The Evangelical Universalist Forum

A Christian Response To North Korea

#21

Why should we not believe in the virgin birth? Because it is irrational. What is more likely, that Mary was inseminated by an unseen force, or by a man? Clearly, the rational response is from a man.

Is it to hard for God? Two gospel writers referenced it in some detail and even Paul IMO alluded to it by saying “born of a women” instead of man and women.
Miracles of God are not judged by rationality alone but also by faith.

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#22

Not saying you can’t choose to believe these things, but these are not rational beliefs. Rational as defined as knowing how our world works, seeing nature, and interpreting these events based on how they play out in nature. For example, if you daughter ended up pregnant and she said she never had sex with anyone (Nor did artificial insemination), would you say “Well, I have no reason to doubt her!” Clearly, not a rational response. Now add 2,000 years, never meeting Mary, why would you have more reason to believe it? It seems to me you would have even less reason, especially since it is known that the ancient world was very superstitious.

This is the standard operating atheist argument so if you think it adds up for you then go for it.

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#23

It is not a matter of it being too difficult for God. Since this has never, ever, happened before, you have the burden of proof to explain why it is reasonable to conclude God did such a thing. Again, it isn’t “Can God do this?” rather, it is “Did God do this?” which is very big difference.

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#24

If it is a standard argument, then it is only such because it is a logical conclusion. It isn’t like I received this information from an atheist apologist site. The only thing I have started to do is have the courage to boldly challenge things I have never really challenged before. As noted before, I am very sympathetic to Christianity, or at least the reconciliation of all version of it. But, I can’t deny I am a doubting Thomas, as some things just don’t add up. I have always maintained that I could be wrong. I view the situation like a 1,000 sided dice. To declare that it will roll a “1” is just not a wise use of knowledge. To declare that it “could” roll a 1, but is unlikely, would be a wise conclusion. If Jesus came to our world 2,000 years ago, and was seen by his generation, revealed himself to Thomas, I don’t see why I can’t do the same. He is free to do to me what he did with Thomas. I certainly wouldn’t argue with him.

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#25

It is not a matter of it being too difficult for God. Since this has never, ever, happened before, you have the burden of proof to explain why it is reasonable to conclude God did such a thing. Again, it isn’t “Can God do this” it is “Did God do this?” very big difference.

If people want a “burden of proof” they shouldn’t bother with the bible and i think you know that. Whether one finds it reasonable boils down to whether one finds the bible believable in total and then this is another miracle among many.

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#26

If it is a standard argument, then it is only such because it is a logical conclusion. It isn’t like I received this information from an atheist apologist site. The only thing I have started to do is have the courage to boldly challenge things I have never really challenged before.

Of course it’s logical and rational not to believe and also to demand proof. Regarding “courage” and “boldly challenge” , do you think everyone here at this forum has not done that? Obviously you have to go down your own path but i bet everyone here has thought about the same issues many times.

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#27

No, I do not mean to insinuate others have not done this. I am merely pointing out that I never delved into this questions because I was scared of the unknown. So, for me, it was an act of courage and as a result, I have doubts. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.

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#28

“If there’s no room for doubt, there’s no room for me” - F. Beuchner

quote
If you’re absolutely certain about all your beliefs about God, Jesus, religion, faith, and the meaning of life, then the writings of Frederick Buechner may appeal less to you. If on the other hand you have questions or doubts, or if you believe that the very essence of faith in God means acceptance without irrefutable proof, then you will strongly resonate with what Buechner has to say.

A common feature across Buechner’s fiction is the presence of characters who struggle with questions of faith in the midst of despair. Buechner “let’s doubt and darkness have their say along with faith and hope.” Rather than stating dogmatic conclusions to the struggle, Buechner allows his characters the freedom to be truly human, inviting his readers to decide for themselves how faith intersects with life. Similarly, in his nonfiction Buechner states his belief that “If there’s no room for doubt, there’s no room for me.” The very impossibility of proof is the gap that God occupies. Buechner experiences faith as centrally mysterious and beyond evidence. end quote from frederickbuechner.com/faith-despite-doubt/

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#29

One further thing I will comment on is the misconception that doubters are God-Haters. I was raised believing that any agnostic or atheist person was a God-Hater who is in rebellion. They know the truth and are actively fighting against it. So for the longest time I always figured those people had evil motives. It wasn’t until I started to doubt that I realized these people are not rebellious, for I am not. I don’t hate God (assuming he exists) and if I don’t hate him, then I doubt others hate him as well. Thomas didn’t hate him and we know how adamant he was for proof… So what I learned is that often times people will attribute evil motives to people who believe different on things. I am not suggesting, of course, that it can’t ever be that way, but why not look for the good in people rather than the evil? Why must someone who differs with us on views/religions/politics be “evil”?

