Let me ask a question, why would someone want to escape the bondage to sin as you say?
mitchellmckain wrote: Because it is destructive of who we are. Sin is a degenerative disease that can only end in the death of everything we are and everything we could be.
Ryan wrote: Mitch, is this really the reason you would have for someone needing to repent?
mitchellmckain wrote: It is the really the reason why people should escape the bondage of sin. I don't dictate other people's reasons for doing anything.
I am sorry, but you said it is really the reason why people should escape the bondage of sin, which is a dictation of the reason... to say that you then don't dictate other people's reasons is illogical at best and hypocritical at worst. You don't recognize that by stating that something is THE reason, that it necessarily follows that although it may play-out in many ways that you have dictated the ultimate reason whether you intend to or not?
mitchellmckain wrote:I don't think so. Why should it be? People say all sorts of things with many different things in mind. But I can say this, I see absolutely NOTHING here to suggest that Job is explaining what sin is here.
OK, so what you are saying is that what Job says and what he means are two different things? Job does explain exactly what his sin was... he quotes Job 38:2 when he explains his sin. God questions him about all the things which God knows to demonstrate His authority to which Job responds by promising silence. That is what Job is repenting of, that was his sin... was it degenerative, absolutely... but at its core, it was an affront to God's authority. You claim that things are so obvious to you, but do not see what is made clear?
mitchellmckain wrote:No. Again people repent for many different reasons and there is no reason to expect that his reasons would have any bearing on whether sin can be called a degenerative disease or not.
Yes, people repent for many different reasons... i.e. one is sexually immoral, another is a thief and another tells lies... but while all of those are "different reasons" and you can clump them into a title like "degenerative disease" but why are they a degenerative disease? Because it makes life hard or it has bad effects on people? Or is it more than that?
Ryan wrote:Or, was he repenting because he had offended God?
mitchellmckain wrote: No. However much you want to put your own words in his mouth, Job's words are there for all read and his reasons are given there. He repents because He comes to the understanding that he uttered what he did not understand. It is a perfectly good reason for repenting and a reason why many people repent of saying things all the time.
I didn't put words in his mouth, I asked you a question. Yes, Job's words are there for all to read and his reasons are given there and what is wrong with doing that? Who was it that he had uttered things about? As much as you might like to take one verse and just extrapolate out, you need to read the whole situation... Job was repenting because he had offended God by uttering those things which he did not understand... its as clear as day... so while you say I am putting words in his mouth, I say to you read it again.
mitchellmckain wrote:I may indeed be an affront to the "god" whom people have invented to invest them with power over others. But I do not believe in their little "god".
Who's little "god" are you referring too? A sinner is an affront to God and its right there in scripture "The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers."(Psalms 5:5) How big is this god you serve? Is He the supreme authority? The God of the universe? The only one worthy of honor and glory and you say your god is bigger than mine? I am not pointing out these things to have power over you... that is something right out of left field. You don't think you should bow before God's authority (ie not mine)? I really don't understand what your comment has to do with this conversation. But, maybe you are right; maybe we do believe in two different Gods because the one you describe seems to have no authority and no reason for the glory that the Bible clearly speaks about.
Ryan wrote:What we are by nature is sinful
mitchellmckain wrote: No. We are not sinful by nature. That excuse is a lie. We sin by choice.
Yes its a choice... i described it as such... you have a choice... give in to your nature or fight against it. If you think for a moment that sin is not in your nature, then you have no hope of overcoming it because you are boxing against a shadow.
mitchellmckain wrote:No the reason why Peter tells us this is not to support your theology/philosophy at all. Peter tells us this because this because these are good habits, and just as the bad habits of sin destroy our life, awareness and free will, good habits expand them.
I didn't say they weren't good habits or that Peter was "supporting my theology/philosophy"... but what you are now talking about is salvation by works, by having these good habits that some how has power to do what exactly? Good habits are good to have but for what reason, and what about bad habits destroys a life? What good habits do you have that are capable of saving you from death? I assure you there are none.
Ryan wrote:Notice that before affection and love, there is virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness and godliness... Peter didn't put them in an arbitrary order; love and affection is misplaced without the things which proceed it.
mitchellmckain wrote: Love has no place at all in a list of things that someone demands because he threatens to hurt, torment and destroy you if you do not comply. Not unless that person is the worst of criminals like a rapist.
Where did I put love in a list of things that someone demands because he threatens to hurt torment and destroy you if you do not comply? I didn't put it in a list of things that have to be done to save you. Again you are talking about salvation through works... I never made that claim. So, since this is the second time you have talked about what seems to be salvation through works... is that what you believe? I get the feeling that you don't, but your view on sin certainly doesn't line up with salvation by grace through faith.
mitchellmckain wrote:Yes it is destructive of everything we can be -- everything that God hopes for us, but do not fool yourself, there is no remaining safe in your sins. They most certainly will destroy even what small good there is in you until there is absolutely nothing left that makes your existence worthwhile.
When did I claim such a thing? Repentance is a turning away from sin, there is no safety in sin... your philosophy here takes everything at face value but has no ultimate (eternal) meaning what-so-ever. Why would it matter if my existence in this life is "worthwhile" what makes it "worthwhile"? These questions are at the heart of your philosophy and your answers to them drive your view of who God is.
mitchellmckain wrote:Unlike me who claims to know plenty about the subject but who never claims to speak for God.
Ryan wrote: You never claimed outright that you speak for God, but your words certainly say otherwise...
mitchellmckain wrote: Those who rule by fear and buying obedience with rewards have nothing to do with love but only with power and control. God has no need of such things and so it is rather obvious that these are the doctrines of men who are serving themselves alone.
