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#134003 - 06/01/11 10:37 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
NJK Project Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
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Loc: Laval, Quebec
Originally Posted By: NJK
T:Value comes from a discourse like this when each party can correctly represent the view of the other. If you correctly represent my view, and offer arguments against that view, I can strengthen my view in meeting the arguments, or adjust the view, or disregard it, in response to counter arguments. But you if misrepresent my view, then there's no value in your arguments, since they aren't hitting anything I'm saying. So I keep repeating the same things in the hope that you'll address what I'm actually saying.

NJK:So if you really think I am misrepresenting your view then correct my supposed “misrepresentation” rather than merely repeating what you had said and which was already debunked.

Tom: First of all, I can't think of anything that has been debunked.


You will when you allow for proper exegesis. Anyone who truly does easily will.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The context here has to do with God's being presented in inspiration as doing that which He permits. You admit that there is inspired language depicting God as doing both of these things, and only differ with me, as far as I can tell, in terms of intent.


I actually reconciled EGW statements of permit to involve the actions described in the Bible. In short my view is that what EGW says, rather glibly in my understanding, that ‘God permits to happen’ does not mean the He completely removes Himself but acts to effectuate this, as the Bible actually exegetically specifies.

Originally Posted By: Tom
That is, both you and I agree that inspiration says regarding the same event that God is send to have permitted the act, and to have caused the act.


Again I do not see EGW’s use of “permit” to be “loaded” to mean God is no longer involved. And, by the way, I only view EGW as having made an “inspired” comment so far as it agrees with or can be reconciled with what the Bible says. That is why I don’t see her view on the hardening of Pharaoh heart as being a ‘statement by commission’ as it does not agree with what the Bible exegetically says. That is a substantially occurring deficiency in the writing of EGW.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The difference between our views is that you view God's intent to be that the act occur, even when the "permit" language is used.


Not actually. Intent is secondary to whether God does the act or not. My view is even when He permits something to occur, He sometimes needs to actively act to bring it about. Just like a father permit his teenager to go to a school activity after much plea may require him having to drive him/her to the location of the event, particular in a last minute decision when taking public transportation will cause the teenager to be late. So e.g., God’s permitting something adverse to occur to Israel as a rectifying lesson (thus mercy is involved) may require Him to take full control of what is to transpire out of various GC realities, including the absence of no natural/organic consequence. Thus with the fiery serpents, these had to be attracted to, and then feel threatened by, the people for this permitted calamity to timely and strikingly forcely come to pass so that Israel can learn its key lesson.

Originally Posted By: Tom
But my claim was simply that inspiration often presents God as doing that which He permits, which you are agreeing to, so that's hardly "debunking" the claim.


It is because you have not been taking my arguments into full consideration and weight, if you are even reading them, that you think that we have the same view here in regards to ‘God permitting something.’ As I understand it, you then see God as completely non-involved in such claimed cases. I do not at all. See all of my prior views on this which indeed differentiatigly debunk your view of things here.

Quote:
NJK: Address those standing points that render you view spurious and worthless. You seem to be going by the tenet that ‘your view is to be correct no matter what the facts and arguments against it are.’ And just bringing up new (yet thus far still spurious) claims is not an answer against distinct prior one. Those trees are still felled and your initial forest is not as dense as when you first presented it, if in existence now at all.

Tom: This whole thing here is totally unresponsive. What I said was this:

Originally Posted By: Tom
Value comes from a discourse like this when each party can correctly represent the view of the other. If you correctly represent my view, and offer arguments against that view, I can strengthen my view in meeting the arguments, or adjust the view, or disregard it, in response to counter arguments. But you if misrepresent my view, then there's no value in your arguments, since they aren't hitting anything I'm saying.


Tom: So what's being pointed out is the importance of being able to represent my view in a way I can agree to. You're not addressing this point.


[Because you incorrectly link your post reply here (responding to yourself) I had to waste time just to retrace exactly where you were quoting from. If you had been doing this properly from the beginning you would find that retracing your steps to find the comments of mine that you omitted would be just a matter of a few clicks.]

In regards to your restated comment here, my answer is still the same:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
So if you really think I am misrepresenting your view then correct my supposed “misrepresentation” rather than merely repeating what you had said and which was already debunked....


You are only not seeing ‘no relevance to your points’ because you are outrightly ignoring my points. I am correcting what you had said. If you don’t think that is a valid correction then point out with, engaging the specific arguments made, rather than just repeating your prior point. And, as I said, truth is not limited to what you can or want to understand. You need to get up to speed on particularly proper exegesis.

