Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shouldnt the question be, Why Evil, not How?

I wonder if it is possible to take a look at the early beliefs of Christianity and be Logical? I find it interesting that the basis for "Original Sin" is taken from a Jewish story and Jews dont believe in Original Sin. So lets see what Adam and Eve are guilty of.

Genesis 2:16-17

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

So let me get this straight, if Adam hasnt eaten from the tree yet, how can he have any knowledge of good and evil? It seems to me he is being judged while not having been given the proper skills to know the difference. That seems blatantly unfair. But lets back up for one minute. Adam is doing ok, but God thinks he should have a playmate, obviously God would know if Adam is lonely(so much for perfection in the company of God), so Eve is now created. Now again I would like to point out, these 2 individuals are with God in a Garden of perfection, they have everything they need, BUT they desire something more, even though they were explicitly told not to take it.

Genesis 3:2-3

"We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"

So here we have God saying dont touch this tree or you will die, but how in the world can we expect them to understand the consequence of that act if they still dont have the knowledge of Good and Evil? Isnt that the same as telling a baby to not do something without giving them the skills to understand why? Now even more shocking than not having the proper information on Good and Evil, it also seems God created them with desire for something other than what they have. Wow this is pretty Logical so far.

Ok now it gets really Freaky. Here come the Christians to add something to the story that wasnt in the original, because of what Adam and Eve have done, all the successive generations of humans will be blamed for it, hence "Original Sin". So let me get this straight, because of something my great, great, great........grandfather did(who by the way, didnt understand why it was wrong), I now get blamed for it also. I have no choice in the matter, I am guilty by default. Doesnt this logic get more impressive as we go? This interpretation of the story and its affects on people who believe(and indirectly the ones who dont) is just so profoundly Unjust.

But wait it now gets even more "Logical". Jesus is now to be the "messiah" that the Jews foretold of and he would take the stain of original sin and save us all. Forget the fact that the Jews dont believe it, it becomes Logical because Christians say it is. The really interesting part about this is, not only is Jesus the Messiah, hes also God incarnate. At this moment I think we may want to back up a little bit. The original story concerning the Messiah has no reference to him being "God Incarnate" in fact, this is Blasphemous to the Authors and followers of the 1st story. So here we have one group of people, taking another groups story and then re-telling it the way they think it should be read, regardless if that is not the way it was intended!

This is sooooo convoluted. Mind you I never was very Logical.

So let me get back to the title of the post. Do any of us "know" why Evil seems to be present in the world? I dont need to know the "How"

70 comments:

Luke said...

yeah, i don't buy the original sin idea. it's just not there.. plus if you're reading literally, GOD LIES! "or you will die" i take as in a physical death not the apologetic "they die to perfection" whatever... story doesn't say that.

i tend to view the garden as the "construct" like in the Matrix. it's a place where two humans who don't have parents to teach them any better, to try stuff out and not die before breeding.

plus the whole "world isn't the way it's supposed to be" argument is half right. we have systems to make sure the world isn't the way it's supposed to be.. other than that, the world is perfectly fine! it's good! God says so! (at least in the first creation story of Gen 1). physics states "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." that's what i'm talking about when i speak of "being limited".

hope that makes sense.. rant over and luke out!

Tit for Tat said...

Luke

Thanks Bud. Heres one for you(maybe a future post ;)). Evil and Good may be needed for us to have relationship. Afterall they both work on us relationally.

"The opposite of Love is, Indifference"

Its hard to walk over a Homeless person if you are Loving or Hateful, but its easy if youre Indifferent.

Redlefty said...

I haven't been able to use logic to explain the "why" of evil. That approach just doesn't work for me, even though logic is my preferred method to approach an issue.

Sometimes I get a brief glimpse of perspective that suggests evil is still part of the big plan, and that in the end everything will turn out fine. But then it escapes my grasp.

Yael said...

Like your post!

Considering the emphasis some put on having God right up there at the top of the list and the people in their lives at a place of lesser importance, it is indeed enlightening to note God considered man to be lacking when it was just God and the man alone. It wasn't a 'good' situation in the least!

From a previous post of mine:
The text states "And the eyes of both were opened, and they saw'; for what man had seen previously and what he saw after this circumstance was preciously the same; there had been no blindness which was now removed, but he received a new faculty whereby he found things wrong which previously he had not regarded as wrong. Besides, you know that the Hebrew word pakach used in this passage is exclusively employed in the figurative sense of receiving new sources of knowledge, not in regaining the sense of sight, "God opened her eyes" (Genesis 21:19) "Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened (Isaiah 38:8) Maimonides Guide For The Perplexed

This explanation is interesting in that being able to see doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. Do we really want to live all our lives not knowing what is right or wrong, just being totally oblivious to it all? Part of growing up is learning what is acceptable and what isn't. When we're little much of what we do wrong doesn't bother us, but do we want to live like this forever?


On to yetzer hara....the evil inclination. We are to control it, not eradicate it. Much of what we do in life is done because of this evil inclination. If it were removed, the sages teach, no one would get out of bed and life would come to a standstill. 'Evil' is a 'necessary evil' it seems.

Luke,
Well, God does lie in Tanakh so if someone said God lied here, my response would be, so what. Read the story of God telling Abraham and Sarah they will have a child. Sarah says one thing, God tells Abraham she said another. The sages teach that for the sake of peace in the home, even God will lie. Also, look at how God tells Samuel to lie when Samuel is going to anoint David as king. "If Saul finds out what I am doing, he will kill me!" "Well, just tell everyone you're going to offer a sacrifice."

I find this amusing in light of the claims of some that I, as a Jew who follows Torah, have to be perfect just like God is perfect or else I am doomed. OK. Aside from the fact that the word used in Torah isn't 'perfect', I don't see God's behavior in Torah as being something so difficult to live up to! It's more on the line of doing what you have to do, setting high goals but then accepting that lesser achievements are good enough. Reality.

John,
Great minds must think alike! My latest post on my blog is about a quote about stories being changed resulting in different meanings, different lessons learned.

freestyleroadtrip said...

There is a lot of things I could say in response to this post. But I want to try out an idea that I have been putting together in my head about this. I do not know if it is original or not. In fact, it probably is not considering the millions of very bright minds that have come before me across humanity. But I have not come across it anywhere yet.

