The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Is God Violent, Or Nonviolent?


#101

“How do you reconcile the flood and the burning of Sodom with the person of Jesus?”

“Jesus drowns 2-year-old children & he sets them on fire?”


“It could be that God didn’t want to see little children growing up in a society like that of Sodom and Gomorrah and decided to take them home to heaven.”

“I don’t know. Just guessing. Everyone is going to die, it’s just a matter of when.”


“Genesis 6:5
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”


Well the picture you are painting is that He walks into a room and drowns a child. It was actually a whole society it was done to through a natural like disaster.

I’m not saying it’s pretty but you could also say God gives little kids cancer which is equally disturbing. Like I said, everyone is going to die and usually death isn’t pleasant.


“Genesis 18:20…And the Lord said,
“The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.”


“Do you believe that God can prevent horrible deaths from happening?”

“So do you believe that He allows horrible deaths because it serves a greater purpose?”

“Would you say all deaths are out of His control? They are just random or caused by the devil?”


"I will say God allowed children to be drowned in the flood and to be burned by fire:

I will also say I think it hurt Him horribly.

I will also say that Jesus was with every child that ever died.

I will also say that those children are safe in Paradise.

If you want me to say Jesus drowned them and set them on fire, I will say it. But I also say they are with Him now in perfect happiness, love, joy, light, everything beautiful and lovely.

I will say they do not remember being drowned or being set on fire.

But God does.

So in reality, who suffered more? Jesus or the drowned and burned children.

It is about the big picture."


“Who would take care of all the children assuming their parents were so evil that they had to die? Maybe God thought it more merciful to take children to heaven than leave so many without parents. Maybe they would have starved to death. Maybe God gave them a quick painless death. Again, how can we know God’s mind?”


“A lot of the OT is about spiritual truths. How much is historical is not for me to say.”

christianforums.com/threads … e.8011954/


#102

I am concerned about the escalating situation with North Korea. How should we pray?

We Christians need to distinguish between patriotism and true spirituality. I certainly respect our brave military and police (my family members now, and for centuries past, have have fought for the American military); but as an evangelical Christian, I must choose to personally follow the higher command of Christ to ‘love my enemies’ (Mt. 5:44; Lk. 6:27, 35). As a believer, I know that the real battle is against evil spiritual forces in heavenly places, not against human beings on earth. Eph. 6:12. And the weapons of our warfare are spiritual, not physical. 2 Cor. 10:4.

In Matthew 16:19, Jesus says,

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” NIV.

Or alternatively,

*“And I will give to thee the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be, having [already] been bound in the heavens, and whatever thou mayest loose upon the earth shall be, having [already] been loosed in the heavens.” * YLT.

What is already bound in heaven? Death & curses. What is already loosed in heaven? Life & blessings. This is in line with in Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it [already] is in heaven.” (Note the imperative mood is used in that prayer.)

We have been created in the image of God, and our words have power (Proverbs 18:21). We have been given authority—the very keys of the kingdom. Let us ‘not neglect our so great a salvation’ (Hebrews 2:3).

“We bind and cast down the demonic powers over Pyongyang, and command that they be confused and confounded. (See, e.g., 2 Samuel 15:21, Ps. 55:9) We proclaim freedom for the gospel over North Korea, and liberty for the captives. We loose divine regime change over that land, peaceful reunification with South Korea, and freedom of speech and travel there, in Jesus’ name.”

If the Lord could peacefully reunite Germany, will He not do the same for Korea?

Blessings.


#103

He could. But there is no guarantee. :smiley:

Here’s an idea I’ve shared - on another forum thread here:

I came up with the PERFECT solution, for Kim Jong-un and North Korea. President Trump should open up a US consulate in North Korea. And appoint Dennis Rodman, as the US ambassador (or equivalent consulate title) to North Korea. It would solve ALL our problems.


#104

I came up with the PERFECT solution, for Kim Jong-un and North Korea. President Trump should open up a US consulate in North Korea. And appoint Dennis Rodman, as the US ambassador (or equivalent consulate title) to North Korea. It would solve ALL our problems.

