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You've proven your on par with ZZZ with the fig tree atardency-now, cut it out. That's just dumb. I am sorry, but it is.
Hardly. Chris has raised a philosophical flaw with scripture that is extremely solid.For you to rate it as dumb just shows your inability to interpret even the simplest of concepts...
Also, lest means unless.
...including English.
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I have a good idea... let's not use the King James Version. Let's use a version that uses the actual words in the Gospel of Matthew.10And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" 11Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12"For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13"Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14"In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, 'YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; 15FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.' 16"But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17"For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. and let's throw in a little Romans 9 for all the people wondering why God wouldn't want everyone to understand.14What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." 16So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." 18So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" 20On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,sorry chrisuk_sw, but unless you soften your heart to the TRUTH of God, Romans 9 is talking about you. God may have prepared you for destruction to teach us a lesson.

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20On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
I'm glad you chose these verses. They are actually one of my favourites for showing that Christianity is a cult.
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I'm glad you chose these verses. They are actually one of my favourites for showing that Christianity is a cult.
All religions are cults. The only thing that differentiates them from Davidians (Koresh followers) and the like is the number of adherents to the philosophy. If enough lunatics believe it, its religion. If 500 or less beleive in it, its a cult.
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I have a good idea... let's not use the King James Version. Let's use a version that uses the actual words in the Gospel of Matthew.and let's throw in a little Romans 9 for all the people wondering why God wouldn't want everyone to understandsorry chrisuk_sw, but unless you soften your heart to the TRUTH of God, Romans 9 is talking about you. God may have prepared you for destruction to teach us a lesson.
I don't want irrationality and fear to govern my life but love, only love. It is not my heart that would have to soften to accept ancient myth, intolerance, racism and nonsense as truth. It would have to be my head.
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I'm glad you chose these verses. They are actually one of my favourites for showing that Christianity is a cult.
You're welcome.
All religions are cults. The only thing that differentiates them from Davidians (Koresh followers) and the like is the number of adherents to the philosophy. If enough lunatics believe it, its religion. If 500 or less beleive in it, its a cult.
You guys should seriously invest in a dictionary... it's a good thing.I'm assuming that this is the definition that you would use for a cult...6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.In which case, Christianity doesn't apply. Eighty percent of the population of the US is NOT living outside conventional society. But Atheism is... maybe you guys are in a cult.
I don't want irrationality and fear to govern my life but love, only love. It is not my heart that would have to soften to accept ancient myth, intolerance, racism and nonsense as truth. It would have to be my head.
Ok, then you shouldn't chose to follow Jesus... and Romans 9:22 is the definition of your life. I'm sorry to be the bearer of terrible news. I hope you change your course before you die.
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You guys should seriously invest in a dictionary... it's a good thing.I'm assuming that this is the definition that you would use for a cult...6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.In which case, Christianity doesn't apply. Eighty percent of the population of the US is NOT living outside conventional society. But Atheism is... maybe you guys are in a cult.
Haha, wonderful. You berate people for not investing in a dictionary and then delete SEVEN definitions that completely disprove your argument. It's like a good old fashioned book burning. Here are the other definitions for "cult" that you deliberately left out....1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.- Tick for Christianity as being a cult. Cross for atheism2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.- Tick for Christianity. Cross for atheism3. the object of such devotion.- Tick for The Bible and Jesus Christ4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.- Tick for Christianity. Cross for atheism5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.- Tick for Christianity. Cross for atheism7. the members of such a religion or sect.- Tick for Christians. Cross for atheists.8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.- Cross for both (other than Christian faith-healers, in which case, tick)
Ok, then you shouldn't chose to follow Jesus... and Romans 9:22 is the definition of your life. I'm sorry to be the bearer of terrible news. I hope you change your course before you die.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of a terrible diagnosis. You are infected with a bad case of the Christianity virus. It is hijacking your bodies abilities to copy useful information and you are being used to reproduce the virus instead. The only known cure is intellectual honesty and education.
