A question for christians…


Reading through the bible this morning and I ran across this verse:

    Colossians 3:13
    Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
I was stuck on the last sentence. “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
This lead me to wonder about forgiveness again.  The almighty forgiver is supposed to be god. This almighty didn’t do such a great job at forgiving.
The question is a basic one but one that requires answering.  If god is so forgiving why didn’t he forgive Adam and Eve?
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13 thoughts on “A question for christians…

  1. does your disbelief in a god strictly stem from your dislike in the Christian religion?

  2. Absolutely not. I used the god of christianity in this question. It is assumed that this is the same god of all christians (all denominations), catholics, mormons, jehova’s witnesses, islam…

  3. I think he did forgive Adam and Eve…

    Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

    John 3:17-18 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

    Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

  4. Thanks Bradley. I totally forgot god 2.0 (jesus meek and mild). 😀

    I noticed you are quoting from the new testament. Still does not answer my question. Actually, it sort of proves my point (to a point!).

    Matthew is talking about jesus, right? The author of john is talking about the messiah (jesus again). The last quote is jesus on the cross.

    The “cross” quote is interesting. The lord almighty (talking to himself I presume) is requesting that god 1.0 forgive them, for they know not what they do…” is falling on deaf ears. (I think i butchered that but I think you catch my drift).

    Version 1.0 does not forgive. if v.1.0 was forgiving at all he would have forgiven Adam and Eve. He wouldn’t have needed to destroy the world with a flood.

    Gen 6:7 The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”

    Some forgiveness teaching, huh?

  5. Well, sure… I said, somewhere else maybe, that I find it hard to imagine how the Jews find God loving at all. They get all the wrath without any of the forgiveness. (well, unless they accept Jesus as their savior) But, I guess that faith is why they’re chosen, I don’t know.

    I’ll give it some more thought tomorrow. It’s late, and my brain hurts… 😦

  6. “Jesus meek and mild” I like that. 😀

    1. Just for the record, YOU quoted from the NT. That’s how we know how to forgive like the Lord forgave us. 😉

    2. I don’t think Jesus’ sacrifice for our forgiveness fell on deaf ears. Millions upon millions have heard the Good News and accept it. I know that’s not what you were getting at, but that’s the reality.

    As for Jesus’ authority to forgive sins, himself… We see it specifically in Luke 5:20, and again in Luke 7:48… and implied elsewhere, throughout the text. His “talking to himself” is not that at all. He was worshiping the Father. If Jesus did not submit himself to the father, I don’t think Jesus would be God at all. His power over sin, and ability to forgive, was through the Father. The whole “essence” is that God, the Creator, reigns over All for Eternity. If we live in harmony with that understanding, I believe WE will reign with Him. Jesus, being a Man, could not “do it alone” any more than we can.

    What I find interesting is at what point Jesus realized his role. Can you imagine the “temptation period” of his life? His understanding of scripture was so radically different than the established institution. That had to rough. We can see a similar example with Martin Luther. He was suffering with what he was being led to do.

    I don’t think we really appreciate that notion much today. The post-modern movement we find ourselves in is rooted in questioning everything. Don’t get me wrong… I love it. But… we do it so flippantly, like our actions have no consequence for the future. It’s almost like we hold as a mantra “Every man for himself”. That seems very destructive to me. I think we chatted about that a while back. We are so anxious and overly zealous to tear every institution down, thinking we have the supreme knowledge to make it all right. Spiritual nomads…

    Anyway… sorry for the tangent. 😀

    3. I don’t know that God “needed” to destroy everyone with a flood. That certainly is what the bible teaches. Written as a “look back” at what had taken place, I can see how it was very obvious that God was “sorry for ever making them”. Survival of the fittest… the righteous survived. 😉

    I was driving with my (almost) 4yr old in the car the other day. We were talking about saber-toothed tigers. That led us to talking about the older dinosaurs, in general. I was trying to explain skeletons and paleontology, and trying to get the point across how long ago they all became extinct.
    We’ve had that discussion a hundred times, but he was focusing more on “why” they all died. I gave some theories, but then he asked “Did God kill them?”

