Tony wrote:I think I almost agree, in that the things done in ignorance and without evil intent are not as bad as those done with intent and awareness. And I think God is fair and will take all things into account. In fact, he is the only person who has the true perspective on how each person was thinking, what they knew and when they knew it. The problem is, we have all acted with intent, caused pain and suffering and even when we thought out little sin was not hurting anyone, many times it did, in the long run. So even if we agree on the idea that sin is lack of love, selfishness, greed etc.. we have an issue that needs to be dealt with. But God is also a king, and there are divine commands that should be obeyed. Even if you didn't hurt anyone, yet rebeled against God's divine commands, this would be a sin as well....
Yes, there would still be issues to be dealt with surrounding the bad choices we make. They would be dealt with by forgiveness, justly, as a reflection of unconditional love. The punishment would fit the offense. Divine commands? You mean like the Ten Commandments? Long, long before there were any "divine commands" issued by God, it was already understood that murder, adultery, stealing, lying, etc. were wrong. We didn't need any 'tablet-ized' reminders from God to know right from wrong. This whole idea of "rebelling" against God or his commands comes out of a distorted understanding of what would be important to a God who not only loves his creations, but IS love. Human beings have made God out to be an egotistical despot of a king - preoccupied with satisfying his own need for glorification, worship and obedience from his subjects -and biblical authors incorporated that image and idea into their writings. But it makes no sense at all for God to be simultaneously a despot and a God of love.
Tony wrote:Where do you get this idea that he is a servant king? If it is from Jesus, you should read the other things he said as well. (I know you have) God has greatness in every one of his attributes, love is one, but holiness, knowledge, power, existence, etc... So, yes, love is his nature and the greatness of his love is his nature.
There ya go... I agree. Being great in holiness, knowledge, power, existence, etc. is not the least bit incompatible with love, mercy, and forgiveness.
Tony wrote:God gives life and has the right to take it away. Life is like a lease, you can be evicted anytime the owner desires.
I'm sorry, but the implication of that concept makes God out to be fickle -- absorbed in his own power. You would try to justify things like the atrocities of the OT by claiming God can do whatever he chooses to do, so too bad for us, rather than understanding that God didn't do those things. The authors who said God did those things were wrong. They were conceived of and carried out by grotesquely evil, cruel, human beings.
Having the right to take away life "as he pleases" is overshadowed by God's love and his desire to create life. It wouldn't "please" God to arbitrarily take away life or to take lives as punishment for, by any sensible understanding of justice, minor infractions.
Tony wrote:Where do you find the evidence for the God you claim is passively weak, a servant of man (genie) and only loving and not just? Please give some evidence for this creature you claim is god?
I don't know where you get all that crap from the things I've said. Passively weak? A genie? A servant of man? Only loving and not just? None of that fits anything I've said about the nature of God. None of that fits what I believe about the nature of God. We obviously have contradictory ideas of what passivity, weakness, service, love, and justice mean.
Tony wrote:Maybe you should edit the bible and take out the parts you think are not of God and publish a true bible?
That's just silly. I don't think ANY of the Bible is "of God"; it's ONLY "of man". But that is not to say that many of the things it contains are not beautiful, valuable, insightful, useful, profoundly wise, and written by people who were "inspired" to express their enlightened views about the nature of God and the way they perceived our relationship with God to be. Like I said before, it's the most fantastic thing I've ever read. But I can appreciate it, use it, learn from it, be inspired and awestruck by it -- without revering it as the words of God as they were "breathed into" the minds of its authors who then wrote down exactly what God wanted them to say. That's just laughable. And absolutely unsupportable.
Also, there are many, many things the Bible contains that are certainly, verifiably, "not true". I just skip over and ignore them as I come across them. IMHO, most
of the Old Testament is crap. The New Testament is much more in line with how I perceive and understand the nature of God.
Tony wrote:I am sorry that the act of Jesus, being submissive to the kind of death he suffered as a display of his love for you, is cliché.
Don't try to lay that guilt trip on me. The whole idea of God requiring a horrible blood sacrifice and death as a requirement for my salvation - from his own wrath - was his own idea! He could have avoided that whole traumatic scenario by patiently teaching, correcting, forgiving, setting the example himself (Jesus), adjusting, re-adjusting, and repeating that process to gradually bring us all to where he knows we're supposed to be. Oh, wait! That IS how he's doing it!
Tony wrote:But if you keep searching, maybe you will realize this cliché reveals the kind of God we have. There is a lot more to the truth revealed in the bible than just logical evidence that will cause people to bend their knees in worship and obedience.
God doesn't want people to bend their knees in worship and obedience. He wants them to love him and to love each other. Period.
Tony wrote:But think about that for a moment. If God exists, he could certainly reveal himself so strongly that everyone would be forced to submit to his authority. But this is not what God wants. He is looking for those who want him as their King, ruler, purpose and leader. So, he is ontologically distant just enough to allow freedom, which leads to sin, which leads to judgment and also leads to a gracious way to create free individuals who will be changed, never able to sin or make ignorant bad decisions as you say.
Nonsense. God isn't looking for a fan club of worshipping groupies who submit to his every whim. And why don't you understand that if God is leading us to be "never able to sin", he could have done that in the first place? If being "unable to sin" doesn't negate free will in heaven, then he could have created 'Adam and Eve' "unable to sin" right out of the box here on Earth.