Condemnation And Conviction Are Two Different Things

prayer_meetingIn the exchange I had a week ago with a couple atheists on a different site, one person who described himself as a former pastor who no longer believes God exists, said he has never been more at peace. I answered that I can understand completely why that would be true: only Christians have the unsettling discomfort of the conviction of the Holy Spirit and a burden for the lost.

Guilt! the atheists cried. That’s what is so terrible about Christianity, and Christians. That religion is all about making you feel guilty for everything. (And how dare you say he has no compassion—but that’s a subject for another day).

It seemed so odd to me at first, because I don’t live with guilt. I live under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, which means I am warned from doing things that wouldn’t glorify God, I’m reproved for things I’ve done or said or thought that don’t please Him, and therefore am led to the throne of grace where I can pour out my sorrow and be reminded that Jesus Christ paid my debt, that I am a new creature, and that Jesus has set me free from sin and guilt and the law.

So guilt? Not on my worst days do I live under the weight of guilt. I don’t doubt that some Christians who were raised with a legalistic framework or with a works mentality, might have old habits to break from. But even as they struggle to find the freedom in God’s grace, they can assert with their head, if not their heart, that they are only in right standing with God because of Jesus Christ and what He did at the cross.

As God so often seems to do, He validated those thoughts with Scripture. I’m reading in the Psalms and got to 34:22

The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

I’d used the words “conviction of the Holy Spirit,” and I realized as I thought about the above verse, there’s a gulf between conviction and condemnation.

In fact, I just recently wrote about faith as the conviction of things not seen. In that post I tied conviction with the idea of being convinced, in the same way that a jurist only convicts someone of a crime if he is convinced by the evidence that the accusation is true.

Conviction, then, is a matter of agreeing with, based on evidence. When the Holy Spirit convicts a Christian of sin, we simply stop trying to justify ourselves or alibi out of our sin. We no longer pretend that what we have done, said, or thought is perfectly fine and acceptable to God. Instead, we agree with Him that we have fallen short, that we have disobeyed, that we have displeased Him, that we need to grow in the area He’s revealed to us.

Condemnation is an entirely different thing. That’s an accusation, a declaration, that we are guilty of something. But we’re not. We can’t be because Jesus took all our guilt on Himself. Because He “bore our sins in His body on the cross” I am declared righteous.

It’s a more complete transformation than a blood transfusion or a heart transplant. Those are only partial fixes and they are only physical and temporary. This new life God gives is permanent and complete. Romans 8:1-2 spells it out:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Revelation 12 identifies Satan as the one who is the accuser of believers. He stands before God hurling invective at Christians, but none of it sticks. What Satan doesn’t apparently understand is the extent of Christ’s work on our behalf. Romans 4:7-8 clarifies it:

“BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN,
AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.

“BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.”

Ironically, the kind of peace this former-pastor atheist claims is the kind that comes when you get to do whatever you want without anyone telling you to stop or change or shape up or do better. But that’s only temporary and it’s oriented toward the self—if I’m at peace, it’s all good.

There is, however, a greater peace, one that is deeper and eternal:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1)

This is the peace that a person can count on even when their world turns upside down. I have a friend, a man I taught with years ago and who I’ve reconnected with on Facebook, who is an example of a Christian with this kind of peace. From a recent FB post:

This past week doctors discovered a fast growing tumor in my pancreas about the size of a silver dollar, several spots on my liver and surround the portal vessel providing blood to the liver, pancreas and spleen. I start chemotherapy today and pray for one to two years of serving Jesus.

Please pray for [his wife] Suzy as my greatest caregiver. I know Our Lord is the great healer and will use my body for His miracles and His glory. These next months are planned to reach more people for Christ and encourage this generation and the next generation of Christian leadership.

I am so very grateful for the opportunity to minister . . . I have been allowed to serve in the kingdom of God on earth and prepare for His eternal kingdom. I look forward to seeing Jesus and worshiping Him in heaven, and I look forward to these next months with you, my family and my precious wife.

There’s peace that passes understanding, the peace that reconciliation with God gives, the peace that comes from one not under condemnation—though he still might from time to time feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. 🙂

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Published in: on January 18, 2016 at 6:06 pm  Comments (60)  
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60 Comments

  1. Beautiful, Becky. I too have encountered the deconverts who speak of now being free of guilt. This baffled me too, because I actually have no guilt, I am free of guilt. Downright shameless actually, and than it occurred to me that shame is always the flip side of pride. When we submit in humility, we trade our shame and pride for His mercy and forgiveness. That one step is the whole message of the cross and it is so often missed, even by those who claim to have once been pastors. Christ went to the cross, “despising the shame” for us.

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    • Thanks, IB. I don’t know how else to process a statement from someone professing to be a Christian but associating “their faith” with guilt. That isn’t the faith the Bible teaches.

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How folks can miss all those passages that are full of praise for being forgiven,shown mercy, given grace, washed clean, passed from death to life, passed from condemnation to justification, passed from darkness to light, passed from enemy of God to adoped child of God and heir with Christ, on and on, and live so full of guilt as to abandon the Lord is strange to me.

    I assume that there are folks who battle certain desires and rather than saying, “Thank you, God, that in Christ I am forgiven for my sin,” want to say, “There is no God, so I can go head and just indulgein this and woohoo, no guilt.”

    We will sin. Our transformation to perfection has not come as long as it’s this age and we breathe in it. But Christ solved that: take it to him, lay it at his feet. Walk away white as snow, washed clean. No guilt. Just love.

    I totally am convinced they didn’t understand the gospel or the Scriptures they read, or they simply wanted to be free to call evil good (do unfettered a thing they know God said was wicked).

    I sin. I leave it in a puddle with Jesus’ blood and thank God and move along, knowing I am His. No condemnation. Only life everlasting as his kid.

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    • Excellent, Mir! Thanks for adding to the discussion. You’re absolutely right that the Bible doesn’t tiptoe around the idea that our sins are buried in the deepest sea, that God puts them as far from Him as the east is from the west. It’s heartbreaking, actually, to hear people associate Christianity with feelings of guilt because you know they are actually referring to a false idea of Christianity, and they have apparently mistaken it with what is true.

      Becky

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  3. Irrespective of what peace you claim, the downside is the threat of eternal torture and burning in hell, a threat meted out to countless millions of children on the back of fear induced guilt built upon an imaginary jailer who watches every moment of your life and knows everything you think and do throughout ones entire life.

