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sonofason

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sonofason last won the day on October 8 2017

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  1. sonofason

    Did God create evil?

    Okay then, so I should always read the Bible more metaphorically, and not look at darkness as the absence of light, but read it as it was intended to be understood, ignorance... Let's see how that works.. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and (ignorance) was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." And God said, Let there be (knowledge): and there was (knowledge). And God saw the (knowledge), that it was good: and God divided the (knowledge) from the (ignorance). And God called the (knowledge) Day, and the (ignorance) he called Night. And the (beginning of ignorance) and the (beginning of knowledge) were the first (knowledge.)" Sorry, its not working for me. You had said, "Darkness in scripture is a metaphor for ignorance. I have shown a couple examples, and the words darkness and light are not metaphors in these examples for ignorance and knowledge. It would have been better had you said, sometimes in scripture, darkness is a metaphor for ignorance. Darkness is not something. If a universe existed which contained absolutely nothing, what would we have to add to this empty universe for there to be darkness in the universe? The answer is nothing, because darkness is nothing. Darkness is a lack of something. It is a lack of light. Ignorance is not something. If a universe existed which contained absolutely nothing, what would we have to add to this empty universe for there to be ignorance in the universe? The answer is nothing, because ignorance is nothing. Ignorance is a lack of something. It is a lack of information and knowledge. God is light, and God is good. He knows what is good, and He knows what is not good. He knows what He is and what He is not. There was a tree planted in the midst of a garden God planted on the earth. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God formed a man and a woman and placed them in this garden to dress it and to keep it. God commanded the man not to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden. God said, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof thou shalt surely die."(Genesis 2:16) What a surprise it must have been when Adam discovered his nakedness. Interestingly, we cannot determine whether or not Eve was commanded not to eat of the tree. The command was given to Adam, before his mate was even created. I suppose we can assume that Eve was obligated under this command as well because she was taken out of Adam. That which applied to him may as well also be applied to her. Nevertheless, they disobeyed God, they both ate from the tree, and they both found themselves to be naked. They were not just naked...they were naked and afraid. "And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he (Adam) said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." (Genesis 3:9-10) From Proverbs 1:7 we learn that "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge." Adam and Eve spent a great deal of time in the Garden naked, but they didn't know that they were naked. Now, all of the sudden, after they disobey God, they recognize their nakedness, and for some reason feel the need to cover their nakedness. Oh the shame they must have felt to find themselves naked without an excuse. Desperate for a covering Adam blames his wife, and his wife blames the serpent, as if fig leaves or hiding in the bushes were an adequate covering for a man's sins against God. Yes it was God they sinned against. All sin is sin against God. To sin is to miss the mark. It is to be without. What is the mark that is missed when we sin? I would suggest that the mark is pleasing God, and doing God's will. If it is God's will to give us a command, it is displeasing to God should we neglect or reject his command. If we know what God's will is for us, and we do not do it, we miss the mark because we do that which is displeasing to God. Whether we knowingly do not do that which God wants us to do or we knowingly do that which God does not want us to do, we miss the mark. That is sin. Missing the mark is knowingly doing that which is apart from God's will. Sin is knowingly doing that which lacks the will of God. That which is not God's will has no place in God. That which lacks God's will is no part of God. From what I have said so far, it is a far stretch for me to conclude that evil does not exist, that it has no place in existence apart from being a concept for the absence of the goodness of God. And I have to admit that I have been doing some research on the matter which is not making my task any easier. There was an article written by a freelance journalist for the New York Times Magazine, in the July 25, 2012 edition. The journalists name is Rollo Romig. In the article, he points out that "In centuries past, “evil” was used to describe all manner of ills, from natural disasters to the impulse to do wrong." https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/what-do-we-mean-by-evil I recommend reading this entire well written article as it may help you to understand where I am coming from. I'll have to admit, this was not a part of my consideration when putting forth my claim. I never really considered cities covered in ash from volcanoes to be evil acts of God. But apparently at one time, such events were considered evil. Is God evil? The article I cited above speaks to the evolution of the word evil from times past, until today, wherein it seems the writer has concluded that in today's world the stubborn concept of evil has no rightful place in our vocabulary. You'll have to read it to discover why. Perhaps he is right. I'll have to admit, in my thinking there as been no great distinction made between acts of evil and sinful acts, and therefore it seems I have concluded that all that is evil and all that is sin is nothing more than acts of rebellion against God in which God plays no roll, willful acts which lack the goodness of God. I have taken sin and evil to be synonymous. Perhaps they are not. Searching for answers, I've come across another article, an article written by Lorraine Day, M.D. entitled "The Difference between Evil and Sin". In this article Day makes the statement that "theologians firmly associate sin and immorality with evil, they try to shield God from all association with it (evil). You may use this article as ammunition against my claim, because I must admit that I am guilty of her accusation against theologians, though a theologian I am not. Where I might agree with her is that I may have mistakenly equated evil and sin. According to her, and I'm sure numerous other sources there is a difference between evil and sin, and she does a pretty good job of explaining it, whether one considers her to be right or wrong. http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/spiritual/the_organized_church/evil_sin.htm She asks a question in her article, that many have asked before. The question she asks is, "Since all things are of God, yet God cannot sin, how did sin originate? From where did it come and how?" It is at this point I will have to lay my claim to waste. Evil exists, and I must thank God for it. You'll have to read Lorraine Day's article to understand why. Glancing over it won't help. Sometimes we have to dig deep to find the treasure.
  2. sonofason

