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This is something I hope our eminent scholar Kresge will address.

Is Jesus=God?
When and where did this concept come from?
And how did it because a Christian belief tantamount to a tenet?

How does this square with the Trinity?
That is, if it is true for what certain Christians would have it (that the Trinity justifies or substantiates this equation)? How come they don't forward the notion that the Holy Ghost = God with the same fervor?

How come you don't hear or get the impression that Christians aim to worship, praise or otherwise revere the Holy Spirit in the same way they do Jesus?

Thank you...
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quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
This is something I hope our eminent scholar Kresge will address.

Is Jesus=God?
When and where did this concept come from?
And how did it because a Christian belief tantamount to a tenet?

How does this square with the Trinity?
That is, if it is true for what certain Christians would have it (that the Trinity justifies or substantiates this equation)? How come they don't forward the notion that the Holy Ghost = God with the same fervor?

How come you don't hear or get the impression that Christians aim to worship, praise or otherwise revere the Holy Spirit in the same way they do Jesus?

Thank you...


Nice topic...now you are asking about what some consider one of the most contentious aspects of Christian theory....I will share with you what I was taught a long time ago...

My understanding of the equation, "Jesus = God" stems from several Scripture verses, most notably the first chapter of the gospel of the apostle John especially in the reference of "The Word" which is understood by most folks to be Jesus. In this chapter, the Word was stated to be with God in the beginning and to be God Himself (John chapter 1, verse 1; King James Version). Other references include John chapter 8, verses 52 to 59, where He engages the Jews and debates with them as to the legitimacy of their claim to being God's children through Abraham. Again, one can see that in verse 58, Jesus practically equated Himself to be the God who revealed Himself to Moses on the mount by using the very same words God said to Moses in response to Moses' question as to how was he to convince the people of Israel that he was sent by the God of their forefathers...."Verily, verily I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM" (verse 58). As evidence to the significance of Jesus' statement, the response of the Jews was to take up stones to stone Him (verse 59).
As to the direct worship of the Holy Spirit, my understanding is that the Holy Spirit's role is to serve as a witness of one's conversion and spiritual salvation. My guess is that the Holy Spiritr was never really presented or revealed to us to worship but to assist us in worshipping God. Personally, I have learned to conceptualize the Trinity as being similiar to the triple point of water, a temperature at which all three physical states of water coexists.

that's my input...

fao (felix ademola olobatuyi)
Needless to say, this is a huge question, and to answer it thoroughly, I would have to go back and look at my histories that deal with the Christological debates in the early church. I will try initially, however, respond based on my recollections.

The doctrine of Jesus being God as well as the doctrine of the trinity emerged over the course of centuries. As I said, before, they were highly contested concepts.

Certain titles seem to have been associated with Jesus among the early Christians quite early such as Messiah as well as the Son of Man. As I have also mentioned elsewhere, the notion of Messiah was essentially that of a warrior king, who would free the Jews from social, political, and cultural domination and restore them to their prior glory associated with the reign of David. In this scenario, he was not divine, simply a human descendant of David.

The other title "Son of Man" was one that had apocalyptic overtones. While there where prophets such as Ezekiel who had the title, around the beginning of the common era, this figure took on aspects of divinity in Jewish literature. Most likely, after Jesus death, these images become conflated. Jesus is the Messiah as well as possessing divinity.

But if Jesus was divine, how was he divine. Did this mean that he was another god? No, that would have been considered blasphemous in Hebrew culture. There is only one God. Well, there is this concept of God as Father, so Jesus was the Son of God. But, again, for most Jews, this was still potentially a blasphemous statement, for the son is understood to be of a kind, of the same class, or category as the father. Thus to say that Jesus is the Son of God, for many, was essentially the same as saying that he was God.

As I said, this took centuries to work out in the early church. There were a variety of what eventually where deemed heresies that tried to explain the relationship between Jesus and God. Indeed, heresies arose from asserting the Jesus was wholly divine as well as theories that said that he was completely human. Some theories suggested that Jesus was divine, but less than God. Others said that Jesus was just a "mode" of the Divine such as sometimes I am in the mode of a student, other times a husband, other times a son, and in some sense, all at the same time.

The orthodox articulation finally came to be that there is only one God (essence, substance,ousia), but three agents/persons (hypostases, persona).

As folobatuyi notes, there are several Biblical text which are used to substantiate this highly speculative philosophical construction. John 1 is one example. It also is used to clarify that all three persons participate in the Godhead in acts of creation, redemption, etc.