Good idea except that you can’t tell Rodman apart from the North Koreans so he would just get lost in the crowd!


#105

I really like the idea of Christus Victor, and I reject PSA, but doesn’t the former give satan too much power? What should God have/need to “pay/deal” in ANY terms with a being like this? “From whence cometh his powers” (to wax a bit poetic KJV style…)

I’ve never heard a good answer to this…it would only make sense if satan was an actual threat to God and His creation…in an absolute sense, but surely he is not…he is not God…he did not exist BEFORE as God did…

So what’s going on here; as an objective ORIGIN story for satan/evil… how does this not become a cosmic comic book if we accept that God is bartering with the devil (whether He claims total victory or not?)

I totally reject Lucifer, it’s a hoax and I’ve put the nail in that coffin here (see my comment under the answer too)

quora.com/Why-was-Lucifer-kicked-out-of-heaven-according-to-the-Bible/answer/Brett-Strobridge?srid=hRqn

…so what does that leave us with?? I really want to hear some of your beliefs/understandings on this. Thanks.


#106

I also reject penal substitutionary atonement, and have the same problems with Christus Victor.

All I know is what the NT writers gave as the reason for the Anointed One’s death:

The logistics as to how Jesus’ death delivers us from wrongdoing, I leave for others to ponder. I don’t think the New Testament writers provide the answer.


#107

I’m happy someone else follows quora.com/. I thought I was the only nerd (on non-nerd, whatever the case may be) - who followed it here.

Which raises a question or 2, however.

What do you attribute the human urge, to do bad things to? You know. Like kill, rob, torture, rape, etc.? Animal instinct?
And what can mankind do, to solve this problem (i.e.the urge to rape, murder, etc.)?

For the record, I take the traditional view. Demons, evil spirits and badly programmed robots. :wink:


#108

Human urges are the product of instinct, not good or evil. What we do with those urges determines good or evil. If I can obtain something lawfully (not the world’s laws by the way) then it is not wrong. Where this tends to go wrong is when people decide what is considered lawful or not. For example, many Christian’s think it is wrong to drink a beer. They have, for one reason or another, developed this idea that it is sinful. No idea why, except that they read “do not be drunk with wine” and then ran with it assuming that any alcohol is wrong. Stepping back logically, however, one just has to ask “Does this hurt anyone?” if the answer is no, then you have discovered what is lawful to do.

The tricky part is that something could be lawful for you and not for me. On the drinking matter, even being drunk isn’t necessarily unlawful. It might be. If you drink so much that you beat your children, verbally abuse your wife, or lose your job and can no longer support your family, then clearly being drunk is causing unlawful behavior. But if you treat your family as good as any human does, keep your job and still choose to get drunk, I can’t say that is unlawful behavior. Who is it hurting? You can’t say “Themselves” because even as the Bible says “No one hates their own body”, meaning, the reason people might be OK with destructive behavior is because they are getting something they need from it. If you take that away, by force, the person will probably end up worse off, rather than better, because destructive behaviors are always a choice.

Stanton Peele and Steven Slate (“addiction” specialists) really opened up my eyes to this. I used to think we had two wills… We don’t… We have one will with several competing priorities. The addict (world’s term for addict) just prefers his drug/behavior of choice over other things. It really is as simple as that, and the reason that so many people can walk away from their addictions freely, when they actually figure it out for themselves, is when they realized the substance/behavior is no longer serving their purposes.

We can see how this works are a very real level. If I see a cookie, and yet at the same time know that I am 10 pounds overweight, I can see where my priorities lie… Do I eat the cookie or forgo? If I eat the cookie, I am declaring that my immediate need is a higher priority than my losing weight. If I forgo the cookie, I have reordered my priorities. It might go back and forth, but only because I may shift my priorities based on my current condition.

Believing that I have some “sin” nature only makes this problem worse. Believing this is toxic, because adopting this viewpoint shows you believe it and when you believe something you act on it. When you believe you have some evil waiting to get out, you act on it. Having a sin nature is basically toxic shame. It is broken identity and will never cause someone to rise above this condition. The condition doesn’t exist.

