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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:39 am

sentient 6 wrote: What I am not saying is that Moses was reminding God that he should keep His promises and acting like an advisor to Him.
I somehow have the feeling that this applies to something I have said earlier in the thread. It was poorly worded, good that you point it out. I believe I got that from something Luther said once.
This "reminding" is more applicable to the person who wants to "remind" God of anything. But when I pray to God, reminding Him of something, in hindsight it's always more of a reassurance to me than actually thinking to point out something that God may have forgotten.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:44 am

Devon Hill wrote: It's somewhat similar to the story of God telling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  Some people could argue God was being deceptive to Abraham by telling him to go do something (and even, imagine it, sinning by telling him to kill his own son), and then later telling him to not do it.  But is that really the case?  Or did God use it for a much bigger purpose and reason?  What happened in the story was a foreshadow in a sense that God would provide his Son Jesus for a sacrifice.  I'm guessing most people didn't make that connection of the deeper meaning until after Jesus was given as the sacrifice many centuries later.  Only after they saw what happened with Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, would the deeper meaning of that story be known.  

We know so little compared to the infinite wisdom and purposes of what God does.  Just like God wasn't deceiving Abraham, the same can be said that God was not relenting with Moses just because he changed his mind.  There is a much deeper meaning to it than that.  What sentient 6 said about showing that intercession is a major part of his plan and will, I think is a major key to understanding why it happened this way with Moses.
I agree with that deeper meaning, but at the same time you shouldn't neglect the message that went out from this at the time itself. As far as I know, child sacrifices were common in that area already, and by this, God pointed out He didn't want those. Just saying this to give some counterbalance Smile
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Re: Open Theism

Post by New Creation on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:43 am

Devon Hill wrote:
New Creation wrote:
Hardcore Christian wrote:
Things I have to ask you as well, Adam is:

How did God plan for the Messiah if He didn't know man was going to sin? Yet Christ was at Creation? (In the beginning was the Word)

How did God give prophecies in the Old Testament if he was just guessing? What if he got one wrong, wouldnt He then be a liar?

Not all prophecies came true. Would you like examples?
Ok well thats a whole other discussion, anyway

No, it's central to this discussion. Prophecies fail because people change. Look at Nineveh. God said it would be destroyed and it was not.

I don't think what happened with Ninevah is a failed prophecy.  It's similar to if I said to my kid "I'm going to send you to your room for not cleaning the house".  The kid could apologize, and if I wanted to, out of mercy and compassion, not send him to his room.  Would that make me inconsistent and a person who doesn't keep my word because I relented?  I would sure hope not.  If that is the case with us, we shouldn't think that if God relents, it somehow makes his prophecy false.  Jonah's words to Ninevah were not a prophecy in the sense that as soon as the words left his lips, they can't be reversed, and no matter what anybody did, it couldn't be changed.  They were simply a warning.

God makes it very clear about stuff like this in Jeremiah 18:

"If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted,10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it." (Jeremiah 18:7-11)




I agree fully, the prophecies are more of a warning than a perfect telling of things to come. That's the point I've been getting at, they don't always come to pass. Jeremiah 18, and it's equivalent for individuals in Ezekiel 18 are so amazing in this sense. God, the potter, in Jeremiah 18:4 was making a vessel an "it became marred in His hand" and so He changed His mind and made it into a different vessel!
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Re: Open Theism

Post by New Creation on Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:08 am

God values repentance over prophecy. So if Nineveh did not come to pass, it's because they repented. Likewise, it would have been fantastic if Peter defied the Lord's prophecy and did not deny Him that night.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:16 am

Black Rider wrote:
Open theism teaches that God doesn't know the future exhaustively, thus it is open.

My take on this, what can happen in "the future" is FINITE. While undoubtedly astronomically high, there are NOT an infinite number of thoughts/behaviors/decision/words/actions that can possibly be done by each person. Since God is all knowing (there's a slew of scriptures to support this, but my favorite is probably 1st John 3:20) he KNOWS ALL possible paths that mankind can think/speak/do.