    Did God create evil?

    If you believe that darkness exists, I suppose you will say that evil exists. If you could admit that darkness is only the absence of light, perhaps you could see that evil is only the absence of God. It's easy to talk about abstractions as if they really exist, but in reality not every thing we speak of actually has a place in existence apart from being mere concepts. Remove the knowledge of light from existence and tell me what darkness actually is. Darkness is the absence of what? In the verses you have put before us, the evil that is spoken of that needs to be put away is the person who has no God present in his life, no Good in his deeds. A human being that does not possess any recognizable resemblance to the goodness of God is being called the evil that needs to be taken out from among the people. Destroy the man who displays no goodness of God, and you will destroy the evil in your midst.
  3. sonofason

    Did God create evil?

    It seems I do not see things exactly as do others. Surely we have all heard the expression that "God is light". In John's first letter to the churches, we can read it. John writes: "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5) From the book of Genesis, we learn that in the beginning God said, "let there be light". (Genesis 1:3) My question then is if God is light, why in the world did he need to "let there be light"? It doesn't make sense to me. Prior to creation, did God exist in darkness? How could it be, when according to John the apostle, "in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5)? I understand that there is a difference between the idea of darkness existing in God, and the idea of God existing in darkness, so I must continue. If the heavens and the earth are filled with God, and God is light, then where in the heavens and where on earth can there be darkness? Yet we speak of it all the time. We've all heard it said that "God is everywhere." I believe it's true, that He is indeed everywhere. In the book of Jeremiah we read, ""Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?" declares the LORD "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the LORD."(Jeremiah 23:24) Surely a man cannot hide himself from God. Surely the light of God fills the heavens and the earth. Therefore, I must conclude that the light that is God is something quite different than the light from the sun, even though the light of God is present in the light from the sun. And surely God is present when the sun goes down and the earth is covered in darkness. When God said let there be light, it must have been a different sort of light than the light that is God. Indeed it is different. Just as God created man in his own likeness, I believe when God created light, he created it in his own likeness. Darkness is nothing. Well, it is nothing in and of itself. It has no place in existence other than being an absence of light. We know that God is light. I assume that God knows this as well. Can we say that if God did not exist that all of existence would be in darkness? How can this be? What in the world does existence look like without God? Existence as we know it was created by God. What then did God's existence look like before creation? What did God exist in? Is God existence itself? I suppose it is possible that before creation there was no such thing as darkness. After all, if all is light, there would be no room for darkness. After creation however, we seem to have darkness. I suppose it was for our benefit. If we were always in the light, and if we had never known anything but light, by what means could we learn to appreciate the light that we have. God apparently understood it, and it is likely the reason that he created a light in his own image so that we could learn to appreciate the light. And the reason God wanted us to learn to appreciate the light is because God is light. And God wanted us to desire to be in the light. You brought up Isaiah 45, verse 7. It reads: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." Interestingly, we have verses of scripture that tell us that God is light, and here we have a verse that says that God forms the light. I'm going to have to say that it is a figure of speech. I do not believe that God creates evil, and I do not believe that God creates darkness. But in creating a light that can be distinguished from an absence of it, we are able to recognize that a condition can exist where there is an absence of light. Indeed there is a condition that can exist where there is an absence of God. In the end, that condition is non-existence. God does not create evil. God is good. In him there can be no evil. Is God present in our thoughts when we consider to do evil? Is God present in our hearts when we do evil acts? Is God a part of our motivation when we deny help to those who need it? There is a condition, a state of existence where God is absent and not present. If we should find ourselves in such a condition, nothing we can do is good. Evil is not a creation of God. Evil is the absence of God.
  4. Well, these finding do not surprise me at all. It's nice to see that there is a scientific study confirming what I already knew to be true. Thanks William
  5. sonofason