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I'm assuming that this is the definition that you would use for a cult...6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
Christians like to hide behind semantics and you are no different. I wasn't debating the websters definition of cult, I was giving you a fact. Which is that the only thing that differentiates Davidians from Christians is the number of believers. That is a fact. Regardless of your incredibally skillfull use of dictionary.com which you demonstrated to us who are woefully ignorant of such a website or a book called a dictionary, it is still a fact. Your insanity is merely more accepted than the Davidians. And as usual, your more of an ******* than most atheists I know. Atheists don't believe in divine forgiveness. We must actually practice ethics in our lives, not just ask some imaginary, or dead, dude for forgiveness.
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Haha, wonderful. You berate people for not investing in a dictionary and then delete SEVEN definitions that completely disprove your argument. It's like a good old fashioned book burning. Here are the other definitions for "cult" that you deliberately left out....1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.- Tick for Christianity as being a cult. Cross for atheism2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.- Tick for Christianity. Cross for atheism3. the object of such devotion.- Tick for The Bible and Jesus Christ4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.- Tick for Christianity. Cross for atheism5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.- Tick for Christianity. Cross for atheism7. the members of such a religion or sect.- Tick for Christians. Cross for atheists.8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.- Cross for both (other than Christian faith-healers, in which case, tick)I'm sorry to be the bearer of a terrible diagnosis. You are infected with a bad case of the Christianity virus. It is hijacking your bodies abilities to copy useful information and you are being used to reproduce the virus instead. The only known cure is intellectual honesty and education.
Please be joking.Not ONLY did I TELL Solderz I was using #6... it was the ONLY one that applied to how he used it. Did you actually read any part of his or your own post?When he said that Christians were in a cult; was he saying:1. They were a particular religious group with ceremonies? (nope, YOUR RETARDED)2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers (nope, he wasn't saying that either, YOUR RETARDED)3. the object of such devotion (nope, YOUR RETARDED)4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. (nope, because EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THIS.... HE WAS CLEARLY MAKING A BELITTLEING REMARK ABOUT CHRSITIANS... NOT TELLING EVERYONE ON THE BOARD THAT CHRISTIANS ARE BOUND TOGETHER BY VENERATION OF JESUS... EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THAT... YOUR RETARDED)5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols. (nope, he wasn't saying this either... YOUR RETARDED)7. the members of such a religion or sect. (nope, unless of course he didn't know that Christians were a member of a religion, YOUR RETARDED)8. blah blah.. (nope, he obviously wasn't accusing the Christians on this board as being faith healers, YOUR RETARDED)So I guess when I chose #6, I was actually helping him out. Did you thank me? NOPE, you made yourself look like a total fool.YOUR RETARDED
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Please be joking.Not ONLY did I TELL Solderz I was using #6... it was the ONLY one that applied to how he used it. Did you actually read any part of his or your own post?When he said that Christians were in a cult; was he saying:1. They were a particular religious group with ceremonies? (nope, YOUR RETARDED)2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers (nope, you weren't saying that either, YOUR RETARDED)3. the object of such devotion (nope, YOUR RETARDED)4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. (nope, because EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THIS.... YOU WERE CLEARLY MAKING A BELITTLEING REMARK ABOUT CHRSITIANS... NOT TELLING EVERYONE ON THE BOARD THAT CHRISTIANS ARE BOUND TOGETHER BY VENERATION OF JESUS... EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THAT... YOUR RETARDED)5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols. (nope, you weren't saying this either... YOUR RETARDED)7. the members of such a religion or sect. (nope, unless of course you didn't know that Christians were a member of a religion, YOUR RETARDED)8. blah blah.. (nope, you obviously weren't saying 'accusing the Christians on this board as being faith healers, YOUR RETARDED)So I guess when I chose #6, I was actually helping you out. Did you thank me? NOPE, you made yourself look like a total fool.YOUR RETARDED
pssst. It's "You're retarded"If you are going to insult someone for being stupid....
