Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?


#222

THAT, of course Origen, generally speaking, is simply nothing other than your own unproven opinion, which is fine we all have one, but you cannot substantiate it. Let me repeat…


#223

:smiley:


#224

Define love.

Does a mother cat love her babies? As i posted to you above & you ignored & i quote myself]:

“Certainly i had a mother who cared enough for her baby boy to feed him. Otherwise i might not be here posting today & be in heaven instead enjoying endless blessings. Even animal mothers care for their young & will defend them by risking their own lives, with a fierce wrath like the jealous God, even unto death. That’s in the nature of beastly fallen animals. Fallen human animals are no exception.”

“Do you suppose cats that are better mothers are more moral & righteous than the cats who are worse mothers?”

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 Jn.2:15)


#225

Define ‘the world’.


#226

Here’s the view of the Apostle Paul, not just an “opinion”, regarding unbelievers (non Christians):

1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

As for the alleged “believer” falling back into sin, there are many passages of Scripture that could - variously - describe that, depending on the circumstances & what’s in the person’s heart, for example:

19holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and thereby shipwrecked their faith. 20Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.

21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turned away from the holy commandment passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

…13The seeds on rocky ground are those who hear the word and receive it with joy, but they have no root. They believe for a season, but in the time of testing, they fall away. 14The seeds that fell among the thorns are those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life, and their fruit does not mature. 15But the seeds on good soil are those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, cling to it, and by persevering produce a crop.


#227

Much of this thread depends primarily, on defining your terms.

What is a believer?
What is a non-believer?
What is a moral life?

When I go to a Christian church…or watch a Christian TV program…they talk about the great love, of our heavenly father and Christ. When I attend a Buddhist mindfulness meditation…at the taucenter.org/ (run by Franciscan sisters), they talk about the great compassion. Yesterday, I was waiting for TV evangelist Joel Osteen - to appear. But before that, they had another Protestant minister on. He talked about Christ’s great compassion for others.

If we don’t define our terms…it’s like trying to have a conversation…where some are talking about Zombies…some are quoting Bible verses - out of context…some are talking about tea…Some about apples…Some about oranges…Etc. And the poor thread reader…is trying to make sense, of it all. :laughing:


#228

I think higher animals are certainly capable of love. Same as unbelievers. I’ve gone through periods of unbelief and not once did I cease to love other people.


#229

If you are implying that animals “love”, as in a mother cat caring (or being ready to die) for her babies, then i’d agree that the human type of animal who is an unbeliever (non Christian) can also “love” in that sense. I suppose that is what the Scriptures refer to as “natural affection”. It isn’t supernatural love, as in Christ’s love or God’s love which is what Christians are commanded to live by.


#230

Did anyone comment on Christ’s parable, of the Good Samaritan? See:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Good_Samaritan
gotquestions.org/parable-Good-Samaritan.html

Let me quote a bit, from the Calvinist site - Got Questions:


#231

Randy, that’s a perfect example of what it means to love other people. Origen has this wacky idea that an unbeliever would never treat a person the way the Good Samaritan treated the assault victim.


#232

All one needs to do, is to look at media accounts - of the Stephen Paddock (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Paddock) shooting event. Many were both helping and protecting victims. Even while they were being shot at - themselves. I’m sure if someone checked all their backgrounds, many wouldn’t necessarily be Christians. Or even believers in God (i.e. Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, etc.)


#233

I should correct what I said: Origen wouldn’t say unbelievers wouldn’t act like the Good Samaritan per se. He would just say they only “outwardly” acted like the Good Samaritan, while their motives were rotten. :unamused:


#234

Cindy, do you think that God does not approve of any moral life unless it is lived perfectly? Would He not approve the person who spends his/her serving others (such as Mother Theresa) more than the one who usually serves himself, but occasionally helps out someone else? Or is it the case that He would not approve of even Mother Theresa since she wasn’t perfect.

Clearly, the apostle Paul thought Timothy could have God’s approval. Paul wrote to him:


#235

If we look at the understanding of moral, as a set of rules and conditions, we are all screwed! :laughing: The approval that Paul was talking about was the Idea that these folks were trying to get to righteousness through their own doing…also known as the law… Or in other words the OLD COVENANT :astonished: And such Paul was definitely wanting them to realize that they were (they the OT Believers) not in the right way… But the happening through the Nazarene called Jesus was the way! The New Covenant was established through this man. So God through this Man born of a virgin, has taken care of all of the problem that God had with Israel, and not only that, all of humanity would be blessed by this ‘Messiah’ and we should all be aware of. :wink:


#236

As always you demonstrate your inimitable penchant for verballing the biblical writers into saying what you’d wish they said. The early church was predominately Jewish (Acts 15:21) and your so-called “unbelievers” were in all likelihood wayward Jews, i.e., “sons of disobedience” and thus “by nature children of wrath” to which Paul himself likewise identifies by his “we all once lived” being indicative of his own sordid past (Acts 8:1, 3; Gal 1:13, 23; 1Tim 1:13). This view is further backed up in Paul’s then distinction and reference to… “like the rest of mankind”. IOW, unfaithful Jews were like anyone else… susceptible to outward superficiality JUST LIKE the wayward “believers” of the other texts you mentioned — same house different street.


#237

Since you only observe others outwardly & superficially by their actions, not their innermost being, how is it one can think they are omniscient when it comes to what is inside of others?

Can you see a crowd of people and list the percentage of purity or rottenness in each heart? This one is 50%, that one 25%, that one 85%?

When have you ever seen another person & been able to judge that their motives are 100% pure? Are you God the Omniscient?

How much of even your own heart do you comprehend? Only what’s on the surface, the superficial?

How does a darkened heart, one that is in darkness, have the light to see what is in itself?

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Rom.1:21)
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn.8:12)
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (Eph.5:8)
To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ (Acts 26:18)
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (Jn.3:19)

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor.2:14)

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam.16:7b)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer.17:9)
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (Rev.3:17)

Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. (Pr.23:6-7)
The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Isa.29:13a)

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. (Prov.21:2)

Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart. (Psa.44:21)

And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. (LK.16:15)

This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. (Eccl.9:3)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Prov.3:5-6)

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor.4:4)

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (1 Cor.13)

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Cor.11:4)


#238

I’d suggest reading Ephesians 2 & see if you still hold to that opinion.


#239

I could ask you the same thing. They could be acting at 90% purity - in God’s eyes - for all we know.

How can we see the light? Well, for Christians it’s the Holy Spirit - that lights up the darkness. For non-Christians, we can take a bit, from the Gospel of John. And Quaker theology. Where Christ is the light, that lights up every man - who comes into the world. Christians need to listen, to the Holy Spirit. And check the messages, against the gospel (whether RC, EO or Protestant). Non-Christians are guided, by Christ as the inner light. And so are Christians. They just need to listen attentively.

Notice the translation says “everyone”… And so do the other translations - at biblehub.com/john/1-9.htm.

See “Are Quakers Christian, not Christian—or both?”


#240

I second this.


#241

I’m in general agreement. Non Christians are sometimes guided by their conscience, often by their feelings & lusts of the flesh & mind. They are basically in darkness & may never be enlightened by Christ in this lifetime. Generally speaking they do not have the Spirit of Christ. In the OT, though, God’s Spirit even used a donkey to prophesy, so anything is possible.