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I have a question for the anti-fundamentalists.

Should God accomodate us?

Should God adjust to our personal interests and stimulations? Should God adapt to modernism?

Things that were once considered abominations are now reinterpreted. We have reshaped, and reformed God in order to fit our spiritual preferences.

I mean...

Gay ministers, homosexual marriages, capitalist driven churches... you name it.

Times change...
THAT TYPE OF HONESTY IS BELOW MY PAYGRADE.
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I have a question for the anti-fundamentalists.

Should God accomodate us?


As an anti-fundamentalist, I'll do my best to answer only from my own spiritual perspective.


quote:
Should God adjust to our personal interests and stimulations? Should God adapt to modernism?


"Should" is an interesting choice of words. God can and does adapt to any or all situations as God chooses, including modernism. Determining whether God should or should not do this is, frankly, putting God in a box. To ask ourselves what God should be doing is to suggest that we might know better than God. This is normal in our society though. We've been questioning God for a long time now. However, I don't believe that it ever has been, nor ever will be productive.

quote:
Things that were once considered abominations are now reinterpreted. We have reshaped, and reformed God in order to fit our spiritual preferences.

I mean...

Gay ministers, homosexual marriages, capitalist driven churches... you name it.


I don't think that gay ministers, homosexual marriages, or capitalist churches really have anything to do with God. Ministers, marriages, and churches are man made concepts that we created to suit our needs. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to alter these things to suit our changing needs.

I think the key word in your post was reinterpreted. These concepts were originally interpreted by humans. Now, they're being reinterpreted by humans. IMO, this process is just another part of the divine plan (or the Tao, as I prefer).

My 2 cents... hat
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I have a question for the anti-fundamentalists.

Should God accomodate us?

Should God adjust to our personal interests and stimulations? Should God adapt to modernism?

Things that were once considered abominations are now reinterpreted. We have reshaped, and reformed God in order to fit our spiritual preferences.

I mean...

Gay ministers, homosexual marriages, capitalist driven churches... you name it.

Times change...

There are numerous assumptions here that I think should be challenged.

1. There appears to be an assumption here that the past, prior, ancient, or archaic practices, rituals, and writings are truer, more accurate reflections of God.

2. There appears to be an assumption that God or the Divine is immutable or unchanging.

In order for me to address this particular question, I would need to have some sense of why these assumptions are not only being held, but are being privileged, because I do not see them as possessing any kind of logical necessity.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I have a question for the anti-fundamentalists.

Should God accomodate us?

Should God adjust to our personal interests and stimulations? Should God adapt to modernism?

Things that were once considered abominations are now reinterpreted. We have reshaped, and reformed God in order to fit our spiritual preferences.

I mean...

Gay ministers, homosexual marriages, capitalist driven churches... you name it.

Times change...

There are numerous assumptions here that I think should be challenged.

1. There appears to be an assumption here that the past, prior, ancient, or archaic practices, rituals, and writings are truer, more accurate reflections of God.

2. There appears to be an assumption that God or the Divine is immutable or unchanging.

In order for me to address this particular question, I would need to have some sense of why these assumptions are not only being held, but are being privileged, because I do not see them as possessing any kind of logical necessity.



I second the motion
Heru,

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I have a question for the anti-fundamentalists.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What is an "anti-fundamentalist"? A non-fundamentalist? I'm not sure why you would exclude fundamentalists from answering your question. While I disagree with them, there are some thoughtful fundamentlists. Not many, probably, but engaging, affable, personable, thoughtful (if not deep) fundies.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Should God accomodate us?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God does. In Genesis 12 and following, and especially in Gen 15, God accomodates Abraham's way of thinking. He obviously speaks to us in ways that we understand, which means that he must limit himself so that we can understand something about him. Is this what you omeant?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Should God adjust to our personal interests and stimulations? Should God adapt to modernism?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

That depends on what you mean. He does "adjust" to us, but "adapting" to a philosophy, no. He doesn't do that, because truth is truth. Our understanding of it may change (this is not the same as a change in morality, but rather a way of manifesting it), but the truth does not. The whole Bible calls on us to change to accomodate God, not the other way around.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Things that were once considered abominations are now reinterpreted. We have reshaped, and reformed God in order to fit our spiritual preferences.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Yes, fortunately for some things, and unfortunately for others. But we are not the first to do that. Israel did, too, not always to God's approval.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Gay ministers, homosexual marriages, capitalist driven churches... you name it.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

None of these issues have been handled very well of late because we tend to approach them with more emotion than thought and spirit, and the arguments over them do not always fall along the fundamentalist/non-fundamentalist divide.

