The Evangelical Universalist Forum

God does not create, commit, or allow evil!


#301

Sorry Paidion , no offense, but where God leads us to go and preach the gospel is not a matter of one’s own spiritual life or death as in the case of Adam and Eve. I don’t see the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as good. Scripture does not say whether or not God planted it. It only says that it was there. On the other hand, you may be right. God may have planted it. However, it was a tree that obviously went south. To me, it is basically what Jesus talks about in the New Testament when He speaks of these two trees, the one that bears good fruit and the one that bears bad fruit.


#302

On the other hand, you may be right. God may have planted it. However, it was a tree that obviously went south. To me, it is basically what Jesus talks about in the New Testament when He speaks of these two trees, the one that bears good fruit and the one that bears bad fruit.
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Could be the tree in Revelation at the end for the healing of the nations?


#303

So, Dave, do you think the Bible contains the whole revealed truth for man? Or a least one component of truth (taking into account, the R.C. and E.O. church positions)?

Which brings up some interesting questions - for Dave and others. If we reject the insights of historical church fathers, theologians, philosophers, reformers and creeds:

Should we say that the **correct **understanding, is who puts forth the best argument - from scripture?
And if so, who is to be the **judge **of the contest and what is their criterion?
Or should we go back and visit the elephant and the blind men? :laughing:

But first, let’s have our distinguished biblical scholars, put forth their exegesis. Here are the topics for tonight. :laughing:

Christian Science with Mary Baker Eddy, where all is mind and ideas
Puppet on the String theology - no free will and God manipulates everything
Universalism and P-Zombies, in the Left Behind Tribulation
Satan as the Cosmic Bad Dude, wrecking havoc on all
The garden of Eden had smoking herbs
The OT Nephilim were space aliens
Trump is the anti-Christ


#304

IMHO - ‘study everything, join nothing’ - sorta like that. If we reject without study all of the important people you just mentioned, we are no taking into account the wisdom and experience of those before us, and we will repeat the errors of the past. I am hugely indebted to those people - in fact, they are like my friends, and have led me to my current ‘position’.

The elephant works for me :slight_smile:


#305

None taken. Nothing you wrote offended me.

And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:9)

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was good for food and pleasant to the sight, and so God must have “made it spring up.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, …she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Gen 3:6)


#306

Paidion, Yes, God does plant vineyards, but as in the parables of the wheat and tares, the sower and the seed, and the vineyard, some of the crop goes bad. Hebrews 6:7-8 says this: “For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned,” Adam and Eve where deceived. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil looked good to them, but according to God, it was not. Jesus says this in speaking of the tree that bears bad fruit-Matthew 12:34 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil speak good things?” Such people are but wolves in sheep’s clothing. They act Godly on the outside, but they are evil inside. As 2 Timothy 3:5 states “having a form of godliness but denying its power, and from such people turn away.”


#307

Randy, I suspect most people in this forum have something of a Protestant (non-Catholic/Anglican/Eastern), evangelical background or experience, and just take for granted the concept of “the priesthood of believers”:

The Bible passage considered to be the basis of this belief is the First Epistle of Peter, 2:9:

“[But you are not like that, for] you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

We all quote our favorite “experts” to support us. But I argue that in this forum, we should feel free to offer our own counter-arguments to experts with whom we disagree—even if our reasoning from the Scriptures is intuitive, philosophical, or unsupported by historical precedent or tradition.

As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, to bear witness, and to liberate us from obstacles—to truth:

-“When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13.
-“It is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.” 1 John 5:6b.
-“The Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17 .

(I don’t think the Church has “arrived” quite yet. But I think we are making progress in this evangelical universalist forum, especially about the true nature of God. :bulb: )

Blessings.


#308

Hermano said:

I agree that’s the way, things are done here.

I mean:

We trust the Protestant reformers to pick the right Canon books. And even translate them correctly - more or less
But we **don’t **trust them, to give the correct theology. Or even a reasonable facsimile therein.

