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Old 12-18-2010, 05:47 PM
 
55 posts, read 61,020 times
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Hey, I'm an open-minded Atheist. Just joined two days ago and I have a few questions.

What are Christians' opinions on these facts:

That there's no concept of eternal punishment in the Old Testament? There's only Sheol, which is an abode for both the righteous and the wicked. The Pentateuch's view of the afterlife seems to be pretty sober....The idea of ressurrection came into play when Babylon was conquered by the Persians. And then, by the time of Jesus, it seems to be completely different from the Ancient Hebrews' conception. This inconsistency is confusing and quite telling of the imperfect human hand in the evolution of religion, IMHO. That, or God can't decide what he wants to do with humans once they die.

That there's no concept of an eternal soul--or even a soul--in the Old Testament? This concept only flowers when the Hebrews are exposed to the Greeks, I believe. The Christians develop it into something that bears no resemblance to its younger Jewish self. (In the Hellenistic Era, there are other Greek concepts that find their way into Judaism and eventually, into Christianity as well. Are we REALLY witnessing a consistent God or the intellectual intercourse between two cultures enamored with each other?)

The Doctrine of Original Sin/Need for a Savior? The "All have fallen short of the glory of God, so we need a HUGE sacrifice to atone for it"-attitude of Paul, reinforced by St. Augustine seems like a mere justification for Jesus' anticlimatic death. Can someone please find me plausible evidence of its existence in the Ancient Hebrew mindset? I mean, if we were in need of a savior or a Christ so badly, then why wasn't it stressed before the Hebrew nations started to become threatened by Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt? (No, I'm not going to believe that "The need for Jesus was implied after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden!" Because everything Christians believe in seems to be "implied" or "insinuated" in the OT, but never stated directly.)

That leads me to...The Messiah/Savior? To me, it seems that the Messiah was political/military figure; a guy who'd make Israel a large part of Middle Eastern affairs--who'd fend off the Mesopotamian bullies and bring about world peace just for the hell of it. He would care more about the Jewish people and their national affairs then every single human being's relationship with god. Jesus hasn't met all of the requirements of being the messiah...Or at least, YET, as Christians say. That seems like a laughably weak argument to me. I don't think Judah would have turned the other cheek in the face of Babylon....They didn't.

Why God has trouble finding Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
[SIZE=2]Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” [/SIZE]

Uh...is God just playing stupid or what? Is he trying to be dramatic? Seriously, he asks him "Have you eaten from the tree I told you not to eat?" and he really seems to not know. What is the meaning of this? Anyone?

The Trinity
I don't even know what to say about this.... It's probably the most convoluted concept in Christianity. What is the Holy Spirit? Why did God need a son? God IS his own son? It's funny watching preachers explain the absurdity of all of this with straight, serious faces as if it makes sense.

There are more, but I've forgotten them for now.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Wa
5,302 posts, read 5,936,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obamuchadnezzar View Post

That there's no concept of eternal punishment in the Old Testament? There's only Sheol, which is an abode for both the righteous and the wicked. The Pentateuch's view of the afterlife seems to be pretty sober....The idea of ressurrection came into play when Babylon was conquered by the Persians. And then, by the time of Jesus, it seems to be completely different from the Ancient Hebrews' conception. This inconsistency is confusing and quite telling of the imperfect human hand in the evolution of religion, IMHO. That, or God can't decide what he wants to do with humans once they die.
Sheol was an abode for the covenant people only, righteous and wicked.

Quote:
That there's no concept of an eternal soul--or even a soul--in the Old Testament?This concept only flowers when the Hebrews are exposed to the Greeks, I believe. The Christians develop it into something that bears no resemblance to its younger Jewish self. (In the Hellenistic Era, there are other Greek concepts that find their way into Judaism and eventually, into Christianity as well. Are we REALLY witnessing a consistent God or the intellectual intercourse between two cultures enamored with each other?)
You are correct. The soul, in Hebrew thought, was merely what made up the Jew, mind, heart and body. It wasn't until the stoic and Hellenistic influence, did the Jews conceptualize the soul, or spirit, as eternal. It never was. The Jews, when they died, returned to dust, to await resurrection and inherit the "incorruptible" body that was given to the righteous for their faith in God, evidential by their works. The wicked, were cast into the lake of Fire, and exterminated. Eternal life, or aionios ZOE, is conditional on faith in Christ, no more works, no need for resurrection on some last day, as that day already came when Christ drew first blood. It continued until the OLD GARMENT waxed and passed away.
By fire baptism of the holy spirit, you die, and are raised to life with Christ.