    This, as Hitchens once noted, is a celestial North Korea
    And this is what deconverts no longer have to worry about once they finally walk away from the nonsense of god – belief.

    This must be a freedom so precious I cannot imagine the mental torture some of these people went through as kids.

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    • Ark, you continue to miss the heart of Christianity. Belief in Jesus sets us free from sin, spiritual death, the law, guilt, any punishment in the now or the hereafter. Mind you, I didn’t say it sets us free from the consequences of sin. Sometimes God graciously spares us even those, but sometimes when we’ve sinned, the natural result of that sin is something we have to live with.

      So there simply is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. There’s no fear that you’re talking about, primarily because my eternal destiny does not hinge upon what I think or do or say. It hinges solely and completely on what Jesus Christ did. I can’t add to it or take away from it.

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nonsense! Non belief and apostasy carries with it the threat of burning in Hell for eternity, and every Christian experiences doubt – some, many times. Such doubt has often caused serious emotional and even neurological problems. This is what cognitive dissonance is all about. And this is what the sick doctrine of religion does to a great many people.
        There is no compassion for those who ”backslide” to the point of giving up on god belief. You consider they are doomed and such unfortunate folk who find themselves on the cusp are often reminded of what awaits them once they leave your religion.
        Thus, fear of this often keeps people shackled to superstitious belief.

        And it is even worse in your sister religion, Islam.

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        • Ark, I’m glad you know so much more about what I believe than I do. 😉

          Just teasing you, there.

          I happen to believe in the doctrine of eternal security which is based on verses in the Bible that say the Holy Spirit seals us, that we are in God’s hand and no one can take us out, that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

          I’ll be honest. It’s a position that is often debated.

          As far as doubting goes, I suppose we all have faced some period of doubting, but I never associated doubts with going to hell. If I am saved, I don’t have punishment in my future. I’m saved by God’s grace, not by my constancy. If I doubt but God proves me wrong, He isn’t going to change His mind and punish me.

          If I missed the boat and there really is no God, then there is no hell either, so where’s the fear?

          But the fact is, God does exist, I am secure in Him, He is faithful and will keep His promises, and His perfect love drives out fear.

          Becky

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          • What this demonstrates ot the fact there is no consistency in your religion and interpretation is King, as some denominations do not believe what you do.
            But, just so I have not misunderstood, without deflecting or any sort of vagueness what do you personally believe happens to apostates and non-believers once they die?

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          • Nonbelievers (I think “apostates” are nonbelievers who fooled themselves into thinking that they believed in God when they actually didn’t) will get precisely what they want–an eternity separated from God. Only then will they realize how awful that is. That’s hell–separation from God.

            Becky

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          • And what happens to them? Where do they spend this separation?

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          • You ask these things as if I have been to eternity and back, Ark. I haven’t. We know they will be separated from God for eternity. Jesus used different terms for this–outer darkness being one of them. Of course other images refer to a fiery place. Is that literal or figurative? We won’t know on this side of heaven.

            Becky

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          • So you don’t believe in hell then, is this correct?
            Oh, and you are aware I hope that the place of eternal torture- Hell – is a Christian construct and was never taught by Jesus?
            You’re not one of those ignorant Christians who believe the nonsense taught by the church and realise that Jesus being a Jew had no concept of the Christian version of ”Hell” that has been effectively used to brutalize kids for generations and Jesus referred to Gehenna.
            You know this yes?

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          • Ark, I believe the Bible. The word that Jesus used was γέεννα, or geenna, which we’ve translated into English as hell. The definition offered by a leading Bible lexicon is this: “gheh’-en-nah; of Hebrew origin; valley of (the son of) Hinnom; ge-henna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment:—hell.”

            So yes, I believe in hell, but that doesn’t mean I understand what precisely it is.

            Jesus knew of course, because He wasn’t just a Jew. He was God come down in the flesh. He was just as omniscient as He’d always been, so when he addressed the subject of eternal punishment, as He did in Matthew 5, 10, 18, 23 and so on, He knew what He was talking about.

            But as I said before, on this side of eternity it’s not possible for us to know anything beyond this. We can speculate, and many have. The contrasting images Jesus gives (fire, utter darkness) lead me to believe those are metaphorical. But there’s no doubt there will be punishment for rejecting God, and separation from Him is a component.

            I have no idea what you think the church has taught that has “brutalized” kids for generations. I was raised going to church and Sunday school. Never had anything close to brutalizing teaching about hell.

            What’s that like? Don’t lie or you’ll go to hell—that sort of thing? That’s not Christian. That might be what some religious people who trade on the name of Christ say, but that’s not Christian!

            Jesus made it very clear that those destined for the outer darkness, who wouldn’t enjoy “everlasting life” were those who rejected Him. That’s what Christianity teaches. Anything else is some sort of pretend Christianity that is no Christianity at all.

            Becky

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          • Ark, I believe the Bible. The word that Jesus used was γέεννα, or geenna, which we’ve translated into English as hell. The definition offered by a leading Bible lexicon is this: “gheh’-en-nah; of Hebrew origin; valley of (the son of) Hinnom; ge-henna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment:—hell.”

            Wrong. Hinnom was a place traditionally used to burn rubbish and legend has it where Canaanites carried out human sacrifice.
            The Christian ”hell” was an unknown concept to Jews.

            So yes, I believe in hell, but that doesn’t mean I understand what precisely it is.

            Yes, we have already established this.

            Jesus knew of course, because He wasn’t just a Jew. He was God come down in the flesh. He was just as omniscient as He’d always been, so when he addressed the subject of eternal punishment, as He did in Matthew 5, 10, 18, 23 and so on, He knew what He was talking about.

            No, he was simply a Jewish man. Unless you have irrefutable evidence to demonstrate otherwise, all you have is faith, based on erroneous text.
            Ark

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          • I don’t know what you think is wrong about that definition. Yes, the physical place, a valley outside Jerusalem, was apparently the city dump. That doesn’t mean it didn’t take on the metaphorical meaning Jesus gave it.

            I don’t really care what the Jews understood about hell, Ark. Jesus taught clearly about it.

            It is your opinion that the text is erroneous. Jesus demonstrated He was God in so many ways, and the very people who followed Him were the ones who claimed Him to be God. This is just your disbelief, which is groundless. There is no reason for you not to believe what the Bible says about Jesus other than that you don’t want to believe it.