There are many temptations to sin and many responses to them, of which some are good. Sexual temptations can be homosexual as well as heterosexual, and as for "capitalistic churches," well, the Bible has much to concemn in them. That simply means that churches today still have the same temptations to sin that churches have always had. Druids and Yoruba shamans probably had them, too.

If you mean that God should change because our tmies change, I would say no, that doesn't happen. If you mean that our views change, and that therefore our churches change to address those changes, then yes. But if you mean that God's truth should change because our times change, then no.
This is why I love you guys and this community.

As you all know, I'm no expert. I'm just a guy with a couple questions, and a somewhat cloudy perspective. So when I address interpretations of my perspective, I do so with all earnesty, and with the knowledge that my perspective is limited.

Black Viking,
I'm glad you mentioned the putting God 'in a box' issue. Because I had it in mind when I created the post. I guess one of the themes of my post is Interpretations. Fundamentalist like myself are accused of placing limits and restraints on God. hmmm... How can anyone that believes that God is all, knows all, and can do all... place God in box big enough to allow us to grasp an understanding of who, what, and how he Is. I think the people that accuse fundies of putting God in a box, are guilty of placing the onus on GOD to interpret us.

Kresge,
Wow... The immutability of God was in mind too.
If we believe God has a Divine plan, and that He created this Divine order, how can we believe that God is mutable? I mean... before God created the world, he saw the year 2006. Did He premeditate a change in Himself? I don't think He did. Therefore God is not mutable.

Melesi,
Could you address my assumptions and misgivings about the concept of fundamentalism. You may have a point.
Heru,
I would assert that immutability is not a characteristic of God as represented in the biblical tradition. The God of the Bible is a God that repents, that changes his [sic] mind, etc. There are multiple covenants, there is an evolution of religious practices and teachings, etc.

For example, do you follow all 613 laws of the Deuteronomic code? If not, why not? Look at the sexual ethic in the Hebrew Bible. Polygamy, levirate marriage, and concubines are all licit.

As I interpret it, the God of the bible is better thought of as faithful. I think that this is the impetus behind the adoption of the Greek concept of immutability. If you look at the history of the early church, however, you know that the adoption of this concept caused a great deal of problem with respect to Christology and the eventual construction of the doctrine of the Trinity. If Jesus was really God, then how could he die? Did God die on the cross? If not, then we would still be in our sins? If yes, wouldn't that mean that God is not eternal.

As I said, I understand that God character is one of faithfulness and compassion. As to your question about what God knew at the time of creation, that is beyond me. The problem with your construction of the situation to my mind results in the destruction of human free will as well as accountability. Human beings are not automatons.
Kresge,
I've got questions, and you've got answers that are always highly appreciated. Thanks for giving them freely.

I've always wondered about the laws of the Deuteronomic code, and the absurdity of the laws of Leviticus. I gave myself a simple explanation (by all means please feel free to evaluate). Those laws applied to the Jews. The Jews were God's special project. There is no universalism implied in those laws and codes. The laws were more about God's (chosen) being held to and immensely higher standard of holiness and spiritual depth, and had nothing to do with universal compliance. They also had nothing to do with morality. Cleanliness and holiness is the underlying theme of those laws. For instance, what's immoral about eating fish without scales, or what's immoral about a menstruation.