Now, I, sciotamicks, am eternal. My body of flesh will return to the earth and decompose, but me, sciotamicks' spirit and incorruptible body, will remain with Christ forever.

Quote:
The Doctrine of Original Sin/Need for a Savior?
Quote:
The "All have fallen short of the glory of God, so we need a HUGE sacrifice to atone for it"-attitude of Paul, reinforced by St. Augustine seems like a mere justification for Jesus' anticlimatic death. Can someone please find me plausible evidence of its existence in the Ancient Hebrew mindset? I mean, if we were in need of a savior or a Christ so badly, then why wasn't it stressed before the Hebrew nations started to become threatened by Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt? (No, I'm not going to believe that "The need for Jesus was implied after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden!" Because everything Christians believe in seems to be "implied" or "insinuated" in the OT, but never stated directly.)
The covenant between man and God needed to be rectified.
Christ did that, and through that covenant, God is all in all with you.
It was stressed to Adam, and in him, Israel had to wait.
We don't anymore. We have Christ, through faith.


Quote:
Why God has trouble finding Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Uh...is God just playing stupid or what? Is he trying to be dramatic? Seriously, he asks him "Have you eaten from the tree I told you not to eat?" and he really seems to not know. What is the meaning of this? Anyone?
He wants him to confess, as he wants us to confess as well.
It is a relationship based on trust.

Quote:
The Trinity
I don't even know what to say about this.... It's probably the most convoluted concept in Christianity. What is the Holy Spirit? Why did God need a son? God IS his own son? It's funny watching preachers explain the absurdity of all of this with straight, serious faces as if it makes sense.There are more, but I've forgotten them for now.
What can I say?
He's God....He can do whatever He wants, how he wants.

Obamuchadnezzar.....you have it right if you don't believe....lights out.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:29 PM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,720,521 times
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God is Supernatural Spirit and there is eternal punishment in the Old Testament in Isaiah 66:22-24......``For as the new heaven and the new earth, which I will make shall remain before me saith the Lord so shall your seed and your name remain....and it shall come to pass that from one moon as another other and from one sabbath as another shall all flesh come to worship before me saith the Lord ....and they shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me for their worms shall not die neither shall their fire be quenched and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh..``.... and also in Daniel 12:2.....``and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contemp``..........God could not find Adam and Eve after they sin, because Adam was created in the image of God who is an eternal fire, and so was Adam a being created by God who was this eternal fire, who rebelled against the command of the Lord not to eat of this tree of Good and evil ...... so here is Adam and Eve with satan the serpant on their authority for darkness hidding from God of eternal fire , and the darkness in not good to the Lord , were he created eternal fire over the darkness, Here Adam and Eve eternal fire had gone out and cold........... The original sin is the sin that the devil gained from Adam sin, who was Gods first choice for the mediator for the earth and Lord Jesus was the second chance the Lord gave for is desires for Children of God for the Lord .............
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Somewhere
6,370 posts, read 6,426,526 times
Reputation: 587
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obamuchadnezzar View Post
Hey, I'm an open-minded Atheist. Just joined two days ago and I have a few questions.

What are Christians' opinions on these facts:

That there's no concept of eternal punishment in the Old Testament? There's only Sheol, which is an abode for both the righteous and the wicked. The Pentateuch's view of the afterlife seems to be pretty sober....The idea of ressurrection came into play when Babylon was conquered by the Persians. And then, by the time of Jesus, it seems to be completely different from the Ancient Hebrews' conception. This inconsistency is confusing and quite telling of the imperfect human hand in the evolution of religion, IMHO. That, or God can't decide what he wants to do with humans once they die.

That there's no concept of an eternal soul--or even a soul--in the Old Testament? This concept only flowers when the Hebrews are exposed to the Greeks, I believe. The Christians develop it into something that bears no resemblance to its younger Jewish self. (In the Hellenistic Era, there are other Greek concepts that find their way into Judaism and eventually, into Christianity as well. Are we REALLY witnessing a consistent God or the intellectual intercourse between two cultures enamored with each other?)

