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Did God create us or did we create him?

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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 10:04:02 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Vicki -

Heaven isn't heaven anymore. The sky is now "Outer Space". If you strangely believe that God is actually "up" from us, then you have to decide if God is "up" from the North Pole, the South Pole, or some point on the earth that keeps rotating around. In the imagery of the time, God being in heaven made perfect sense. That doesn't mean we have to take it literally and somehow tie ourselves into pretzels to make it literally accurate.

I don't argue for setting aside scripture in favor of whatever "the thinkers of the time" believe, as if it would be possible to find a single thinker or set of thinkers who would provide a substitute authority. Rather I would argue against clinging to some kind of absolute authority version of God's relation to us. If God wanted to give us a step-by-step instruction book, it would not be so full of difficulties, ambiguities and apparent contradictions. Evidently we are rather meant to relate to God "with our whole mind", seeking what understanding we can find and trying to tease "what we are meant to do" from out of the tangled and messy clues we have, some of which are Biblical.

Even Paul says we are not to second guess what God decrees, but then Paul goes back on this principle in the same book of Romans and declares that all the Jews will be saved. Like Paul, we are meant to do the best we can, and have the humility to recognize we may be wrong.

My point about what is reasonable is that, as with a lot of other imagery in the NT, the writers may have used a convenient and believable framework in which to set a point like the reversals with out intending to endorse the framework. We should realize that when many of the writers set down their words they did not know that people who drive cars and use telescopes would read them. They wrote for their time and place.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 10:10:46 AM PDT
T. D. Mills says:
God is a God of love and mercy to born again believers Nancy. It is only to those who rebel against Him and reject His Son and His atoning sacrifice on their behalf, that will see His wrath and judgment.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 10:19:13 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
T.D.Mills -

Putting a stumbling block in the way of others is a greivous sin. I suggest you leave the wrath and judgment to God and work on showing love, lest you be guilty of it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 10:47:25 AM PDT
T. D. Mills says:
Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on our behalf is a stumbling block that many can't get passed but it is the only way for us to be redeemed from our sin and reconciled with God.

..."Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Chris the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men." I Cor 1:20-25

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 11:00:38 AM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
"The choice is ours alone."

That's the only part of your statement I agree with. An eternity with the god you folks describe truly WOULD be hell.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 11:05:28 AM PDT
Sassy Lady says:
I've wondered if a partial explanation of the ancient "gods" was due to certain people who had dreams and/or visions due to drug induced sessions. It may have appeared that "supernatural" spirits were visiting the person/people. Eventually these persons were deemed "spiritual leaders" of the people. Due to their scientific ignorance, they placed faith in these seers. Over a long span of time, religions were formed. This may have occurred all over the inhabited world. So, in time, many different religions were created.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 11:32:45 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
T. D. Mills -

Christ crucified, yes. But that was not the wrath of God. That was the love of God, and the inhumanity of men.

Why do you want to continue that inhumanity?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 12:13:18 PM PDT
T. D. Mills says:
God's Words, not mine Harry.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of me, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." Roman 1:18-20

"He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence Lord, and from the glory of His power." 2 Thess 1:8-9

"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in the forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascended up forever and ever: and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Rev 14:9-11

"God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies." Naham 1:2

"For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Thes 5:9

"Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Romans 5:9

"For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil." Romans 13:4

"And to wait for His Son from heaven whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus which DELIVER US FROM THE WRATH TO COME." I Thessalonians 1:10

"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience." Eph 5:6

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 12:45:36 PM PDT
Harry Marks says:
TD -

You might want to note that the only people Jesus condemned were "blind guides". That is, people of spiritual responsibility, who misled others by directing their attention to the wrong issues.

If God present on Earth was not interested in condemning people, you might want to consider whether it is appropriate behavior by you yourself. Perhaps the love of God shed abroad might be a more appropriate selection.

Watch out for that first stone - you might not want to pick it up.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 12:55:56 PM PDT
T. D. Mills says:
Jesus came the first time as the suffering servant to die for the sins of the world so that the world through Him might be reconciled with God and saved from His future wrath and judgment. When Jesus returns it will be as a warrior King who will judge nations and individuals and set us His earthly kingdom for 1000 years. At the end of that time will be the White Throne Judgment of all unbelievers who have ever lived; they will be cast into the lake of fire. I am not casting stones; I am warning you of what is to come and how you can avoid it by putting your faith in Jesus.

And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:11-15

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 1:09:51 PM PDT
Harry Marks says:
T. D. -

Keep your lamp lit, but don't hold your breath.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 2:24:12 PM PDT
JJB says:
hear hear

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 2:25:51 PM PDT
JJB says:
brilliantly put.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 2:28:07 PM PDT
JJB says:
that's not the sort of god i worship. that's not the sort of god any rational person worships. i think such a god that you depict can only have been conceptualized by people that are unfortunately sadly damaged.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 3:44:15 PM PDT
JJB -- the crux of my position is that we humans have assigned anthropomorphic characteristics to God, which raises the question of whether God has created us or we have created him.

I'm about to use a phrase that, to be completely honest, still flummoxes me to this day. The phrase is: "The Bible is absolutely clear..." I'll unpack the reasons for that a bit later.

The Bible is absolutely clear Who created whom. A straight-forward reading of Genesis 1 demonstrates WITHOUT doubt God created everything. Humans are included in everything, thus humans were created BY God. Now, you are utterly free to disagree with that fact and I cannot force you to believe it.