Ryan wrote: This is illustrative of your speaking for God. You say that "God has no need of such things"... are those His words or yours?
mitchellmckain wrote: No those are not his words, but no that is not speaking for God. That is speaking of the nature of things, you know like saying that a dog does not need gasoline -- that does not speak for the dog but is only an observation of the dog's nature.
How do you know God's nature outside of what He has said? You can not see the nature of God in the same way you can the nature of a dog... really, how big is this god you speak of? When did you observe God's nature? When did you observe that we (not He) has no need of being ruled by fear or rewarded through obedience? When did you observe these things, Mitchell? How is it that you observed them?
Ryan wrote: When you say that it is obvious that these doctrines are of men who are serving themselves alone, are those your words, or God's?
mitchellmckain wrote: Nope. I am speaking of what is obvious to me.
So you have special knowledge that we don't have? How did you conclude they are obvious?
Ryan wrote:Is that not an offense to God and therefor sitting squarely within His right to judge?
mitchellmckain wrote: Nope. I am not making any rules at all about who goes to heaven and who goes to hell because I know that only God can save someone from hell.
Nope its not His right to judge? Your idea of judgment seems to be restrictive to a single field, that of hell... if you do not judge anything at all, how do you decide what those "good" and "bad" habits are? Curious stance you seem to be taking.
Ryan wrote:If the doctrines are God's, then you are speaking for Him by your denial (and judgment) of the doctrines. If they are not God's you are speaking for Him by affirming (and judgment) that they are not His.
mitchellmckain wrote: Baloney! I am simply making my choice not to follow the little god of power and manipulation some have invented (and the doctrines they have invented to prop it up) that is offended by anyone who dares to think and do other that what they dictate you or I should.
What do you mean "Baloney"? You didn't even address the issue, but skirted it in favor of some invented doctrine non-sense. You say power and manipulation as though that is the God that I am claiming. But, am not - I am claiming a God of Power and Authority, authority is not the same as manipulation. You don't have to do what I do to earn salvation or follow the doctrines I follow, but who's doctrines (instructions) do you have to follow? Your own? What's good for you? And God, who has the power to create the universe and who holds all authority in it, who gave you life is not allowed to dictate what happens? What do you have to do to be saved? Your answers to these questions are doctrines whether you like it or not. You too follow doctrines, but who's are they?
mitchellmckain wrote:I have undertaken no such position...
You have simply by speaking
mitchellmckain wrote:...and I refuse this logic by which people seek to absolve themselve of responsibility for seeking the truth by assinging it to others.
I have not done this, I simply said that we both (and all of us) have the same responsibility to seek the truth, I didn't assign it to anyone else.
mitchellmckain wrote:I never say to believe what I say because I say it, or that God says something because I say so. What I say is that God speaks for Himself and it is up to you to listen and it is nobody's responsibility but your own to seek the truth.
Yet you seem to deny the doctrines (instruction) which he spoke and call them the doctrines of men based on a so called "observation of his nature"? I am curious how you came by this "truth" ... no where in the Bible is there a Lone-Ranger Christian who is out there seeking truth on his own. When you do that, you come to all kinds of false notions because you want to justify yourself rather than having God justify you.
mitchellmckain wrote:If you want to know what God says then do not listen to me, just read the Bible for yourself and ask Him.
Is that not what I am doing?
mitchellmckain wrote:As I said this does not mean that God does not use people to speak, but no that does not mean that they are speaking for God.
When you say "God does not need..." who are you speaking for? You aren't simply stating observation, you are speaking on behalf of God. Whether what you say is truth or not is a different matter. If you said "Ryan doesn't need gasoline" I certainly wouldn't say you are speaking on observation... how would you know what I need and don't need? How would you know that my car has a full tank or not? Notice it isn't me (the authority) who needs gas, it is the car (the subject) who needs it, but it is still something I would employee to be able to properly use the car in a meaningful way.
mitchellmckain wrote:I think the same thing is true of the Bible and that trying to reduce the Bible to the understanding of human writers and what they intended is not a way of seeking what God is saying
Nor did I do such a thing... the Bible is full of things that the author might not have understood completely
mitchellmckain wrote:so I do NOT accept the attempt of so called Biblical scholars to rewrite the Bible and change it to their words instead.
Nor do I. The Bible speaks for itself. You seem to be imagining a argument that isn't being made. So, when you read the Bible, how do you come to understand it? You don't take others understanding into consideration? You like science right? How did you come to understand science? Just by sitting on your back porch and looking out at the world, or did you take what others had to say into consideration and follow their teachings (doctrine) in addition to your own observations?
mitchellmckain wrote: But seeking the truth and understanding of things is NOT the same thing as finding out what God has to say. There are in fact many things that God will say nothing about, but leaves us to find the truth about them ourselves.
I don't see why you would imagine that I wouldn't agree with that.
mitchellmckain wrote:... I have always been and remain far more interested in the truth about things (starting with science) than about what God has to say, though my search for the truth eventually included reading what He says and trying to understand that also.
And maybe that is part of your problem, you are more interested in your truth about things (not talking about science necessarily) than about what God has to say. Its the same problem that almost everyone (including myself) has had at one time or another, to greater or lesser extents. It is the point where that whole "degenerative disease" you call sin starts isn't it? Once you eventually read what He has to say and recognize His authority, how then could anything come second to it? Have you not taken God's authority and stuffed it in a backpack?