    Same-Sex Attraction is Sinful

    Oh I'm sorry, I never intended to suggest that child rape is in any way relevant to homosexuality. If you had not noticed, I am not the one who brought up the subject of child rape. Nonetheless, without God's forgiveness both sins result in eternal condemnation. I was simply addressing the posters comment, and I have no idea the extent of Jesus' temptations. Thankfully I know that He committed no sin. Have you?
  6. sonofason

    Did God create evil?

    I have a somewhat different perspective regarding this topic. In his first letter to the churches the apostle John makes the powerful statement that "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5 KJV) Biblical commentary after biblical commentary seem to all agree as to what this statement means. In the words of the biblical commentator Albert Barnes in 1834: "That God is light - Light, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge, prosperity, and happiness - as darkness is of the opposite. John here says that "God is light" - φῶς phōs - not the light, or a light, but light itself; that is, he is himself all light, and is the source and fountain of light in all worlds. He is perfectly pure, without any admixture of sin." http://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/1_john/1.htm He goes on to say: "The expression here is designed to affirm that God is absolutely perfect; that there is nothing in him which is in any way imperfect, or which would dim or mar the pure splendor of his character, not even as much as the smallest spot would on the sun. The language is probably designed to guard the mind from an error to which it is prone, that of charging God with being the Author of the sin and misery which exist on the earth; and the apostle seems to design to teach that whatever was the source of sin and misery, it was not in any sense to be charged on God." http://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/1_john/1.htm To all of this, I have to agree. God cannot create evil, and therefore cannot be charged with being the author of sin and misery. With this in mind we may want to venture to answer the question what is evil, and where does it come from. Interestingly, we have this analogy, this metaphor, this statement of absolute literal truth that "God is light" to work from. Does darkness exist? Given what I know now, I'm going to have to say no, it does not actually exist. Darkness is nothing more than a concept for a state of existence where light is not present. Yes, darkness is the absence of light. It is not anything in and of itself. It has no place in existence apart from being a concept for the nonexistence or lack of something that actually does exist...namely light. I believe that evil is the same sort of thing. Evil is nothing more than a concept for a state of existence where good is not present. Yes, evil is the absence of Good. It is not anything in and of itself. It has no place in existence apart from being a concept for the nonexistence or lack of something that actually does exist...namely God (Good). Yes, God is Good, as infinitely pure as God is Light. Without light we are left in darkness. Without God there is no Good. Without the goodness of God, we are left in a state of evil and darkness. This of course doesn't answer all of my questions. In the beginning God said, "let there be light" and God saw "that it was good". Prior to creation, did God not see that He was Good? If God has always been good, what sort of space did he occupy prior to Creation? Did God not know that he was Good prior to creation? Why did God let there be light in the first place before seeing that it was good? These questions are not the focus of my response. The important point is that God cannot have created evil. The fact is, evil is only recognizable because God exists. If God is light in its purest form, then there must be occasions when God is not present, because we perceive a darkness (or lack of light) when light is not present.
  7. sonofason