In the above statement, I have given you a DIRECT answer to your DIRECT question. I honestly hope you can see that.

In regards to your point about humans ascribing ANYTHING to God, I would agree that we TRY to, but God STILL remains God no matter what errors WE might have regarding Him. In other words; if God exists, God does so regardless of OUR opinions, feelings and the stories we've been told about God.

JJB -- My specific in mind for you to flesh out was my example of a person just passing the age of accountability and punishment

But you started with the idea that good things and bad things happen to Christians and non-Christians. That statement carries with it the unspoken idea that God's idea of justice should mean that only good things happen to Christians and only bad things happen to non-Christians because God loves Christians and hates everyone else. But that is YOUR bias. That's what YOU expect Christians to believe, yes? I mean your over-arching point is that Christians created the Christian God. Additionally, by even making such a posit, you're ASSUMING you HAVE an accurate view of God. The view that God is, in fact, UN-knowable. And yet, somehow you KNOW that... do you see?

So, if my view of God is faulty and yours is faulty... where do we go? What can we consult? Others who already believe like we do? That's no help. It might give a measure of comfort, but such an exercise is nothing more than an attempt to re-affirm our deeply-held views.

JJB -- ...neither you nor i can make such a determination. neither you nor i know enough to make much of an bottom line i have addressed this several times already.

No, you've merely re-stated your premise: "We cannot know God". And, again, I ask you how can you be so sure of that?

JJB -- We cannot ascertain. That is one of the very basic questions that have ever confounded us.

The first statement is false, the second is true.

JJB -- Saying the train has not arrived is almost a non sequitur -

Not at all. Again you ARE assuming you've got SOME kind of idea of "justice". You assume your idea is accurate, but for whatever reason, insist that we can only "glimpse" God. Your position is inconsistent.

JJB -- How do you seriously think you can know God's perspective?

The ONLY reason I know we can begin to know (to a minor but important extent) God's perspective is because of an EXTERNAL repository of information, provided by an EXTERNAL Being.

JJB -- i think i can only glimpse it rather vaguely sometimes.

I think you're correct in that assessment.

I hope you've not found me overly contentious. I find this exciting and challenging, please do not mistake my passion for antipathy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 3:44:46 PM PDT
Vicki says:
Dear JJB,

You said :"at most we catch brief glimpses and think we know - it seems to me we then proceed to assign our insecurities to concepts that fully transcend us and as a result make God out to be the most heinous of monsters that should be placed in said fire himself for some of the acts some of you assign to him. "

I read this paragraph and I can see how strongly you feel about this topic. Usually, it is the non-believer who accuses the Christian God of being a heinous monster, and they do it without projecting anything onto the idea of our God.

I prefer to accept what the Bible says about Hell, realizing that I don't know all the gory details but it is a very bad place to be, and then do my best to warn people and tell them about Jesus. I trust God to know what He is doing and that His judgments are just, even though I don't understand all the ins and outs.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 3:50:03 PM PDT
"torment", not torture...

I think (I could be absolutely wrong here) that the SOURCE of "torment" is internal, the source of "torture" is external. The source of misery in hell is internal not external.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 3:52:34 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
JJB, when you say "worship", what exactly do you mean?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 3:56:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 11, 2012 4:00:35 PM PDT
JJB says:
stop right there -if you read my comment carefully you will note that i did not project anything on God. what i did - i projected only to your view of God. I am wise enough to know I cannot project to who God is. i see God as one thing, you see him as another. I am wise enough to believe that he seems himself as something other.

it is fine to say that you don't understand the ins and outs. i have said this from day one. I do not either. what i do feel strongly about is the nonsensical bi-polar, psychotic monster that some christians have created of the Father. it ticks me off. a modicum of common sense would show that the position held is one of cruelty beyond all measure and such a being rationally could and should not be served. well served yes - if one is totally amoral - bereft of any empathy, ethics or morality oneself.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 3:56:54 PM PDT
BC -- Power does not confer moral authority

Correct. Moral authority comes from the Author of the morals.

BC -- What you're describing is an unjust tyrant.

No, but that's what we've been told. We need to stop believing it.

BC -- your god doesn't measure up to my standards.

Again, that's what we've been told.
Until God intervenes, we don't understand how low our standards actually are.
I sincerely hope that He intervenes before you are rudely awakened.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 3:58:09 PM PDT
JJB says:
do you think people will be roasting in fire in hell? yes or no?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 4:21:04 PM PDT
T. D. Mills says:
Amen Vicki, I agree.

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 4:37:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 11, 2012 4:55:21 PM PDT
Serene Night says:
"Did God create us or did we create him?"

My feeling is chances are, given how many deities mankind has created over the seriously longtime we've been around, odds are that god is likely manmade.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 5:03:15 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Oh, yes, Serene, the god that the monotheists worship is definitely man-made.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 10:28:21 PM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Serene -

There is a lot of truth in that.

Unfortunately it is a bit like saying mathematics is manmade. We have trouble apprehending the truth (at least math has tight logical structure to guide us) so we grasp different bits of it, and see different figures as we peer into the hazy outlines of what we can see. But I have a sense that there is "a true truth" behind our fumbling efforts, and that one is not man-made but part of the way things are.

Big problems if we get too attached to our particular (partial, mostly manmade) vision, especially if we use it to make war rather than peace.
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Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  37
Total posts:  422
Initial post:  May 19, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 30, 2012

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