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#30

Thomas didn’t hate him and we know how adamant he was for proof… So what I learned is that often times people will attribute evil motives to people who believe different on things. I am not suggesting, of course, that it can’t ever be that way, but why not look for the good in people rather than the evil? Why must someone who differs with us on views/religions/politics be “evil”?
Gabe Grinstead

Posts: 649
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:55 pm

Well to believe Thomas didn’t hate God you would have to believe the bible? But at this forum i’m sure no one thinks unbelievers hate God although i agree it has been a traditional Christian belief.

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#31

I would argue that, there is arrogant intellectualism; there is religious fanaticism; and there is true spirituality.

True spirituality is the intellect in submission to the Holy Spirit: the head in submission to the heart. (I guess it needs to be said that true spirituality—something God desires for every man—is only attainable by someone who has genuinely been born again by the Spirit of divine love.)

Both intellectualism and fanaticism are the mind governed by the flesh. I think in this forum, we err more on the side of intellectualism, than fanaticism.

There are competing positions within Christianity, so how do we know which ones are right? How do we correctly judge the evidence? Well, I submit that WE ASK GOD to lead us, and confirm to us.

-Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5.

-Call to me, and I will answer you. Jeremiah 33:3.

-Ask and it will be given to you. Matthew 7:7.

-The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all the truth. John 16:13.

-In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:7.

-If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5.

And how does God principally lead and confirm? With his peace.

*“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” * Romans 8:6.

Christians must learn to be led by the peace of God. As we surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives, he brings us to a place where we experience his blessed peace on an ongoing basis.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3.

So, back to North Korea, demons, and effective spiritual warfare; it appears my call to arms remains unaccepted:

Blessings.

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#32

I thought this might be interesting. Rather then share opinions and articles by “experts”…On how to solve the North Korean problem…Perhaps we should see - what it’s like - to be a tourist there:

What I learned being an American tourist in North Korea

Really, I see no EASY solution to North Korea. As long as there is an 800 Pound Gorilla - in the room named China. Actually, I like China. The language, the food, the culture, etc. But their support of North Korea…and our allies of Japan and South Korea nearby…makes it like having a bull, in a China shop. And trying NOT to break anything, as you lead the bull outside. And there is an 800 pound Gorilla in the room - watching…Who is friends with the bull

The key is SOMEHOW getting the 800 pound gorilla on board, with any proposal or plan of action. :laughing:

Perhaps we all need to drink some Chinese green, oblong, or jasmine tea. And ponder this issue a bit :wink:

And start by reading this article:

Why the Chinese don’t smile at strangers | In & Out groups

And perhaps trying to understand, the oriental mindset a bit. They do things differently in Asian counties like Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and North and South Korea. We are too often coming to things, with a western mindset.

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#33

Yes, I think it is is a power tactic that many use who make such statements about God telling them what to do. If God is truly talking to them as they claim, then no once can gainsay God. I am always suspicious of those who make these claims. I ask them, “HOW did God talk to you? Did you hear an audible voice?” One of them that frequently made the claim actually answered, “Yes, I did.” But I didn’t believe him.

However, there was one person whom I did believe. Charlie was the husband of one of my cousins. I used to stay at their house for awhile. They were fine people. It was easy to see that they still loved each other deeply after years of marriage. My cousin began attending the church that I attended, and after awhile she became a Christian. Charlie and his siblings were raised to be atheists. One day when Charlie’s brother and he went into a pub, they had just sat down when Charlie heard a voice. “Charlie, what are you doing? You shouldn’t even be here.” Charlie thought his brother had spoken to him, but he couldn’t believe his brother would say that. He must not have heard him correctly. “What did you say?” he asked his brother.

“I didn’t say anything,” his brother replied.

Then Charlie said, “I thought I heard somebody say something.” The brothers hadn’t even begun to drink, but when Charlie lifted up his eyes, to his astonishment all the people sitting there looked like skeletons! Instantly, Charlie knew!

“I’m getting out of here!” shouted Charlie.

“Why?” asked his brother.

“God has spoken to me!”

"WHAT! Are you crazy? Well, I’m not going anywhere.

“I am!” declared Charlie. And he got up and walked out. His brother thought something had gone wrong with his mind, and so he went with him to make sure he got home safely.

That evening at home, after telling his wife (my cousin) what had happened, she talked to him about the Lord Jesus and what it meant to entrust oneself to Him. Then Charlie himself became a disciple of Jesus the Anointed One.