Why do people do evil? Well, I would not call it evil, but why do kids sometimes do things we deem as bad? First, because they are ignorant. Secondly, because they were taught as such. A child is good, very god and any rebellion is can be traced back to ignorance (we are always learning) and being taught evil. Children are naturally forgiving, accepting, inclusive. Only when they start to grow up with bad influences do they start to take on bad traits and what we call evil. But left alone, left without those negative influences and children act beautifully and only due wrong as a result of their own ignorance.

It isn’t a lot unlike us as adults. We learn things, we are still earning, and we have a lot of negative influences. Adults, really, a just older children, some who have learned better than others, but who are ever learning.


#109

“Like Origen, John Hick sets the question of apokatastasis in the wider framework of theodicy. He too thinks that for a human being it is better to have free will and grow up in moral and spiritual maturity than to be created perfect and unable to sin.”

Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis, p.820

www.faulknerfornewyork.com/library/down … &type=full


#110

Gabe. You are talking about things, like eating too many cookies, taking a drink or two, etc. I do these things myself :laughing:

I’m talking about things like murder, torture, and rape. Atheists and agnostics would also attribute “bad” behavior - to instinct and/or environment. It’s either genetics (i.e. heredity) or upbringing (i.e. environment). If you argue instinct (if I remember correctly), some species of animals don’t normally kill their own kind. I have to go back, into my memory track. And if everything is instinct and/or environment, then why do we need Christianity? Why not just pick some western or eastern philosopher, and follow their system of ethics?

And following what you said. Can we use behavior modification (i.e. Behaviorism or B.F. Skinner), to create a utopia? Is it all just in “educating” or “reprogramming” people? Or can we modify the genetic pool (before birth), to produce ethically sound individuals?

In other words, can science solve the the problem - of mankind’s behavior? Either by changing the heredity or environmental variables?

And whom do we trust, to oversee this effort?


#111

@cleverest

Since I didn’t remember seeing you here before, I searched your previous contributions and found this one. It interests me, hence my response. :slight_smile:

(By the way, it’s great to see you participating in the forum! I hope you’ll be interested in doing that more often. We need some additional voices in the conversations here, I feel. We have good people, but too few people overall. More participants, serious and sincere people, can’t help but make for deeper and more interesting discussions.)

I’ve wondered about Christus Victor myself, and my idea on the questions you brought up is that the Christus Victor atonement theory is told in the form of sacred myth. That is to say, it’s not so much historic account of any literal events as it is a literary container for a truth too profound and too big to be adequately told in any other way (maybe in any way at all).

I waver back and forth with regard to belief in an actual person named Satan or Lucifer or etc. Like you, I reject any idea of the devil constituting a credible threat against the Kingdom of God. Legalists will insist that 1) God gave rulership of the earth to Adam and 2) Adam lost or in some way assigned that rulership to the devil when he “obeyed the devil” by eating the fruit of the TOKOGE. (I believe the garden narratives are also sacred myth, just to keep things out in the open.)

So… the Ransom/Christus Victor/Narrative theory… I think one way to look at this is that Jesus came to save us from our own flesh/beast nature. By “beast,” I mean our animal or natural or unconscious, non-sentient, instinctive, biological nature. We, having been waked to consciousness/sentience/and an understanding of right and wrong, have within us a desire to do what is right. Most of us have, anyway. We want to be good people. If we are not good people and yet unwilling to change, then we tell ourselves stories of why our bad is actually good. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

I think that Jesus came to save us from ourselves–to lift us up out of that semi/unconscious beast nature and that maybe (in the CV story at least), Satan is actually a representative of that instinctive/animal nature which is out for itself far over and above any concern for others. We needed that ransom. We feel helpless before the strength of our beastial nature. As Paul says in Romans 6 (heavily paraphrased from memory), when I want to do good, evil is always at hand, laying in wait for me, and I end up doing the bad thing that I hate and not the good thing I want to do. Wretched man that I am! Who shall save me from this body of death?!"