            Becky

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          • No, he did not. The original language mentions nothing about a place of eternal torture and suffering and Jesus never taught this at all.
            And of course you don’t care about what the Jews understood because you are an indoctrinated Christian.
            Let me reiterate. Jesus was a Jew. He taught and preached Mosaic Law.
            Your ”brand” of Christianity is largely based on the teachings and interpretation of the character, Saul of Tarsus
            It is about time you and most other Christians stop pandering to ridiculous fundamentalist doctrine.
            I have mentioned before, that, you as an author should be ashamed if you are accepting this crud as fact.
            Do some genuine research for a change.

            The bible is erroneous simply because you have no idea of what the original texts said.
            Scholars are fully aware of how much these documents have been altered over the years to make any sort of assertion that they are the ”Word of God” to be palpably ridiculous.

            The Pentateuch is Historical Fiction.
            The Exodus is nothing but geopolitical myth.
            The gospels are anonymous.
            The ending of ‘Mark’s’ gospel has been added – there are no resurrection appearances.

            But you know this already!

            Matthew features 600 plus verses from Mark, some almost verbatim.
            Luke … well…John is little more than a theological treatise.

            So where is the evidence the bible contains any sort of veracity other than historical fiction – a tale woven over a 1st century Palestinian background?

            It is not that I don’t want to believe it, there is nothing about the story that commands belief, other than by those who have convinced themselves they need a religious crutch to justify their lives.

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          • “I happen to believe in the doctrine of eternal security which is based on verses in the Bible that say the Holy Spirit seals us, that we are in God’s hand and no one can take us out, that nothing can separate us from the love of God.”

            Ha…I wrote on that today too! Holy Spirit at work, pointing us where we need to go. Must be somebody needing to hear the message.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Becky,

    I’m happy I inspired (or convicted?) you to write the post.

    But, again, you missed the question…the “real” point of the discussion:

    “Why would an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, perfect God of Love–Yahweh–create a “devil” and a “hell”?

    The answer should not be so complicated, should it?

    What caused my doubt to take root was not “guilt”–far from it–be honest, you do not know me from “Adam” (sorry for the pun) You simply focused on that aspect, something that it appears you understand and makes more “sense” than simply answering a question about your faith.

    No deflection…a question is on the table.

    I have shared, honestly and sincerely, some basic questions I could not logically reason, answer and defend with any level of intellectual honesty and integrity…even when I relied on the Bible for the answers. This is one.

    Can you answer it?

    So, please don’t delete this (remember, God is watching) and maybe you or others could sincerely–and in the traits of Christ–compassionately, lovingly and in the interest of sharing your faith as commanded to do (“Go into the world…”) offer an answer to this question.

    It would sincerely be appreciated. And, I have the right to follow-up…too. That’s only “just” 🙂

    Thanks.

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    • Luke, I don’t recall the devil or hell coming up in the discussion, but I may have overlooked it. As I remember the exchange, you said you’d never been more at peace than when, after extensive reading of your Bible, you determined that God does not exist. I responded by saying, I get that. I can see why a person would find more peace in not believing in God because Christians do have the conviction of the Holy Spirit and a burden for the lost.

      Those are not peace-inducing things. If I want something and the Holy Spirit nudges me and says, Not good for you, I too often enter into a struggle. Will I do what I want or what the Holy Spirit wants? Struggles like that are not peaceful. And if I do follow my own will, I eventually have to face my overriding God and humble myself and confess my sin. That’s not peace-inducing, either.

      But in the end, I’d much rather be growing in grace and the knowledge of God, which is what that process leads to. Do people who don’t believe in God have those kinds or struggles? Maybe to a lesser degree, but I think it’s a lot more peaceable, initially, to do whatever I choose to do.

      In short, I didn’t ever get the impression that guilt was at the basis of your turning your back on God. I didn’t mention guilt. It didn’t cross my mind that anyone would interpret my comment as being about guilt.

      For whatever reason, you now seem to want to talk about Satan and hell. So here’s the short version since this comment is already too long: God created Satan as a angel of light, perfect and pure. It was he would turned himself int the devil by his own pride and desire to be equal with God.

      Hell is the just punishment for those who clearly want no part of spending eternity with God.

      Becky

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      • Becky, you wrote: “God created Satan as an angel of light, perfect and pure”

        According to your response, Satan was perfect and pure…but changed…turned…without God seeing it coming–it was a surprise to God? OK…but, it raises another question (or assumes you do not agree with the definition of an “almighty” omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, perfect God):

        If God is almighty, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent wouldn’t God “know” Satan was going to “turn”? If God knew what he was creating with Satan, he knew the consequences? Right?

        If God did not know Satan would betray him, are you saying there are things God does not “know” and “see”? Because…God would surely NOT knowingly and willfully choose to create “evil”…right?

        The same with “hell”-why would a loving God create people he “knew” — before they were even created — would end up in a place of torment? Or, was hell an afterthought to figuring out people sinned?

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        • Not sure why you added the idea that God didn’t see it coming, Luke. That God chose to create beings—angels and humans alike—with free will, so they could chose Him or reject Him—doesn’t alter God’s character at all. Rather, it’s part of being made in His image—though I don’t know that angels necessarily are. We humans are. But no matter, God gave Lucifer and Gabriel and Michael and all the unnamed angels the capacity to praise Him voluntarily, freely, of their own choosing. Lucifer and the third of the angels he took with him chose instead to glorify himself.

          What you apparently want is for God to have limited His creation to puppets or robots which He simply programmed to do His bidding.

          If you were God, then that’s the way you’d do it, I guess. But since God is God, He chose to create beings with freedom to choose. So you can complain if you want, but that doesn’t mean His choice isn’t the best one.

          Becky

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          • Honestly, Becky, you did not answer the questions.

            You can’t have it both ways–either God knew what he was doing (and the consequences) in “his” creations or “he” did not know what would follow when he created beings…angels, people?

            Which is it?

            And, this isn’t about robots or what I disbelieve…but you articulating what you believe about God being omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent…almighty God. You’re not answering very direct questions.

            Try again?

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  5. Luke, I’m not “trying” to do anything here. I’m telling you what the Bible reveals on this subject. You may not like it, but that doesn’t mean God has to be put into your tiny, either-or box. Scripture says His ways are not our ways, but atheists continue to judge God based on human understandings.