As for the Holy Spirit as God. This too came about over the course of a couple of centuries. People saw references to the Spirit of God in the Old Testament. Jesus also mentions the Spirit in relation to a Comforter, Intercessor, the Paraclete. So this is incorporated into the understanding and the articulation of Trinity. Again, as we discussed earlier, their is in the great commission in Matthew 28, Jesus ostensibly sending out the 11 to go and make disciples, baptizing them using a trinitarian-like formula.

Finally, while it may not be as dominant as the Jesus=God articulation, the Holy Ghost/Spirit = God concept does exist, and is particularly prevalent in certain Pentecostal/Charismatic Christian traditions.

Thats a rough stab at it. There would be any number of other ways to talk about it, particularly other influences in the tradition. For example, there were probably any number of outside sources that contributed to the conception. As I said, the influence of Greek philosophy is clear. There is also within Greek mythology the prevalence of heroes who are both human and divine. There is also the role and understanding of the Resurrection to a claim of divinity. Again, one sees this in various religious traditions throughout the ancient Near East, such as the Mithras. I know that Oshun could recall several of the top of her head.

Hope this helps.
quote:
Personally, I have learned to conceptualize the Trinity as being similiar to the triple point of water, a temperature at which all three physical states of water coexists.
Very interesting...
I hope you will expound upon that.

In full disclosure, I speak as a doubter/dissenter. But this info. gives me a new perspective on the matter.

Thanks!
Here's info. from an Islamic source:
quote:
Trinity in the Bible

References in the Bible to a Trinity of divine beings are vague, at best.

In Matthew 28:19, we find Jesus telling his disciples to go out and preach to all nations. While this "Great Commission" does make mention of the three persons who later become components of the Trinity, the phrase "...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" is quite clearly an addition to Biblical text – that is, not the actual words of Jesus – as can be seen by two factors:

1) baptism in the early Church, as discussed by Paul in his letters, was done only in the name of Jesus; and

2) the "Great Commission" was found in the first gospel written, that of Mark, bears no mention of Father, Son and/or Holy Ghost – see Mark 16:15.

The only other reference in the Bible to a Trinity can be found in the Epistle of 1 John 5:7. Biblical scholars of today, however, have admitted that the phrase "... there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" is definitely a "later addition" to Biblical text, and it is not found in any of today's versions of the Bible.

It can, therefore, be seen that the concept of a Trinity of divine beings was not an idea put forth by Jesus or any other prophet of God. This doctrine, now subscribed to by Christians all over the world, is entirely man-made in origin.

http://www.iiie.net/Brochures/Brochure-22.html
Are the citations and conclusions drawn here sound?

The "man-made" notation notwithstanding, does this source lend to a finding that the Trinity (and by extension Jesus=God) is something that is, at best, inconclusive when it comes to the what the Bible says?

How are the scriptures where Jesus says "worship the Father" suppose to be reconciled with other ones that seem to suggest Jesus=God?
Nmaginate,
I think that the article is fairly accurate.
I think that the exact form of the early baptismal formula may still be a point of contention in biblical scholarship. I would have to look into it. My work is in the area of theology and not New Testament.

With respect to the 1 John 5:7 verse, my NRSV states "only a few unreliable manuscripts contain the trinitarian addition to v. 7."

Thus, if one is so inclined, I think that one can find make an argument for the trinity from the canon (the one to whom Jesus prayed - "the Father", Jesus - "the Son", and the one whom Jesus sent - "Holy Spirit, the Paraclete"). Whether one accepts the argument is another matter.

IMHO, I am very suspicious of any text which places on the lips of Jesus, claims to be God. On the other hand, I believe that Christians, both ancient and modern,would say that they experience, meet, see God in Jesus in a way that is uniquely transformative, and redemptive. In this sense, Jesus is the incarnation and revelation of God, he is Savior and Lord. Most Christians could not articulate an orthodox theory of the Trinity to save their lives. Moreover, for most of them, it is not particularly important. Again, it is what they experience in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, that is important to them and that gives their life meaning.
quote:
...I believe that Christians, both ancient and modern,would say that they experience, meet, see God in Jesus in a way that is uniquely transformative, and redemptive.
Of course... I take no issue with what people experience and the spiritual feelings I feel are sacred. I don't question that.

Their experience is legitimate, valid and bonafide as far as I'm concerned. Who am I to say it isn't? As the cliche' goes That's Between Them and GOD. Me, I accept the fact that I have no knowledge of what that is and can't comment on it.