There seems to be two creation stories to me. Not one that just expands on the other. But 2 different ones. God creates everything and calls it good. Because I believe that the processes of evolution are active in the world and that this is the way God created, I am a theistic evolutionist. First story explained. But I then question where that self awareness part of humanity comes from. That part that is our soul. Could it be that the second story is describing this? God takes a specimen from the humanity that is coming about and breathes that part into Adam that is our soul, our self awareness, the consciousness that seems to go far beyond what our material brain should produce.

This would then explain my next question. Why a garden? Could it be that the new conscious being needed protection from the rest of humanity. Otherwise, why put Adam and Eve in a different evironment? Were they now different than the rest of humanity and needed isolation to be able to explore this side of themselves? I don't know.

It does appear to me that there must have been evil present. The universe is set up on laws that have equal-and-opposites. For example, if you fall off a cliff gravity will kill you or at least damage you. Was this any different before the supposed fall? Not likely. Bad things still had to be possible just because of the nature of nature it seems to me. So in this protected environment of the garden with these 2 new-style humans with their tremendously large consciousness, God allows the evil or bad side of nature to test the new dudes in the form of the serpent.

Now if they had chosen to go along with God, then God's kingdom would have come to earth then, as he intended it to be. Adam and Eve would have remained untainted by evil having defeated it by their choice. They were already aware of evil and badness because it was out there, outside the garden, outside of their protected area. They could have walked over to the edge of the garden and looked at it if they wanted. The battle having been won and survival of the fittest being what it is, this new type of human would have proliferated with the humanity already present in the bringing about of God's kingdom to earth as God intended it orignally.

But these two chose the other way. They chose to side with the world they could see outside the garden which is against God's instruction. Therefore, the protection of the garden was taken away, the battle against the evil in nature was not won, they proliferated and natural selection proceeded in the opposite direction, away from God's kingdom coming to earth.

It then took the rest of the story of the OT and NT with Christ coming and beginning the restorative work of the way God intended it to be, God's kingdom coming to earth.

I know Yael will have problems with this theory, but I look forward to her challenges. I look forward to what the rest of the Canon has to say too. I am sure there are some theological and biblical holes in this theory, but it is very new (just the last 2-3 weeks) so I haven't worked out many of the bugs yet. Maybe you all can help me with tha.

I apoligize for neglecting the Canon for the last couple days. I am on call again 12/19-12/26 so it has been a bit hectic. Vacation 12/26 PM through 1/5 though. Can't wait for that. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays.

Yael said...

Doug,
I agree there are two separate creation stories. What catches my interest is that one has man and woman created together, one has them created apart.

Now as far as the God's kingdom coming to earth. There is no such concept in Torah so I don't even know what that means. God already had a kingdom, why would God need to create the earth to have a kingdom?

And who's to say that just because Adam and Eve chose the 'right' way that their children wouldn't have chosen 'wrong' or their grandchildren, great-grandchildren? Why would they have been the only people whose choice mattered? Or would this kingdom merely have consisted of two people who lived on forever with God?

So far as Adam and Eve's actions being some terrible choice of the wrong way? Then why is it never mentioned again in all of Tanakh? They are never held up as bad examples; what they did is never called sin.

As an added point, there is no duality in Judaism, no good God vs evil Satan. God contains all.

So, it's kind of like what John posted and what I posted on my blog. We have some basic pieces of the stories in common, but after that the stories go in totally different directions. Genesis.

Is it a valid assertion for Christianity to claim our texts as their own when we read them so differently? Nothing new in this wondering. What follows is from Talmud:

When God had finished teaching the Written and Oral Torahs to Moses, He said to Moses: “Go and teach it to My children.”…Moses said, “Lord, write it down for them.” God said, “I indeed wanted to give it all to them in writing, but it was revealed that the Gentiles in the future will have dominion over them and will claim the Torah as their own, and then My children would be like the Gentiles. Therefore give them the Scriptures in writing, and the Mishnah, Agada, and Talmud orally, for it is the latter which separate Israel from the Gentiles. (Tanhuma Buber, Ki Tissa, 34, 58b)

God gave the Israelites the Oral Law to distinguish them from other nations. It was not given in writing so that the nations could not falsify it, as they have done with the Written Law, and say that they are the true Israel. (Numbers, Rabbah, Naso 14:10)

Is that enough of a challenge? 8) For myself, people can read the texts and find meaning where they will so long as they don't insist their way is right and everyone else is wrong. I understand the frustration expressed in Talmud, however. I understand it only too well and that's living in a free society where no one tells me I can't study Torah!

I wonder sometimes, if we even speak of the same God since your understanding of God is so different from mine. But, perhaps it is that we each speak of one aspect of God that the other does not know or want to know or need to know.

For an interesting juxtaposition of God views I have recommended people read J.I. Packer's Knowing God in tandem with Rabbi Eliot Dorff's Knowing God: Jewish Journeys into the Unknowable. I've read both several times and find the contrast fascinating considering both claim to be about knowing God!

Anonymous said...

...Hey TforT,,,thot I'd come over and pay a visit...they're dyin' on me at NP...lol..sounds to me like yr cherry pickin' in an apple orchard...in the face of a great myth,reason needs to take a back seat...I mentioned Lewis's take on myth(at/NP) as we can taste and we can know,but never at the same time...the problem for moderns,post or otherwise is that,when faced with myth, we're a stranger in a strange land,we haven't tasted those apples in a long time.Have you ever looked into Jung's thots on evil?...FiF

Don said...

Totally agree with you......

Tit for Tat said...

Geez Don, I think thats a first ;)

Thanks and Merry Christmas.

societyvs said...

You know, original sin really doesn't matter - it only matters for some theological explanation (calculation) to make sense - thus it likely use.

But in reality - who cares if original sin is real or not - what bearing does this have on anything? Regardless of it, we still need to be taught and directed - towards a more kind and gentle way of life. Whether sin is at the beginning or not - direction is not an option (ie: parenting).

I don't buy the original sin idea - for some of what Yael has said and for some of what others have added to the convo - it's not neccesary.

Tit for Tat said...

But in reality - who cares if original sin is real or not - what bearing does this have on anything?(societyvs)

Well whats the use of Jesus then. If there is no origin of Sin(as in the original sin story), then whats the point?

The First Domino said...

"Do any of us "know" why Evil seems to be present in the world?"

The unvarnished answer: there is no evil "present in the world."

And neither is there good present. You're right in saying, "seems to be present in the world."

Evil "seems to be present" in the same way that "good" seems to be present, because evil serves us in a way that good alone cannot not serve us--it allows us to experience That Which We Are.

