Location: Italy
6,387 posts, read 5,285,843 times
Reputation: 869

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Hi everyone!
A word came to me last night before falling asleep: "all will come."
Now some do not believe that God is able to love His enemies, or save them, either.
So I would like to look at a word which has much relevance with regard to eternal torment. This word is "extortion."

extortion (n.) "to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power."
(Now before someone says, well that's just "Webster's" definition, and he isn't born again-- I'd like to say this: God gave us a brain for a purpose, and if we don't want to use it, then we probably should turn our computers off.)

Ok.
Does the Bible mention extortion? YES! I like the KJV, so I'll use it here, but if someone has a version which mentions it in a different place, add it here!

In the OT:
- "Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour." Psalm 109: 11
- "Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land." Isaiah 16:4
- "In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD." Ezek. 22:12

In the NT:
- "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess." Matt. 23:25
- "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." Luke 18:11
- "Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world." 1 Cor. 5:10
- "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." 1 Cor. 5:11
- "Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:10.

The first thing I noticed here, was that the Pharisees believe that they are not extortioners; Jesus says that they are!

Question: Would God use extortion in order to get people to follow Him? (It's implied that God "could" if He wanted to, since He's GOD.)
Does God threaten people with punishment so that they might "obey Him?" Is this consistent with the notion that God IS Love? Can love and extortion go hand-in-hand?

I think that most Christians would say that God is not an extortioner. Indeed, it seems that extortion is understood throughout scripture to be not a good thing. And not a fruit of the Spirit, either!

Blessings of God's Love to all here,
brian
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:54 AM
 
Location: Italy
6,387 posts, read 5,285,843 times
Reputation: 869
Default synonyms

Just a small postscript:
as "extortion" means to intimidate, looking at the definition of "intimidate" and other synonyms may help us to understand the implications of the doctrine of eternal torment.

intimidate: to make timid or fearful; frighten.

browbeat: to intimidate or disconcert by a stern manner or arrogant speech.

bully (v) : to treat abusively; to affect by means of force or coercion.

bulldoze: to coerce or restrain by threats.

cow (v.) : to destroy the resolve or courage of. To "cow" implies reduction to a state where the spirit is broken or all courage is lost. (It's interesting what God tells us in Isaiah 57: "For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made." It seems here, that if God stays angry, His Spirit suffers. This is in agreement with the fact that Love "is not resentful." God cannot stay angry forever. Whether there is a "punishment" or not, He does not let anger overcome Him.)

Food for thought...

Blessings,
brian
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:45 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,965 posts, read 5,758,355 times
Reputation: 1590
Good post, Brian. I will just say that in my lifetime I have been in many churches that used extortion on a regular basis. And I always knew deep down that something was not right - BUT I did not have the wisdom at the time to understand what was going on.

Thoughtful post of your meditations... thanks.

Heartsong
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:01 AM
 
5,499 posts, read 4,571,799 times
Reputation: 5149
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahigherway View Post
Hi everyone!
A word came to me last night before falling asleep: "all will come."
Now some do not believe that God is able to love His enemies, or save them, either.
So I would like to look at a word which has much relevance with regard to eternal torment. This word is "extortion."

extortion (n.) "to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power."
(Now before someone says, well that's just "Webster's" definition, and he isn't born again-- I'd like to say this: God gave us a brain for a purpose, and if we don't want to use it, then we probably should turn our computers off.)

Ok.
Does the Bible mention extortion? YES! I like the KJV, so I'll use it here, but if someone has a version which mentions it in a different place, add it here!

In the OT:
- "Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour." Psalm 109: 11
- "Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land." Isaiah 16:4
- "In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD." Ezek. 22:12

In the NT:
- "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess." Matt. 23:25
- "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." Luke 18:11
- "Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world." 1 Cor. 5:10
- "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." 1 Cor. 5:11
- "Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:10.

The first thing I noticed here, was that the Pharisees believe that they are not extortioners; Jesus says that they are!

Question: Would God use extortion in order to get people to follow Him? (It's implied that God "could" if He wanted to, since He's GOD.)
Does God threaten people with punishment so that they might "obey Him?" Is this consistent with the notion that God IS Love? Can love and extortion go hand-in-hand?

I think that most Christians would say that God is not an extortioner. Indeed, it seems that extortion is understood throughout scripture to be not a good thing. And not a fruit of the Spirit, either!