I don't believe that there is one faith or one religion everybody is to follow. So, as I said, I take no issue with Christians when it comes to that.

To me, at least, these questions are separate from that. Never have I asked or meant to imply that a Christian's religious experience is "wrong". This is, IMO, a philosophical debate which I presume is removed from a person's experience.

I believe every God-centered or directed religious, spiritual belief-system has its transformative and redemptive value each giving meaning and purpose to its adherents. Again, who am I to say otherwise?
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
quote:
...I believe that Christians, both ancient and modern,would say that they experience, meet, see God in Jesus in a way that is uniquely transformative, and redemptive.
Of course... I take no issue with what people experience and the spiritual feelings I feel are sacred. I don't question that.

Their experience is legitimate, valid and bonafide as far as I'm concerned. Who am I to say it isn't? As the cliche' goes That's Between Them and GOD. Me, I accept the fact that I have no knowledge of what that is and can't comment on it.

I don't believe that there is one faith or one religion everybody is to follow. So, as I said, I take no issue with Christians when it comes to that.

To me, at least, these questions are separate from that. Never have I asked or meant to imply that a Christian's religious experience is "wrong". This is, IMO, a philosophical debate which I presume is removed from a person's experience.

I believe every God-centered or directed religious, spiritual belief-system has its transformative and redemptive value each giving meaning and purpose to its adherents. Again, who am I to say otherwise?

Nmaginate,
I added the part on the end simply as a point of clarification for someone who might read my analysis and feel that this was an attack on Christianity, although I am sure that there are those who may do this anyway. So I was trying to cover my behind, and was not implying anything about your questions which were of a philosophical and historical nature. Smile
Well, Kresge, I too was making a point of clarification. The intent of my questions and even what can be considered my opposition to Christianity is more an "attack" on the foolish and untenable claims Christians make. Claims that implicate more than themselves and claims that aren't consistent with their own scriptures and/or principles.

The key point is Christians via their doctrine tend to make claims about people other than themselves. Such an affront and offense to the sanctity of non-Christians relationships or conceptions of God, IMO, violates that sacred arrangements that only God and the individual (non-Christian) believer are privy to and can speak about.

It's funny but the staple of Christianity's love affair with Jesus as Savior is the "personal relationship" notion. But, it is that very principles (the sacred sanctity of it) that most Christians violate when they make claims about people who have other belief-systems and claims about how Christianity is "the only way".

It seems to me only God is the ultimate authority on that and making those types of judgemental claims are not at all the role any believers are to play. Very ego-religious-centric if you ask me.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
This is something I hope our eminent scholar Kresge will address.

Is Jesus=God?
When and where did this concept come from?
And how did it because a Christian belief tantamount to a tenet?

How does this square with the Trinity?
That is, if it is true for what certain Christians would have it (that the Trinity justifies or substantiates this equation)? How come they don't forward the notion that the Holy Ghost = God with the same fervor?

How come you don't hear or get the impression that Christians aim to worship, praise or otherwise revere the Holy Spirit in the same way they do Jesus?

Thank you...



God the Creator is Spirit. He came as Jesus to walk a sinless life to win the reigns of death from Satan. The Holy Spirit is God moving in the earth to make certain things happen and teach/comfort believers.

This is so real that no human could fathom the thought to come up with something so magnificent! Only God could.

Those that follow the Holy Bible worship God fully which encompass all of Him. He cannot be limited.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
quote:
Originally posted by DivineJoy:

This is so real that no human could fathom the thought to come up with something so magnificent! Only God could.

Confused What is this conclusion predicated on? I am particularly intrigued by your assertion about the limits of human fathoming.


Mankind is not capable of creating a God as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit working for human salvation. The concept is miraculous. Even those that refute it have a hard time, because of its magnificence. Our God is brilliant.
Seems like the god-man and trinity ideas were long since "fathomed" well before Jesus came along.

There are books about such "fathoming". Perhaps you should consult some of their manificent TRUTH telling. TRUTH that's not devoid of the history of the world and it only seems like Christians are the ones who have a hard time articulating what the Trinity is about.

"Mankind is not capable of creating a God..."

Well, I would hope you have better rhetoric for a forum full of people who believe in GOD Almighty but just don't happen to subscribe to something you apparently can't defined or describe with anything but silly rhetoric.

God the Creator is Spirit. He came as Jesus to walk a sinless life to win the reigns of death from Satan.