    I said, “Yes.” To which he replied, “Why?” I thought for a minute, because I don’t want him living in fear that God will strike him down unnecessarily. But, in the end, the only answer that was appropriate was, “Well, he wanted to create humans, so he killed them to make room for us.” Then I went on to make jokes about man living with T-rex chasing us and gobbling us up.

    That was the correct answer, right? Even if you don’t believe in God? If God decides to destroy Earth again, won’t it be to make room for something else?

  7. I will take it reverse order. That is the correct answer if you believe in god. Period. You could explain how the dinosaurs “really” became extinct. If you do that, I fear the god you believe in suddenly loses some of its effect. It’s like Santa Claus. Right?

    Doesn’t god “strike” people down any more? Isn’t there a hell? I think you aren’t telling your son about the gruesomeness of your god for a reason. It is evil and you don’t want to subject your child to that. If you son asked you to explain gravity or anything else you wouldn’t have a problem telling him the “truth” then would you? It seems christianity is “fear based” and you are correct in NOT subjecting your four year old child to this superstition.

    #3 – If you believe in the “bible” then you must “believe” that god destroyed all living things in a 40 day period of constant rain. Your almighty “said” so. This, along with the creation story, are such incredible suspensions of natural law that it is completely unbelievable. But then, I must ask, why didn’t god just forgive those whom he was pissed off at and disappointed by? It seems the argument that god used to appear to men all the time “back in the good ole days” doesn’t hold water either (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    If god was so “visible” then why didn’t he just show his awesomeness to everyone? Why would there be a need for all of the gods he was so “humanly” jealous of?

    Not very forgiving.

    #2 – The Tangent

    The deaf ears I was referring to were his own/his father’s. What example in the OT was are they referring to where god just forgave? It sure wasn’t Adam and Eve. It wasn’t Cain. It sure wasn’t those innocent men, women and children he slaughtered during the flood. It seems that is when forgiveness could have been exhibited and shown. It wasn’t. Hard to expect a god that doesn’t forgive suddenly start forgiving doesn’t it? Doesn’t forgiveness seems a little too human to assign to an almighty god? It seems, as you have stated before, the unending circle is upon us.

    I see what you mean about the “Every man for himself” time we are living in. I don’t see it that way. I think it seems that way when you inject the superstitious beliefs and the dogmas from around the world. Natural law does not exclude and does not render some group of people more prone to gravity than others. Is this what you mean by flippant?

    #1 – The “lord” mentioned in the NT is referring to the OT “lord” right? Did I misread that?

  8. 1. Ok, but the forgiveness was seen AFTER Jesus died and was resurrected for it. Same forgivable God, finally shown to us in the flesh… for us faith-impaired gentiles. 😀

    2. I know that’s what you meant by deaf ears… I was just trying to adjust your preconceived invention of “deaf ears”. Moving on…

    You might be right about “forgiveness seems a little too human to assign to an almighty god.” I don’t think scripture supports that, but maybe forgiveness IS all just for us. One day we may all discover we are ALL “saved”, I don’t know… I know I feel rather at ease with God’s opinion of me. Maybe if I was Jewish or Muslim, I might have a harder time dealing with my flaws, I don’t know… Or, maybe I just feel the peace because I believe God DOES forgive me for the times I just can’t seem to get it right… or when I demonstrate bad judgment. I don’t know. I know I felt great and invincible before I was a christian… then I discovered I was wrong… now, after God’s forgiveness I feel great again.

    Come on though… because of Christ, God sure does seem to be a lot more forgiving than Man ever is. I mean, the laws of nature haven’t changed. They weren’t “abolished.” If we cheat on our wives, they’ll still get pissed, and hurt, and our marriage could be ruined, as well as our family. Our friends could turn on us. We could become depressed, lose our job and money. We could turn to food, liquor, or drugs for comfort. We could then speed up heart disease and liver and kidney failure. yada yada yada

    But, there is ALWAYS that Light of Hope. We are never destined to an eternity in hell. We can always come back from adultery.

    Man, I’ll tell you… I have no idea how you can twist that into anything bad. It blows my mind.

    3. I think God shows himself to us in EXACTLY the same way as he did way back yonder in yesteryear. Whether its a burning bush or a campfire… God still speaks to us.