    God is omniscient, all powerful, present everywhere. He also created humans in His image, which meant He gave us free will. Apparently He created angels with free will, too, since a third of them turned away from Him.

    I don’t understand why you think those truths about God are mutually exclusive. They only way they could be is if you limit God.

    Becky

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    • Becky, please…stick to the subject. Based on what you wrote…

      God, perfect, almighty and knowing all, chose to create “Satan” knowing in advance Satan would lead a revolt against God, take 1/3 of the “angels” God had created in heaven, subsequently corrupt God’s entire creation, leading “people created in God’s image” to sin and fall…then, all the while God knowing this was going to happen, God created a “hell” (for the people created in God’s image who are deceived by Satan) to be punished and tormented for following the Satan God created…and God knowing all along this would happen…perfectly as God intended?

      Is that it? Help clarify this–it is not something to dismiss. If this is the reason why I disbelieve…you have the opportunity clear it up. I am sincerely listening.

      Is that what you believe? If not, what part is wrong?

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      • You added something. You say Satan deceived people. No. Satan deceived Eve, but not Adam. Ever wonder why it’s Adam who is referenced as the one who gave birth to the sin nature? He knowingly rebelled against God. He knew what God had said and he sinned anyway. That was his willful rebellion. God knew some would turn their backs, that humankind would fall, that He would send His Son to redeem His creation. He also knew many would still walk away from what He offered.

        I know this isn’t consistent with “reformed theology,” but it’s what I believe and what I think Scripture teaches: the blood of Jesus Christ paid for the sins of the entire world.

        Why then aren’t all people saved? Why a judgment, a sorting of the sheep and goats? Because some people will refuse to accept the gift Jesus provided for them.

        The issue is pure and simple: we’re all judged and guilty of rebellion, but Jesus paid our debt. Some people tear up the check, though, and say, No, they don’t have a debt. Or, no, they want to pay their own way. Or, no, the One they owe isn’t fair so they aren’t going to pay.

        The people who take the check are the ones who are immediately and irrevocably debt free.

        Those who will bear their burden of debt, essentially, have chosen hell instead of God. God does in fact know that they will, but that’s what people with free will do–they make their own free choices, for good or ill. God could intervene and take away their freedom, force them to choose Him, but then we’re right back to whether God created robots or puppets or whether He created a person in His likeness.

        Becky

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        • Becky…Becky…”Satan”deceived “Eve” but not Adam. Becky…please tell me you do not have a burka in your closet…that’s something written by men to push women lower…isn’t it? You know, the pain of childbirth as punishment. What a horrible story. And you believe it?

          Even in your line of thinking–God creates Satan…Satan tempts Eve…the universe is corrupted. Right?

          So, God knew the consequences, created the tempter (Satan) and the willing party (Eve)

          Becky…if I shared what Muslims believe you would say, “That’s wrong–Mohamed did not split the moon and ascend to heaven on a winged horse” You would be a non-believer.

          If I reminded you what Mormons believe…what Jews believe (the basis of your own religion)…what other Christian denominations believe (of course, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopalians, Seventh Day Adventists…all AGREE on everything, right?) differently…disagreeing on even the basics…

          Becky, just who in your made-up-world of religion is “saved”? Who is right? Who is wrong?

          You convince no one with that stream…other than yourself.

          And, that is sad. I’m out of here–thanks for giving your time to the typing of words and avoidance of thinking…adios.

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          • Luke, I really wish you’d read my comments more carefully. You read that I think Eve and Adam had different experiences and you make a wild leap into burkhas. As I said before, Adam was not deceived but knowingly chose to disobey. Consequently Adam is the one responsible for humankind’s fallen nature.

            God did hold Eve accountable for her disobedience, too. I’m surprised you find that offensive. Are you an anarchist who believes we should have no laws? Or that we only need to obey the ones we like? If that’s the case, then your offense in light of God disciplining Eve is understandable.

            I’m also surprised that you don’t understand false ideas can be interwoven with true ones. Some purposefully distort the truth for their own advantage.

            Who’s saved? Those the Bible says are saved: whoever believes on the name of the only begotten Son of God shall be saved.

            Becky

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    • You believe “God is omniscient, all powerful, present everywhere.” OK.

      Did God create Satan? Yes…or…No ?

      If you answered “no” who or what created Satan? I’m guessing, based on your writing…you would say “Yes”

      If “Yes”, did God know that Satan would lead the revolt you refer to in “heaven” and subsequently corrupt God’s perfect creation including people “created in God’s image”? Yes…or…No ?

      Based on what you wrote about God being “almighty” God knew what Satan would do…right?

      Then why would an almighty, perfect, loving omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God create the originator of evil and corrupter of God’s creation , purposefully and with intent, in the angel Satan?

      Please Becky…step-by-step so I can follow. Thank you

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      • Yes, God created the angel who became Satan. Yes, God knew that Satan would lead rebellion against Him, both in the heavens and on earth.

        I’ve answered the “why” question to the best of my ability already, but here it is again. First, I say “to the best of my ability’ because, I’m not God. And He hasn’t chosen to share with me all His reasons behind the decisions He makes. His ways are not our ways, as I think I mentioned before. So it is presumptuous to think we can figure out God’s motives.

        BUT, He did tell us He made humans in His image, after His likeness. That means we are creatures of choice. To create us without choice would be to make us something other than His image bearers.

        Why God made Satan, I can’t say. Why He made us with the freedom to choose evil instead of good would seem to reside in the fact that He made us choosing beings.

        I hope that’s step-by-step-ish enough for you, Luke. 😉

        Becky

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        • Yes, you convinced yourself in that dribble that you are right…without any reasoning and thought or following the “step by step” consequences the almighty, loving, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent Yahweh would know when “he” created the Tempter to corrupt his own perfect creation.

          It doesn’t make sense…that story…does it? If it does to you, I have to admit…it’s lost on you.

          Send me some suntan lotion, I do not believe in that kind of “god”–because the story is make believe and your defense of it…even weaker.

          Good luck with that, thanks for the answer.

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          • And there it is, Luke. When there are no responses to the truth, the discussion deteriorates to accusations (though I’ll admit, I’m not sure what is “lost on me”–what “it” are you referring to? And suntan lotion? Is that supposed to mean something?)