The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare, stated it best through his character, Hamlet: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking [that's it's one way or the other] makes it so."

And for those who might point to the Ten Commandments as a source for that which is good and evil, I can offer you at least two interpretations of the Commandments that will change the meaning of those generally accepted prescriptions for behavior.

In a human sense, God is neither good nor evil. That Which Is becomes the Standard of That Which Is. Whatever God is, He is That omnipresently:

Hence, Jesus statement: "Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God."

Namaste

Anonymous said...

SocietyVs..."You know, original sin really doesn't matter - it only matters for some theological explanation (calculation) to make sense - thus it('s) likely use."

I think that you might be saying that it doesn't matter becuz it seems so 'unseemly',that is,it doesn't answer our contemporary ques. about evil and the nature of sin.What we really want is something more allegorical,not an ancient peoples myth of exile,if I might call it that.

But remember,it's one narrative among many;in fact,what is biblical religion ,but one narrative after another thru the long history of the Israelites and continuing with Jesus and the early church?If you respect biblical religion,then you have to take narrative, and how we use it seriously.

I wd guess that in yr rejection of the 'original sin'narrative,you will replace it with what?-another narrative-that is,if you were asked to give an explanation for evil in the world.And one shldn't be surprised when that narrative moved towards myth and away from concrete,matter-of-factness,such is the air of narrating abstraction.

On another note,I'm not so concerned w/original sin as the original sinner..that is...Me...that's the beginning of my narrative...I am the faith in faithless

Anonymous said...

TitforTat..."Well whats the use of Jesus then. If there is no origin of Sin(as in the original sin story), then whats the point?"

If I might continue with my previous post...again,I hear that yr saying the Jesus story(narrative) doesn't make sense...I say,no problem...create yr own narrative ...isn't that what Jesus did('I will tear down this temple') and consider Paul's 'the just shall live by faith'not exactly an easy concept to reconcile with what most scholars wd believe are the authentic words of Jesus in the synoptics.I say-good evidence of what I call-not mere story-telling,but story-building.As I like to say,the purpose of a house is to provide shelter and the purpose of all this narrative is to build a spiritual home for faith...the choice is ours...stay outside or welcome yrself home...are you handy with the tools?....FiF

Tit for Tat said...

First Domino

Love the shakespeare quote. I tend to agree, its all perspective.

FIF

The only tool Im good with is my own. ;)
I dont know you so enlighten me with something personal.

societyvs said...

“Well whats the use of Jesus then. If there is no origin of Sin(as in the original sin story), then whats the point?” (John)

The point is there is ‘sin’ – this has nothing to do with original sin or that whole fleshed out mantra. Jesus is a teacher – more or less – to help us deal with ‘sin’ in our personal lives. I am not denying there is such a thing as ‘immoral’ or ‘sin’ – I admit there most definitely is. But does Jesus find his meaning from the concept of original sin – not in my theology.

“If you respect biblical religion,then you have to take narrative, and how we use it seriously.” (FIF)

I do – I just don’t buy the theology of ‘original sin’. I view the Adam and Eve story from the story itself – about humanity as a whole – the decision process. We all eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil – and we all have that ability concerning our personal lives (decisions), towards others, and towards God. Sometimes I will use my limited knowledge and make a decision that ‘hurts’ another – leading me away from this garden and into shame (relationship with God gets broken a bit). Sometimes I will use my decision to move towards God – helping others – relations repaired (or I make right my wrong that ‘hurt’ another).

I am not deviating from that original story – which I think is allegorical (and a myth) – but staying true to it without an original sin idea. Sin exists – it exists in our decisions towards one another (relational). Sin still needs to be dealt with – and the teachings are our guide.

The First Domino said...

Let's put an end to this business of sin, and lay it to rest.

It is written:

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God...."

No truer words ever spoken, once you understand the nature of sin.

A sin is transgression (literally, a stepping across). A transgression is defined in part as:

"The exceeding of due bounds or limits."

And so it is. So to sin is to exceed (or step across) a "due bounds or limits."

And what is this "due bounds or limits?"

It is the "due bounds" and "limits" of God, as well as the "due bounds" and "limits" of us, made in the image and likeness of God.

And what is this that bounds and limits us as well as God?

It is Love.

Higher than this we cannot go, lower than this we cannot descend.

Love is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, and All That Which Is In Between.

Love fills all space, and exists in all times. It is the substance of All That Is, and the Reason for All.

Without it, Nothing, No Thing exists, can exist, or will exist.

Hence, Love is All There Is.

Because our lying, material, human senses tell us otherwise does not change this basic reality.

Spiritual sense sees and hears what the physical eyes cannot see, and the physical ears cannot hear.

Consider:

Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house [the human mind, heart, and soul], which have eyes to see [spiritual sense], and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house [intent on believing in a reality apart from Love].

Love is All in All.

For us to believe otherwise, to act otherwise, to behave otherwise, to think otherwise, to live otherwise, to do otherwise--is to sin.

Yet, this sin is not unto death, because the sin, in a sense, didn't really happen.

The things that I have said that constitute sin, never, in fact, actually happened, or, in reality, actually existed--they merely appeared to have happened, appeared to have been.

Individually and collectively, it's impossible to sin, except in a delusional, illusional way, where individual and collective beliefs hold sway.

The devil (the personification of evil [lived spelled backward]) is he that seemingly taketh away Life which is Love, and, by so doing, perpetuates Life's biggest sin, which is Life's biggest Lie--that Something Can Exist Separate and Apart From Love.

Here's Jesus' proclamation regarding the devil, evil, sin, and what have you, that deny the Eternal Existence of Absolute Love:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth [Love], because there is no truth [Love] in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

We cannot operate outside of Love, and Love's boundaries and limits; we can only think that we can.

Consider the following admonition:

1 Woe to the rebellious children [those who believe that they can operate outside of Love], saith the Lord, that take counsel [of that which is not Love], but not of me [Pure Love]; and that cover with a covering [beliefs anchored in illusions], but not of my spirit [the Spirit of Love], that they may add sin [lie] to sin [lie]: 2 That walk to go down into Egypt [enslavement to the unreal], and have not asked at my mouth [Love's Presence]; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh [All that is Not Love], and to trust in the shadow of Egypt [that which appears to be reality]!
3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.


And what of Jesus and his mission: His life lived, as well as his purist Teachings, became for us the The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

Therefore, Jesus words and life taught the following--that Love is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, that no man cometh unto the Father (God/Pure Love) but by Him, the firm understanding that we're the image and likeness of God (divine Love), that we're the Sons, Children, Offspring of divine Love, and nothing else.