    ——-
    I did tell my son the theories we have for the dinosaurs’ extinction. There’s no conflict with knowing that God killed them. Listen, the whole period of my son’s life that I’ll be raising him and discipling him, I’ll teach him the specific dangers in life… those that I’ve discovered, such as no fingers in the light socket. However, teaching him about God is the difference between teaching him how to fish or just feeding him fish sticks.

    If I can help him know God… the rest of the knowledge of Life will fall into place. Knowing that God will strike him down if he puts his finger in the light socket is a helpful tidbit, yes? 😉 I’m joking because I’m amused at your impression of the “bronze age idiots that believe in God.”

    btw… I’m not “hiding” the truth of the gruesomeness… but I just don’t think he’s quite ready for the cancer ward at our hospital.

  9. Bradley… I am not sure I understand. Forgiveness didn’t come into use until jesus showed up? Why would an all powerful diety have to reduce itself to mere “flesh” to accomplish this?

    If you were any other religion you would have learned to cope with your “flaws.” Right?

    You say:

    “Man, I’ll tell you… I have no idea how you can twist that into anything bad. It blows my mind.”

    What do you mean?

  10. That’s not what I said about forgiveness. 😀 And, You know what I mean.

    Mr. Atheist,
    I really appreciate the companionship I’ve experienced with you over the past year-ish? I never had any expectations or ultimate goal, other than to grow in my own faith. I know you might not understand, but a lot of truth can be proven simply in the inverse reflection. I’ve always thought in the back of my mind that the truth and the Truth could be separated as long as we don’t lose grasp of the reality. My experience is now proving otherwise.

    I follow because I choose to. I carry out particular rituals to guard against the desire to do otherwise. I understand that the threat of “losing salvation” from “straying away too far” seems like a sinister mind-control tactic to preserve power and indoctrination. There’s some truth in that. But, there’s also truth in the warning. You’re living proof. I follow because I choose to.

    I believe because of Faith. I’ve seen the truth, up close and personal. I’ve witnessed the ups and downs, in myself and anyone else who shares. I’ve seen healing, in my mom, myself, and others. I understand that scientific explanations abound. THAT’s the proof. I don’t need anything more. Popular opinion of society? Not one bit. Confirmation of my peers? Not really. Praise and adoration from those I’ve helped? Bad idea. Do you know how much peace there is in faith? I believe because of Faith.

    I have faith because of God’s grace. The only reason I can stand before others, now, as a believer… is because God has led me to a position of faith. There is no secret, or hidden truth, that my superior intellect uncovered for me to believe. I believe simply because God has shown me through personal failures and wise counselors. I owe my life to both.

    I really do value the time you’ve spent with your blog and subsequent comments. Thank you for letting me ramble on, incessantly. 😉 Unfortunately I’m parting ways to reserve some more family time. There’s only 4 more weeks until my daughter arrives. Dun Dun Duuuuuuuummmm. 😀 There’s a ton left to do. But hey, maybe in a few years there will be 2 more for you to argue with about the realities of life. My 3.75 year old is starting to get it, already. Just last night he wanted to pray that people wouldn’t hurt Jesus. Man… 4 yrs old… he hasn’t even been hurt by the judgment and pain of man, yet. If only all our kids wouldn’t want to hurt Jesus anymore, right? Well, here’s praying for a little girl just like her brother. But, they’ll probably grow up to be just like me… a rebellious fool. 😉

    I’ll still drop by to check on you. Once I make a connection, I have to be intentional about breaking that bond. Sometimes its inadvertently because I come across as an ass… but I have a very addictive personality. It’s a blessing, I see that now. I just had to struggle through all the negatives that I could, and did, fall victim to.

    Anyway… I hope the best for you and your wife. Take care. Keep reading the bible, if that’s what you enjoy. There’s definitely some good stuff in there. 😉

    Adios,
    bradley

  11. Brad,

    It has been a fun ride. Your ride is just beginning. With an almost 4 year old son and a little girl on the way… I understand. I hope you have or have begun the process of acquiring a shot gun. 😀

    My intention has never been to “force” anything on anyone. I always say that people should ASK the questions that question the belief they have inherited. Religious beliefs are just that in my opinion. Had either of us been born on another part of the globe the likelihood that we would have completely different beliefs is astounding. Imagine that blog!