And I have seen some pretty strange Christian doctrines presented here. But when compared to things like Christian Science, they do appear to be normal - more or less. So I look at some folks here, as one of two possibilities (if “even if our reasoning from the Scriptures is intuitive, philosophical, or unsupported by historical precedent or tradition”):

They are ground-breakers, and the rest of the world - has to catch up
They got lost in the Twilight Zone and will hopefully find, their way back home.

I have encountered one Episcopal priest - a few years back. He gave a sermon and mentioned he was a universalist. He said he didn’t know how God would save everyone. But he believed that it was so. He didn’t try to fit a square peg, into a round hole. That is, he didn’t try to invent or theorize a way, God would save everyone. He was agnostic as to the how, but believed it was the end result.

And if we get two or more folks here (having completely different theologies, mind you)…Having “the Holy Spirit to guide us, to bear witness, and to liberate us from obstacles—to truth”…as far as Biblical matters go…then how does the common man, known who has the “best scriptural understanding” :question:


#309

I think we “common men” look to Christian leaders (present and past) who have shown the fruit of the Spirit in their lives; we learn from them, as a starting point. Of course, the Shepherd of our souls will, in his own way, lead us to the best available fellowship.

And the Holy Spirit within us will guide us and “bear witness” to the truth of new ideas we are prayerfully considering. Jn 16:13, 1 Jn 5:6. And he may lead us to new fellowship more in harmony with his song of love and life, as it becomes available.

But I can testify that religion (which I am still being painfully purged of) long impeded my way to a hermeneutic of love. As R. Murray says,

Blessings.


#310

I searched the first chapters of Genesis again, and I fail to find that God had said that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, was not good.

As I see it, God commanded them not to eat from it, not because its fruit was bad, but because they were not yet mature enough to gain the knowledge it provided. For that reason God knew that the death process would begin in them on the very day that they ate the forbidden fruit.
After they had matured, and eaten from the Tree of Life, they would have benefitted from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It would no longer have had the propensity of giving them death.

Knowing good and evil is not intrinsically bad. Indeed, having the ability to distinguish between them is the mark of a mature person:

Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.


#311

Paidion, in thinking about what you have said, I did come up with another possibility for the TKGE. If it was good, then it could be talking about the law. The law and the church are both good, but I think they are always to be kept separate from one another. The mixing of the two seems to be a deadly combination. I suppose that the only way they can ever come together is on the inside of an individual who follows God.


#312

I throw this out as a reflection and question:

I also like the Protestant site Patheos article at Solo Scriptura vs. Sola Scriptura. I don’t mind Sola Scriptura that much - it’s an established view. But I do share the author’s concerns with “Solo Scriptura”.

If we ignore what the author is saying, then we end up with what I call “Twilight Zone Theology”. Twilight Zone Theology can be very compelling. And can have a Biblical sound and compelling logical exegesis. Like:

Christian Science with Mary Baker Eddy, where all is mind and ideas
Puppet on the String theology - no free will and God manipulates everything
Universalism and P-Zombies, in the Left Behind Tribulation
Satan as the Cosmic Bad Dude, wrecking havoc on all
The garden of Eden had smoking herbs
The OT Nephilim were space aliens
Trump is the anti-Christ
Etc.

So to everyone out there. If we have no standards, other than the bible - then answer this. How do we distinguish between “normal” and “Twilight Zone” theology?


#313

See, the problem I have with these questions are that they assume someone can prove to another or find some formula for the herd. People are so obsessed with making others believe the same way they do. They don’t allow the Freedom of Christ to teach men. Let me be clear: Randy, I have no interest in convincing you (or anyone else) to hold any of the same opinions as me. If you happen to come to those conclusions yourself, after weighing the evidence, then we have communion together (no, not the breaking of bread) on that particular viewpoint. We must allow God to teach people. We need to let go of trying to control others and their opinions. We must stop devaluing others because they don’t believe the same way as we do. Now, replace “we” with “I” and imagine if everyone followed that? We can certainly share, tells others what we think, but in the end, it is up to them and God and we should respect and appreciate that God deals with each of us on an individual basis.