Circumcision, animal sacrifice, incense burning, Holy Temples being carried around, I don't feel that God ever meant for these practices to be applicable to every living soul in the world. These laws/codes (what I like to call practices) were not meant to be practiced by anyone other than Jews. Jesus never spoke of any of them. (Just my interpretation)

As far as God dying... I'm going to admit that I'm out of my league with you on that one, and remain silent.

Trying hard not to sermonize here...
As far as 'free will' goes. I believe a righteous or blameless man is as free as anyone can be. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there IS liberty. If anyone is an automaton, it is the person who is a slave to their carnal nature. The automaton is a slave to self-gratification and stimulation. The automaton is the slave of consumerism, capitalism, and hedonism. The truly free, are the meek and simplistic who are content with spiritual prosperity.

How can God repent? When did God change His mind? Is He on Divine Plan A, or Divine Plan B? When did God's first thoughts fail, and cause Him to revise his position?
This is from an old post of mine in another thread with a few additions.
*************************************************
As to the nature of God in the OT, check this out.
Genesis 6:6
6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7So the LORD said, ˜I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created"”people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.

Exodus 4:24-26
At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met {Moses} and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched {Moses'} feet with it. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said. So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision.)

Exodus 32:7-14
7 The LORD said to Moses, ˜Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; 8they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!"˜ 9The LORD said to Moses, ˜I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. 10Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.' 11But Moses implored the LORD his God, and said, ˜O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12Why should the Egyptians say, "It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth"? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. 13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, "I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever."˜ 14And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

I Samuel 15:10-11
10 The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11˜I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commands.'

I Samuel 15:35
35Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel.

I Chronicles 21:14-15
14 So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
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quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
How can anyone that believes that God is all, knows all, and can do all... place God in box big enough to allow us to grasp an understanding of who, what, and how he Is.

I think that therein lies the disconnect. I don't believe that we were ever intended to grasp an understanding of who, what, and how God is. I think it's quite a bit beyond our personal perspective.

For example, think about someone close to you, perhaps a member of your family. Someone that you know better than anyone else you know. Now ask yourself how much you don't know about them. Even if it's only a small amount, there are still things that we don't know even about our closest friends and loved ones. Now consider that these are human beings, finite in nearly every sense. If we can never truly know a being as finite as a person, how could we ever truly know God in God's infinite state.


quote:
I think the people that accuse fundies of putting God in a box, are guilty of placing the onus on GOD to interpret us.


I don't disagree, but I don't think that's anything to feel guilty about. God has an infinite perspective. That means to me that God can interpret us. We, on the other hand, live and die with only one perspective, our own. Trying to interpret God beyond a certain point is an excersise in futility, IMO.

For example, when I pray I only ask God for one thing. I ask for knowledge of God's will for me (not for anyone else) and the power to carry that out. I don't need anything else from God. Futher interpretation is not required.
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quote:
I would assert that immutability is not a characteristic of God as represented in the biblical tradition. The God of the Bible is a God that repents, that changes his [sic] mind, etc.


God is immutable.

It is associated with His immensity (He exceeds space to the infinite) and eternity (He exceeds time to the infinite degree).

God is exalted above all the causes and even the possibilities of change. He can neither increases or decreases. His knowledge and power can never be greater or less.

He can not change his will. God may will a change but He cannot change His will.
quote:
Originally posted by MidLifeMan:
quote:
I would assert that immutability is not a characteristic of God as represented in the biblical tradition. The God of the Bible is a God that repents, that changes his [sic] mind, etc.


God is immutable.

It is associated with His immensity (He exceeds space to the infinite) and eternity (He exceeds time to the infinite degree).

God is exalted above all the causes and even the possibilities of change. He can neither increases or decreases. His knowledge and power can never be greater or less.

And these assertions are predicated on what?
quote:
He can not change his will. God may will a change but He cannot change His will.

Can you say more about what you mean here? It could be interpreted as referring to intentionality, in which case there is not a disagreement with what I have presented. Take the analogy of a parent. They may always [i]intend[i] to do the best for their children, but this does not mean that they in fact accomplish this. They may make errors that need correction.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
Furthermore, if "God" is immutable, it's not really proper to refer to "It" as a "He". That tends to cause one to anthropomorphize the Infinite. Smile

I actually prefer non gendered speech when referring to the Divine.