As for God knowing exactly which future is the one that will happen - we couldn't possibly know that.
...but Him being all knowing of all possibilities, I more than suspect He at least has a pretty good idea of what will happen.

Again, this is my take. I'm not interested in debating it, so if you don't like it, then leave me alone.

Oh, and Adam - my favorite example of God changing his mind happens in Ezekiel chapter 4. God commands Ezekiel to bake bread using a fire fueled with human feces. (verse 12) Ezekiel says (I'm paraphrasing) "WTF? Really?" in verse 14, to which God says "Fine, you can use cow poop instead" in verse 15.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:56 am

ThomasEversole wrote:what can happen in "the future" is FINITE.[...]

As for God knowing exactly which future is the one that will happen - we couldn't possibly know that.
...but Him being all knowing of all possibilities, I more than suspect He at least has a pretty good idea of what will happen.
This exactly. My single greatest objection to the idea of open theism, is its certainty on a subject that actually is clouded in mystery because we can't possibly know exactly. Indeed, I think that God is all-knowing, also about the future, but I'm not gonna raise it to the level where it becomes a dogma.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by New Creation on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:19 am

Andreas89 wrote:
ThomasEversole wrote:what can happen in "the future" is FINITE.[...]

As for God knowing exactly which future is the one that will happen - we couldn't possibly know that.
...but Him being all knowing of all possibilities, I more than suspect He at least has a pretty good idea of what will happen.
This exactly. My single greatest objection to the idea of open theism, is its certainty on a subject that actually is clouded in mystery because we can't possibly know exactly. Indeed, I think that God is all-knowing, also about the future, but I'm not gonna raise it to the level where it becomes a dogma.

Are you saying we can't know God? The Creator of the entire universe is not possible of revealing Himself to us? He wrote 66 books to us just so that He COULD reveal Himself to us AND He visited us in person. That sounds like a God that wants to be known, not shrouded in mystery.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:29 am

Now you're implying that these two are mutually exclusive. The fact that those 66 (or actually less) books are a revelation from God about Himself, does not mean that we get to know certain attributes of Him conclusively. Especially on the topic of God's relationship to the future, it seems kind of adventurous to say with such certainty that God does not know the future. True, there are some kinds of texts that seem to point that way, but there's enough texts in the Bible that make me refrain from taking the position of open theism.
Just because we don't know the future, does not mean that God doesn't know either.

I'm not firmly in the "opposite camp" or anything, to me it's just a topic that is not important enough to argue that fanatically about. I'd rather keep the matters of time in God's hand, where they belong.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Devon Hill on Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:09 am

New Creation wrote:

I agree fully, the prophecies are more of a warning than a perfect telling of things to come. That's the point I've been getting at, they don't always come to pass. Jeremiah 18, and it's equivalent for individuals in Ezekiel 18 are so amazing in this sense. God, the potter, in Jeremiah 18:4 was making a vessel an "it became marred in His hand" and so He changed His mind and made it into a different vessel!

I think there is a distinct difference between prophecy and what God said to cities like Ninevah though.  The point I was trying to make is that I don't think one should make the point that God doesn't know the future because of examples like this.  It isn't a prophecy (that has to happen) just because it is spoken by God.  Therefore if it indeed does not happen, that doesn't point to the fact that God didn't know the future.  This is very different than blatant prophecies that will occur, and have to occur, because they cannot change.  

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 18:

“But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?’ 22 If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared."

This clearly is stating that if any prophecy does not happen, it is not from God.  Therefore every prophecy that God makes, will be fulfilled.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by New Creation on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:07 pm

It's just odd to me that so many will read God's Word and come away with conclusions on all sorts of matters such as God's love, God's character, God's power, God's saving grace, God's creation, God's people, God's nation (Israel), God's will, and then when the subject of God's knowledge comes out, everybody backs away and says "Oh, that's not for us to know. God is a mystery and can't be understood by the human mind."

Yet that's what we've been doing all along, understanding God and His ways via what He's shown us in His word. Who are we to pick and choose just because a subject is uncomfortable or challenges what nearly the entire Body of Christ holds dear?