Namaste

faithlessinfatima said...

The First Domino......I have a question...When a man discovers that his wife is having an affair with his best friend,is there any need be disappointed,get angry,seek seperation,divorce and even forgiveness if it never really happened?

faithlessinfatima said...

SocietyVs...I more or less agree with yr last comment...most of us care not for the ontological reality of the concept(sin),but are intimately familiar with it's power

faithlessinfatima said...

TitforTat..."I dont know you so enlighten me with something personal"...I can do that,but I draw the line at sharin' my Club Z points ;)

The First Domino said...

faithlessinfatima said... The First Domino......I have a question...When a man discovers that his wife is having an affair with his best friend, is there any need be disappointed, get angry, seek seperation, divorce and even forgiveness if it never really happened?

Frankly, faithlessinfatima, I was almost tempted to be as flippant with you, as I thought you were being with me.

But I'm going to assume that you really wish to have a serious answer to your question.

As to the question you posed: You're at choice to respond to your wife's infidelity anyway that you choose. That is what it means to have "free will."

Now if you're asking me whether, somehow, what your wife and friend did was an act of "evil?"

Again, I'll answer: You get to call it whatever you choose. But there's nothing intrinsically good or evil in the act.

If it were, we would all respond to it in a similar manner--as it would be clear to all what the appropriate judgment and response would be.

And let me assure you, despite the obvious pain that your question seems to imply at the loss of your wife, there are many married men who would hope that some friend, even a stranger, would come along and steal their wife from under them. [Pun intended]

What is the saying in vogue now: "Life Happens!"

And indeed it does. All kinds of things are going on in the world that we call evil, and that we call good, and that is a Good Thing.

I won't go into why that is so, as this is not my blog site, and it would take reams and reams of bandwidth to do the topic justice.

The act that you're calling infidelity happened, but the act doesn't require any particular action on your part, although I recognize a host of traditional, cultural, social, as well as legal responses you might take, as well as a host of personal ones.

But there is nothing and no one outside of yourself (unless you allow it) that's calling for any particular judgment, act, response, behavior, attitude, or whatever, but you, yourself.

Again, you can respond to what has happened anyway you choose: to "be disappointed, get angry, seek seperation, divorce and even forgiveness...."

The choice is yours.

Again, you may call it anything you wish, and respond to it any manner you choose.

Good and evil, I'll reiterate, is in the eye of the beholder, and many things that we have deemed as good in times past, are not considered so today, and vice versa.

And the notion of good and evil can change from culture to culture, nation to nation, be geographically variable, as well as time specific.

Namaste

faithlessinfatima said...

The First Domino....thx for yr reply.I can assure you that flippancy was not my intention,but I have been known to be fond of it's close relative..sarcasm. ;)

I'm having a difficult time following yr logic in both posts;sometimes yr feet appear to be on the ground and then yr whisked away in some kind of neo-gnostic beyondness.Some examples:

You spend some time expounding on the nature and (seemingly)reality of sin.I think I'm following until this..

"Yet, this sin is not unto death, because the sin, in a sense, didn't really happen.

The things that I have said that constitute sin, never, in fact, actually happened, or, in reality, actually existed--they merely appeared to have happened, appeared to have been."

..which seems to suggest that sin has no intrinsic reality.(maybe you cd explain,"not unto death')Fair enough,I might partly agree,but in yr desire to breathe the pure ether,I think yr overlooking the sweat of the human condition.I'll add to this later.

Again,in yr second post,you make a statement about free will,(which wasn't MY point),but I might add; what wd be the point in saying we had free will,if there wasn't a choice of things to be willfully free to choose?There is no choice if there are no choices.

But then ,yr position gets a little muddled:

"Now if you're asking me whether, somehow, what your wife and friend did was an act of "evil?"

Again, I'll answer: You get to call it whatever you choose. But there's nothing intrinsically good or evil in the act.

If it were, we would all respond to it in a similar manner--as it would be clear to all what the appropriate judgment and response would be"

Forgive me,for repeating,but if there is no intrinsic Good or Evil in such an act,what wd be the appropriate response 'if it were'??????

You continue..."And let me assure you, despite the obvious pain that your question seems to imply at the loss of your wife, there are many married men who would hope that some friend, even a stranger, would come along and steal their wife from under them."

But surely,you must see that such men come to this belief,only when they realize what a good marriage is and how theirs doesn't measure up.We don't know a line is crooked unless we have an understanding of straight lines.If not,what standard were you referring to when you suggested flippancy on my part?

I'll let you respond...if you so CHOOSE

Tit for Tat said...

FIF

Thanks for posting some stuff about you. I think for the most part Domino is saying we can choose to view it as we see it. In others words, the standards do change. And for sure he/she has some standards for themselves. i like this quote, and I think it somes up most of what life throws us.

"In life, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional."

Do you have a concrete notion of how to view good and evil?

John(fellow Canuck)

faithlessinfatima said...

Thx John...always good to know who's hoggin' yr blog ;)

I wd agree that we 'see' different standards(one wife or four),but not the 'facticity of standards'-that sense of 'oughtness' we all seem to possess and if not,a conversation,not to mention a relationship, wd be impossible.Reaction or response is secondary,but still wd be tethered to the individual's sense of right/wrong.Can we ever get away from this shadow...on this side of the veil? I doubt it.God is surely more than morality,but we're forced not to detour around Sinai to get to see that vision.

You ask.." Do you have a concrete notion of how to view good and evil?"

Good question...I see Evil as a derivative of Good,a parasite so to speak...as the myth suggests-a fallen angel.The best evidence for the abstract reality of original sin is the concrete reality of it's power in our daily lives.Are we not all a well-spring of pride,greed and lust and that's just the good people ;)...Lewis cover this well in Mere Christianity....The Good is more difficult to nail down,maybe becuz we see it thru a stained window,but really,is there anything else we truly desire or live for...sucessfully or not.

Tit for Tat said...

Are we not all a well-spring of pride,greed and lust and that's just the good people ;)

Its interesting but not all people possess qualities like this, or at least not in any great quantity. There seems to be a spectrum. Have you ever seen the movie Unbreakable? I think that idea shows it best.

The First Domino said...

..which seems to suggest that sin has no intrinsic reality

I'm afraid, it's going to be rather difficult for me to fully answer your questions using this limited forum.

I think yr overlooking the sweat of the human condition.

and then yr whisked away in some kind of neo-gnostic beyondness.