Hmm... When did the ALMIGHTY lose the reigns of Life Or Death to anyone? Kinda counterintuitive don't ya think?

What? God wasn't god until Jesus came or until he came as Jesus?

See... this is the silliness of Christian DOCTRINE. Either God is SOVEREIGN or he is not god at all. This foolishness and religious acrobatics about "winning the reigns of death" as if Satan held power God did not have at any point is just that. Foolishness.

Again, do some research about what's been "fathomed". Apparently, you have a very limited concept of God if you feel Satan had something at any time that God did not have power over and had to "win" from Satan.

And speaking about Acrobatics, since you claim you don't add or subtract to the Bible, explain all the Son Of Man, WORSHIP THE FATHER things Jesus said.
Nmaginate, calling someones beliefs silly is very abnoxious, and offensive. No need for that.

Man has created a concept. They have not created God. Some have personified this concept more than others, but I can personify an inanimate doll or action figure all I want. Hell I can even get it to respond exactly how I want it to (in my mind).

IMO losing the reigns is a metaphor. I believe he "lost" the reigns when He entrusted his creation with control over their destiny and themselves. They relinquished that power to the "enemy", and Jesus took it back. Now since he paid the price for our freedom from sin and bondage we have to go through him in obtaining it.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:

IMO losing the reigns is a metaphor. I believe he "lost" the reigns when He entrusted his creation with control over their destiny and themselves. They relinquished that power to the "enemy", and Jesus took it back. Now since he paid the price for our freedom from sin and bondage we have to go through him in obtaining it.
And this too is silly.
Whether you're offended or not, I don't care. Either the things people say and believe make sense and are consistent with things they say they believe or they are not.

You are, in essence, saying GOD wasn't wise enough (if we're to believe the Christian rendition of The Fall Of Man) to either create man to be strong or smart enough not to "religuish the reigns" (which indirectly says GOD didn't have the "reigns" but man did... Man had the "reigns" over Death but turned them over "to the Enemy").... OR.... GOD just like gymnastics since he didn't empower man, His own creation "in his likeness" (hmmm.... what does that say about God?), with the wherewithall or foresight to defeat "the Enemy".

See??? You can't even talk about this without silly unexamined Doctrinal Rhetoric.

Again, none of this speaks to an Almighty God. It speaks of a god with some type of failings. I know of no methaphor that can paint an ALMIGHTY GOD as one without ALL POWER.

Now please tell us the scripture in the Bible that says God entrusted Man with "The Reigns" over (Life and) DEATH as if to say God himself religuish the reigns - i.e. GOD WAS NOT IN CONTROL.

Also, please tell me when did God stop entrusting Man with FREE WILL and our own control over our physical/spiritual destiny?
When did FREE WILL end?

How does an ALL-WISE, ALL-POWER GOD "loss" the reigns of anything literally or figuratively?

When GOD created man and man's FREE WILL... WHAT?? You're trying to say God LOST or otherwise didn't know what he was doing? And if you're going to try to say, "Well, God had a plan called JESUS & Calvary"... then tell us what was GOD's plan for man up until Jesus?

What? Did it take God a while to figure it out?
I mean... from Adam to Jesus seems like a pretty long time.
I'm not offended at all. I'm already accustomed to you coming at me sideways. Furthermore I appreciate the insight and the questions.

Just like I don't think the Bible is all exclusive neither do I think it is all inclusive. I wasn't referring to freewill, which is a term that has no spiritual connections but is always used in a spiritual context.

I was referring to the moral side of spirituality. Man is fully empowered and is truly made in His image. However he is not promised tomorrow or the next day or even his next breath so in essence the only thing he is in control of is his last breath. Even with this power "we do things which we would not do and we don't do things that we would do" in essence reliquinshing our control to our animial spirits and ultimately the enemy.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:


IMO losing the reigns is a metaphor. I believe he "lost" the reigns when He entrusted his creation with control over their destiny and themselves. They relinquished that power to the "enemy", and Jesus took it back. Now since he paid the price for our freedom from sin and bondage we have to go through him in obtaining it.


HeruStar, I must remember to break it down A-B-C for those spiritually dead. thanks
In other words, you want to avoid the blasphemous concepts you just attributed to GOD - i.e. God not being in complete and total control. AKA someone else besides God having the "reigns".

Pretty sideways, I guess... But I guess that really does paint a picture of an Omnipotent God. One that doesn't or didn't have the "reigns" at some point and time... (*rolls eyes in disbelief and supreme sarcasm*)
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

Again, none of this speaks to an Almighty God. It speaks of a god with some type of failings. I know of no methaphor that can paint an ALMIGHTY GOD as one without ALL POWER.