Don't hold onto beliefs because of tradition.
Don't hold onto beliefs because of others.
Don't hold onto beliefs because of feelings.
Don't hold onto beliefs because of memories.

HOLD ONTO BELIEFS BECAUSE THEY ARE TRUE IN GOD'S WORD.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:40 pm

New Creation wrote:It's just odd to me that so many will read God's Word and come away with conclusions on all sorts of matters such as God's love, God's character, God's power, God's saving grace, God's creation, God's people, God's nation (Israel), God's will, and then when the subject of God's knowledge comes out, everybody backs away and says "Oh, that's not for us to know. God is a mystery and can't be understood by the human mind."

We, as a person, can't even LOOK at God and live through it. (Exodus 33:20)
There's NO WAY we could "understand" God the way God understands God without our head exploding.

If you think you understand God as well as He does, then the problem is more than just a verbiage disconnect here. You've got an ego out of this world.

As far as thinking its "odd" that there's different conclusions to God's word, well... I think its odd that you're surprised by that. There's different conclusions even over this simple "understanding God" disconnect here - of COURSE men are going to come to different conclusions/interpretations to about everything spoken/written/remembered/etc.

...which is why I'm not an advocate to "I'm right, they're wrong" regarding non-salvation doctrines and dogmas - like, perfect example, "Does God know the future?"....

Every person on this board could be pointed toward someone centuries ago, who was smarter, more biblically educated, more devoted in their life to spirituality who came up with some very different "conclusions" to God's word than we did.

Considering that, it takes a lot of nerve to say "I'm right, they're wrong." in those regards. Actually, "nerve" isn't near enough strong of a word...
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Re: Open Theism

Post by New Creation on Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:51 pm

ThomasEversole wrote:
New Creation wrote:It's just odd to me that so many will read God's Word and come away with conclusions on all sorts of matters such as God's love, God's character, God's power, God's saving grace, God's creation, God's people, God's nation (Israel), God's will, and then when the subject of God's knowledge comes out, everybody backs away and says "Oh, that's not for us to know. God is a mystery and can't be understood by the human mind."

We, as a person, can't even LOOK at God and live through it.  (Exodus 33:20)
There's NO WAY we could "understand" God the way God understands God without our head exploding.  

If you think you understand God as well as He does, then the problem is more than just a verbiage disconnect here.  You've got an ego out of this world.

As far as thinking its "odd" that there's different conclusions to God's word, well...  I think its odd that you're surprised by that.  There's different conclusions even over this simple "understanding God" disconnect here - of COURSE men are going to come to different conclusions/interpretations to about everything spoken/written/remembered/etc.

...which is why I'm not an advocate to "I'm right, they're wrong" regarding non-salvation doctrines and dogmas - like, perfect example, "Does God know the future?"....  

Every person on this board could be pointed toward someone centuries ago, who was smarter, more biblically educated, more devoted in their life to spirituality who came up with some very different "conclusions" to God's word than we did.  

Considering that, it takes a lot of nerve to say "I'm right, they're wrong." in those regards.  Actually, "nerve" isn't near enough strong of a word...  

1. The personal attack has been noted.
2. You stated earlier in this thread that you posted and then you're done. I see that you're back, so that means your statements are fair game for answering and/or rebuttal.
3. I'm not talking about knowing the unknowable facets of God. I'm talking about knowing the knowable facets. He has revealed certain aspects of Himself and His nature to us in His word. He wants us to know Him. I'm simply doing that.
4. I never said it was odd that we disagree. Humans will always disagree, that's a known fact, even by those who disagree. I said that it was odd that we can come to conclusions on all topics except this one. Why are others choosing not to explore it? Possibly because it makes them uncomfortable?

Thomas, I'm going to respectfully ask that you bow out of this debate/discussion/thread. You are angry at me for a past event and it's showing. If I'm wrong on that, then I'll bow out if asked by the moderators.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:00 pm

Personal attack? You're the one throwing past dirt in my face and you're the one bringing it up.