#314

Of course, there is room in the body of Christ - for conflicting opinions. Like we might have a Baptist, RC, EO, Lutheran, etc., opinion. And still be brothers and sisters in Christ. It was my bad. I posted this in the wrong thread. Blame it all on multitasking.

But why ignore what the Church fathers and reformers, bring to the table? And we do try to convince others here, of the soundness and correctness - of our viewpoints.

Anyway, I’ll continue this discussion, in the hell thread.


#315

[tag]Paidion[/tag]That doesn’t make sense. If A&E were immortal at creation then the verse you posted Gen 3:22 would not make sense. How can they be immortal if they had eaten from the ToL and achieved immortality there? If eating fruit from ToL makes one immortal then they would have been mortal to begin with.


#316

Wow!. I just reread the main topic sentence. God does not create, commit, or allow evil!. If we add disease and matter - to the sentence. Guess what? We have Christian Science - in a nutshell. :wink:

But what about the tribulation and the Zombie Apocalypse? It’s ALL perspective. :laughing:

Which is actually the subject, of a Twilight Zone episode at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eye_of_the_Beholder

Here’s the full 22-minute episode - commercial free.


#317

For probably a little over a year I was 90% on board with the assertions of this thread. I had pretty much thought capital punishment was wrong, that violence always begets more violence. To be sure, I still believe that senseless violence is wrong, but am now in clear support of the death penalty (provided we are sure the person is guilty, as sure as one can be).

After stepping back from a forum and asking some hard questions, looking outside of Christianity, I learned some new things. Things that cast doubt on a lot of things in the New Testament. While I know that sits very uneasy for some in this forum, and will probably just assume the worst of me, I care not. I’d share an article that had a great influence on me, it was short, but interesting article from Robert M Price. A guy, who, upon face value appears like a lunatic hillbilly, but is actually a very kind, thought provoking. He is also quite charitable towards those who disagree with him… Something I wish others were. A lot of conjecture on his part about many things, but that is the work of a curious mind. One phrase that really stuck out from something he wrote was this:

full publication here: robertmprice.mindvendor.com/art_sheep_wolves.htm

Oh, and this is special shout-out to Randy- Robert M. Price has two PhD’s, one in systematic theology and one is new testament. I know Randy puts stock in only those with a PhD… :slight_smile:

I think the reason I ever embraced pseudo pacifism is because I had become soft and cowardly. I didn’t want to do the hard thing, to make a decision about terminating someone’s life, who no longer has a right to it, because they gave it up the moment they took someone else’s right to life. If there is a God, he can sort it out. If there isn’t a God, good riddance of a human being who ceased to be a human being.There is no need to reform what isn’t eternal, anyway. Still on fence, still a doubting Thomas over everything, but no matter what vantage place I look at it, I am comfortable with the death penalty and violence to restrain people who wish to harm others. Zero guilt here.


#318

Still on fence, still a doubting Thomas over everything, but no matter what vantage place I look at it, I am comfortable with the death penalty and violence to restrain people who wish to harm others. Zero guilt here.

Study everything, join nothing - my motto. (borrowed from MavPhil)
The problem of pain and evil - will not be solved by us.


#319

Actually, the consequent of your final conditional sentence doesn’t follow from its antecedent. Adam and Eve were not mortal to begin with. They BECAME mortal when the ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God had said, “In the day you eat from it, you shall surely be dying.” The death process began at the moment of consumption.


#320

If they were immortal(and that’s a different discussion)then what benefit would they have if they have eaten from the ToL if the fruit of ToL gives out immortality? You have to remember that God told them they could eat from that tree just not the ToKoGaE.