God is Almigthy. This means all powerful and all knowing. Nothing happens that God is not aware of, anywhere in the universe.

The Holy Bible teaches us there was a rebellion in heaven. Instead of destroying the fallen angels, God made mankind to teach them (and us) that sin leads to destruction. The Angels that did not sin are learning too. God is multi-tasking!

The Angels were not aware of all God's power. That he could make over 6 billion humans at time, 1000s of languages, million of different animal life, the climates, etc. God's plan is that everyone learn about Him and His mightiness.

BTW, I'm not Christian, I'm Nazarite. There's a difference.
quote:
Originally posted by DivineJoy:

HeruStar, I must remember to break it down A-B-C for those spiritually dead. thanks
Well, it would seem those proclaiming Spiritual Life have some things they need to straighten out. I'm still waiting some explanation of the Acrobatic/Gymnastics you Christians from so many persuasions seem to require because you can't use the LOGIC God gave man with the mental faculties he empowered us with.

But as for things Spiritual:
  • But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

  • God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. - John 4:23-24

    http://biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=4&version=9[/LIST]Nowhere in there were Jesus was talking did he say anything about him being God-In-Flesh nor did he say he was the embodiment of that Spirit. He said WORSHIP THE FATHER. Now even you Christians can distinguish between that.

    Why the gymnastics if Jesus is who you say he is? Why didn't Jesus say "worship the Father, The Son (and the Holy Ghost)" if all were co-equal manifestations of the same god?

    No rhetoric. A straightforward answer please...
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

Nowhere]http://biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=4&version=9[/LIST]Nowhere in there were Jesus was talking did he say anything about him being God-In-Flesh nor did he say he was the embodiment of that Spirit. He said WORSHIP THE FATHER. Now even you Christians can distinguish between that.


29 -My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30- I and my Father are one. - John 10:29-30


quote:

Why the gymnastics if Jesus is who you say he is? Why didn't Jesus say "worship the Father, The Son (and the Holy Ghost)" if all were co-equal manifestations of the same god?

No rhetoric. A straightforward answer please...


For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. - 1 John 5:7
And what does that say about WHOM should be WORSHIPPED?

I and the Father are ONE definitely is not in the context of the John 4 scripture any more than the John 17 scripture below:
  • Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

    That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

    And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

    I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
How no gymnastics exists that would deify the Disciples? Are they not One? Was Jesus' prayer in vain?

Again, it's obvious even to you Christians despite all denials to the contrary that Jesus... the Spiritually ALIVE Jesus did not say he was the one to be worshipped but the FATHER which was not him otherwise he would have said both things in combination or simply said Worship Me.

Again, why the gymnastics?
I think we all know who THE FATHER is. So citing "I and the FATHER are one" still does not insert Jesus into an equation he spoke directly to and left himself out. Again, he didn't refer to himself there in John 4.

So what has you trying to do it but your DOCTRINE?
quote:
Originally posted by DivineJoy:
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. - 1 John 5:7
What part of this simple question don't you understand?

Why didn't Jesus say "worship the Father, The Son (and the Holy Ghost)" if all were co-equal manifestations of the same god?

Again, the scripture you claim you believe in and don't add or subtract from has Jesus saying WORSHIP THE FATHER. PERIOD. Not the Trinity. Not the ONENESS in three or whatever. He said, clearly, THE FATHER. So why are you trying to insert something Jesus was clear to SPECIFY as to whom should be Worshipped???
If a person reads and holistically comes up with spiritual conclusions, why does this seperate him/her from logic?

It seems like the only logic that you accepted is logic that fit into your deductions. Everything else is just rhetoric, in your eyes.

Since when did you become the authority on what's rhetoric and what's logic.

In early ancient African religions spirituality/science/art/logic where all interrelated and one and the same. The Europeans dissected truth into seperate factions with philosophy. A philosophy that they stole from eastern religions, and created "axioms" with.

Again, I don't adhere to the Western (anti-spiritual) ways of thinking that you so proudly boast of.
Dude, the only ones here trying to separate spirituality from logic, etc. are Christians who can't put forth a logical reasoning for what they believe.

You seen nothing here from me talking about separating anything. But you fellow Christian has explicitly called those who use logic as "spiritually dead" but we didn't get you speech about the Interrelatedness of Knowledge (body, mind, soul, and spirit) when she was talking.