With respect to mutability or immutability, I do not see a correlation between it and the concept of the infinite. Rather, I would contend that it is associated with perfect being model of God, which historically has often been at odds with the understanding of God as infinite.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
Furthermore, if "God" is immutable, it's not really proper to refer to "It" as a "He". That tends to cause one to anthropomorphize the Infinite. Smile

I actually prefer non gendered speech when referring to the Divine.

With respect to mutability or immutability, I do not see a correlation between it and the concept of the infinite. Rather, I would contend that it is associated with perfect being model of God, which historically has often been at odds with the understanding of God as infinite.


I would agree.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
Does God have room for growth? Does God have room to improve?

Is Humanity an experiment that God is learning from?

Process theologians or neoclassical metaphysicians would say yes, that is indeed the case. God is unfolding, becoming, growth, and evolutionary. Also associated with panentheism, God is all in all, "in whom (what) we live and move and have our being", then what we experience (indeed what the cosmos, the universe experiences) God experiences.
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. - Malachi 3:6

God doesn't change. The world is changing as he warned us. Take heed and guard your faith. Only holy people with dwell with God.

Gay ministers - I can't believe people feel God would accept it, when it is called an abomination throughout the scriptures. Amazing!
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I have a question for the anti-fundamentalists.

Should God accomodate us?


By evidence of our existence we are already accomodated....

quote:
Should God adjust to our personal interests and stimulations?
I suspect if one believes in predeterminism then one could say that God never adjusts because God is All-Knowing... I suspect if one believes in the predominate power of the Will one could say that God doesn't adjust.... God waits... for our responses to life stimuli and responds accordingly..... Or perhaps there is some combination of both....
quote:
Should God adapt to modernism?

"Modernism" seems to apply to our current view of things..... Is God aware? yes.... then does God respond? I believe so.... This does not make a God a proponent of Modernism.... just an observer....

quote:
Things that were once considered abominations are now reinterpreted. We have reshaped, and reformed God in order to fit our spiritual preferences.

Hmmm... I would say we "interpret" God's messages.... and we apply them in the manner we feel is best.... to ourselves.... to others.... or to no one.... but we have been born with the power of choice.... and we make it.... God would not share His mind were it not for His belief that we could tap into His thinking.... therefore.... I think we do this on many levels and from many diverse points of view.....

I say this and I do not support much of what is allowed and the weak reasonings behind it.... but I am aware that we seem to have a symbiotic relationship with God.... Where in we are guided and expected to guide....

Peace,
Virtue
quote:
I have a question for the anti-fundamentalists.

Should God accomodate us?

Should God adjust to our personal interests and stimulations? Should God adapt to modernism?

Things that were once considered abominations are now reinterpreted. We have reshaped, and reformed God in order to fit our spiritual preferences.

I mean...

Gay ministers, homosexual marriages, capitalist driven churches... you name it.


Your question presumes the ancient practices and interpretations were correct.

I don't see modern Christians sacrificing animals. I don't hear anyone complaining about that?

umbra
Ancient practices aren't applicable to modern times. As far as ancient interpretations go...

Whatever religion you are, I'm sure their is an enlightened individual that gives THE original interpretation. Now today, with our unenlightened minds, we feel that we can re-interpret, or out-smart/out-wit/out-interpret the enlightened.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
Ancient practices aren't applicable to modern times. As far as ancient interpretations go...

Whatever religion you are, I'm sure their is an enlightened individual that gives THE original interpretation.


1) What makes you assume there is any ONE correct "THE" interpretation? What makes you assume exclusivism?

2) What makes you assume people in the past are any more enlightened than people of today?

quote:
Now today, with our unenlightened minds, we feel that we can re-interpret, or out-smart/out-wit/out-interpret the enlightened.


1) What makes you assume that people today are so unenlightened?

2) What makes you assume the ancients were any more enlightened?