I DON’T mean to say that Jesus’ rescue mission was nothing but a psychological ploy to persuade us that WE on our own can be victorious over the flesh–to cheer us on by His example. I do think the example (moral example theory) was and is important, but I also think that He was actively DOING something in the spiritual realms to actively enable (not just cheer-lead) us to become victorious over sin (which as I imagine you know, means “missing the mark”).

I think that our spirits can now mingle in concert with the Holy Spirit, who can now dwell within us (because of what Jesus did) and not merely come UPON us as in the OT accounts of the prophets and some of the kings of Israel. We who believe (trust in, rely on, cling to, adhere to) in the Christ, can become AS the Christ (the anointed one). HE is the only begotten, who continually goes forth from the Father. HE, however is the source/head of the body, the church, which continually goes forth from HIM. As Eve came forth from Adam, so the church comes forth from her Bridegroom. NONE of this could have happened had Christ not come to pay the bride-price and purchase the church from her “father” (her beast-descended species) and bring her into the house of HIS Father. With Him, we (those who cling to Him) become AS Him (though subordinate). We will always be coming forth from Him and as the ages roll by will always be becoming more like Him through the agency of the Holy Spirit working in us.

The householder, the strongman, must be bound. (the beast within) The captives can then be rescued and the process of setting those captives free IS the rescue (which for all of us biologically among the “living” at least), continues to go on. I think it will ALWAYS be continuing. God is infinite. We can never become everything He is, but as His children, we will always be growing toward that goal.

So, that is for me, one way to interpret Christus Victor. I really believe that all the atonement theories are mere glimpses of what God in Christ Jesus did and is doing through the atonement. We in our limited understanding and capacity can no more comprehend this than a kindergartner can understand particle physics. Less so, really. Stories like this must be told to us before we can hear deeper truths. They prepare the soil for greater, more mature understanding that we can hardly dream of in our present state.


#112

Thanks for the thoughtful response. While I know it’s not good to be 100% dogmatic about anything (I’ve learned that’s usually a strong sign you are wrong or missing something important), I am about 99% sure the Lucifer story is false; however I still strongly believe in the existence of satan, hence my conundrum. I don’t conflate lucifer with satan it all Zech 11:12 is translating this Hebrew word into HOWL, it should therefore be the same in ISA, period. But that doesn’t mean satan doesn’t exist…

Whether satan is an ontological being or not (I believe he is), we know he has been defeated, I rejoice in that! When you say, “I think one way to look at this is that Jesus came to save us from our own flesh/beast nature.” I think that really is the nature of it…we are alienated in our minds from God by wicked works/ways according to the bible and that would certainly support that view. One major problem with being alienated from God is that we not only scapegoat humans being to death; WE DO THE SAME TO GOD. HE BECOMES THE SCAPEGOAT OF ABOVE ALL (we proved this in history, but also in our hearts!) Our beliefs create a monster that isn’t there; perpetually angry and punishng…and it’s a powerful deception that it seems most people who believe in “the God of the Bible” are still under.

I have no idea why I am seeing this now, and why some see it sooner, or some never do, I certainly can’t claim any credit for any revelation, and it took me 38+ years (I’m 40) to realize something, so profound it still stuns me; the simple truth that "Jesus is exactly like the Father, and vice versa…and the real kicker…they have always been that way!* - I really meditate on what that means and what that does to so much of the traditions of men/ their doctrines and their condemnations, and It’s humbling.


#113

Agnostic_Gabe, post:108, topic:5597"]

They have, for one reason or another, developed this idea that it is sinful. No idea why, except that they read “do not be drunk with wine” and then ran with it assuming that any alcohol is wrong.

I agree with you, Gabe, that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is not intrinsically wrong. But it seems that many are unable to control their desire for the alcoholic experience. Just today, I heard about the death of a young man whose parents and many of his siblings are devout Anabaptists. According to what I heard, the young man had been consuming up to 20 beers a day. Apparently, that practice led to his death.


#114

I don’t know why the quote function didn’t work for you, Paidion. Your code looks okay as far as I can see. Maybe someone more nerd-endowed than I will be able to explain it. I do know that if you highlight the text and then press the quote button, it does work that way.