            I’m sorry you missed the reasoning, Luke. Here are the points again:

            1. God’s ways are not our ways
            2. God created Satan but didn’t tell us why
            3. God created humans in His image, which means He gave us the ability to choose.

            I’ll add this: you read into God’s actions human motives. Rather than saying, God is good and therefore what He does is good even though I may not understand at this point in time how it is, you say, If I did that, my motive would be from anger and selfishness, so God must be angry and selfish.

            I wonder, have you never experienced something that seemingly was bad but turned out to actually have a benefit or serve the greater good (like discipline)? That’s what Joseph experienced. He spelled it out for his brothers: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good, to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive” (Gen. 50:20).

            For you to judge God based on your tiny slice of history, from your tiny perspective, in your tiny space in the universe, is . . . well, the height of hubris.

            But, as long as you’re at peace, right, Luke? I mean, that’s what’s at stake here. Your peace. Not truth. Not the eternal destiny of every person. And certainly not God’s glory.

            Becky

            Liked by 1 person

          • Two quotes from a very prominent Christian pastor:

            “A faith that can’t be tested is a faith that can’t be trusted.”

            “A faith that cannot be questioned is a faith without answers.”

            What you say are “accusations” are merely questions…you know, when “?” is at the end of the sentence.

            But, to most Christians a question is an accusation, isn’t it? (By-the-way, that’s another question)

            And, Becky, sarcasm is unbecoming from Christ followers…your commandments–not mine… 🙂

            Like

          • Luke, you’re something. The accusations I’m referring to were the ones against me: “you convinced yourself in that dribble that you are right…without any reasoning and thought.” You’ve been accusing God all along, and I’ve been making every effort to disabuse you of your false notions.

            But now you have determined, for whatever reason, that Christians have to be limited in the way we communicate? No sarcasm allowed? Sorry, I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible. Now if I was being mean and spiteful and running you into the ground for your intellect, that would be a different thing. But perhaps a little sarcasm is precisely what you need to see how limited your view of life is.

            Becky

            Like

          • “I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible” ? That’s not a first, is it? And you are lecturing me on “limited”? lol

            Becky, give up the “ghost”…if you can’t explain why a perfect, almighty God creates Satan to corrupt “his” perfect creation (God’s little secret?) I agree…you won’t understand the “Sermon on the Mount” and it’s applications to Christian communication. Becky, I truly wage peace…but you’re trying to make it a war of words…one you can’t find the ammunition in your own “holy” scriptures? As the sports metaphors flowed the other day, “Time to throw in the towel” 🙂

            Like

          • Luke, you said, “That’s not a first, is it?” Another non sequitur. I could do a word search for “sarcasm” to check if the Bible addresses this form of humor, but I already know it doesn’t. It does talk about hate and giving offense and the like, so if I gave offense to you by pointing out that your determining the right and wrong of a position by the peace you feel is . . . narrow, then I’m sorrow for the offense. I don’t know how to soften the truth though. Am I supposed to pretend that your peace is as important as the other things I mentioned?

            I’ll also point out once again that we’re not in a contest. There’s no winning or losing here. You have made comments like “try again,” and now “throw in the towel” as if there’s some winning and losing happening. There isn’t. This is a discussion—two people exchanging ideas. Maybe that’s not something you’ve come across much on the Internet, but that’s the kind of interchange I expect on this site. But I’ve seen before how the name calling and insults quickly follow when there is no answer to statements about God and His character.

            But to the issue that seems so troubling to you, Luke: God did not “create Satan to corrupt” His creation. I’m not sure why you don’t understand choice. Maybe you’ve never been around children. As a teacher I often gave my class instructions that I knew (even though I’m not omniscient) some would not follow. Why give them then? Because that’s what would make their lives and learning better. I wanted them to obey and I disciplined them for not obeying–even warned them what the discipline would entail—but there were still those who chose to disregard the instructions and do what they wanted. Why is it hard to believe that Satan rebelled against God? That mankind rebelled against God? You are blaming God for what others did and do.

            Finally Luke, you are fooling yourself to think that when you call someone else’s thoughts “dribble” and the like, you are “waging peace.” You’re looking for “ammunition.” I’m not. You want people to “throw in the towel.” I don’t. But sadly, there are bigger issues that you aren’t seeing clearly. I wish it weren’t so.

            Becky

            Like

          • God created Satan to discipline us…like children?

            I would hate to be a child in that world–a loving God creates a tempting “lord of this world” to corrupt “himself”? Sounds like a bad movie…not a “perfect” God?

            No bigger issue than God’s character, is there? That’s what I have asked questions about…how a perfect, almighty God “chose” to make a “Satan”, a hell and select the elect before they even lived.

            That sounds like a very problematic character trait, does it not?

            What am I missing, Becky. Say it…simply…and this is not about me, it is about your characterization of “God” as “good”

            Is God good? Explain it, please, given the devil, hell, sin “he” created.

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          • Oh my, Luke. How you distort what I have written. If you distorted Scripture in the same way, I can see why you have doubts! Seriously! I never said God created Satan to discipline us! I never came close to saying such a thing. I used an analogy to show how a person can know someone will rebel but still proceed. The desired effects are 100 percent obedience, but because people are free to choose, I as a teacher knew some would choose to go their own way. That doesn’t mean I should bail on the plan.

            So too with God. He knew Satan would rebel, but that didn’t mean He should bail on the plan.

            How did you get, God created Satan to discipline, from that?!!

            And I will say again: God didn’t choose to make Satan. He chose to make a powerful angel. That the latter rebelled isn’t the same as God making Satan. This issue goes back to the fact that you seem to struggle with the idea of choice. Were you raised in a Calvinist background, perhaps?

            God is good, Luke. Ah, He is so good. He saves from Satan and hell and sin. He is the lifeline making it possible for us to go free.

            You apparently want a god who creates unthinking people who have no choice but to do what he tells them. Your quibble, it seems, is that God chose to make us in His own image, with the freedom to walk away from Him. Well, there you are, an example of that choice. He hasn’t forced you into faith, has He? Do you want Him to? Is that the answer you’re looking for—a god who creates only yes people?

            Becky

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          • You wrote and inferred I desired “a god who creates only yes people”

            “No”…but I am questioning you why God would choose, even before they lived a second in the flesh, people to be condemned and tormented in hell. What is wrong with that last statement? Tell me.