You're right in your assessment: I'm moving between two states: one relative and the other absolute, as I attempt to answer the questions posed here as fully as possible.

And that might cause some confusion.

If I chose to keep my answers to one or the other, the answers would be easier to follow, but they wouldn't be entirely accurate.

You're confusing "sin" and "evil."

Sin occurs when you move away from Love to any other state of mind.
Simply put, you're either in Love, or you're out of your mind.

Since Love is All There Is, Everything Thing Else is pure fiction, make-believe, illusions, delusions--seemingly real, sometimes painful, but always the stuff of Fantasy.

Evil as well as Good exist purely in the realm of perception, and is dependent on our judgment alone, which is why we get variable judgments ranging from the personal to the religious, to the social to the legal, and so on.

Since neither evil nor good exist, we decide individually and collectively what things will receive what labels.

Forgive me,for repeating,but if there is no intrinsic Good or Evil in such an act,what wd be the appropriate response 'if it were'??????

That's the beauty of things having neutrality: We get to create the response that we deem appropriate.

Your question has no clear answer, since No Thing is either Good or Evil. Hence, there is no such thing as an "appropriate response." Appropriate in relationship to what?

But surely,you must see that such men come to this belief,only when they realize what a good marriage is....

You can create whatever standards you choose, or elect to borrow them from others--society, religion, or your own personal experience with your parents: your perception of what constituted a good marriage for them.

In either case you have either created or borrowed the standard by which you have judged.

My point: such standards don't exist. We have made them up.

One approach is to bring no standards to bear at all.

Standards create expectations, expectations create demands, demands create needs, and needs create addictions, and addictions will rob you of the treasures of Heaven--Joy, Peace, and Happiness.

what wd be the point in saying we had free will,if there wasn't a choice of things to be willfully free to choose?There is no choice if there are no choices.

I'm not sure if I follow you here. With a minimum of observation, we realize that Life offers a plethora of choices. You might define Life by simply saying, Choices.

In this realm, we're confronted with choices continually: that's the purpose of Life here. We're compelled to choose. Even not to choose, is to choose.

Now, since we all have free will, you can't compel how others will always behave, will always act--but we can choose, yes, always choose, how we'll respond to the actions or inactions of others. Not to act, is also an action.

I'm not sure if I've cleared up things sufficiently to enhance understanding.

I'll admit that some of the concepts here can be daunting, and even appear contradictory, as I don't have the space nor time to elucidate fully for the purpose of providing a complete understanding.

I gloss over some points for that reason.

Namaste

Tit for Tat said...

My point: such standards don't exist. We have made them up.(Domino)


Isnt this an absolute statement? And if so isnt that in itself a standard made up by you?

faithlessinfatima said...

Domino...it seems like were two galaxies moving apart at lightspeed,..that is,discussing concepts from completely different perspectives...the same language-different dialects...

By the way,I'm not arguing from the religiosly conservative position where I'm right and everyone else is wrong..I'm more interested in how reasonable and efficacious our personal 'theologies' prove themselves to be.In short,'the proof is in the pudding'.But in my experience,our stories can 'deform 'as much as 'transform' and the ability to see that is worth pursuing.

But,I will try and cut to the chase and get at what I think is troublesome in yr thinking.You make this statements:

"In either case you have either created or borrowed the standard by which you have judged."

"My point: such standards don't exist. We have made them up."

"One approach is to bring no standards to bear at all."

Now,as John has alluded to,I think yr confusing 'standards' with 'standardness',which was my original point.Your 'no standard' is really,in effect, another 'standard'.You've succeeded in making another value judgement,one in which one choice(no standards)seems more right to you than many 'standards'

Also,I don't believe these differences are as variegated as you suggest they are; if not,we cd scarcely have a civil society.We all know,at least in part,the difference between murder and manslaughter,theft and borrowing,and lying and the fib.If there is anything truly universal,is it not value-judgements?Sure,a Muslim can have 4 wives,but not any woman he wants-the 5th is adultery.Polygamy in this case,is another standard by another name,but nevertheless,a'standard'

And to get back to my original(hypothetical)question.A man who chooses to be indifferent or non-respnsive to the news of his wife's adultery has not transcended the world of values,as you alluded to-he has substituted one for another.That is,he has chosen to pick his apples from the lower branches;hopefully, a true friend will come along and show him the really good apples are at the top.

faithlessinfatima said...

Tom..."Are we not all a well-spring of pride,greed and lust and that's just the good people.";)



John...."Its interesting but not all people possess qualities like this, or at least not in any great quantity. There seems to be a spectrum.:

I wd agree,in part,I might be a good or bad person,my neighbour might be better or worse,his neighbour might be...yada...yada..yada

But,I have noticed, in our tradition at least,that those we call the most spiritual seem to be most aware of their shortcomings.Wd you agree?

faithlessinfatima said...

That sounded like I was claiming a higher spiritual state...trust me-I'm in the gallery(applauding)and not on the stage.

Tit for Tat said...

those we call the most spiritual seem to be most aware of their shortcomings(tom)


And here I would ask the question, What is a spiritually aware person? Is it mother teresa, Jesus, Ghandi, Mohammed or a person sticking needles in a doll and chanting some curse? ;)

The First Domino said...

Your 'no standard' is really,in effect, another 'standard'.You've succeeded in making another value judgement,one in which one choice(no standards)seems more right to you than many 'standards'....

You're too eager to find some flaw in my dialectic.

I made no such value judgment. My complete statement provided an approach, one of many, not the ONLY one.

Given what we say we wish [happiness, joy, peace], I offered you one approach that might work.

One approach is to bring no standards to bear at all.

Raise Needs to Preferences.

We All have the inherent ability to choose any course of action we desire to achieve the end we wish.

And as I look around at my world, I see many who are doing just that.

In the end, it won't matter in the least: All Paths lead to same Conclusion, some will get you there faster than others, but who's counting.

And to get back to my original(hypothetical)question.A man who chooses to be indifferent or non-responsive to the news of his wife's adultery has not transcended the world of values,as you alluded to-he has substituted one for another.

What would be the point of being "indifferent" or "non-responsive"?

A man faced with the infidelity of his wife, may choose Any response from the multitude that exists, indifference and non-responsiveness being among them.

Life has given him an opportunity to experience Who and What He is. He can use the moment any way he pleases--to experience What Ever he chooses.

Experience is not the same as an event. Life happens. We get to experience any event--from birth to death--anyway we please.