The rest of my statement was, as I apparently need to spell this out for you, in regards to how you just ignore my points which counter your view. I am not responsible for your mistakes. Apparently you believe that when your view hits a wall, it is my fault. As if your view is not suppose to be wrong. That makes no sense to me and indeed is just stubborn bias. There no ‘discourse value’ in this mentality. Just defend your view however you think it is and you do the work needed to substantiate and present it. I’ll keep on stating why I agree or do not agree with it and you’ll make the necessary adjustments and better restate it if still applicable/valid.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I've asked you to present a summary of my view that I would agree to, and so far, you haven't done so.

Please do so.


I don’t see how that would change anything but just reset this discussion thus forcing me to have to remake the same arguments again. So I won’t do so. You nonetheless still need to respond to all of my point which show how and why your view or methodology is deficient, improper and/or wrong. So focus on addressing those standing point if you want this discussion to constructively go on, if at all.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#134004 - 06/01/11 11:03 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
Tom Offline
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Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 14795
Loc: Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: NJK
Addressing your points.

I. What I wrote in terms of my rewording of her statement is a straw man.

Here's what I wrote:

Quote:
We are to observe carefully every lesson which deals with suffering (but not lessons which don't deal with suffering; only lessons dealing with suffering should be considered), Christ has given us throughout His life and teaching;He does not destroy. He improves whatever He touches.


In what way does this not accurately represent your thought?

You make the argument that her statement is in the context of suffering, which is fine, but I made the point this doesn't change the truth of her assertions, which are:

1.Christ does not destroy.
2.He improves everything He touches.

We are to observe all His lessons throughout His life and teachings to learn these two things. Then we apply these two things to the subject of the suffering of the righteous. That's what she's doing.

Your thought seems to be that these two statements were intended to apply *only* in the case of sufferings, which is what my rewording of her statement is doing.

So again I ask, how is this not accurately reflecting your thought?


I myself never saw a need to pointedly make “Christ’s lessons” be limited to only sufferings. I rather see that they include reasons in regards to suffering, but are not limited to only those. Other things that ‘Christ touched to improve’ did not need to go through suffering, as seen in many miracles. However in the applicable episode with Peter’s and the disciple’s testing, they were permitted to suffer in order to come out as better Apostles on the other end. (Luke 22:31, 32) Apparently Satan asked Jesus Himself to so touch the disciples. Another example of this is Lazarus who was permitted to die by Christ for the glory of God and also Lazarus’s healing and resurrection.


The context of the rewording was contrasting sufferings to judgments. So the reworded statement:

Quote:
We are to observe carefully every lesson which deals with suffering (but not lessons which don't deal with suffering[i.e. judgments]; only lessons dealing with suffering should be considered[not judgments]), Christ has given us throughout His life and teaching;He does not destroy. He improves whatever He touches.


is dealing with sufferings, as opposed to judgments. You don't agree with the points that "He does not destroy. He improves whatever He touches." as, in general, true, from what you've said.

Originally Posted By: NJK
T:II.You made the same point in regards to this rewording:

Originally Posted By: Tom
Sickness, suffering, and death are the work of an antagonistic power (sometimes, when sufferings are the issue; but not judgments). Satan is the destroyer (sometimes; other times it's God); God is the restorer(sometimes; when He's not the destroyer).


Tom: This is, this point:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
That “point premise” again is just your “straw man” and circular view. You’re really just arguing with yourself.


Tom: But the rest of what you wrote looks to be once again justifying this rewording. This is, it accurately reflects your thought, as far as I can tell. You say that you disagree with the rewording, but the rest of your post agrees with the points of the rewording. So I ask the same question in regards to this rewording as to the other one, which is in what way is it not accurately reflecting your thought?

NJK:Because the condition of “sometimes” is moot to me here as this “Sickness, suffering and death” are only applying in context to non-judgements.


Which agrees with what I said. That is, you believe:

Quote:
Sickness, suffering, and death are the work of an antagonistic power (sometimes, when sufferings are the issue; but not judgments). Satan is the destroyer (sometimes; other times it's God); God is the restorer(sometimes; when He's not the destroyer).


If the word "sometimes" is not necessary, it's not inaccurate, given your point of view. That is, the reworded statement is correctly reflecting your point of view.

Quote:
NJK:The Bible is clear that God uses sickness, suffering and death in judgements, so I defaultly saw that there was no need to make the distinction here as I see that it is naturally understood to not include acts of judgements.