            Now…are you implying the loving perfect God…knowing all…chose to send people to hell by the hands of a Tempter he purposefully created…all so we could have the “freedom” (think first, before you answer…there’s more here) to “choose” hell–the supposed “free-will” to say no to the hidden God’s veiled invitation?

            Wow…so you believe God created people to go to hell…purposefully?

            You can’t have it both ways…or, if you do, you are contradicting yourself and the Bible…right?

            And, which religion is right? That’s an easy one. Or, are people of all religions calling themselves Christian going to heaven?

            Which one(s) is right…which one(s) are wrong?

            Like

          • You wrote: “God didn’t choose to make Satan. He chose to make a powerful angel.”

            Do you still want to stick to that theology? Are you sure?

            So, God did not know Satan was going to rebel against “him”?

            Choice? So God is not omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, perfect…almighty? God “chose” to make a powerful angel…but things went haywire?

            C’mon, Becky. Please. Let’s talk reality…and quit aiming things at me trying to deflect from the base questions.

            This is simple…so please follow and answer:

            Today, a thirteen-year old girl, Aamira, was killed by a bomb in the civil war waging in Syria.

            Aamir was born in Syria. She grew up in a household faithful to Islam. She knew nothing else…just Islam. Islam, and its principles, is what she was told, taught and grew-up in. She never met a Christian missionary…she never went “online” and heard the “gospel.” She was taught Jesus was a prophet and a good man…but NOT the “Son of God”, “Messiah” and “Savior.” That wasn’t part of her upbringing…Aamira’s LIFE.

            According to the Christian Bible, Aamira is lost…burning in hell this moment and will for eternity. She is being tormented for not “choosing” Christ.

            Right? Or, if I’m wrong…tell me how. Show me….

            Why is Aamira burning in hell? Did Aamir have a “choice” (like “Satan” did as you suggest)?

            Truth: Aamira did not choose to follow Jesus Christ…”the way, the truth and the life” because of where she was born, her family, her culture, the community. If you had been born in Pakistan, what would you likely be, Becky? (Think about it)

            So, did God purposefully create Aamira, a beautiful child–innocent–and killed in religious violence– to go to hell?

            Or, was this Aamira’s choice?

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          • Hi Luke

            So…I take it this question is the question of the day? I can’t help but notice you have posted almost exactly the same question on my blog, Becky’s blog, and The Ancients’ blog. In the case of mine it actually has no relevance whatsoever to the content of the post. As such, I have no intention of actually addressing your question.

            Clearly, you have an agenda, and your agenda is not to get questions answered or actually engage in dialogue. Perhaps this will seem harsh, but your agenda is clearly atheist proselytizing. You can say what you want, but that is crystal clear. Your comment on my blog will stand, but not addressed. Consider that your last comment coupon. Any more obviously non related rabbit trails will be summarily deleted. Soon after to be followed by total moderation.

            Your turn. What have you come to love more than God? That is the issue here. It’s not your sudden epiphany that you were mistake all of those years as a believer. What is it that took the place of God?

            As before, I say this. I don’t know your heart. Perhaps you are a save child of God simply in full scale rebellion. In that case, God awaits you like the father waited on the prodigal. If you are not, then there is time until you draw your final breath to repent and believe. Choice…you have it. Why won’t you make the right one?

            Peace.

            Like

          • Luke, you limit God so much—it bleeds through this comment. God can and does bring people out of Islam through amazing means. He is able. Those who draw near to Him, He draws near to them.

            Your mythical Aamira is not an “innocent” child. She is, as we all are, responsible for her response to God. Romans 1:19 yet again: “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”

            And since I am repeating myself in virtually every comment now, this will be my last one in this thread. Feel free to have the last word.

            Becky

            Liked by 1 person

          • You did not directly answer the question(s), but this person is not “mythical.” Far from it.

            People like Aamira die everyday, all around the world. And, according to you this child is in the “hell” after being indoctrinated to believe in Allah the God of Islam instead of Yahweh the Christian God? Based on your answer the same would be true for children in Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist and other family traditions.

            One thing…with your view of God’s wrath, hell will be a very full place.

            If you can’t see the contradictions in character of the Yahweh you worship you’re right, you are repeating the same untruth to attempt to support your beliefs and failing to answer basic questions about Yahweh’s purposes.

            “Limiting?” lol Not me, but it’s you, Becky, who limits your God to tossing people like Aamira into hell but saving relatively few people born elsewhere, indoctrinated into the beliefs you adhere and then, despite these “elect” failing, sinning and falling, and living hypocritical lives they still find “grace” because they simply “believe.” That’s a comforting story for you and other like-minded folks, but it is narrow…small…limited…and self-serving.

            If you grew up in Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, would you be a Christian–as you are today? Or, are you “blessed” and the others not so fortunate like Aamira “cursed”?

            I’ve asked you other questions you choose to not answer about which religion has it right. I think I know your answer despite refusing to say so.

            From your response, one thing is certain: those outside of the very narrow scale of judgment you define Yahweh as utilizing are ALL conceived, predestined, without a choice, for condemnation.

            What is so fair, just, loving, compassionate and “good” about that?

            Nothing…

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  6. Ark, I gave you the references in Matthew’s gospel. You need to read the text before you make such claims. Chapter 10, for instance: “28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Sounds rather permanent to me.

    But there are others. Take chapter 25, for instance that includes this: ““Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” A little further down Jesus said, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” You simply are not reading the text closely if you think Jesus didn’t teach about the consequences of rejecting Him.

    I’m not ignoring the fact that Jesus was a Jew, Ark, but the truth is, Jesus is God! That trumps whatever limited knowledge Jews had about the afterlife.

    My “brand” of Christianity takes the entire Bible as truth. Saul, whose name was changed to Paul, was validated in his teaching by the apostles, to the degree that Peter equated his writings with Scripture. Which they are.

    What you don’t believe is that Jesus rose from the dead and spent forty days with His men, teaching them what the Scriptures have to say about Him. None of the doctrines of Christianity came out of thin air.

    It’s sad to me that you think the only kind of “genuine research” is what agrees with your position.

    The Bible is not erroneous. You can’t know it is even if it were since we “don’t have the original text.” But here’s where a lot of scholarship comes into play. We have a lot more copies of the Bible than we do other ancient texts that are accepted wholeheartedly.