    I am glad that we have been able to share and to learn from each other. I appreciate the time and effort and thought you have put into your comments. I think this exercise has made us BOTH read the bible more carefully and more diligently. I am sure you will be praying me. I will just hope that the woolly mammoth doesn’t get you and that your harvest is plentiful.

    Don’t be an stranger. Drop a few puns here and there to let us know you and yours are doing well.

  12. I don’t know if this blog is still active; I just found it. Actually, what I found was the poem about Cafe La LLave and I was curious about who wrote it. I’m afraid my blog is even more far behind. Mostly ’cause I haven’t come out in the open yet. Just been practicing.

    You said above: #3 – If you believe in the “bible” then you must “believe” that god destroyed all living things in a 40 day period of constant rain. Your almighty “said” so. This, along with the creation story, are such incredible suspensions of natural law that it is completely unbelievable.

    One can believe in the Bible without believing that everything in there is to be taken literally.

    I am also Cuban. My mom got about a 4th grade education; when I was in high school I tried to explain to her what I was studying, genetics. Well, first I had to explain about cells, and then about the nucleus of the cell. How every living thing is made out of cells, but there are many different types of cells. Then I tried explaining how inside the nucleus is a chemical pattern and that each individual has a unique pattern, that the individual gets – half coming from each parent. I didn’t get that far. Today perhaps I might have been able to, but at the time the knowledge gap, and the communication gap was too wide.

    The books of the Bible are the write-ups of oral tradition, thus they predate “history.” But lets say that many thousands of years ago – 5,000+ – humans had enough brain power, and enough leisure time to start thinking metaphysically. If there were some people to whom God spoke, what would they be able to understand about how the world came to be, and how humans came to be, and what the purpose of their lives was? How do you explain the concept of a millenium to people who can maybe count to ten?

    Once I was at a science museum, and there was a very long poster that was the time-line from the Big Bang to “today.” Attached to each developmental period was a rough estimate of years and I saw there, a visual equivalent of one of the stories of Creation [there’s more than one explanation in Genesis]. The development of the Universe took a long time, the development of the earth a little less so, the creation of animals didn’t take very long, relatively, the creation of humans took even less time.

    The order of development tracks the order of the events in the Creation story! Coincidence, lucky guess by someone 5,000 years ago? Also the relative amount of time of each stage of development of our Universe, the Earth, animals, humans, is reflected in the amount of time the Creation story gives.

    How long was “a day” before there was a sun? In one of the Star Trek movies, Mr. Spock says (roughly): “If we went by the book, Captain, minutes would seem like hours, and hours would seem like days.” The Captain then understands that Spock is speaking in Code and the the estimates Spock is about to give him, need to be extrapolated according to that Code/formula.

    How then do you explain the development of humans? Do you explain to these pre-historic peoples about evolution? Perhaps you start with the beginning of Homo sapiens. At one point there had to be a set of parents who gave birth to the first humans with the genetic instructions that made us what we are.

    Other aspects of the Creation stories tell humans how they ought to behave and what meaning their lives have. Long before “Thou shalt not kill,” there is the story of Cain and Abel and the notion that bad acts are punished. Long before “I am the Lord, thy God,” there is the story of Adam and Eve, which says, you will be tempted to think you are like God, but you are not gods.

    You must also consider that the stories started out in an oral tradition and were only written down later. “The earliest known writing in Hebrew dates from the 11th century BC. … It was the language of the early Jews, but from 586 BC it started to be replaced by Aramaic.” So, these stories did a pretty good job of telling people what they needed to know and how to behave for 1,000 +/- years [until, let’s say, the age of Christ]. Of all scientific knowledge, only some basic Mathematics concepts have held up longer as useful guides/principles.

    Anyway, the same thing applies to the story of Noah; there is geologic evidence that there were devastating floods in what was then the “known world” for Jews c. 2500-3200 B.C. In the story, Noah acts as a steward for the animals, just as the Creation story told Adam & Eve they were supposed to behave, and the survival of humans is intricately connected with our survival. There are valid questions humans had about the Great Flood that the story answers. Moreover, the story of a Great Flood appears in many culture’s myths, indicating the stories reflect actual events. I haven’t thought through Noah and the Ark as much as the Creation stories, so this is just off the top of my head.

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