This is circular reasoning, but, regardless, doesn't counter the point that the above reworded statement accurately reflects your view. You don't believe that sickness, suffering, and death are necessarily the work of an antagonistic power. Sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren't.

Quote:
NJK:It is as mootly useless as trying to justify the ways in which Law Enforcement and the Judicial Systems in western societies normatively enforce and preserve Law and Order. Your description is only applicable to Criminals.


What description?

Quote:
Lumping God’s actions as these acts of (non-judgement) sickness, suffering and death is innate wrong to me as His actions are always non-arbitrary and Just, eventhough they involve applicable force. God cannot be labelled as a “Destroyer” as He is acting out of Justice. Just like a policeman is not a felon, or a murderer even when he may have (justly) been speeding and crossing red lights, or killed someone in the line of duty.


This seems to have nothing to do with the fact that the reworded statement accurately reflects your view.

Quote:
NJK:So in both cases, I had not seen a need, in any way, to make your textual amendments.


I'm clarifying your thought. When I read that sickness, suffering and death are the work of an antagonistic power, I read this as saying these things are the product of Satan. You read this as saying something else, which the reworded statement explains.

Quote:
NJK:I indeed saw that those distinctions were contextually/theologically understood. There was therefore no need to so restate if for those statements. You, viewing things from your point of view, of course only saw the contrary and this need to explicitly differentiate.


The statement says one thing, which you understand as another, which the reworded statement makes clear.

Quote:
T:So your argument is as follows:

1.Sin (at least some sins) does not naturally have negative consequences.
2.There are imposed negative consequences in the final judgment.
3.God imposes negative consequence in the here and now so that people will wake up to the fact that there are imposed negative consequences in the hereafter.

My argument is as follows:

1.All sin has negative consequences.
2.Therefore it is not necessary for God to impose any negative consequences to sin, but simply reveal what the negative consequences are.

I see the cross as essential to this last point. That is, the cross revealed, as nothing else, what the negative consequences of sin are.

So if sin is innocuous, then your reasoning follows, but if it's not, then it doesn't. Our disagreement, to a large extent, comes down to this point.


NJK:The problem is that whenever this difference is brought up and discussed, you outrightly ignore or suddenly end discussing/responding to the latest points, even involving the Bible and SOP on key issues such as legislated and effectuated capital punishments, acts of judgement destruction done by God Himself, Divine Vengeance, the Tree of Life, etc. Your view needs to be “shielded”, from the clear statements made against it in the Bible and SOP, and that with a teflon-coated brick wall where nothing, however Biblical and factual they actually are, can neither stick or get through. This “stone-walling” to engaging all points is not conducive to a constructive and truth-arriving discussion. So if you really want to continue discussing these ‘fundamental’ discussion issues, then go back to where you stopped responding to my points and begin from their by answering those points.


This isn't responsive to my point. I listed what our arguments are, and the differences between our points of view. If you agree with how I have characterized our differences is the question being raised here.

Quote:
Here are some examples:

Originally Posted By: SOP RH December 8, 1896, par. 12
God’s money is needed. It is hoarded and buried in the world, while multitudes are starving for temporal food and spiritual knowledge. It is spent in foolish amusements, in dissipating games and sports and idolatrous practises. God says, “Shall I not visit for these things?” Already he is sending his judgments upon the earth. Terrible plagues are visiting our world, in famines, in floods, in calamities by sea and land, in earthquakes in divers places. And because of men’s wickedness the Lord does not restrain the destroying power.


In a sequitur way, the ‘non-restraining of the destroyer’, with is “And because...” opening, seems to be in addition to the effectuation of the prior “Divinely-sent plagues”, and that for plausibly added wickedness than the previously listed acts of selfishness.


That doesn't work. She would have had to have written, "And because of men’s wickedness the Lord also does not restrain the destroying power." The "and" here is simply a conjunction.

Quote:
NJK:Interestingly enough this resembles, if not is in the template of: the first 6 Last Plagues being at God’s doing, through His Angels, with the 7th involving the unrestrained destroying power of, presumably, but not necessarily, here, Satan.

Indeed the destroying power could be the judgement destroying power that God Himself can wield. These destructions can easily be made to occur by not tempering or quenching a naturally formed disaster which does not have to be pointed created/done by Satan.


Not quenching a naturally formed disaster is fine. This fits the principle of the Lord's being described as doing that which He permits.

Regarding the 7th plague, you're saying here you're not sure if this is Satan or not?