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Please be joking.Not ONLY did I TELL Solderz I was using #6... it was the ONLY one that applied to how he used it. Did you actually read any part of his or your own post?When he said that Christians were in a cult; was he saying:1. They were a particular religious group with ceremonies? (nope, YOUR RETARDED)2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers (nope, you weren't saying that either, YOUR RETARDED)3. the object of such devotion (nope, YOUR RETARDED)4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. (nope, because EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THIS.... YOU WERE CLEARLY MAKING A BELITTLEING REMARK ABOUT CHRSITIANS... NOT TELLING EVERYONE ON THE BOARD THAT CHRISTIANS ARE BOUND TOGETHER BY VENERATION OF JESUS... EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THAT... YOUR RETARDED)5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols. (nope, you weren't saying this either... YOUR RETARDED)7. the members of such a religion or sect. (nope, unless of course you didn't know that Christians were a member of a religion, YOUR RETARDED)8. blah blah.. (nope, you obviously weren't saying 'accusing the Christians on this board as being faith healers, YOUR RETARDED)So I guess when I chose #6, I was actually helping him out. Did you thank me? NOPE, you made yourself look like a total fool.YOUR RETARDED
haha..I'm sorry but you made it soooooo big I can't let it slide....it's "you're" not "your".edit:...Canada beat me to it...by seconds!
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haha..I'm sorry but you made it soooooo big I can't let it slide....it's "you're" not "your".edit:...Canada beat me to it...by seconds!
:)Best bit was he had 8 goes at it and got it wrong every time.
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Christians like to hide behind semantics and you are no different.
If by semantics, you mean the English language... guilty as charged.
I wasn't debating the websters definition of cult, I was giving you a fact. Which is that the only thing that differentiates Davidians from Christians is the number of believers. That is a fact.
Whose fact is this? It's not the English language's fact. Forgive me if I don't think your 'facts' hold water.
Regardless of your incredibally skillfull use of dictionary.com which you demonstrated to us who are woefully ignorant of such a website or a book called a dictionary.
Is this supposed to be a rip somehow? Because if it is... I don't get it. You didn't know the definition of a word you used and I was helping you not look foolish. You're welcome.
Your insanity is merely more accepted than the Davidians.
Which means what? I should look up the word 'cult' in the dictionary. Thanks Solderz!
And as usual, your more of an ******* than most atheists I know.
I am very careful not to be a jerk to people that are respectful. Crow and LongLiveYork come to mind... but there ARE others. I will ALWAYS be a jerk to bigots and total a-holes like yourself that can't debate their way out of a paper bag, and resort to name calling. You, TheShank, Canada, and chrisuk_sw come to mind... but there are others.
Atheists don't believe in divine forgiveness. We must actually practice ethics in our lives, not just ask some imaginary, or dead, dude for forgiveness.
I'm sorry for your loss.
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pssst. It's "You're retarded"If you are going to insult someone for being stupid....
haha..I'm sorry but you made it soooooo big I can't let it slide....it's "you're" not "your".edit:...Canada beat me to it...by seconds!
:)Best bit was he had 8 goes at it and got it wrong every time.
You could've stopped there.Really.(PS. Notice the correct method of abbreviation with an appostrophe.)
Well... I'm disappointed that Kongos got involved... and I'm saddened that chrisuk_sw and solderz haven't been by to exclaim my misspelling... but the joke is on you Canada. YSAL.Take special care to read his sig.http://www.fullcontactpoker.com/poker-foru...p?showuser=5634av-5634.jpgYOUR RETARDED
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Well... I'm disappointed that Kongos got involved... and I'm saddened that chrisuk_sw and solderz haven't been by to exclaim my misspelling... but the joke is on you Canada. YSAL.Take special care to read his sig.http://www.fullcontactpoker.com/poker-foru...p?showuser=5634av-5634.jpgYOUR RETARDED
Wow, just wow. Talk about hook, line and sinker. Too bad these all won't fit in my sig. If I browsed this forum on a more regular basis, I might have to update mine.This is probably the most brilliant hijack I've seen. Nice job putting this forum on tilt. To the people quoted above, you might want to be sure that the person doing the insulting is actually making a mistake, especially when he corrected someone using a word incorrectly. He further confirmed his wit by using the word correctly in his later post. I haven't been as entertained by a subject that I hate in a long time. You all need to pay better attention. Thanks guys.Good luck.