    If the text had been altered, the copies wouldn’t all agree as they do. The bottom line is this: if God could inspire the writing, and He did, He can certainly preserve the text, and He has.

    You can make anything you want to about the Bible, but that’s not proof.

    I did a series of posts about the Bible which you might be interested in, Ark. Here’s the link to the last one–it contains links to the others: https://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/history-and-knowing-the-bible-is-true/

    Religious crutch? No, I need a loving Heavenly Father, and that’s what I’ve found.

    Becky

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  7. Every time the word hell appears in the bible it bears no reference to what Christians understand.

    Jews had no concept of an eternal fiery torture chamber run by Yahweh’s sidekick Satan,
    There was only Sheol or Gehenna.
    Hades was Greek and Hell was ( eventually) English.

    As for the texts.
    I have explained on numerous occasions that the Old Testament – the Torah – was written by Jews for Jews and was never meant for gentiles.

    It matters not if we have a million copies. A million copies of a fictional piece of nonsense is still fiction.

    I have also explained on numerous occasions that, according to all scholarly experts and archaeologists but the most indoctrinated fundamentalists, the Pentateuch is historical fiction.

    I asked you to supply a link or a name of a genuine archaeologist that considers the biblical tale true.

    You have not taken the trouble to do either.
    I never use the word proof. Only evidence. Something you seem to fail to grasp.
    And the evidence tells us that the bible – Old T and New T is largely a work of historical fiction.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/historical-fiction

    If you want to truly understand the bible ( Old Testament) then ask a Jewish scholar or archaeologist not some biased, indoctrinated bloody Christian, for goodness’ sake!

    No heavenly father, dear. Just a former fairly low-ranking, Canaanite deity who later became an invisible make-believe friend in the sky.

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    • As I said before, Ark, you have your biases, which blind you to the truth. You can say all day long that people made up God, but you have no evidence of this. You have your interpretation of history, of archaeology, of science, but those of us who acknowledge God see things differently.

      Think about it for one second, if you care to try. If an omniscient, all powerful, sovereign Being existed, what in the Bible could not have possibly been true?

      My position is this: you claim the Bible to be myth because you have ruled out the possibility of God. So of course you have to explain away the Bible and explain away the existence of the religion based on belief in God. It all hinges on your presupposition, Ark.

      Becky

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      • Please try to read tbhis comment carefully.
        The old testament god you worship, is Yahweh, who you claim manifested in human form via a virgin birth, called Yeshua.
        Yahweh was part of a Canaanite pantheon that the Israelites adopted.
        Initially, he even had a consort, Asherah.
        If you chose to study you would find this to be perfectly true.
        We know , when the bible was composed.
        We know that Genesis is simply myth and historical fiction.
        We know that the Genocide and the Flood are also fiction, a tale lifted from the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh.
        We know the Exodus etc did not happen.
        We know there was no conquest of Canaan /Palestine.
        We know all this because there is evidence that shows us.
        And almost every major Jewish Old Testament scholar and archaeologist are in agreement.
        There is no pre-supposition on my part, I assure you.

        I go where the evidence leads. The evidence revealed by those men and women who have given a large part of their professional lives to.
        And the evidence has spoken.

        What you believe in is simply historical fiction, culled and distilled and indctrinated into credulous people who truly beleive they need a saviour and are going to ”Hell” (sic) if they don’t follow this imagined deity/ mangod

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ark, you obviously didn’t read the articles I linked to or you would know that there is no certainty about the “evidence” as you claim. Lots and lots and lots of scholars disagree with every one of your statements, and it is because of the evidence. But I understand, you have been indoctrinated to believe only a small part of reality. You dismiss anything supernatural because you only believe in what the five senses verify. I’m sorry that your world is so small.

          Becky

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          • The scholars who disagree are believers just like you.

            You say lots and lots yet do not provide a single example!
            At least offer me one name.

            As for the links:
            Are you specifically referring to the history one? I read that.
            I was hoping for some clear cut archaeological evidence to back any one of your clams. Sadly you offered nothing.

            So, you did not offer a rebuttal to a single point i raised but merely state lots of people disagree.

            And that’s it?
            What a very poor defender of your faith you are that you cannot provide a single piece of verifiable evidence to back it.

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          • Sorry, Ark. I put the links on a different thread. Here they are again: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/moses/searching-for-moses/ and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/11307733/Exodus-the-evidence-for-the-Bible-story.html

            You also asked for a name. How about archaeologist Dr. John McRay (Ph.D. from the University of Chicago) and author of Archaeology and the New Testament. Or earlier, William F. Albright and “his students, notably Nelson Glueck, E. A. Speiser, G. Ernest Wright and Cyrus Gordon.” These archaeologists “had produced a consensus that biblical archaeology had provided physical evidence for the originating historical events behind the Old Testament narratives.” Or Professor Jeremy D. Lyon of Southern California Seminary who specializes in study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. How about this article https://answersingenesis.org/archaeology/does-archaeology-support-the-bible/

            I’m sorry you missed the links earlier. I had assumed you saw them and chose not to read them.

            Regardless of what you think about my ability to “defend my faith,” that has nothing to do with the truth about God and the truth about the Bible. I can be the worst scholar in the world and still loved by God, known by Him, forgive and welcomed into a relationship with Him. My skill or lack thereof regarding apologetics simply has no bearing on the truth of these matters.

            I freely admit: I’m like the driver of the car, not its mechanic. I may know some things about the Bible and what God has said about Himself, but I’m much more versed on what it means to live as one who has a relationship with God and who has experienced His grace. That’s where I live my life—not in the apologetics end of things.

            But I’ll do my best to point you to others, because there are plenty of “others” with far more knowledge than I have.

            Becky

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          • THe first link is basically a movie review. I read it and commented onthe [revious thread. No archaeological evidnce that supports the biblical tale. None.
            The second link.
            Oh, my god are you serious?Answers in genesis is a Creationist site, for the gods sake.Why on earth would you believe this has any credibility whatsoever? And how dare you assume I would even consider let alone accept their view concerning a global flood.
            Even nominally normal Christians consider AIG a damn embarrassment.

            As for Albright.
            The gods, are you truly that myopic you are unable to understand science?
            Even a simple Wiki search will illuminate the results of Abright’s archaeological quest for biblical harmony.
            Albright set out to prove the bible was correct and that the archaeological evidence was out there and would vindicate it.
            HE FAILED.
            He was unable to match the archaeological time line for the Exodus etc with the biblical tale.