Quote:
T:(quoting EGW)[W]e remembered that we were living in a time similar to the time preceding the judgments which fell upon the old world. The Spirit of God is now withdrawing from the people of the earth. Men, wrapped up in prosperity, seeking and getting gain, have placed their affections upon earthly things. Few have recognized the long-suffering mercy of God. Few have realized or acknowledged his protecting care. Few have appreciated his goodness and love, although he has kept them from dire disaster and death. As in the days that were before the flood, there has been a strange forgetfulness of God.

NJK:God’s withdrawing His Spirit from people is not what causes disasters which God had been protecting them of.


That this is the case looks to be the intent of the quote. "Few have appreciated his goodness and love, although he has kept them from dire disaster and death."

Quote:
NJK:Again these could be normally forming disasters, (e.g., unsteady fault lines, formed hurricanes, Tornado producing weather conditions, belching or active volcanoes, gathering abundant rain cloud capable of causing floods, etcs). All are natural formations that God may indeed be, unseenly working to variously disrupt and prematurely end. So by Him instead allowing them to fully follow their development and/or destruction course He Himself would be effectively sending these destructions.


This is fine. This would again be God's being presented as doing that which He permits.

Quote:
NJK:Satan really is not actively involved here, even if those adverse elements are ultimately all the result of the sin he had authored.


Either way, the principle would apply.

Quote:
NJK:Interestingly enough, as in the case of e.g, the Flood and S&G, as well as other acts of judgements by God, He needs something more potent and timely to effectuate “undelayed and striking Justice” and so much develop His weapons of destruction himself.


These could be the same principle as well. Indeed, considering the Flood, given the description of the event, God must have been preventing the waters beneath the earth from exploding into the atmosphere until all the animals and people had entered the ark.

Quote:
T(quoting EGW):By their transgression of God's law the people of Judah had forfeited His protection...By their apostasy and rebellion they were inviting the judgments of God.

NJK:In this case, their was indeed an organic threat in the Assyrians present to do the destruction. Though, as I had said, God can also stir up/summons a foreign power to do this work of destruction when it is not “organically” intending/desiring to.


This highlights what I've stated as the fundamental difference in our points of view. You view God as capable of acting in such a manner, whereas I see no hint of this capability in Christ's revelation of God's character. You recognize that there is a potential organic relationship between the removal of God's protection and the destructive power of an invading foreign power, but postulate that God could spur them on in their destructive action.

Quote:
NJK:Furthermore the ‘forfeiting of God’s protection here’ straightforwardly entails that ‘in the event of an attack by Assyria, God then could not protect Judah.’ God ‘forfeiture’ did not result in the Assyrians being drawn to fight Judah. It just assured their victory in the case that such a war took place.


This is the whole point. God was protecting them. They caused God to remove their protection, and then disaster came, the same as with the destruction of Jerusalem.

Quote:
T:The context changes nothing. The principle is exactly as one would expect it to be, just by reading the sentence.

NJK:As I have said before, and indeed in the case of this point, it is not the point/principle itself that has a problem, but how you understand them and/or what you think applies to it. In this case here you won’t include the fact e.g., that Jesus did not do away with capital punishment, despite a perfect chance to do so, also spoke of Divine Vengeance, and did not do some things, such as Hell Fire destruction, only because that was not in His mandate, though He both amply and most descriptively spoke about it and also justly greatly wanted to bring it about (Luke 12:49, 50). So the issue is not with the principle themselves but squarely with your understanding of them and the selective and artificial parameters/limitations that you impose on them.


The statement tells us that all that man can know of God was revealed in the life and character of His Son. This means that it is not necessary to go outside of Christ to obtain a perfect revelation of the Father. That's simple logic. There is nothing unsound in applying the principle in this manner.

Quote:
I have already copiously dealt with your view of the principles you list. But as stated in this post, whenever the discussion reaches a point where you do not have an answer to my points, you just ignore them and/or isolatively deal with another topic, if not raise a side issue and never return to the prior topic. Yet you continue to maintain that your view is perfect. In this way, how can you but continue to see this. Indeed this present topic is another instance of this topic shifting, with many other posts and prior points left completely unanswered by you. Non-“insultingly” speaking, as usual from me, this is like ‘“clinical” discussion ADHD.’


I'm just going to comment on one thing here, and that's the following:

Quote:
Yet you continue to maintain that your view is perfect.


I've made no such claim, and that you have such an idea is evidence that you're not paying attention very well to what I've been writing.

Quote:
We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and Heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed. {CET 203.2}


I've quoted this several times.