I had heard this account from someone else, but I wanted to hear it from Charlie’s own lips, and so asked him about it one time when they were visiting us. Charlie told it exactly as I had heard it. I remarked to him, “That must have been amazing to hear God speak in an audible voice. I have never heard the audible voice of God.”

Charlie replied, “Don, you don’t need it. But in my case, I would NEVER have become a Christian if God hadn’t spoken to me. In fact, before I heard the voice of God, if someone had told me that he had heard God speak, I would have called him a liar to his face!” Charlie was always very straightforward and honest.

Well, Charlie knew, since he heard God speak audibly. But in general, it’s not always easy to know what God wants. We don’t always know whether what comes into our minds has been planted by God, or whether it was merely our own thoughts. Sometimes, when we act on it, the results may indicate whether or not it was God.

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#34

There’s nothing irrational or illogical about the virgin birth of Jesus. You ask,“What is more LIKELY?” Do you define “rational” as that which is more likely? If there is a unique event, then likelihood doesn’t enter the picture. How LIKELY is the BIG BANG—that a minute particle to small to be seen by the human eye, exploded and formed the vast Universe that we see in part when we look at the sky in the countryside on a clear night? Yet this is declared as a fact by so-called “science.”

The fact that some people are able to babble gobbledygook and call it “tongues” doesn’t disprove the genuine article. Here is a true story that my sister Lorraine told me:

At the Pentecostal Church she attended in Winnipeg, a man stood up and spoke in “another tongue.” When he finished but was still standing, the pastor asked, “Is there an interpreter?” Silence. Then the pastor said, “Sit down, Brother. You are out of order!” (The pastor believed that if another tongue was spoken in a public meeting, then (if it were valid) it needed to be “interpreted” or translated by a Spirit-filled person. The man sat down, and everything continued as usual.

When the meeting was over, a man of Chinese descent came up to the pastor and asked, “Who was that man who stood up and spoke Cantonese?”

“Huh? What man?” But then the pastor realized to whom the man referred. The “tongues-speaker” had given the gospel in Cantonese, and this resulted in the conversion of the only person who understood him. The pastor apologized to the “tongues-speaker” admitting that he had made a serious error.

No, rationality transcends mere experience. There’s nothing rational about knowing how the world works or being knowledgeable about nature. According to the Oxford Dictionary, that which is “rational” is that which is “based on or in accordance with reason or logic.” Logic is not tantamount to knowledge or experience.

Sometimes God acts in our world in a way that is entirely beyond most people’s experience.

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#35

Paidion, I don’t understand your logic. That said, thanks for your perspective.

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#36

I have spent considerable time, with a Roman Catholic priest. And he claims to have the gift of healing and hearing the voice of God. It should be noted that:

I have attended his healing masses and have fallen down.
He is still a Roman Catholic priest and publicly talks about hearing God’s voice - in his homilies. Which means the Roman Catholic hierarchy, has no issue with this.

And I have also spend considerable time, with the Native American medicine men and women. Chiefly from the Lakota, Ute and Ojibwa tribes. And they also claim, to hear the voice of God - at times. And that has been a tradition, since the beginning - of Native American spirituality. See Christianity and Red Road Spirituality

But in both these cases, God doesn’t tell them anything “Outlandish”. Or to do or say anything “Outlandish”.

And neither the priest…nor the Native American medicine men and women…“advertise”, “sell tickets to see them”, go on radio and TV…or claim that they are “somehow special”.

Even the Calvinist site - Got Questions - has some input:

How can we recognize the voice of God?

If you type in “can Christians hear the voice of God” into Google, many Protestant sites believe this. And give reasons for their belief.

As an aside, here’s something I’ve shared on Twitter today. It specifically talks about Mindfulness. It complements the Contemplation tab - in my forum signature:

This Is How I Managed To Finally Squeeze Meditation Into My Busy, Distracted Life

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#37

Here is an example of a valid logical argument:

All humans are mortal.
Gabe is human.
Therefore Gabe is mortal.

And here is an example of an invalid logical argument:

All humans are mortal.
My dog is mortal.
Therefore my dog is human.

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#38

Good point Don.
I’ll just tack on this point, which you are already aware of:

All men are green
Dave is a man
Therefore Dave is green

This argument is VALID but not SOUND. The form is fine, which gives validity to the argument, but the premise is not true, rendering the conclusion unsound.

Plus, I am NOT green. :slight_smile:

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#39

Plus, I am NOT green. :slight_smile:

What are uguys talking about? :mrgreen:

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#40

Thanks for pointing out what I neglected to mention, Dave. The conclusion of a valid argument has to be true, only if all the premises of that argument are true.

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