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Everything posted by Dan56

  1. If I asked my kid if she wanted some ice cream, I know that she would answer that question with a resounding "yes".. The fact that I know what her response would be, in no way negates her choice. It isn't a matter of predestination, God knowing how we will respond doesn't equate to God forcing or predetermining our choices. Its like asking an alcoholic if they'd like a drink, the nature and character of a drunk makes their response to the offer very predictable.
  2. I obviously believe we do.. Every time you make a decision your exercising free will. Its as simple as that. Even if a supreme being were to know what your every decision would be, it still wouldn't negate the fact that you have the freedom to make your own independent choices.
  3. If the fall of man were undone, then free will would be eliminated. "With God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37). In a sense, God did change the past when Christ blotted out the sins of believers. Sure, I believe that God, if He chose too, could erase everything that's ever happened. But of course He won't, because everything has had a divine purpose. The future is not complete until time ends, which occurs at the second advent of Christ. So no, the book is not complete. Some things are known, but I believe with an interactive God, individual destinies are not predetermined, we are all works is progress. If our fate was known, then free will wouldn't matter.
  4. If time were not created, then the future is known because there would be no differentiation between what was, what is, and what will be. So in our conscious experience. the duration of time is the measurement used to sequence events, and in that sense free will and time are interlinked.
  5. The Bible and science both agree that matter has not always existed. Scientists have no explanation for how the universe began if neither time nor space nor matter existed prior to the Big Bang. But Christians know that God created everything and that He created the universe ex nihilo (out of nothing). Only a transcendent being could do that. Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning,” that’s time, “God,” that’s force, “created,” that’s energy, “the heavens,” that’s space, “and the earth,” that’s matter. "Time is related to space, matter and energy which is known as the space-time continuum. Time, however, is actually a measure of a movement of 15 degrees in the rotation of our solar system. The faster matter moves and approaches the speed of light, the more compressed it becomes and the slower time becomes. A foot long ruler becomes shorter and shorter as it approaches the speed of light. At the speed of light it no longer exists as a ruler. It has become energy. More correctly it has become energy/matter. Or matter/energy. I’m not really sure how to explain that. If you then slow it down from the speed of light, it becomes a ruler again. Shorter than a foot, but lengthening as it slows, until it again becomes a foot long ruler. It’s also been discovered that gravitational fields have an effect upon the space-time continuum in that the gravitational field can actually “bend” space and time. When we get into the subject of black holes, white holes, wormholes, cosmic strings and parallel universes our concepts of time and space are so severely impacted as to leave us breathless. A neutron star has a density of about a billion tons per cubic inch. By comparison, steel is close to a vacuum. Black holes have far greater densities than a neutron star and are created when stars reach a mass that’s four times the mass of the sun, have burned up their fuel and collapse under their own weight and implode. The former star is crushed to insignificant volume and density that’s difficult to even imagine. Their gravitational fields are so strong that even light can’t escape it. Time, which we have relegated to a clock on a wall, or on our wrists, takes on a new meaning as we realize how it is only a human perspective and not an absolute. We can understand how a day with the Lord is as a thousand years because of the space-time continuum. We can get an inkling as to how Jesus changed space, time, matter and energy as He easily temporarily altered the laws of this natural world to which we humans are bound. And remember, all of this is within the parameters of what we know as the four dimensions of length, width, height and time and doesn’t even begin to incorporate the other multi-dimensions which God created and in which God dwells." http://www.angelfire.com/in/HisName/creator.html
  6. My point was that history is history, but that God has the capacity to change the future. I was responding to what Jonathan wrote; "Like the pages in a book. We can turn the pages back to an earlier chapter. We can turn the pages ahead to a later chapter. We can't change the story". So if your in the middle of reading a book, you know the former chapters, but you still need to read the rest of the book to see what happens. That's what I meant by saying that God can change what hasn't happened yet, i.e; how the book ends.. Apparently, I didn't explain it very well, sorry about that.
  7. I'm sure everyone knows my opinion, so I won't dwell on all the reasons why I believe everyone has free will. I entered this post because I decided to do so, my choice was not coherst, predetermined, or forced... That's free will.
  8. Don't know where you got that impression? Equating eternal life to a death cult is a real stretch. Don't know where you got that impression? No where did I write that history changes. My point was that the future is not predetermined. Its clear that my conversation often goes over your heads, or your just intent on extrapolating things that were never written.
  9. All flesh dies, we were born to die. Its only a punishment to you because you treasure this brief stint of life. Babies are innocent, so I don't believe they are judged or condemned. They will live the millennium (Revelation 20:7-10) and have a chance of eternal life, unlike adults who outright reject Christ.