My view of things has been evolving since I became a Christian. I have no reason to think that it wouldn't continue to do so. Indeed, I've also said repeatedly that Jesus Christ is constantly challenging our paradigm, and that God is infinite, and that our understanding of His character is imperfect. Only Jesus Christ have a view that is perfect. Our goal should be to have a view which is harmony with his.

You're the one who appears to think he has an infallible view. I readily admit that there are flaws to my way of thinking. Do you admit the same?

I'm simply sharing how I understand things, what I believe to be true, and why. I've been willing to change my view in the past, and have done so, and am still willing to do so, given the presentation of evidence which makes sense to me.
_________________________
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
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#134008 - 06/01/11 11:44 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
NJK Project Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 1098
Loc: Laval, Quebec
Quote:
T:Regarding the fiery serpents, we read:

Originally Posted By: SOP EP 301.1
Shielded by divine power, they had not realized the countless dangers by which they were surrounded. In their unbelief they anticipated death, and now the Lord permitted death to come upon them. The poisonous serpents that infested the wilderness were called fiery serpents, on account of their sting, it causing violent inflammation and speedy death. As the protecting hand of God was removed, great numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures. {EP 301.1}


T:This is stating my position as clearly as is possible to do so. "The Lord permitted death to come upon them." There's no hint of anything at all going on here other than what it says: "the protecting hand of God was removed."

NJK:My exegetical points against your view here still stand and this EGW notion of ‘permitting death’ is harmonized with the Bible’s account of how it transpired -by the direct action of God. God Himself acted to effectuate this permitting. For me the Bible always has the last word over EGW.

You write, "God Himself acted to effectuate this permitting." Of course God Himself acted to effectuate this permitting, since God was the one doing the permitting! How does this assertion help "debunk" the point that God is presented in Scripture as doing that which He permitted?


What I meant was: ‘God Himself acted to effectuate the judgement that He was allowing/permitting to occur’

Originally Posted By: Tom
Considering the EGW statement, we see the following:

"Shielded by divine power, they had not realized the countless dangers by which they were surrounded."

Tom: Now if God had to act to cause the serpents to attack the Israelites, then it wouldn't be the case that they were really in any danger, and it wouldn't be the case that God was protecting the Israelites against danger. The only way that God's removing His protecting hand could bring to the Israelites' attention the protecting care of God would be if God were actually protecting them.

If God caused the serpents to act against the Israelites, then He wouldn't be removing His protecting hand, but using the serpents as an agent by which to accomplish an event which would not have occurred unless God took that course of action.

There are two different things being considered here:

1.God's removing His protecting hand from the countless dangers surrounding the Israelites, including the venomous serpents.

2.God causing the serpents to act in a certain way, which they otherwise would not have acted, to accomplish a purpose.

These two things aren't in harmony. If the serpents would not have attacked the Israelites had God not caused them to do so, then the Israelites were not understand any danger by the serpents, but only by God. God would have been simply removing His protecting hand against Himself in this case, as the serpents would merely be an agency of the danger that God Himself presented to the Israelites.


As stated before this all revolves around the natural tendencies of serpents. So as the Bible relates God acted to override this. Still occasional bites could have occurred but God had shieldingly acted to prevent any serpent bites. Also to effectuate a striking and timely judgement, this forceful action would indeed have been needed.

So my understand here involving, and in that order, the contributions of the Bible, SOP and nature: With simply a removal of this shielding. Some occasional bites would occur (e.g, 1-2 per day) with God’s added elements of feeling of threat: (100+ per day). All so that a timely and forceful judgement can be made, overriding what would lesserly, naturally occur.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#134009 - 06/01/11 11:44 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
NJK Project Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 1098
Loc: Laval, Quebec
Originally Posted By: Tom
NJK, regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, I want to see if I have your view correct.

You believe there were two phases to the destruction of Jerusalem, a "mercy" stage, and a "no mercy" stage. In the "mercy" stage, God Himself was causing the destruction. In this stage, God limited the destruction involved. In the "no mercy" stage, God was not causing the destruction, but permitted it to occur.

So the difference of the "mercy" stage and the "no mercy" stage is two-fold:

1.God Himself was causing the destruction in the former.
2.The former was less destructive than the latter.

In the "no mercy" stage, Satan sought to mask what he was doing, to make God appear to be the "bad guy." In the mercy stage, Satan did not so work, since God really was the "bad guy."


No. In the no mercy stage, as there was a present organic cause to effect agent, God was only acting to temper things so that things don’t blow over. All the while mercy was variously being obtained by some Jews. Then as things obstinately further developed, God removed Himself and let Satan take over. That is indeed when Titus lost his temper, probably under Satan direct influence and order that the city and its remaining inhabitants be mercilessly dealt with.