We're always at choice as to how we will experience a thing, and in so doing define the Self.

Self-definition, after all, is a choice.

The choices, All of Which are as valid as Any Other, may lift you to Heaven (if Joy, Peace, and Happiness is what is sought) or to Hell (if Pain, Suffering, and Discord) is the aim.

Now, please note: I have placed no value judgment on what constitutes Hell or Heaven in the above statement.

You get to decide that: One man's treasure is another man's junk, one's man heaven is another man's hell.

And if you perceive my use of Heaven and Hell (which is a dyad, and a dichotomy) as an attempt to validate one over the other, let me assure you--neither exist.

You're living in Choices. You will select one over the other based own your Own Perceptions of Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, regardless of how you have allowed those values to be formed.

Namaste

Tit for Tat said...

In the end, it won't matter in the least: All Paths lead to same Conclusion, some will get you there faster than others, but who's counting.(Domino)


Ahhh......and I waited for it, the absolute. It seems we all have the absolute, the idea that we know what/how/when/why/because/process......Domino why do you "think" your view of existence to be correct? Could it be that you, like me, have no real clue whats going to happen? Hmmmmmmm......I wonder.

WebCudgel said...

I have to point out that an assumption has been made my some that the Creator only created good. Note Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."

Despite what some believe in Him allowing evil to exist (or evolve), it seems that it is not just allowed, but intentionally put into place. One cannot have freewill followers without an anti-thesis to permit choice. Evil is that antithesis that allows the Creator to grant freewill to his creation and know that those who choose to follow Him do so in spite of the influence to do otherwise.

Tit for Tat said...

Evil is that antithesis that allows the Creator to grant freewill to his creation and know that those who choose to follow Him do so in spite of the influence to do otherwise.(Charles)


And if so whats the point of creating the option? Do you have any input on that reason?

WebCudgel said...

If there existed no evil, to what point do you have freewill? If good was the only choice in creation and evil was not in existence, then you have mindless sheep following the only choice they have... oh wait, that sounds familiar. To me, it would be evil to create a bunch of zombies who know nothing but "good". In fact, how could you define anything as "good" without there being the antithesis. How could the creator define his creation as good if there were no evil for it to be compared against? Good, of itself, requires the antithesis else it is not good at all.

Tit for Tat said...

Ok Charles

Let me be more specific. Why Freewill, why good, why evil.....do you have any thoughts on that? What do you think is the reason for these different options?

WebCudgel said...

I'll break it down like this:

The rich have friends because of their money and nothing else. The rich know these friends don't really like them, only the money. The rich know that none of their friends are really friends.

The poor have friends because of who they are. They know their friends are real because there is nothing else the poor have to offer.

The Father provides the alternative... because Evil is about glitz and glamour, but none of it is really from the heart. Satan has friends because if what he promises, but he knows they only want fame and fortune.

The Father has friends because of who he is and what he stands for, not because he offers fame and fortune (I haven't seen a single person in power or fame who truly would be a friend of the Father). The Father only offers something more, but we have to be willing to choose to forego fame and fortune now, for love and faith and obedience.

Those who choose to follow the Father, choose so out of love of him and what he stands for and THEY (the Father and Satan) KNOW IT. Those who choose to follow Satan only do so for what they can gain now and THEY KNOW IT TOO.

The Father wants those who truly love Him, by choice. Those are the only ones He can call family. No one who follows evil can claim the same.

Everything we know and everything we do is a test. Pure and simple. To find out who REALLY love HIM and who really love themselves by not following Him. In the end, He will keep those who He wants to be in his family... the rest are just outsiders and have no part with Him.

Isaiah 63:16 - Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

Tit for Tat said...

Well Charles

I think you need to go back to one of my old posts and tell me what kind of Christian are you?

WebCudgel said...

That's just it. I'm not a "Christian". I don't fit in any "box" that you want to stick me in. If I did, then I wouldn't be any different than the rest of the world. Why do you want to put me in a box? The only purpose of the box is to categorize me and automatically place judgments on me based on what you think you see that group in the box thinks. Time is coming when all of the boxes will be blown away and the only box that matters is the one that says "My Family" and is owned by the Father. No, I'm not a "Christian" and I'm proud of that.

WebCudgel said...

I also feel it appropriate to mention that I am not Jewish, or Messianic, or any of those groups either. I just follow the bible... both testaments, to the best of my ability without the man-made traditions (whether it be choice of clothing, hairstyle, holidays (yeah, I don't do any of them), separate dishes, worshipping torture devices (crosses), worshipping men or women, etc.). Just the bare-bones down to the original scriptures without all the crud that man thinks is better than what was originally given. Pure and simple.

The First Domino said...

Domino why do you "think" your view of existence to be correct? Could it be that you, like me, have no real clue whats going to happen? Hmmmmmmm......I wonder. Tit for Tat

All views of existence are valid. But only God's view is optimal and absolute.

Let me tell you what I do know, not from a place of theory, or speculation, religious dogma, or philosophical reasoning, but from personal experience.

Of course, my experience is not your experience--and with all things you're free to believe or disbelieve--especially since I can't offer you indisputable proof.

1. I am not my physical body.
2. I do not reside inside of my physical body.
3. I have a body, resilient, seemingly indestructible, sentient, but can't feel pain.
4. I will survive death.
5. There's more than one dimension, one realm, in which I exist.
6. I have lived many lives.
7. I have a higher self, a soul self.
8. I have seen and communicated with that self.
9. I can control the weather.
10. On occasions, I have been known to heal others, as well as myself, using prayer alone.
9. I can impact my surroundings with my thoughts alone.
10.I am a sentinel: As such, I'm called upon, almost daily, to pray for many--some, I know, most, I don't.
11.I am psychic, receiving information that's not readily known.
12.I get glimpses of the future, and of times gone by.

But these things and many other things are not unique to me. There are many others so adept.

Some of these others I know, yet others keep to themselves, willing only to work on behalf of mankind in secret.

I post to certain sites, not to recount my deeds, not to show off, boast, or to elevate my ego.

Believe me, I'm well beyond that.

I do what I do to remind others of their own special selfhood, there own special abilities--hoping that they will allow themselves to remember Who and What They Are in hopes that they will search out that special self that they are, so that they may begin the arduous task of returning to themselves.

Namaste

The First Domino said...

Ahhh......and I waited for it, the absolute. It seems we all have the absolute, the idea that we know what/how/when/why/because/process......Tit for Tat

I almost forgot this part of your comment.