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*sigh* once upon a time this started out as quite a good thread.... we were actually discussing whether- the philosophies of Jesus are sound- the philosophies of Jesus can be accepted if you do not believe he is divineinstead it's turned into brvheart's willy waving. I'll give you just this one paragraph of attention before trying to get back on track. brvheart - you have been by far the most antagonistic and insulting poster in this thread. The first personalisation came in your post 14 ("WTF!?!? You have no idea what you're talking about"), which caused zzz to fire back. Check out what you say in post 22 ("do you even think before you type?") Then you go on to call zzz retarded (post 27) before this latest set of outbursts. You are a very rude person. Someone smarter than me once said that you reap what you sow: please refrain from being personally insulting as it just increases noise and reduces the effectiveness of whatever arguments you may make.

So I guess when I chose #6, I was actually helping him out.
I'll give you that you used a definition of cult and then by that definition (erroneously) claimed atheism to be a cult while saying Christianity was not. I made a misreading of your post and take back my accusation that you left out the other definitions deliberately. I stand by that by a dictionary definition, Christianity is a cult - not that I think it matters in the slightest. I believe that religions are memetic viruses so defining some to be cults and others not doesn't really make a difference.
Did you thank me? NOPE, you made yourself look like a total fool.
Matthew 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.If we could get slightly back on track - what I really want is a satisfactory explanation of these two (as I see them) flaws in Jesus' character as laid out in scripture- Christ using miraculous power to wither a tree out of (it would seem) spite- Christ talking in parables for fear that people might understand him instead of speaking plainly so that more people would understand himwhich I don't think have been answered anywhere
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If we could get slightly back on track - what I really want is a satisfactory explanation of these two (as I see them) flaws in Jesus' character as laid out in scripture- Christ using miraculous power to wither a tree out of (it would seem) spite- Christ talking in parables for fear that people might understand him instead of speaking plainly so that more people would understand himwhich I don't think have been answered anywhere
Dude, I'm totally fine with staying on topic... but I have zero patience for people that belittle religious people. You are not better... you do NOT have more knowledge... and post after post you have been very condesending. Please don't act like you're on a pedestal or something, or I might have to quote a bunch of your posts to prove my point. Even in this thread, in post 12 and 22 I am very respectful of MDXS and LongLiveYork... why? Because they aren't condesending a-holes like yourself.This is what John Darby says about the fig tree parable...The difference between the two parts of this history is distinguishable. The first presents the Lord in His character of Messiah and Jehovah. As Lord, He commands the donkey to be brought. He enters the city, according to the prophecy, as King. He cleanses the temple with authority. In answer to the priests' objection He quotes Psalms 8, which speaks of the manner in which Jehovah caused Himself to be glorified, and perfected the praises due to Him out of the mouth of babes. In the temple also He heals Israel. He then leaves them, no longer lodging in the city, which He could no longer own, but with the remnant outside. The next day, in a remarkable figure He exhibits the curse about to fall upon the nation. Israel was the fig-tree of Jehovah; but it cumbered the ground. It was covered with leaves, but there was no fruit. The fig-tree, condemned by the Lord, presently withers away. It is a figure of this unhappy nation, of man in the flesh with every advantage, which bore no fruit for the Husbandman.Israel in fact possessed all the outward forms of religion, and were zealous for the law and the ordinances, but they bore no fruit unto God. So far as placed under responsibility to bring forth fruit, that is to say, under the old covenant, they will never do so. Their rejection of Jesus put an end to all hope. God will act in grace under the new covenant; but this is not the question here. The fig-tree is Israel as they were, man cultivated by God, but in vain. All was over. That which He said to the disciples of the mountain's removing, while it is a great general principle, refers also, I doubt not, to that which should take place in Israel by means of their ministry. Looked at corporately on the earth as a nation, Israel should disappear, and be lost among the Gentiles. The disciples were those whom God accepted according to their faith.