  10. I'm no Physicist, I simply believe God created time for us, and because of us. As to your hypotheses, the book analogy applies to God, but I don't think the latter chapters of a book are set in stone since God being omnipotent as well as omniscient, has the capability of changing what may have been.
  11. Everyone is culpable.. Who threw the Hebrew new borns into the Nile? What army was chasing the Israelites to kill them. An evil ruler without subordinates to execute his acts of evil is powerless. In your judgement, the Nazi guards who forced Jews into the gas chambers were just innocent German citizens because they had nothing to do with the decision. Following orders does not exempt a person of responsibility.
  12. Before, the debate boiled down to; Since God knows the past and the future (Isaiah 46:10), we cannot truly have free will. I personally believe that our destiny is not set in stone, "Whosoever believeth" ( John 3:16) is a choice that we freely make. As Sarah Connor said in the Terminator movie, "We have no fate but what we make". Our future (eternity) is up to us.
  13. On least a couple occasions, Pharaoh had initially hardened his own heart against letting the Israelites go: “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15). “But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:32). Pharaoh and Egypt had brought these judgments on themselves with 400 years of slavery and mass murder, so imo it would have been just if God had completely annihilated Egypt. This is why its important to read the whole story, otherwise we fall into the trap of picking selective verses to emphasize a biased narrative.
  14. Just as the Pharaoh chose to kill Hebrew infants, he also had the option of freely choosing to comply with God or letting Egyptian infants die. And if you recall, God left the Pharaoh at the bottom of the Red Sea.
  15. Do you understand that a pro-abortionist is insinuating that an anti-abortionist approves of infanticide? How ironic,, and absurd. God told the Pharaoh to let His people go or Egyptian infants would die, so the fate of those kids was in the hands of the Pharaoh, and his poor choice killed them. God could, and eventually will, prove himself with indisputable evidence, but we are called by faith because it requires a decision, obedience, and a genuine desire to seek & trust Him.. "Without faith it is impossible to please him" (Hebrews 1:6). Imo, when Christ resurrected, he revealed exactly who he was, and the apostles recognized it, "Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God" (John 20:28), and Jesus told the devil who was tempting him, "Thou shalt not tempt the LORD thy God" (Matthew 4:7). No mincing of words, but a direct proclamation of exactly who Jesus was.
  16. It was demonstrated to be true... But for you, it still doesn't matter. I continue to disagree, the desire to associate with like-minded people to achieve a common goal does not equate to bigotry. Not allowing people to engage exclusively with others who share their faith and values is an attempt to remove individual freedom and choice, all under the guise of political & social correctness. Its not about being forced to abandon one's own morals, its about being forced to include people who oppose your morals. If you agree that its good for the girl scouts to sell cookies to raise money, should they be forced to include you into their organization simply because you can sell cookies too? Fact is, you wouldn't fit in because your not a girl scout, just as Atheist don't fit in with a Christian group, because they aren't Christian. God did reveal himself, He was manifested in the flesh and rose from the grave. Hang tight, everyone will know, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And LORD Of Lords." (Revelation 19: 11-16) “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live" (Exodius 1:15).. "Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews, you shall cast into the Nile" (verse 22). "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the LORD" (Romans 12:19). Paybacks a bitch ain't it My point being, how can one uphold the greatest commandment to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, when you don't even have faith that God exist? Love is greater than faith, but without faith, love is dead... i.e; I love my wife, but I don't respect her, I don't believe her, I don't trust her, I don't need her, and I'll do nothing for her.
  17. A dictionary gives definitions of what means what. God says, "I AM THAT I AM". So what's the definition of that? My point being, "God is good" is not found in Websters dozens of applications for the word 'good'. The knowledge of what makes something good or evil is not encompassed in a single dictionary definition. God is good, God is light, God is righteous, etc, are not definitions, but pronouncements of what is. Water is wet would mean nothing to someone who never encountered water, just as 'good' has no relevance without God.. i.e; an Atheist disbelieves, but the definition has no application of why, while God is the explanation of good..... This may all be a bit above your pay grade, but 'good' in the divine sense goes beyond a dictionary reference, e.g; cake is good...