Therefore, you have rendered your own point here suspect for your lack of unbiased application of it. And you don't see me boasting about anything Western or European. But I guess the version of Christianity you believe in and practice... and boasts about is more African than it is Western/European...

Yeah... Okay!!

NEXT!!!! Next excuse for why the things you as Christians (to those of you whom it applies) can't defend the things you proclaim.
Obviously some of you can't follow the discussion. It's pretty funny that the very scripture that was referred to earlier in this thread was cited by DIVINE JOY.

So, HERU... it hardly seems like these are "my deductions"...

quote:
With respect to the 1 John 5:7 verse, my NRSV states "only a few unreliable manuscripts contain the trinitarian addition to v. 7."

Thus, if one is so inclined, I think that one can find make an argument for the trinity from the canon (the one to whom Jesus prayed - "the Father", Jesus - "the Son", and the one whom Jesus sent - "Holy Spirit, the Paraclete"). Whether one accepts the argument is another matter.

IMHO, I am very suspicious of any text which places on the lips of Jesus, claims to be God... - KRESGE
Okay... by Western or African standards the word UNRELIABLE means what??

Simple reading might help you and save you from how your statements look in the overall scheme of things.
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quote:
Originally posted by DivineJoy:
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

Again, none of this speaks to an Almighty God. It speaks of a god with some type of failings. I know of no methaphor that can paint an ALMIGHTY GOD as one without ALL POWER.


God is Almigthy. This means all powerful and all knowing. Nothing happens that God is not aware of, anywhere in the universe.

The Holy Bible teaches us there was a rebellion in heaven. Instead of destroying the fallen angels, God made mankind to teach them (and us) that sin leads to destruction. The Angels that did not sin are learning too. God is multi-tasking!

The Angels were not aware of all God's power. That he could make over 6 billion humans at time, 1000s of languages, million of different animal life, the climates, etc. God's plan is that everyone learn about Him and His mightiness.

BTW, I'm not Christian, I'm Nazarite. There's a difference.

Please share your understanding of what it means to be a Nazarite. Where do you worship? What is your faith community? What is your scriptural canon?
quote:
The Holy Bible teaches us there was a rebellion in heaven.
And none of that tells us how it is you maintain this idea that GOD Almighty somehow lost or didn't always hold the reigns of (Life and) DEATH.

Again, the very concept is unbefitting of GOD and hardly reflects his SOVEREIGNTY and Omnipotence. How can you hold the idea that God is Almighty but had to "win the reigns of death" from Satan or whatever?

Metaphorically speaking or not, such embellishment seems to reflect poorly on how you esteem God.

FYI (and HERU's too)... I call things you say rhetoric because the things you say I could argue in my sleep - i.e. I've heard this stuff over and over I know it by rote. And that's not to criticize you saying things I've heard before, it's more a critique of you, Heru and others not being able to move beyond those things and actually address questions posed to you.

And I most certainly hope you don't think this type of stuff even begins to address anything said here:
quote:
God made mankind to teach them (and us) that sin leads to destruction... God is multi-tasking!
Where does the Bible say God was/is "teaching" the Angels & Man about sin? I mean... seriously? Where do you get this stuff?

And how does this say anything about the what you've heretofore have not been able to substantiate: i.e. had to "win the reigns of death from Satan"???

Why is it so hard for you Bible believing people (Kresge et al not included) to back up the rhetoric that comes out of your mouth?

It pretty clear the things most of you all say in these discussions are either non-Biblical or hardly conclusive when referencing the Bible if at all justified by it.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:

I was just pointing out the fact that just because you don't understand that doesn't mean it's just rhetoric.
It's rhetoric when it doesn't move beyond stuff I can read in a basic Introduction To Christianity or Belief In Jesus brochure.

It's rhetoric when it's clear the person has not or cannot engage the topic or question forthrightly and instead offers some canned response that really communicates nothing that forwards any understanding...
I don't see how Him "taking" something back that His people lost is evidence of Him not being Soverign.

In fact this proves His Soverignty. He takes from the rich and gives to the poor and makes the proud humble. He does what He pleases with what He pleases. Elementary? Well so is the concept of Soverignty. Ask a first grader, and they will give you the same answer. Maybe you should rephrase your question.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I don't see how Him "taking" something back that His people lost is evidence of Him not being Soverign.

In fact this proves His Soverignty. He takes from the rich and gives to the poor and makes the proud humble. He does what He pleases with what He pleases. Elementary? Well so is the concept of Soverignty. Ask a first grader, and they will give you the same answer. Maybe you should rephrase your question.