All that I see God actively doing in regards to destruction in that first phase was, as Jesus had said in Matt 22:7 sent/draw the Romans, as He indeed can, especially to return under Titus after a brief hiatus.

So in case where the destruction is organic, present and (fittingly) sufficient, God does not have to actively cause the destruction. Otherwise, for reason of necessary justice, he does.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#134010 - 06/01/11 11:45 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
NJK Project Offline
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Posts: 1098
Loc: Laval, Quebec
Originally Posted By: Tom
Just to be clear here, you're saying that the "evil angels" of Psalm 78 were actually "holy angels," correct? (i.e., God's own angels).


As shown in my detailing, I said that ‘evil angels” was not a fitting translation and that these were indeed ‘destroying angels of God’ as functionally attested in the Bible and SOP.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#134011 - 06/01/11 11:48 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
NJK Project Offline
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Loc: Laval, Quebec
Quote:
Originally Posted By: SOP
With these words of light and truth before them, how dare men neglect so plain a duty? How dare they disobey God when obedience to His requirements means His blessing in both temporal and spiritual things, and disobedience means the curse of God? Satan is the destroyer. God cannot bless those who refuse to be faithful stewards. All He can do is to permit Satan to accomplish his destroying work. We see calamities of every kind and in every degree coming upon the earth, and why? The Lord’s restraining power is not exercised....


Let's consider this much of the quote. Here we see the following points made:

1.Obedience means blessings; disobedience means the curse of God.
2.The curse of God is explained as follows:
a.Satan is the destroyer.
b.God permits the destroyer to accomplish his destroying work.
3.We see calamities of all sorts occurring. Why? Because the destroyer's work is not restrained.

Your comments:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
In a Theological way, I see this as involving indirect/passive participance by Satan. I.e,. the effectuated destructions are from naturally forming disasters that God does not act to prevent.


The EGW quote says:

Originally Posted By: SOP
All He can do is to permit Satan to accomplish his destroying work. We see calamities of every kind and in every degree coming upon the earth, and why? The Lord’s restraining power is not exercised.


From this we see that Satan is destroying (active work on Satan's part), while God is restraining (actively preventing destruction). Yet you see this as indirect/passive work on the part of Satan. How so? What in the language used ("All He can do is to permit Satan to accomplish his destroying work." "Satan is the destroyer.") indicates passivity on the part of Satan?


One statement of EGW does not establish a theology and indeed sometimes it may only be an incomplete/partial expression of her understanding of that issue. Given what EGW says elsewhere about ‘God and/or His angel doing acts of destruction’ a theology cannot be made upon on Statement in regards to tithing. Indeed God action in the flood is the perfect example. That is not proper exegesis of the SOP. That is why I made a more general statement on this with a large GC view in mind rather than limiting my understanding to one quote.

Nonetheless, I see here that she is speaking of not necessarily judgement actions, but just day to day circumstances where God has to daily act to prevent natural calamities. The GC rules probably limit Him to only certain preventions and when His people are not faithful in tithing, He then has no justification for extraordinarily acting to protect them against an approaching calamity.

Quote:
NJK: In other words, I don’t see that every natural disaster is an active act of Satan.

Tom: The point is the natural disasters referred to in the EGW quote were active acts of Satan.


It must also be kept in mind that as it was very likely that the end could have occurred in EGW’s day, Satan seeing this, probably step things up to cause as many natural disasters as possible. Seeing/believing then that he had nothing left to gain, he therefore was wrathfully acting to do these ‘supernatural’ (also in terms of frequency) disasters. (Cf. 3MR 318.2) So EGW was probably injunctively given special light on this new, potential/possible end time, development. Indeed Satan does not know when the end will be, so, and by God’s permission, as this can indeed be the end, is allowed to act in this way, especially, as the SOP reveals, this will serve to establish the Mark of the Beast and cause billions to be lost.

Quote:
NJK: Indeed if that was true in those days of EGW, then how much more today. I rather see that Satan would love to prevent all those catastrophe so that men may live care-free and not have any notion of judgements.

Tom: What in the EGW quote gives this idea?


Nothing specifically. Just furthering my related GC/Theological observation/understanding here.

Quote:
NJK: Nonetheless, it must also be seen that in especially her day which was largely an “Age of Faith” most people would see these acts as “acts of God”. And as they saw nothing wrong in their lifestyle and practices, they would only be susceptible to “cursing God” for “unfairly” punishing them. So Satan would have some incentive to cause such natural disasters.