3) What makes you assume the original interpretation was more "correct"?

4) Isn't it possible many ancient interpretations weren't simply re-interpretations of even older and more ancient interpretations?


Your logic sounds alot like that of a religious Fundamentalist.
When I speak of enlightened individuals I am speaking of people that could be considered sages. Mohammad, Buddha, Jesus, The Ausarian concept, and so on and so forth, according to the respective religions.
So...

1. What makes you assume people today are so unenlightened?

I didn't intend for my statement to be sweeping. The only thing I assumed is that you would understand the type of people I was talking about.

2. What makes you assume the ancients were any more enlightened?

Because I've yet to see a Buddha-like or Jesus-like person.

3. What makes you assume the original intepretation was more "correct"?

Because of my answer to number 2.

4.No... sorry... Probably not


Yes I am a Fundamentalist
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
2. What makes you assume the ancients were any more enlightened?

Because I've yet to see a Buddha-like or Jesus-like person.

3. What makes you assume the original intepretation was more "correct"?

Because of my answer to number 2.

I find your response to this questions particularly interesting. It appears that you require empirical data in order to supersede enlightened individuals for whom I would contend that you do not have empirical data for in the first place.

You have not seen the Buddha or Jesus, so how do you know what the Buddha or Jesus were like? How do you know that your conception is valid? This is part of the problem with interpretation. In some sense, all there is is interpretation. I am not sure if you can ever get to the really real.

If you say, for example, that you are basing your knowledge of who the Buddha or Jesus on a text, why do you believe the text? Why do you believe the author, why do you believe that the author recorded what they experienced or where told faithfully? How do you know that even if they did, you would be able to comprehend it given the difference of time, space, language, culture, consciousness? Are you reading the original manuscript or is it a copy? If a copy, how can you trust the accuracy of the transmission? Are you reading it in the original language, and if not, why do you trust the translations.

I know that this may seem trivial, but just these few issues, not to mention many, many, more makes fundamentalism untenable to me.

From a historical perspective, a strong case can be made for fundamentalism being a modern phenomenon. If you read ancient commentaries or expositions on sacred text, one will not find anything comparable to the fundamentalist mindset. The actual use of the term is only about 100 years old and was given to a group of American Christians who had problems with the "higher criticism" from Europe. They published a series of essays that together where called The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth.
This is what I find problematic. Holistic interpretations are subordinated to the hyperanalytical individuals simply because they feel that fundamentalism isn't speculative enough. This to me is a self-imposed ignorance, because speculative questioning comes with an unchallenged elitism and super-imposed assumptions.

For instance questions like "How do we know...", come with the prepackaged understanding that fundamentalist do not consider an alternative point of view. Mind you, what's even more frustrating is the fact that everyone knows that these questions are rhetorical questions built to subordinate holistic thinkers.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
This is what I find problematic. Holistic interpretations are subordinated to the hyperanalytical individuals simply because they feel that fundamentalism isn't speculative enough. This to me is a self-imposed ignorance, because speculative questioning comes with an unchallenged elitism and super-imposed assumptions.

For instance questions like "How do we know...", come with the prepackaged understanding that fundamentalist do not consider an alternative point of view. Mind you, what's even more frustrating is the fact that everyone knows that these questions are rhetorical questions built to subordinate holistic thinkers.


This may not apply to you, HeruStar, but "How do you know?" is a question of utmost relevance when posed to an exclusivist position. If you want to argue for your individual right to believe something then fine. You're on to something maybe. But if you go on to assert that the rest of us ought to follow you in that belief, "how do you know?" is neither nitpicky nor elitist.
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quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I have a question for the anti-fundamentalists.

Should God accomodate us?

Should God adjust to our personal interests and stimulations? Should God adapt to modernism?

Things that were once considered abominations are now reinterpreted. We have reshaped, and reformed God in order to fit our spiritual preferences.

I mean...

Gay ministers, homosexual marriages, capitalist driven churches... you name it.

Times change...

Are these questions any less rhetorical or elitist than the questions that have been tendered to you?

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