Matthew 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
btw, there are plenty of verses in the Bible telling people not to be fools. What's your point? I didn't call you a fool... and you certainly aren't my brother.
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Well... I'm disappointed that Kongos got involved... and I'm saddened that chrisuk_sw and solderz haven't been by to exclaim my misspelling... but the joke is on you Canada. YSAL.Take special care to read his sig.http://www.fullcontactpoker.com/poker-foru...p?showuser=5634av-5634.jpgYOUR RETARDED
Soo yea..didn't realize it was a joke, I don't spend too much time on here and I guess I'm not hip to all the inside jokes...anyways....----------------------------------------This type of discussion is always difficult to have because there is hardly ever a middle ground. Most Christians just defend every single thing in the Bible no matter how absurd and just use the argument "because the Bible says so" when confronted on how they know something - they have absolutely no doubt in their beliefs (maybe when they're alone and contemplating it for themselves, but certainly not when they argue). Then, the hardcore atheists completely dismiss everything in the Bible and point to inconsistencies and fanaticism's and use that as an excuse to somehow discredit all the good things. Also, this type of discussions' limited idea of what God might be makes it even more difficult - whether it be a Zeus type figure or ones' higher consciousness or aliens or the flying spaghetti monster, it's hard for me to completely dismiss the idea of a higher power and some type of order. We also can't forget translation errors and possible alterations...our interpretations of what Jesus said might be entirely wrong many times because of how it's been translated. There are some specifics which I'll try to address later...
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If we could get slightly back on track - what I really want is a satisfactory explanation of these two (as I see them) flaws in Jesus' character as laid out in scripture- Christ using miraculous power to wither a tree out of (it would seem) spite- Christ talking in parables for fear that people might understand him instead of speaking plainly so that more people would understand himwhich I don't think have been answered anywhere
Certainly. And, as I've stated before, what I'm about to say are my own views and interpretations and I DO NOT claim to "know" the answers, and I DO NOT claim to be right, I can only try my best to explain how I feel.The speaking in parables part is definitely a huge point of interest for me. I, too, sometimes question why God(and Jesus Christ) would not want all the souls of mankind saved and forgiven. I think that Christ speaks in parables because Heaven is a reward, not a right(think of that old cliche line in all teenage sitcoms, where the parents explain to the kids that driving is a "privilege"). I believe that you achieve this reward by having faith in God, living a good life, and when you do sin(which as humans, is inevitable every day) that you simply take responsibility for your actions by asking for forgiveness. The basic principle of Christ speaking in parables is that in order to enjoy the rewards of Heaven, you have to have faith in him, even when everything isn't clear. For some of you, that is not okay, and I understand. I have some comments on the Fig Tree story, however, I'd like to go back and reread the chapter before I make any remarks. Anyways, those are just my views on the subject. I tend to have some weird views on religion in general(which is another discussion for another day), so I wouldn't be too surprised if noone agrees with me. also, to ChrisUK: Though probably not directed specifically at me, I appreciate the comment about this thread being a good discussion, glad I could contribute something to the forum.
