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View Poll Results: Does God change?
No, He is the Lord, and changes not. 24 51.06%
Obviously! And it's not sacrilegious to say so either. 4 8.51%
God is the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and may His Noodly Self never change. Fettuccini. 16 34.04%
Yes, and about time too. Time for Holy Tide with color safe bleach! 3 6.38%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-20-2009, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
428 posts, read 692,023 times
Reputation: 123

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Hello Everyone...I'm kinda new here but wanted to ask a question that keeps popping up to me as I read through some of the posts on here.

To give background on myself I was raised to believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God. It is God's infallible, unchangeable Word to us and is alive and relevant to our daily lives today. I still pretty much believe that way but I don't think every single word of the Bible is directly from God's lips, although I do believe the Bible to be Divinely inspired of God and can be a great source of comfort and wisdom if read with wisdom.
Personally, I believe to take the entire bible literally is a very dangerous thing.

That being said, I was always taught, being raised a fundamentalist, very right-wing Christian, that God never changes. Malachi 3:6 very famously says "I am the Lord, I change not." Numbers 23:19 says "
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” These verses assert that God is unchanging, and unchangeable.

Also, the very same Christians who say that God never changes, using these verses and others to back that up, also universally say that the Bible, each and every little "jot and tittle" (to dust off an old term), is the inspired, literal Word of of the Living God.

Okay. Doesn't it appear to anyone else that the Bible itself shows that God changes His Holy Mind many, many times? There are many verses in the Old Testament that say that God repented of something.
In the original language, the word that is translated as “repent,” or “relent,” is the Hebrew expression of “to be sorry for.”

If someone is sorry for something, they have had a CHANGE of heart, have they not? Seriously. I've heard said that God changes His Mind due to our actions, as evidenced in Jeremiah 18. But what about God's omnipotence? Doesn't God know all things at all times? If so, wouldn't he know before time what we are going to do with our free will? So why would He need to change His Mind?
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
428 posts, read 692,023 times
Reputation: 123
I tried to edit but couldn't do so...just to clarify, I suppose this question is multi-faceted:

1. Does God change?

2. Does the Bible contradict itself on this issue?

3. How do you reconcile an unchangeable God who knows all, but if someone does something that pleases or displeases Him (which He should have already known would happen), can change His Mind?
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:46 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,586 posts, read 5,349,440 times
Reputation: 576
God does not change
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
428 posts, read 692,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn_2828 View Post
God does not change
Okay, but how do you reconcile those passages which state that God does not change (e.g., Mal. 3:6), with others that seem to suggest that he does alter his course of action? One example is found in Exodus 32:14, which says: 'And the Lord repented of the evil which he said he would do unto his people'.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:15 PM
 
Location: God's Country
21,427 posts, read 29,575,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddythreepointoh View Post
Okay, but how do you reconcile those passages which state that God does not change (e.g., Mal. 3:6), with others that seem to suggest that he does alter his course of action? One example is found in Exodus 32:14, which says: 'And the Lord repented of the evil which he said he would do unto his people'.
Shawn is right. God does not change. God did not change His mind here. He changed His behavior to remain consistent with His nature. When God first wanted to destroy the people, He was acting consistently with His justice. When Moses interceded for the people, God relented in order to act consistently with His mercy. God had often told the people if they changed their ways, He would not condemn them. They changed, and He did as He promised. God always keeps His promises.
Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever".
In a changing world, we can trust an unchanging God.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
428 posts, read 692,023 times
Reputation: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by I LOVE NORTH CAROLINA View Post
Shawn is right. God does not change. God did not change His mind here. He changed His behavior to remain consistent with His nature. When God first wanted to destroy the people, He was acting consistently with His justice. When Moses interceded for the people, God relented in order to act consistently with His mercy. God had often told the people if they changed their ways, He would not condemn them. They changed, and He did as He promised. God always keeps His promises.
Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever".
In a changing world, we can trust an unchanging God.
Hi ILNC, thanks for responding. I see your point and it is a good one, but I have a problem reconciling that with God's all-knowing nature. Why would God need to change if He already knew what someone would end up doing, free will or not?
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:14 PM
 
Location: God's Country
21,427 posts, read 29,575,314 times
Reputation: 29947
Quote:
Originally Posted by daddythreepointoh View Post
Hi ILNC, thanks for responding. I see your point and it is a good one, but I have a problem reconciling that with God's all-knowing nature. Why would God need to change if He already knew what someone would end up doing, free will or not?
But that's just it, He didn't change His mind.
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:18 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,517,680 times
Reputation: 47458
not at all. but our perception of him, constantly.
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
40,057 posts, read 29,764,336 times
Reputation: 10455
God does exactly as He pleases. We live with the result.
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
1,090 posts, read 1,954,832 times
Reputation: 607
rAmen.
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