    Same-Sex Attraction is Sinful

    As a followup to my previous post, and perhaps an equally important question is this: Who is the better man in the eyes of God? 1. A man who is tempted by strong desires to have sex with a 5 year old girl, but refrains from acting upon them. 2. Or the man who has never been tempted by any strong desire to have sex with a 5 year old girl, and therefore never does. Would Jesus be our Redeemer had he never been tempted?
  8. sonofason

    Same-Sex Attraction is Sinful

    I would suggest that a desire to have sex with a 5 year old girl is definitely a sinful desire. Having sex with a 5 year old girl would be a sinful act. We don't have as much control over our thoughts as we do our actions, and so I would suggest having sex with a 5 year old girl is a much greater sin then wanting to. To get to the point which I believe you are inferring, I believe that a desire to commit sin is indeed sin, although I will admit that most people don't want to admit that. This is why we call them sinful desires, because the desire itself is rooted in the sinfulness of the act. Perhaps such thoughts will not be counted against us in the end, but then what does it matter? Without redemption through Christ by the grace of God, all of us shall face eternal damnation. Does anyone really think that they have no sin? Is there anyone who has not sinned? I assure everyone that they have fallen short and have sinned, even if they believe they never have had a sinful desire.
  9. sonofason

    Same-Sex Attraction is Sinful

    You weren't alone Sue...
  10. sonofason

    Hunting

    I personally am somewhat offended when people hunt just for the fun of it. Killing isn't something that I believe should ever be considered fun. Yet, I remember how I loved to go fishing. It's not that I loved killing fish. I loved the whole experience, the getting everything ready, launching the boat, the day, the air, the water, the boat ride, the lunch...the everything associated with a fishing trip, as well as the catching of the fish. It's fun. And so I can see how hunting can too be considered fun. So yes, we went fishing for the fun of it. It's not like we needed food or anything; we weren't starving. I'm sure the supermarkets were all in stock, and probably had fish, if fish is what we wanted. No we went fishing, and killed fish for the fun of it. And then we went home and we cleaned the fish we caught, and we ate it. And it was always very good. And we could tell ourselves that we weren't just fishing for fun, but also for a very practical reason, for food. Sometimes I come across people fishing, and they're really just fishing for fun. They set the hook in the fishes gills, bring him up, remove the hook, and throw him back in the water. I kinda had a problem with this. It seemed cruel to put an animal through so much anguish just for personal enjoyment. It sometimes seems they should be eating those fish they catch. Well, over the years, I've realized that all the fishing I've done was just for fun. Yes I ate the fish, but I went fishing for the fun of it, not just to have a fish dinner. And those guys throwing the fish back, well, they're just having fun too, and the fish get to live another day. I think it is good to respect the life of all creatures, but I do not believe any creature necessarily deserves to live a peaceful life. No, I don't believe anyone necessarily deserves to live peacefully on earth. The truth is, if a fish is too dumb to notice the hook he's about to swallow, he likely deserves to be eaten. If a man determines to build his home on a tectonic plate fault line, he likely deserves to have his home demolished by an earthquake. But please forgive me...I can be a little insensitive when it comes to these things. I believe people usually deserve exactly what they get.
  11. sonofason

    Who places limits on Christ's atonement, God or man?