Let me just interject something into the discourse.

Herustar,
Let's go with your definition of Sovereignty, basically, the capacity to do what one pleases with what one pleases. The problem as I see it is that God, in many monotheistic traditions, is also held to be benevolent, compassionate, as well as omniscient or "all knowing" and consistent.

Can one hold all these positions simultaneously in the scenario that you offer. I.e., what kind a God "sets up" the scenario knowing that humanity is going to fail.

Also, on different/theodical note, related to your second point about taking from the rich and giving to the poor, and making the proud humble, where do you see this going on. It seems to me that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. Moreover, African people as well as other people of color in the world seem to be onstantly catching/experiencing hell, while certain white Americans and Europeans are making major bank. In other words, while it might not be the case spiritually, physically, I have seen and known "righteous who have been forsaken and their children begging bread."
quote:
Can one hold all these positions simultaneously...


Please correct me if I'm wrong

IMO this is precisely what I meant by Western and African thought. Thinking synchronistically I would answer yes it is possible; I couldn't give you God's rationale for doing so however. Using "logic" or analytical thinking I'd definitely say no it's not possible.

I use the same reference of rhetoric and synchronisticism to approach your thoughts on the rich getting richer. Rhetorically, I argue that how we measure wealth in this society has nothing to do with true wealth. I'm not looking at the man racing with me in the adjacent lane. How he measures his success and progress has nothing to do with me. We all have one destination, I hope he gets there, rhetorically speaking. As far as hunger goes. The God I believe in reserves his right to steer clear of wordly politics and economics, i.e. communism (because in a literal sense that's what "takes from the rich..." really means)

I have a question for Divine Joy. Do you see a problem with a synchretistic approach to Truth? If so why? I use the Kamitian system as a spiritual blueprint of the vessel that will take me home. I use the Holy Bible as the map.
Obviously there is some problem understanding this very simple term: SOVEREIGN(TY)

One is not SOVEREIGN - i.e. the ruler - when someone else holds the "reigns".

Again, I ask why the gymnastics?
Surely GOD can do whatever He will but the question is how do you say that GOD ceased to be GOD in some aspect - i.e. ceased to be SOVEREIGN or needed to PROVE that He is/was SOVEREIGN.

This is utter foolishness. The rationales to try to justify DOCTRINE just don't work. Either GOD is ALMIGHTY or He is not; thus ceasing to be God when he has to "win the reigns" from Satan or in anyway have someone else do something for him as if he, the FATHER, THE CREATOR God could not do it himself without the gymnastics.

It's very Slippery Slope. The notion is like saying God lended out his POWER on Loan To SATAN just to play I game or something. It's amazing how much power people want to give to "Satan". The notion acts as if Satan "won" a battle against God at some point and time.

Again, I call it gymnastics. I see no reason why a SOVEREIGN, ALL POWERFUL GOD has to prove he has ALL POWER or SOVEREIGNTY by playing a game with Satan or whomever to show he can "win".

Perhaps you HERU and others should re-examine the MYTHOLOGIES and rationales you use to try to justify DOCTRINES. Not the scriptures. DOCTRINE.
SOVEREIGN:

  • One that exercises supreme, permanent authority, especially in a nation or other governmental unit...

  • Self-governing; independent

  • Having supreme rank or power

  • Paramount; supreme

  • Of superlative strength or efficacy

  • Unmitigated


    A SOVEREIGN GOD doesn't have interrupted periods where he is not SOVEREIGN and in direct control. Anything else is ungod-like...

    So it's this rhetoric that needs to be rephrased. So the question is for those who would define Sovereign as simply the ability to do whatever He wants to do (a backdoor way to try to justify what can't otherwise be substantiated) how do we determine if GOD did it the way Christians et al say?

    Seems to me the ready standard would be to assess GOD by the very things that make Him GOD. Since GOD is SOVEREIGN it simply makes sense that there is NO TIME when God is not God - i.e. not SOVEREIGN.

    All this rhetoric goes to show how people input human characteristics onto God. The idea that God would have to prove he is GOD only serves humans. Not God. I'm pretty sure GOD doesn't need to prove to himself that he is God nor does he has to religuish power towards those ends.
  • Last edited {1}
    quote:
    One that exercises supreme, permanent authority, especially in a nation or other governmental unit...


    Self-governing; independent


    Having supreme rank or power


    Paramount; supreme


    Of superlative strength or efficacy


    Unmitigated



    This is a perfect definition.