Anyhow… yes, alcohol can be very dangerous for some people. My brother died just a week before Christmas last, due to a fall most likely caused by alcohol–or else caused by alcohol-related dementia. Very sad. He quit multiple times (on his own, without telling people), but he couldn’t stay off it. Every time you go through withdrawal, the pent-up poisons that are released from your tissues damage your brain more and more. I never knew that, but apparently, you’re better off not to quit unless you have medical supervision or unless you just quit once and don’t start up again. :cry:


#115

The “/quote” in square brackets needs to be at the start of a new line and NOT placed at the end of the sentence after the full stop.


#116

Thanks Davo! I never would have guessed that one. :upside_down_face:


#117

Hey brother. So I address this at length in my post “2nd Thoughts On PUR” in the General Discussion On EU section. I humbly and eagerly encourage you to visit and read the thread, then pour the feedback of your heart and mind as well as scriptural case for your understanding on Hell, particularly in response to my reinterpretation of Purgatorial Universal Reconciliation/Restoration. To give a summarized excerpt:

I believe that as Exodus 15:3 unapologetically states, that YHWH is a man of war! He is also the same Heavenly Father of 18:34-35 that will hand you over to the tormentors/torturers with no mercy until you forgive others of their trespasses as he forgives you. I think vengeance (including violent retribution though not for its own sake) is indeed the Lord’s, as he’s enacted it plenty times before, does now, and will do again until the end of the age in these last days. He wounds and he heals, he kills and he makes alive. He rains on the just and unjust. He gives and he takes away. David’s imprecatory prayers are further evidence that God honor’s righteous recompense and it follows we ought regard him, not in exclusion of, but higher than even our earthly parents and authorities in comparison. He also pardons. Let’s not forget the imagery be it literal or symbolic, of Christ’s 2nd coming in Revelations that mirrors and even surpasses OT portrayal in the violence of God the Father and Christ against the rebels of Satan’s kingdom on Earth. Thankfully, that isn’t the end of the story.


#118

Hi cleverest,

I have argued above in “Is God Violent, Or Nonviolent?” that the Bible shows progressive revelation of God’s true character of pure goodness. Yet that believers still mistakenly conflate God with Satan sometimes.

I believe Creation is a classroom from which we will all eventually graduate. (Graduate into what, I’m not sure. But it will be glorious.) To create this classroom, God necessarily gave up some portion of His sovereignty, by assigning authority to angels and humans. But God never created evil, despite, for example, this statement of Isaiah to the contrary:

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Is. 45:7.

As to Lucifer indeed being Satan, I agree generally with the points of this discussion, “What about Satan and the Origin of Evil?” at:

, although I disagree with this particular statement, because of the word “eternally”:

“Satan’s days are numbered, and he will be condemned eternally.”

Although Satan was defeated at the cross, we see he is still running around causing great harm. This is in large part because the Church is ‘neglecting its so great a salvation’ Heb. 2:3.

As to the intended role of angels as caretakers, and the consequences of the rebellion of some of them, here is an essay titled, “IS SATAN INVOLVED IN EVERY EVIL OCCURRENCE?” by Richard K. Murray, quoted within this post:

Blessings.


#119

The “/quote” in square brackets needs to be at the start of a new line and NOT placed at the end of the sentence after the full stop.

I didn’t get anywhere with this suggestion either. The only thing that seems to work is to select the words of which you want quoted and press the 5th symbol above, creating a “block quote.”
All that happens as a result is that each line of the quote is “indented” a few spaces, as in the quote of Davo above.


#120

Paidion… when you hit “reply” immediately hit the first symbol on the left i.e., the quote bubble and the entire post above appears as a quote at the top or beginning of your post. You can then delete whatever part you don’t need from that entire quote etc.

You notice when you do this the square bracketed “/quote” appears at the start of a new line BELOW the above quote. IF you put the square bracketed “/quote” right at the end of the quote, i.e., ON the same line immediately following the last full stop (like the old forum) well the quote won’t work.