    I have to admit, I'm a bit confused by this doctrine. It's not that I disagree with it; I'm just confused by it. If the elect are chosen, and this election is God choosing the chosen for salvation, I would suppose that it would be quite impossible for one of God's chosen to be rejected, as that would seem to be quite a failure on God's part. So what is the purpose of the ministry and preaching the Gospel of Christ? What is the value of preaching the Gospel and faith to those who aren't chosen? Of what value is it to preach the Gospel and faith to those who are chosen? What good is the Gospel to the chosen? What good is the gospel to the elect? What is the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
  12. sonofason

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    When I got married I made a vow, that I would love, honor and cherish my wife until by death we part. I intend to keep that promise. The marriage vow is not simply a vow between two people. The oath is taken before God, and God is a witness. "For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress." (Romans 7:2-3) “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” (Malachi 2:16) "And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Mathew 19:9) "But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Mathew 5:32) No thanks. If my wife wants a divorce, she's gonna have to kill me. A denomination cannot make a man a man of God; only Christ can do that.
  13. sonofason

    Did God create evil?

    It's clear to me that light cannot be said to be a physical thing that can be said to have a physical existence in this physical universe that we find ourselves in. As I said earlier, the word darkness is simply a symbolic representation of a particular concept, the concept of a state of existence that is absent of light. Darkness itself is nothing; it is absolutely nothing at all in reality. The only reason the concept exists in the first place is because we needed a word to represent the condition of a state of existence which is absent of something which actually does exist, namely light. If light never existed, the idea of darkness would probably never have been contemplated. Indeed, if there was only light, the idea or concept of darkness would also never likely be contemplated or thought of. The only reason we can think of darkness is because light and the absence of light cannot occupy the same space. Indeed, how could it. How could something and nothing occupy the same space? If light occupied all spaces, darkness would not exist. Because God did not create light to occupy all spaces, darkness naturally exists, but only as a concept, because what darkness is is actually nothing. I see evil in the same way. God is good. The absence of god is evil. Where there is no God, there is only evil. God did not create evil, but the lack of God is pure evil.
  14. sonofason

    "Do you believe science or God?"

    Yes, there was light. I don't know how many times I've read those first few verses of Genesis. I'll read various translations, I've studied the Hebrew lexicon, and it remains so obscure to me.
  15. sonofason

    "Do you believe science or God?"

    It would be helpful if you could cite a verse that supports this hypothesis. I do not intend to be argumentative, and I mean no disrespect, but again it would be helpful if you would cite a verse from scripture that supports this hypothesis. How are we to know for sure that the days of creation are synchronized with our current 24 hour days? Well, that's a good question. I am unable to answer that question without speculation. I would assume that if God is capable of turning lights on, He is also capable of turning them off. It could reasonably be said that if God wanted to be a source of light, He could be a source of light. And if it is possible for God to draw near, it is also possible for God to withdraw. I have no trouble with the idea that a succession of intervals of light and dark could have taken place during Creation without the need of a sun. Yes, perhaps during the night before the next day of creation, God was hovering on the dark side of the earth taking a nap. Or perhaps He worked for 24 hours a day for six days in a row to get the job done a little bit faster? Maybe he stayed on the lighted side so that he could see what he was doing? I honestly don't see the reason for all this speculation. Actually, verse 2 of Genesis is pretty hard to understand. I can't say that I understand it, and I've been gleaning information and ideas from a lot of sources on the subject. And again, as far as I can tell, it is all speculation. Nevertheless, there was not light until verse 3, when God said, "Let there be light". So of course the earth was in darkness, what ever its shape and form might have been. It doesn't seem to me that the Bible says we see the light and darkness at the same time. He does not even include the night as part of the first day, but the evening and the morning were the first day. I could just as well say the morning and the evening. Night is never included as part of the days of creation, other than noting that the day was separated from the night. When God said, let there be light, what exactly was the source of that light? Where did the light come from that God let there be?
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