NJK: Similarly, in the Age of Unbelief and Unreason that we live today, when, as with e.g., Katrina was said to be God’s judgement on New Orleans for its lifestyle, it caused much more people to become upset at the people making these claims, than cause genuine repentance. So Satan does indeed do things that advantage him,

Tom: What "things" are you talking about here? (i.e., in relation to Katrina).


I had only cited the Katrina event to illustrate the reactions of people to claims of Gods judgement against them from the occurrence of a natural disaster. I was not making a claim on the veracity of those God-judgement or Satan-action claim. Thus I meant: ‘Satan generally does indeed (generally speaking) do things (favoring or destroying acts) that advantage him.’

Quote:
NJK: and God may have no better option than to allow these things to at least tangibly build up/confirm the faith and awareness of the righteous. (Cf. Dan 12:10)

Tom: Your view of Katrina is that this was a natural disaster, not caused by Satan, and God permitted it to occur to "at least tangibly build up/confirm the faith and awareness of the righteous."?


Correct, as I have no specific knowledge of the behind the scenes actions surrounding Katrina.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Or is "these things" referring to something Satan is doing?


“These things” means ‘such naturally occurring disasters, uncaused by either Satan or God but of course the derived result of Satan’s destructive course.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Do you view that Katrina occurring was God's will? (i.e., something that God desired happen, as opposed to something that He merely permitted).


He just permitted it to occur, not hindering it in any way, however, he didn’t have a good overriding reason to prevent it, as He surely has been able to do in other worthy conditions, indeed not even allowing the natural disaster to form. We may also be impressed to see e.g., how many named, thus formed hurricanes which subsided was at the direct hand of God. Leaving however just enough of a threat to help people keep things in their proper perspective - those who act wisely enough to fearfully perceive His gracious warnings here.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#134014 - 06/02/11 12:02 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
Tom Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 14795
Loc: Lawrence, Kansas
Quote:
NJK:My exegetical points against your view here still stand and this EGW notion of ‘permitting death’ is harmonized with the Bible’s account of how it transpired -by the direct action of God. God Himself acted to effectuate this permitting. For me the Bible always has the last word over EGW.

T:You write, "God Himself acted to effectuate this permitting." Of course God Himself acted to effectuate this permitting, since God was the one doing the permitting! How does this assertion help "debunk" the point that God is presented in Scripture as doing that which He permitted?


NJK:What I meant was: ‘God Himself acted to effectuate the judgement that He was allowing/permitting to occur’


Why is this an important point? How is this different than saying, for example, that the judgments occurred because God removed His protecting hand?

Quote:
Tom: Now if God had to act to cause the serpents to attack the Israelites, then it wouldn't be the case that they were really in any danger, and it wouldn't be the case that God was protecting the Israelites against danger. The only way that God's removing His protecting hand could bring to the Israelites' attention the protecting care of God would be if God were actually protecting them.

If God caused the serpents to act against the Israelites, then He wouldn't be removing His protecting hand, but using the serpents as an agent by which to accomplish an event which would not have occurred unless God took that course of action.

There are two different things being considered here:

1.God's removing His protecting hand from the countless dangers surrounding the Israelites, including the venomous serpents.

2.God causing the serpents to act in a certain way, which they otherwise would not have acted, to accomplish a purpose.

These two things aren't in harmony. If the serpents would not have attacked the Israelites had God not caused them to do so, then the Israelites were not understand any danger by the serpents, but only by God. God would have been simply removing His protecting hand against Himself in this case, as the serpents would merely be an agency of the danger that God Himself presented to the Israelites.


NJK:As stated before this all revolves around the natural tendencies of serpents. So as the Bible relates God acted to override this.


You mean because the Bible says God send fiery serpents upon the Israelites? This means God acted to override the natural tendency of serpents? This certainly seems to be reading a lot into the text.

Quote:
NJK:Still occasional bites could have occurred but God had shieldingly acted to prevent any serpent bites. Also to effectuate a striking and timely judgement, this forceful action would indeed have been needed.

So my understand here involving, and in that order, the contributions of the Bible, SOP and nature: With simply a removal of this shielding. Some occasional bites would occur (e.g, 1-2 per day) with God’s added elements of feeling of threat: (100+ per day). All so that a timely and forceful judgement can be made, overriding what would lesserly, naturally occur.


This doesn't address the point made. According the SOP, God had protecting the people from constant dangers. God removed His protecting hand so that His protection could be seen. If God *caused* the dangerous event to happen, then the serpents weren't the danger; *God* was.