Blessings of God's Love to all here,
brian
Good post Brain...I mean Brian...
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:59 AM
 
7,811 posts, read 10,700,409 times
Reputation: 3443
Default Does God use WHAT!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahigherway View Post
Question: Would God use extortion in order to get people to follow Him?
Sometimes June is just a pitiful, dopey atheist who reads certain questions and finds herself going "Huh!?" June says this as being more of a reflection of herself than that of the OP. So with that in mind, June went to 'the source' and looked up the passage that most readily came to mind in reading the OP's querie: Matthew 4:19

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

~This dopey atheist isn't hearing a whole lot of "extortion" in that one!


Take gentle non-extortion care.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Italy
6,387 posts, read 5,285,843 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
Sometimes June is just a pitiful, dopey atheist who reads certain questions and finds herself going "Huh!?" June says this as being more of a reflection of herself than that of the OP. So with that in mind, June went to 'the source' and looked up the passage that most readily came to mind in reading the OP's querie: Matthew 4:19

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

~This dopey atheist isn't hearing a whole lot of "extortion" in that one!


Take gentle non-extortion care.
Unfortunately, much of Christendom isn't as sensitive as June is.
We have just discovered on another thread that starving children in Africa will be burned in hell forever because they didn't "make a choice for Christ."
To me, that is extortion.

Blessings,
brian
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:58 AM
 
7,811 posts, read 10,700,409 times
Reputation: 3443
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahigherway View Post
To me, that is extortion.
To June, it's basic human misunderstanding.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,391 posts, read 9,134,430 times
Reputation: 13025
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahigherway View Post
Unfortunately, much of Christendom isn't as sensitive as June is.
We have just discovered on another thread that starving children in Africa will be burned in hell forever because they didn't "make a choice for Christ."
To me, that is extortion.

Blessings,
brian


Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
Sometimes June is just a pitiful, dopey atheist who reads certain questions and finds herself going "Huh!?" June says this as being more of a reflection of herself than that of the OP. So with that in mind, June went to 'the source' and looked up the passage that most readily came to mind in reading the OP's querie: Matthew 4:19

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

~This dopey atheist isn't hearing a whole lot of "extortion" in that one!


Take gentle non-extortion care.

To June, it's basic human misunderstanding.
It is amazing to me that a nonchristian has a better understanding of theology that the UR folk on this board.

Nowhere is it written that starving African children, who don't chose Christ, are going to hell. I have never heard such "theology" preached in church either.

Last edited by Mr5150; 07-08-2010 at 09:27 AM..
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,391 posts, read 9,134,430 times
Reputation: 13025
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahigherway View Post
Just a small postscript:
as "extortion" means to intimidate, looking at the definition of "intimidate" and other synonyms may help us to understand the implications of the doctrine of eternal torment.

intimidate: to make timid or fearful; frighten.

browbeat: to intimidate or disconcert by a stern manner or arrogant speech.

bully (v) : to treat abusively; to affect by means of force or coercion.

bulldoze: to coerce or restrain by threats.

cow (v.) : to destroy the resolve or courage of. To "cow" implies reduction to a state where the spirit is broken or all courage is lost. (It's interesting what God tells us in Isaiah 57: "For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made." It seems here, that if God stays angry, His Spirit suffers. This is in agreement with the fact that Love "is not resentful." God cannot stay angry forever. Whether there is a "punishment" or not, He does not let anger overcome Him.)

Food for thought...

Blessings,
brian
OK then. The UR folk say God will cause everyone to be saved. How does that work for the people who hate God and want no part of God?

If not by some means of "coercion" (which is defined as: actual or threatened force for the purpose of compelling action by another person; the act of coercing; Use of physical or moral force to compel a person to do something, or to abstain from doing something, thereby depriving that person of the exercise of free will) then how?

The UR folk teach that God will cause (aka force) people to accept Jesus and be in the kingdom of God.

Will God use His "refining fire" to force people into His Kingdom?
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Italy
6,387 posts, read 5,285,843 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
To June, it's basic human misunderstanding.
Yes, it may be misunderstanding, but it's preached with arrogance, and I've seen how it shames people. Ironically, it usually repulses from Christ rather than draw others closer..

To me, THIS is true spiritual wickedness in high places.

Blessings,
brian
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