You're right: Ignorance is an illusion. We know All There Is To Know.

Namaste.

faithlessinfatima said...

John..."And here I would ask the question, What is a spiritually aware person? Is it mother teresa, Jesus, Ghandi, Mohammed or a person sticking needles in a doll and chanting some curse? ;)

A very good question and one we shld all ask ourselves...and obviously, our experience of these matters determines our response;...so-called spiritual heroes can be found in every religion, in specific Christian denominations and New Age Groups.Some even reach spiritual celebrity status..."Now,there's an oxymoron."

Camus said that."An intellectual is someone who watches their thoughts"...in that respect,you cd say that a saint is someone who watches their soul.

I think a religion is only as good as it's transformative power in the individual believer,but the definition of spiritual transformation is rather mercurial when one surveys the landscape.

With respect to our biblical tradition,the concept of death and rebirth draws the best picture for me.Something in the individual must die,before they can truly live.And not just once,but daily...the spiritual person is never far from the death-rebirth canal...one may have to go thru a number of still-births before they find the perfect midwife.

Anonymous said...

This interesting read on creation may be of some help ---"The Mayim of Creation" by Gregory Bartholomew at ancient-hebrew.org/39_mayim.html

Because he first loved us - Sue

faithlessinfatima said...

WebCudgel..."Everything we know and everything we do is a test. Pure and simple. To find out who REALLY love HIM and who really love themselves by not following Him. In the end, He will keep those who He wants to be in his family... the rest are just outsiders and have no part with Him"

With all due respect,despite the warden's bad temper,this is one damn good penal colony...don't'ya think?

WebCudgel said...

faithlessinfatima said "With all due respect,despite the warden's bad temper,this is one damn good penal colony...don't'ya think?"

One could take a very narrow view an ignore all of the other details and make such a statement seem true. However, I have life. I can hardly complain about the conditions. And penal colony implies disobedience or criminal intent resulting in the situation when that is hardly the case for much of the population. Thanks for the extremist pessimistic view.

faithlessinfatima said...

Domino...it may not be deed counting,but that's quite a resume...unfortunately 11 of them are metaphysical statements,but one of them isn't...care to demonstrate?

faithlessinfatima said...

WebCudgel..
I thot it was an appropriate question given yr apocalyptic viewpoint..."Time is coming when all of the boxes will be blown away and the only box that matters is the one that says "My Family" and is owned by the Father."...is it really all about good behaviour?

If you will,I have another question..you say,"I just follow the bible... both testaments, to the best of my ability without the man-made traditions "and "Just the bare-bones down to the original scriptures without all the crud that man thinks is better than what was originally given. Pure and simple."

Question:Who do you think wrote and compiled those documents?

WebCudgel said...

faithlessinfatima asked "Question:Who do you think wrote and compiled those documents?" If I denied that the documents we have received were written by men, then I would be a hypocrite. However, I would also be a hypocrite to believe that only men authored the words put down on paper. If I believed every word was "made up" by men, then I would have no need of such a book. I believe that it was inspired by the creator to be written and that men had to get involved in the process of maintaining and distributing the information.

You could whisper in my ear and I would write it down... I would be the MAN who wrote it down, but you would be the author of the words.

That is what I BELIEVE.

faithlessinfatima said...

WebCudgel...I cd answer that in ways that wd seem provocative to you,but maybe ,another question...

What came first...your doctrine of scripture or your experience of God?

WebCudgel said...

Faithlessinfatima,

It is not MY doctrine of scripture... but it is one that has been around for a few millenia... it was the same doctrine spoken of by the Apostles... getting away from man's traditions and getting back to the root of the truth. It is the same doctrine spoken of by the Son when He was here. It is not MY doctrine, but my belief that the doctrine is true and good.

As for my "experience of God", just what is meant by that? First of all, there seem to be many gods worshipped in this world. To which are you referring? If you speak of the God of Christianity, the only experience I can claim is that received through it's adherents. If you speak of the Father and Creator, then I have to say that has been a lifelong experience. In many ways, experienced long before I could come to an understanding of the words contained in the scriptures. Others claim to have "revelations" or "spiritual ecstasies". I claim neither.

I will no longer respond to you as I find this discussion wandering further away from the original post and more into trying to "box" me in once again.

faithlessinfatima said...

WebCudgel...I am challenging you to think about and consider other views-no need to drop yr cudgel and run..I'm not as curmudgeonly as you might assume...

The point I was trying to make is how ,IMO,we confuse faith and theology.Many people,if not most(including Paul)have an initial experience of God long before they develop a theology of God,Jesus,the Holy Spirit,Scripture,etc.I'm not suggesting an anti-theological position,but,if you will,imagine how many first century believers had a similiar experience and possibly never saw or even heard the Hebrew Scriptures(consider the illiteracy rates),as well as the finished New Testament ,and maybe never set eyes upon an apostle,let alone hear one preach.Better still,imagine a Christian believer who came to faith after hearing a colleague of a colleague of an apostle and was fortunate enough to have lived and died in an area of the Roman World that was the first to receive an actual copy,of what the consensus of reputable scholar's say, was the first gospel(Mark's).I think that we cd safely say that hypothetical,but probable event cd have become a major resource for what to believe as a Christian,given it's later influence on Matthew and Luke

So what is my point.It's this...consider Mark-no birth stories and no ressurection appearace-just an empty tomb...the longer ending appears to be a later addition and is not found in the best and earliest manuscripts.Faith precedes all the theology that was to come after it,in fact,you cd say that theology is faith's child...methinks we have the cart before the horse.Our theology shld serve our Faith...it's not the reason that God calls us his children

Tit for Tat said...

Tom

You could use Hebrews 8:10 to easily back up your ideas.

"I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts"

faithlessinfatima said...

Never thot of that...thx.. ;)

WebCudgel said...

FaithlessinFatima: "I am challenging you to think about and consider other views-no need to drop yr cudgel and run..I'm not as curmudgeonly as you might assume..."

When you word the question directly as "my doctrine", it seems you are attacking me directly. Rather, had you chosen to word the question as follows: "What do you feel came first... a person's doctrine of scripture or their experience of God?" This diffuses the whole feeling that you are attacking my beliefs and instead opens up the idea to what you appear to have intended to ask based on your last response. Obviously, anyone faced with the question you gave would get their hackles raised and ready to defend as I just did. The way I reworded takes personalities out of the question and just addresses the subject you intended.

faithlessinfatima said...