    When did anyone say he "Lost" control?

    Unless this is YOUR conclusion to your LOGIC.

    I'll rephrase my rhetoric as you suggest.

    Man is born in sin. Meaning he is born in bondage. We are born slaves to our carnal desires. We are born slaves to our "animal instincts". Pleasure seekers by nature. Primarily the cause for all of these "addictions". However, this is only natural. Our spontaneous emotional responses are only natural. Living "naturally" is how we nullify the term 'Made in His image'. Living like this is how 'WE', HIS creation, "lost" contact/touch with HIM. It is not the other way around. God saw this and wanted a way for us to regain that contact. He walked with Adam. He visited Joseph in his dreams. He visited Moses on the Mount. This is how He would have it. So He sent His Son to live SUPERnaturally so that His son might say "These things and many more you shall do". But "THROUGH ME".
    quote:
    Man is born in sin. Meaning he is born in bondage. We are born slaves to our carnal desires. We are born slaves to our "animal instincts". Pleasure seekers by nature. Primarily the cause for all of these "addictions". However, this is only natural. Our spontaneous emotional responses are only natural. Living "naturally" is how we nullify the term 'Made in His image'. Living like this is how 'WE', HIS creation, "lost" contact/touch with HIM. It is not the other way around. God saw this and wanted a way for us to regain that contact. He walked with Adam. He visited Joseph in his dreams. He visited Moses on the Mount. This is how He would have it. So He sent His Son to live SUPERnaturally so that His son might say "These things and many more you shall do". But "THROUGH ME".
    Rhetoric... OFF-THE-POINT rhetoric.

    That does not address the fallacious anti-god idea embodied in this careless statement DIVINE JOY made:
      He came as Jesus to walk a sinless life to win the reigns of death from Satan.
    The question is how does a SOVEREIGN, ALMIGHTY, ALL POWERFUL GOD who has Unmitigated, PERMANENT POWER somehow not have the "reigns" over (Life and) DEATH??

    How is it that God would have to "win" something from Satan? This is what you comments are supposed to be directed to. We already know the "God sent his Son" drama... Why are you repeating it... regurgitating it when that's not what is being asked here?

    There is a clear question here. One that cannot be mistaken or seen as a reason to Spread The Gospel or whatever you think you're doing.

    quote:
    When did anyone say he "Lost" control?
    Call it what you will but saying that God had to "win" the reigns definitely implies God didn't possess those the "reigns", Satan did. So, somehow, you're in support of some crazy idea that Satan had something God didn't. Hence God making the action to "win" the reigns from Satan.

    At the BEGINNING... Who had the "reigns" over LIFE & DEATH? Was it not God? So, if at some point God had to "win" the reigns (i.e. power/control/authority) from Satan then that means God didn't control those "reigns", etc. while Satan did. Either that or God's power/control was MITIGATED by Satan. Even if you say God allowed it to be so you're in fact saying God's SOVEREIGN Power was mitigated by Satan.

    Too many holes in that idea.

    And please don't start with that ORIGINAL SIN business. That is your underlying assumption. One that is not shared by God fearing, God believing people with a sense what it means to be Created In His Image that's different from your Cracker Jack box version.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:
    quote:
    Personally, I have learned to conceptualize the Trinity as being similiar to the triple point of water, a temperature at which all three physical states of water coexists.
    Very interesting...
    I hope you will expound upon that.

    In full disclosure, I speak as a doubter/dissenter. But this info. gives me a new perspective on the matter.

    Thanks!


    Sorry for the delay in replying....
    To expand on my statement above, I will start with the premise that during the brief seminary teaching I recieved during my more religious years, I was taught that the most, if not all, natural things are a recapitulation of heavenly things....so based on that premise, I concluded to my own benefit and understanding that the concept of the Trinity is akin to the triple point of water.
    I could be wrong but that's a piece of my abstract mind trying to get some understanding of obscure religious ideaology, hence the move to science....

    hopes this helps....

    felix
    Last edited {1}
    I appreciate FELIX...
    I guess I'll research the Triple Point...
    That's actually the most instructive idea towards understanding the Trinity I've ever heard. I'm sure there may have been a very few (one or two) other explanations/illustrations I at least thought were thoughtful if not helpful. So I really do appreciate it.

    Perhaps actual active, professing Christians are too busy being defensive or evasive to actually think a little or explain free of Christian lingo/rhetoric that doesn't really explain anything.

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