Here's what's written:

Quote:
Shielded by divine power, they had not realized the countless dangers by which they were surrounded. In their unbelief they anticipated death, and now the Lord permitted death to come upon them. The poisonous serpents that infested the wilderness were called fiery serpents, on account of their sting, it causing violent inflammation and speedy death. As the protecting hand of God was removed, great numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures. {EP 301.1}


How do you get from this that God *caused* the attacks to occur? She writes:

Quote:
As the protecting hand of God was removed, great numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures.


She writes "the protecting hand of God was removed, great numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures."
_________________________
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
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#134017 - 06/02/11 12:10 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
Tom Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 14795
Loc: Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: NJK
No. In the no mercy stage, as there was a present organic cause to effect agent, God was only acting to temper things so that things don’t blow over.


This is the same as the no mercy stage then, except that God was acting to temper things. God is not acting as a direct agent.

Quote:
NJK:All the while mercy was variously being obtained by some Jews. Then as things obstinately further developed, God removed Himself and let Satan take over. That is indeed when Titus lost his temper, probably under Satan direct influence and order that the city and its remaining inhabitants be mercilessly dealt with.

All that I see God actively doing in regards to destruction in that first phase was, as Jesus had said in Matt 22:7 sent/draw the Romans, as He indeed can, especially to return under Titus after a brief hiatus.


So the Romans would not have wanted to tax the Jews, except for God's inducement? What exactly do you see God doing here?

Originally Posted By: NJK
So in case where the destruction is organic, present and (fittingly) sufficient, God does not have to actively cause the destruction. Otherwise, for reason of necessary justice, he does.


But if there are a thousand dangers, all of them unseen, God *never* has to actively cause the destruction. It's always sufficient for God to simply remove His protecting hand.

Do you see the destruction of Jerusalem as due to a direct decree on the part of God?

I noticed you mentioned Matthew as justification for the idea that God sent the Roman armies. What about Mark's account?

Quote:
What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. Haven't you read this scripture: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away." (Mark 12)


To be consistent, don't we need to say that God killed the Jews and gave their land to others? That is, if we're going to say that God "sent" the Romans because of Matthew, then, by the same token, we should say that God "killed" the Jews, because of Mark.
_________________________
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Top
#134018 - 06/02/11 01:45 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
Tom Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 14795
Loc: Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: NJK
T:Just to be clear here, you're saying that the "evil angels" of Psalm 78 were actually "holy angels," correct? (i.e., God's own angels).


NJK:As shown in my detailing, I said that ‘evil angels” was not a fitting translation and that these were indeed ‘destroying angels of God’ as functionally attested in the Bible and SOP.


It looks like the word is used over 200 times, and only once translated "destroying" by the NASB. Overwhelmingly the word is translated "evil." You referenced the Word Critical Commentary. What does it say?

Regarding "send," you wrote:

Quote:
(1) the “send” verb is in the Piel Stem, so it was a forceful and direct action by God;


So does this mean "send" (in the Piel Stem) is never used in conjunction with evil angels?
_________________________
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Top
#134019 - 06/02/11 01:57 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
Tom Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 14795
Loc: Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: NJK
I am $1,000,000 richer because I bet with myself that you would make this spurious claim.


It sounds like you knew your comment was bogus as you made it. You must have been aware of what you were doing, or why would have made yourself a bet?

Here's the post:

Quote:
T:Until the cross, even holy angels were impacted by Satan's misrepresentations.

NJK:What are you basing this on?


The SOP.

Quote:
NJK:I rather see that they were not yet convinced that the alternate way that Satan had proposed was deserving of the completely eradicating judgement that God wanted to effectuate on it.


I haven't seen any evidence this was ever an issue for the angels. Can you quote anything to substantiate this idea?

Here's a statement from the SOP speaking to the impact of the cross on the angels:

Quote:
That which alone can effectually restrain from sin in this world of darkness, will prevent sin in heaven. The significance of the death of Christ will be seen by saints and angels. Fallen men could not have a home in the paradise of God without the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Shall we not then exalt the cross of Christ? The angels ascribe honor and glory to Christ, for even they are not secure except by looking to the sufferings of the Son of God. It is through the efficacy of the cross that the angels of heaven are guarded from apostasy. Without the cross they would be no more secure against evil than were the angels before the fall of Satan.(ST 12/30/89)


How could you have missed, "Here's a statement from the SOP speaking to the impact of the cross on the angels:" along with the cite? This could hardly have been more immediate, and so, hardly a "spurious" claim.
_________________________
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
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