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This is what John Darby says about the fig tree parable...The difference between the two parts of this history is distinguishable. The first presents the Lord in His character of Messiah and Jehovah. As Lord, He commands the donkey to be brought. He enters the city, according to the prophecy, as King. He cleanses the temple with authority. In answer to the priests' objection He quotes Psalms 8, which speaks of the manner in which Jehovah caused Himself to be glorified, and perfected the praises due to Him out of the mouth of babes. In the temple also He heals Israel. He then leaves them, no longer lodging in the city, which He could no longer own, but with the remnant outside. The next day, in a remarkable figure He exhibits the curse about to fall upon the nation. Israel was the fig-tree of Jehovah; but it cumbered the ground. It was covered with leaves, but there was no fruit. The fig-tree, condemned by the Lord, presently withers away. It is a figure of this unhappy nation, of man in the flesh with every advantage, which bore no fruit for the Husbandman.Israel in fact possessed all the outward forms of religion, and were zealous for the law and the ordinances, but they bore no fruit unto God. So far as placed under responsibility to bring forth fruit, that is to say, under the old covenant, they will never do so. Their rejection of Jesus put an end to all hope. God will act in grace under the new covenant; but this is not the question here. The fig-tree is Israel as they were, man cultivated by God, but in vain. All was over. That which He said to the disciples of the mountain's removing, while it is a great general principle, refers also, I doubt not, to that which should take place in Israel by means of their ministry. Looked at corporately on the earth as a nation, Israel should disappear, and be lost among the Gentiles. The disciples were those whom God accepted according to their faith.
It's an interesting idea - that the fig tree story is allegorical to the state of Israel and the curse to befall it. (What is it with God and cursing things?) I see that this comes from this earlier passage in Jeremiah:Jeremiah 8:13 "I will take away their harvest, declares the LORD. There will be no grapes on the vine. There will be no figs on the tree, and their leaves will wither. What I have given them will be taken from them." This is perhaps a more worrying interpretation than Jesus just showing off his miraculous power. It seems to give a justification for the destruction of Jews or Israel if they are the metaphorical fig tree that bears no fruit. As the story states the tree is unready, not unable, to bear fruit, destruction does not seem fair to me.There is another New Testament story that has parallels to the fig tree one - where Jesus uses his miraculous powers to cast devils into the Gaderene swine (Matthew 8:28-33). It would seem that a wholely benign miracle worker would simple dispell the devils and not cause them to go into innocent pigs, causing their deaths.
The speaking in parables part is definitely a huge point of interest for me. I, too, sometimes question why God(and Jesus Christ) would not want all the souls of mankind saved and forgiven. I think that Christ speaks in parables because Heaven is a reward, not a right(think of that old cliche line in all teenage sitcoms, where the parents explain to the kids that driving is a "privilege"). I believe that you achieve this reward by having faith in God, living a good life, and when you do sin(which as humans, is inevitable every day) that you simply take responsibility for your actions by asking for forgiveness. The basic principle of Christ speaking in parables is that in order to enjoy the rewards of Heaven, you have to have faith in him, even when everything isn't clear. For some of you, that is not okay, and I understand.
Yes - that's where my problem lies, I cannot be honest with myself and at the same time just accept on faith something that does not ring true to me. There are claims in the Bible that appear at best, absurd, and at worst, terrible and immoral to me.My problem with what you describe is not the reward part of it - heaven - but the punishment - hell. Hell as described by Jesus and The Bible is unpitying, unescapable and eternal. Jesus was undoubtedly a good and moral individual, certainly better than I, and I think those teachings of his which are good should be propagated. But I think teaching about hell, that there is eternal pain without respite when there is absolutely no evidence of such a thing is not good.There is a sin in the New Testament that is completely unforgiveable - to blaspheme the Holy Ghost (Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:29, Luke 12:10). If you deny the Holy Ghost, you are damned for all eternity without hope of redemption. Asking Jesus for forgiveness will not save you.As I deny the Holy Ghost, I can now never be saved by Jesus Christ, ever, no matter what I do. And if you have ever doubted the Holy Spirit, maybe only once in a moment of weakness and self-questioning, neither can you. I have heard of children being paralysed in terror at having had doubts about the truth at what they were taught, and now believing that this one slip has cursed them to eternal fire. I think this is highly damaging.