WebCudgel...Point taken...please except my apology...Tom

Jim said...

What if...."sin" was not he eating of the fruit, but the disobedience unto the commandment of God? What if....the "original" sin lines up with the rest of the Word of God? When one considers the 5th Ch. of Romans and the fact that Jesus is referred to in another passage of Scripture as the "second Adam", it is clear to me that what the first lost, the second freely restores. When we read in Titus 3:5 that we have been saved by "the washing of regeneration and the RE-newing of the Holy Ghost", I go back to Genesis with a different understanding of God breathing into Adam and Adam becoming a "living" soul. I find Adam to have been "indwelt" by the Holy Ghost, rejecting that indwelling and thereby "setting the stage" for every human thereafter to be born without that inner connection to the Creator. I could go on, but I've given you the conclusion long ago accepted by me in my more than 36 years in this. It doesn't give me all the answers, but it surely is Biblically founded and provides a foundation upon which to build. I'm a little late into this discussion, but anticipate your thoughts...Evil, to answer your query, just naturally "grows" in the stumble of walking by our spirit instead of His...

Tit for Tat said...

Hi Jim

Thanks for the comments. I would like to remind you though, the original story is Jewish, not Christian. It seems your basing your model on an interpretation that the original writers did not intend. Im not sure on this(so correct me if Im wrong), but I dont believe Jesus makes any mention of "Original Sin" by Adam. Isnt the whole concept an idea that stems from Paul?

Jim said...

I'm not aware of anywhre in the Book that the term "original", any more than "rapture", is utilized. I assumed that you were just trying to find significance to a subject the Church, herself, set up as doctrinal. Jesus did speak of the necessity of a man being "born-again", or "of the Spirit", noting that otherwise a man could not enter the kingdom "of God". Some preach that as indicating a ban on entering through the Pearly Gates, but I find a huge difference in the kingdom of "God" and the kingdom of "Heaven". Jesus also heavily refers to the Spirit as being "living water", a "guide", a Comforter", etc. We live in a present day Church, in my opinion, that has either tried to "be" the Holy Ghost or tried to reduce Him to much less than the Third Member of the Trinity. "Sin" for me is not necessarily robbing a bank, raping a woman, or telling a lie. It is refusing to face God in all that He is with all that I am, for when we do that, we open ourselves to the potential of accomplishing all the other....

faithlessinfatima said...

John...strange enough,I had that very thot earlier today..."but I dont believe Jesus makes any mention of "Original Sin" by Adam. Isnt the whole concept an idea that stems from Paul?"

But in itself,that hasn't restricted anyone,apostolic or otherwise, from using this ancient Jewish myth to support a particular theological story(as Jim appears to do)The question might be for us moderns is:Does it work for us? What does the myth tell us?Can we substitute or improve on it?...If so,how far can we colour outside the lines?

Jim said...

According to Wikipedia, the dovtrine of "original sin" is "not found in Jewish theology, is "rejected by Islam", and is termed in Eastern Orthodoxy as "ancestral sin", man not bearing any guilt for Adam's miscue, but simply inheriting his father's propensity for screwing up. Paul does utilize the term, but merely speaks in 1 Cor 15:22 of how "in Adam all die...in Christ shall all be made alive". The other reference given is Romans Chapter Five, which I've already pointed to. For me, then question is not "why evil?", but "what is sin?". As long as we see ourselves as being sin-less, we will not see Him. Christ said that we were to love God with all our "heart, soul, mind, and strength". Nobody said that salvation required one to throw away his thinking; but if it isn't attached to a love hooked up to His reality, we're right back to walking solely by our will, our our reasoning.....

Tit for Tat said...

Jim

If there is no "original" basis for us to have to be saved, then what is the purpose of the story of Jesus. If the origins of the story are based on a false premise, doesnt that make the rest of it a little suspect? And just believing in Jesus gives absolutely no answer to why the purpose of Evil.

faithlessinfatima said...

TitforTat....do you mean 'reason for' as in,why do we need to be saved?...or something else?...it is a good question...I'm thinking that the story,whatever it is,always points beyond itself,it's never in itself,the thing....clear enuf ;)

Jim said...

To each their own. I'm not trying to push my journey off on anyone else here; but I find the Church, at large, to have sliced and diced the whole scenario into their own little denominatical boxes wherein who's "saved" is a matter of who adheres to the list of thou shalt nots and thou shalts. I do believe in a "Jesus only" doctrine, but do not attribute it a definition of everybody who hasn't accepted Christ is going to hell. I find a "Judgment Day" remaining unto all of us, the only difference being whose throne (the great white throne of the Creator or the seat of Christ) we shall stand before. Judgment, then, in all things remains Theirs to give; but I'm of the opinion that some, in both scenarios, may or may not "enter in".

We have long, as an ecclesiastical body, reduced the gift given through Christ to a "get-out-of-jail-free". While I believe in mercy and grace and forgiveness, what I find them to be, in actuality, is a Reality extended unto the believer right now, in this life, a connection re-established through Christ to which we might return again and again. No connection? It doesn't mean you lose out in the long run; but it does mean you're left to guess for yourself, walk by your own set of convictions (and I realize that many who walk within Christianity do that, as well, having been simply following the crowd rather than the tug of His hand upon their heart). Do I have it all figured out? Do I yet stumble in this? You bet. It will always be a stumble. He may indwell me, but I didn't move out when He arrived....

Jim said...

T4T: Maybe I'm going deeper than what you're asking? Maybe "Why evil?" is no different than what Jesus said to the one fellow: "Why callest me good?" Maybe there is no "why" to either "evil" or "good"? There is simply a Creator and a decision to be made of whether we wish to know Him in the journey or not?....

Dean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dean said...

You can't wrestle your way to understanding this stuff because it just doesn't make any sense. Maybe it did a few hundred alterations ago.

What you need is a nice interpretation and not a literal one. Ask a Baptist, I'm sure they'll help you out... I am of course kidding. And being sarcastic and disrespectful... but hey, there you go!

Good and evil are complete nonsense. There are only actions and consequences.

Nice blog by the way.

faithlessinfatima said...

Dean...yr an intelligent chap(I read yr blog)...please elaborate on this..
"Good and evil are complete nonsense. There are only actions and consequences."

Tit for Tat said...

Hey Dean

Thanks for stopping by. So how do you make determination for the ideas of Good and Evil in your life? If you like eating an icecream, would you say that is Good? And if you dont like eating sheit, would you say thats bad?