The Doctrine of Original Sin/Need for a Savior? The "All have fallen short of the glory of God, so we need a HUGE sacrifice to atone for it"-attitude of Paul, reinforced by St. Augustine seems like a mere justification for Jesus' anticlimatic death. Can someone please find me plausible evidence of its existence in the Ancient Hebrew mindset? I mean, if we were in need of a savior or a Christ so badly, then why wasn't it stressed before the Hebrew nations started to become threatened by Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt? (No, I'm not going to believe that "The need for Jesus was implied after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden!" Because everything Christians believe in seems to be "implied" or "insinuated" in the OT, but never stated directly.)

That leads me to...The Messiah/Savior? To me, it seems that the Messiah was political/military figure; a guy who'd make Israel a large part of Middle Eastern affairs--who'd fend off the Mesopotamian bullies and bring about world peace just for the hell of it. He would care more about the Jewish people and their national affairs then every single human being's relationship with god. Jesus hasn't met all of the requirements of being the messiah...Or at least, YET, as Christians say. That seems like a laughably weak argument to me. I don't think Judah would have turned the other cheek in the face of Babylon....They didn't.

Why God has trouble finding Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
[SIZE=2]Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” [/SIZE]

Uh...is God just playing stupid or what? Is he trying to be dramatic? Seriously, he asks him "Have you eaten from the tree I told you not to eat?" and he really seems to not know. What is the meaning of this? Anyone?

The Trinity
I don't even know what to say about this.... It's probably the most convoluted concept in Christianity. What is the Holy Spirit? Why did God need a son? God IS his own son? It's funny watching preachers explain the absurdity of all of this with straight, serious faces as if it makes sense.

There are more, but I've forgotten them for now.
Eternal Punishment is not found in the scriptures. That doctrine is is found in mistranslated bibles and preached by mainstream Christianity. Jesus was a Universalist. He preached the salvation of all.

Ask yourself this. If God is Almighty and All Knowing then surely He would have known the ultimate fate of everyone brought into existence. Surely He would have the power to persuade everyone in due time to come to salvation. Anything that doesn't mesh with that is just contrary to the Scriptures and to His nature.

The Truth of the matter is that God purposed for Adam and Eve to take of the forbidden fruit. This is what others don't get.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

God is creating His own kind here. You and me and everyone else. We HAD to learn evil:

Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

All this was planned. There is a lot more that you probably haven't learned since your talking about the mainstream view. I suggest learning about Universalism. Or Universal Salvation. I think you will find a very different God preached then you have heard before.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Arizona
267 posts, read 267,318 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obamuchadnezzar View Post
Hey, I'm an open-minded Atheist. Just joined two days ago and I have a few questions.

What are Christians' opinions on these facts:
I am curious about your self portrayal as an open minded Atheist? Could you please explain your characterization? In my experience that is an oxymoron, and especially on the topics of your post.

It appears to me your opening query exemplifies the irony of your self depiction. You characterize your postulations as fact and predetermine any responses as mere opinion.

If you genuinely want to gain an different understanding it will require a deeper study then you will find on a forum with so many diverse opinions
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:29 PM
 
159 posts, read 161,852 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Now, I, sciotamicks, am eternal. My body of flesh will return to the earth and decompose, but me, sciotamicks' spirit and incorruptible body, will remain with Christ forever.
The only thing I am completely convinced will remain forever is your ego.... where do I get one?
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:19 PM
 
2,981 posts, read 5,114,877 times
Reputation: 226
It is all in Enoch, and the OT does not re-lay the foundational doctrines that Enoch had and wrote, by revelations; for he wrote under inspiration, and God did not need to say it twice; and the OT and NT writings mention Sheol below, and eternal Life and eternal death in the same manner that Enoch revealed. Jesus spoke of them in the same manner that Enoch wrote of them, by revelation.
The Book of Enoch
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:55 AM
 
55 posts, read 61,020 times
Reputation: 33
Sciotamicks, your answers are examples of what makes me distrustful of Christianity. To me, a lot of it is just justification, vague philosophizing and unwarranted insinuation from the Jewish texts. Yeah, it sounds neat saying things like, "Jesus was what was being referred to in Jeremiah 31: 31-34. He died on the cross for our sins, so we don't have to. This verse here refers to Jesus, so does this one," and all of the other stuff regarding Jesus' role in a post-Old Testament timeframe, but it's all obscure. And if you look at it, most of it comes from Paul, who never even met Jesus face-to-face.