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I am not a Christian so I believe there are things to learn from the Bible and things to be ignored including much of what Paul said. He was a man (a partly insane man in my opinion) that was persecuting Christians before he started preaching the ideas! Not only that...he preached ideas that Christ never even mentioned.A lot of the claims made in the other gospels were proven false?? Altered to make them more Eastern friendly?..and rejected because of that? Many of the gospels I mentioned where not found until the last 50-70 years. Some were found with the Dead Sea Scrolls - scrolls that are now used by many religious historians to reference accuracy in modern Bibles. Who were these gospels altered by? The men who wrote them between the years 70-160AD? Because that is when many of them can be dated to. I'm not ruling out the possibility of mistranslation or alteration because clearly that is the case in all writings that are that old (or even new ones for that matter) but I'd sure like to know where you read that the "claims were proven false". Proven false when compared to what? The writings in the KJB? Or did they have some sort of reliable recording device from 30AD so that we can prove Jesus did not say something attributed to him in the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of the Essenes or the New Testament for that matter?
No, No, No, I wasn't talking about anything found recently. These more recent findings may reinforce or weaken prior teachings included in the writings you mentioned .No, the alterations of which I was referring were from the time when the Bible was put together. Most of the books accepted, including the 4 gospels, were determained to be consistant with the earliest and most trusted sources available at that time. The ones rejected either couldn't be traced to original sources or were determained to be outright altered. Some secular histories have been altered by Christians to support their beliefs i.e. Josephus. You mentioned eastern beliefs in your post, so I was just introducing the possibility that some of those alterations may have been done in the same vain by eastern philosophers.PS Sorry it took me so long to respond, I have been away a couple of days and am just catching up on my reading.
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I just like the fact that brvheart thinks about me enough to add me to his signature. Thank you sir. 'Tis an honor.Life is like a box of chocolates. Some taste like ****. So really you are just a part of this wonderous thing we call life. Like sewage.

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Betrand Russell in his essay "Why I Am Not A Christian" highlights this story as being a flaw, albeit a minor one, in Jesus' character. As you stated that Jesus "never advocated anything but good, and his philosophies were sound" and that he "let his actions do the talking", I would say that bringing this up was valid.
Chris, aren't you giving Russell a little too much respect. I think at least on this subject BR is the one flawed, not JC. :D
I have a good idea... let's not use the King James Version. Let's use a version that uses the actual words in the Gospel of Matthew.10And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" 11Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12"For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13"Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14"In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, 'YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; 15FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.' 16"But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17"For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. and let's throw in a little Romans 9 for all the people wondering why God wouldn't want everyone to understand.14What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." 16So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." 18So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" 20On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,sorry chrisuk_sw, but unless you soften your heart to the TRUTH of God, Romans 9 is talking about you. God may have prepared you for destruction to teach us a lesson.
This is the correct interpretation as I understand it. And the appropriate scriptures.
I'm glad you chose these verses. They are actually one of my favourites for showing that Christianity is a cult.
I don't follow :club: Why those scriptures? Elaborate please.
I don't want irrationality and fear to govern my life but love, only love. It is not my heart that would have to soften to accept ancient myth, intolerance, racism and nonsense as truth. It would have to be my head.
Sorry Chris but the only way you can make that statement is to have a complete misunderstanding of the whole teaching of the Bible, Christianity. Why you are misinterpreting is a matter of debate. You don't seem to have an especially hardened heart, but you aren't giving the Bible a fair hearing IMO. The first sentence about love governing your life, is very, very Biblical, but some people need fear( and pain suffering) to get them to that point. Fear is not what God wants his followers to feel, but he would prefer people not sinning out of fear than for them to go on sinning. Do you understand what I am saying, I kind of rambled.
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I don't follow :club: Why those scriptures? Elaborate please.
I'll let you try this on your own...Imagine you wanted to create a cult for whatever reason.List the things that you would need to acheive for it to work.
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