            No serious archaeologist bases anything regarding Exodus on Albright.

            I reiterate.
            The Torah was written by Jews for Jews and was never intended for gentiles.

            Almost no Jew today regards the Pentateuch as literal history and certainly not Genesis.

            At least have the decency to admit once and for all that your faith is based on that faith, and not on scientific evidence.

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          • I’ll say again, Ark. You are biased. And because you disagree with these scholars does nothing to refute what I’ve said: many scholars, with a different worldview from yours (yes, creationism but also just a Biblical worldview) don’t agree with your positions. But that’s the dividing line for you. Those who agree are the experts and those who disagree simply aren’t qualified to hold a position and you refuse to recognize them as serious in their field.

            And why, Ark, since you don’t believe in God or gods, do you swear by them?

            This will be my last comment in this thread. You can have the last word, as I gave to Luke.

            Becky

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          • It is not me that is biased, Rebecca.
            The archaeological evidence does not exist for the Egyptian captivity, Exodus or conquest.
            Now, once upon a time, the argument, ”Absence of evidence etc … ” could be called upon, but now there is evidence of how ancient Palestine was settled and it was largely internal, and relatively peaceful.
            So the former argument is moot and simply holds no water.

            The creationists you refer to have no standing whatsoever in the scientific or historic community.

            This is not about last word or one upmanship but the honest unblinkered pursuit of truth, and not merely a presuppositional worldview that one can bend as when the evidence does not fit that worldview.

            The fictional nature of the Exodus and conquest etc has been known for several generations.
            Why wyuld the vast majprity of Jewish scientist, archaeologists and even Rabbis deny their own supposed heritage?
            Thy have more to lose than you as a Christian could ever possibly comprehend, yet here they are admitting the Pentateuch is historical fiction, based on the evidence
            Your (minority) view is simply based on a presuppositional theological perspective that has nothing to do with evidence.

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  8. Hey Becky

    Another great one. You actually inspired my Just a Thought today, so I thank you for that.

    Not sure how this turned into a conversation about why God created Lucifer, though. Apparently that subject is fixated in some people’s minds.

    Hi Luke..right? Seems to be the same thing brought up….everywhere, no matter the topic?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wally…I’m just trying to keep it “simple” and “basic” but still can’t get a real answer.

      The topic? “God”

      My question…”Is this the ‘god’ you worship?”

      What’s wrong with that. But, I forget…Christians hate questions and enjoyed burning people at the stake suggesting the earth circled the sun…what you and Becky suffer from is “carry-over”

      Religion…especially the kind you two say your practice…is dangerous, harmful and damages the world–much more than any “good” you can suggest or evidence. For every “good”…let me give you a thousand wrongs.

      But, that’s what God intended…to glorify himself…creating Satan to tempt mankind and corrupt “his” creation.

      Yeah…Wally. Why don’t you and Becky follow the dots…with reason and admit it. Your “God” isn’t so loving, is “he”? Not so “just”…is he? And, all based on “his” book.

      Fixated? I’m not the one practicing beliefs in the God-of-love-who-created-Satan-to-tempt-his-perfect-world-and-condemn-people-he-made-in-his-own-image. And, you two believe this (along with quite a few more)…that is “fixated”…totally.

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      • “What’s wrong with that. But, I forget…Christians hate questions and enjoyed burning people at the stake suggesting the earth circled the sun…what you and Becky suffer from is “carry-over”

        Really Luke? Disagreeing with what you say, and even telling you that you are wrong, is hardly the same as burning you at the stake. Are you that tender hearted?

        You have been given answers repeatedly, they are just not the answer that you want. Apparently the only acceptable answer is agreement with you. Oh, the irony

        But, I do leave you with one final question. You didn’t just wake up one day really smart and realize your faith was stupid, did you? What really happened Luke? Who hurt you? What captured your heart? That’s the question.

        I leave you with this. The Father loved the prodigal son, and welcomed him back with open arms, and he had done some very serious and hurtful things. Your Father will do the same for you the very minute you decide to return to Him

        Peace and adios to you.

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        • “Honestly”…a term you choose to avoid even considering as the basis for my words…

          Honestly, Wally, it did take years. Faith is based not on what you know…but the darkness of doubt. Faith in something what unseen, hidden…doubt is always present. Now, you be honest. Say you do not have doubts…say it…go on record. What were the last words of Jesus on the cross? Hmmmm….was that…”doubt”?

          Faith is based on doubt.

          You keep asking about me. Read my blog and the comments here and you have the answer. This wasn’t a “poof!” epiphany…like “salvation” It takes courage and humility (yes, courage and humility) to admit when you no longer “believe”: I was wrong. I deceived myself. I told myself to submit to a religion so torn with contradictions I should have seen it immediately…but I was blind…and now…I can see.

          That’s my testimonial…the truth. And, thanks for the welcome back, come home…but you no more mean that than the evidence in your judgment. Closing with compassion does little to undo your own choice to believe people are condemned to hell by a loving God all because God chose to glorify himself by creating the very “tempter” himself… lol Wow…Wally, that is what you believe…

          That’s the truth, Wally. Honestly. Truthfully. I do not believe the story…I do not submit to the contradictions…I am an unbeliever and truly at peace.

          I hope you are.

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          • “And, thanks for the welcome back, come home…but you no more mean that than the evidence in your judgment.”

            No, you are incorrect and quite mistaken. I absolutely do mean exactly what I said. I think I probably understand what I meant better than you, but thanks for trying to clear me up 🙂

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          • Ah, Wally…sarcasm is not divorced from from followers of Christ despite the commandments to love…I understand. ColorStorm told me so.

            But, then…there’s the nagging, hanging question: “Why?”

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  9. Luke, this little video (the part that I could stomach to watch) is quite telling. Someone greater than Yahweh, in this view, must inform Him of the ramifications of His choices. This is the role that humans have embraced. Let’s judge the Judge, question the decisions of the Righteous One.

    The problem is, such nonsense is based on false premises, such as God revealing Himself only in a tiny part of the planet. Perhaps reading Romans 1 would set things straight.

    that which is known about God is evident fnwithin them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not fnhonor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (vv 19-23)

    Becky

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