  18. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21). That's Christianity in a nut shell. Your brand of love is tolerating any and everything, but watching sinful acts and blessing those who conduct themselves in ungodly ways, is not the biblical definition of love. What you really want is for Christians to condone all manner of sin, and when they don't, your quick to allege that they're void of love. Giving a thumbs-up to evil is no demonstration of love. Most 'leaders' have the support of their people. It wasn't just the Pharaoh who benefited from slavery in Egypt. Going along makes everyone culpable. We are all morally wrong, but who bore the punishment for our transgressions? God is good. I know its a stretch, but there's a remote possibility the He who created all that is, might know a tad bit more than you do about fairly administering justice? Compare Christ to yourself, which of you would you honestly classify as 'good'? Refusing to condone sin is not discrimination. Your insisting that Christians alter their moral values, and refusing to do so makes them bigots. Treating others equally is good, but it doesn't entail embracing their moral standards, or the lack thereof. "Doing unto others" does not always necessitate favorable treatment, e.g; If I stole a car I'd expect to be locked up, likewise if someone stole my car, I'd want them locked-up. God is never outside of a Christian life, but its not unacceptable to have common goals with non-Christians. I just feel that something like the Samaritan's Purse was a specific group, and being a Christian operation did not require it to be all-inclusive to everyone opposing the values it represented. "God is good" is a statement of fact, its not a characterization of what you determine is good or bad. God is not subordinate to anything. "Good" is not Websters definition, its what God is.
  19. The greatest commandment is; "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind". So how do you love something that you have no faith in? Faith is trust, and love is demonstrated by trust, you can't have one without the other. No spin, you just can't love a God that you don't believe exist! The Egyptian pharaohs had enslaved the Israelites for 400 years. A previous pharaoh, possibly even the pharaoh in question, ordered that male Israelite babies be killed at birth (Exodus 1:16). The pharaoh God hardened was an evil man, and the nation he ruled agreed with, or at least did not oppose, his evil actions. Second, on least a couple occasions, Pharaoh hardened his own heart against letting the Israelites go: “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15). “But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:32). It seems that God and Pharaoh were both active in one way or another in the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. We are socially commanded to love one another, but condoning sin is not an act of love. Jesus himself didn't give everyone a thumbs up. Did Jesus treat the Pharisees the same as his disciples? "Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him " (Luke 17:3). Remember the woman caught in adultery, Jesus told her to stop sinning (John 8:11). Loving/praying for your enemy doesn't necessarily mean an exchange of polite etiquette, correcting a wrong just as a parent corrects a child is also considered an act of love.
  20. Everyone is not the same, you treat them differently when they are different. Faith in God is the highest form of love, putting people secondary is not discrimination, its just having your priorities in order. If a leader is given an ultimatum and refuses to comply, who's really responsible for the repercussions? God is good, people aren't... 400 hundred years of slavery and your sympathy goes to the Pharaoh?
  21. Yes, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment". God comes first. "Of faith hope and love the greatest is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13). This is in reference to God, not a love for sin. Free medical help for everyone exemplifies love for others. Nothing wrong with associating with sinners, we are all sinners, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:32). Jesus was our example, which is why you don't include those who would outwardly deny him to engage in his work (wolves in sheep's clothing). You don't invite Caesar to work in the Temple, you call disciples who believe to do the work. Graham would eat with sinners, but not use Atheist to spread the gospel. That's correct, "He" is the ultimate objective in all that we do in his name. The Samaritan's Purse is a missionary pursuit to do just that (being a Good Samaritan). Refusing to sign a statement of faith is a form of denying him. It would also reflect poorly on a Christian hospital if those working there were non-christian, that's a "Statement of Confliction".
  22. Many, or at least some Christians, place nothing above God.. So in that sense, yes its discriminatory because God gets priority. Graham doesn't differentiate between the mission and God. Its purpose was in His name, which supersedes the objective. That's considered faith, not hypocrisy. The greatest commandment comes before the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40).
  23. I've posted that same definition before, so its nothing new. Most Americans do support that inscription. And I believe any exclusive group should be allowed to choose people who are compatible and aligned with their groups interest.. Its not prejudicial because I'd also support a Gay club or Atheist organization who refused to accept Christian members or volunteers. When we are denied the comradery and familiarity of freely associating with like-minded people, its the majority discriminating against individuality. I don't think my opinion has waivered on that? Right or wrong, I may be the most consistent person here!
  24. The dictionary isn't a point of view, it factually defines words. Atheist, noun meaning "a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods". Your essentially implying that in time, the definition will change and 'Atheist' will not mean, "a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods"? Nonsense... But just for fun, what do you think 'atheist' will mean 100 years from now? I do not argue with the dictionary. The only time I generally argue the meaning of a word is in relation to the correct translation of a word, i.e; Hebrew to English or Greek to English. Example; "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26 NKJV). "Hate" is a bad translation, the Greek is 'miseo', better translated as 'love less' in English. How in the world am I arguing that the meaning of 'Atheist' is anything other than what Websters describes it as meaning? If you choose to spin it to mean something different than the dictionary definition, then its not me who's applying a double standard! And give a direct example of how I contradict my stated belief? Just more nonsense, because its never happened.
  25. I can relate to that ..... The simple remedy is a dictionary, but Atheist don't seem to like that definition.