Put frankly, Original Sin doesn't seem to be that much of an issue in the OT. Sure you'll find the occasional "Man is lower than God because Adam ate the fruit. Man disobient, God angry-" verse, but that doesn't equate to us needing God to come down to Earth in flesh to punish himself for our sins (especially when, if God is so forgiving and merciful, AND he can do everything, he coudl have just....forgiven us without having to avoid breaking a law).

If sin was such a problem that God in the flesh was needed, then why wasn't that explicitly (and I use that word loosely here) stated? Why wasn't the idea of a savior of Israel introduced or talked about in the Pentateuch----or any other place before the Hebrews were threatened by eastern super powers?

What verse explicitly states, or gives a valid reason for us to infer that Sheol was only for the covenant people?

I don't believe that the concept of resurrection was always a part of the Ancient Hebrew mindset as you seem to. To me, it seems more likely that it was just added in once times became more depressing and nihilistic for the Hebrews. A fresh new layer of theologic afterlife thought....But that's just me. It could be either or, in truth.

About your answer to my Garden of Eden question: again, those could have been rhetorical questions coming from God or, in my view, that could have been a glimpse of God when the idea of monotheism was infantile--when Yahweh was more paganistic and "walked" in the garden and asked questions just like a human being.

And the trinity: I asked that to point out just how awkward and clunky the trinity is. By your answer, I can tell that you think the same.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:59 AM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,831 posts, read 10,880,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obamuchadnezzar View Post
Sciotamicks, your answers are examples of what makes me distrustful of Christianity. To me, a lot of it is just justification, vague philosophizing and unwarranted insinuation from the Jewish texts. Yeah, it sounds neat saying things like, "Jesus was what was being referred to in Jeremiah 31: 31-34. He died on the cross for our sins, so we don't have to. This verse here refers to Jesus, so does this one," and all of the other stuff regarding Jesus' role in a post-Old Testament timeframe, but it's all obscure. And if you look at it, most of it comes from Paul, who never even met Jesus face-to-face.

Put frankly, Original Sin doesn't seem to be that much of an issue in the OT. Sure you'll find the occasional "Man is lower than God because Adam ate the fruit. Man disobient, God angry-" verse, but that doesn't equate to us needing God to come down to Earth in flesh to punish himself for our sins (especially when, if God is so forgiving and merciful, AND he can do everything, he coudl have just....forgiven us without having to avoid breaking a law).

If sin was such a problem that God in the flesh was needed, then why wasn't that explicitly (and I use that word loosely here) stated? Why wasn't the idea of a savior of Israel introduced or talked about in the Pentateuch----or any other place before the Hebrews were threatened by eastern super powers?

What verse explicitly states, or gives a valid reason for us to infer that Sheol was only for the covenant people?

I don't believe that the concept of resurrection was always a part of the Ancient Hebrew mindset as you seem to. To me, it seems more likely that it was just added in once times became more depressing and nihilistic for the Hebrews. A fresh new layer of theologic afterlife thought....But that's just me. It could be either or, in truth.

About your answer to my Garden of Eden question: again, those could have been rhetorical questions coming from God or, in my view, that could have been a glimpse of God when the idea of monotheism was infantile--when Yahweh was more paganistic and "walked" in the garden and asked questions just like a human being.

And the trinity: I asked that to point out just how awkward and clunky the trinity is. By your answer, I can tell that you think the same.
Sciotamicks gave you a full preterist point of view....you must take that into consideration.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:47 AM
 
271 posts, read 330,575 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Why God has trouble finding Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?
[SIZE=2]Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” [/SIZE]

Uh...is God just playing stupid or what? Is he trying to be dramatic? Seriously, he asks him "Have you eaten from the tree I told you not to eat?" and he really seems to not know. What is the meaning of this? Anyone?

The Trinity
I don't even know what to say about this.... It's probably the most convoluted concept in Christianity. What is the Holy Spirit? Why did God need a son? God IS his own son? It's funny watching preachers explain the absurdity of all of this with straight, serious faces as if it makes sense.
Actually, they are difficult for me also to imagine.
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