I didn't say in an earlier thread I was done here. I PMed someone that when they asked, and I TEXTED that to you when you asked where I was. Should have known it was just bait to further "judge".

Adam, I'm going to respectfully ask that YOU bow out of this debate/discussion/thread. You are angry at me for a past event and it's showing. If I'm wrong on that, then I'll bow out if asked by the moderators.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by exo on Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:27 pm

Thomas and Adam, that is ABSOLUTELY enough, gentlemen.  

 
I'm NOT going to ask, I'm going to TELL the both of you to cease engaging with each other in this one.  First one of you to test me will be vacationing for a bit.

Despite my better judgement and strong urge to button things up, I'll leave the thread open so that the other participants do not lose out......but this is the ONE eruption of petulance I'll allow.

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Re: Open Theism

Post by Kerrick on Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:29 pm

[EDIT: ninja'd by Exo, but I'll leave my original response as it was.]

Rolling Eyes Coffee

I don't think any moderators are going to request anyone to leave the thread... at least not by me at this time anyways.  If anything the whole thread will be locked, but I'm hoping this can get resolved and we all move on.

Thomas, telling someone that they have an ego out of this world like that doesn't do anyone good and that's bordering on the kind of stuff that got the TR locked in the first place: reverting to making things personal instead of keeping to the topic at hand.  I've been trying to keep a relatively close eye on this thread but there is plenty I'm sure I've missed.  I'm a bit lost: what "past dirt" is Adam throwing at you?  How is he "judging" you?  I can't speak for Adam but I *think* he was choosing to not respond to you because you apparently told him you weren't continuing in this thread.  When you posted again, I read his comment as simply that he would reopen the possibility of continuing the discussions you began to have together but never finished.

Adam, it's best if you let the mods handle requesting folks to leave a thread, etc.  In situations like this, please come to one of us first instead of directly to the person in question.  In my experience, accusing someone of being angry at you (even if it's true) only makes things worse and I recommend against it - at least in public like that.  Confrontation with the intent of resolution should be done on a one-on-one level, not here.

Alright, can we keep this thread going?  Can you two please leave this issue out of this thread?  If you have any issues, please contact me (or one of the other mods) privately.  Thank you...

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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:45 am

New Creation wrote:It's just odd to me that so many will read God's Word and come away with conclusions on all sorts of matters such as God's love, God's character, God's power, God's saving grace, God's creation, God's people, God's nation (Israel), God's will, and then when the subject of God's knowledge comes out, everybody backs away and says "Oh, that's not for us to know. God is a mystery and can't be understood by the human mind."
It should not be odd to you. God's knowledge about the future is something different than the things you mention. We can speak of those because He has shown us through His Word. So what happened in the past, is not a mystery to us (anymore); that what is necessary for our redemption is even shown in full.

Let me just scratch the surface: the future is something different, because we simply can't know for sure what it holds. Now I do believe that God knows, or at the very least can know the future. To say differently like you do, may be not as much the result of a large ego (although pride is within all of us); I think of it more as projection. Maybe it's the result of unconscious reasoning like "I don't know the future, and I can't imagine how God could know it, so He doesn't know either".

It also deserves attention that the arguments you give for open theism are solely based on circumstantial evidence from Scripture. Given the fact that there's also abundant circumstantial evidence in Scripture for an opposing view, it shouldn't be strange to you that people (like me) don't want to "jump to conclusions" about this.

There's not much to be gained by holding the view of open theism. Why would it be so important to you for God not knowing the future? To me, it holds no value whatsoever. I can imagine how it could help a brother or sister in his or her relationship with God, so that's why I don't want to be too harsh about this.

I still have a lot of reading to do in the Bible, and I think you are way ahead of me in that regard. So if anything I said is incorrect, please say so.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Kerrick on Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:59 pm

I split this thread because we were getting off topic though it's stuff that should probably be ironed-out, or at least discussed.  New thread is here:
http://thecmr.forumotion.com/t10121-internet-theology-social-norms-etc

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Re: Open Theism

Post by messiaen77 on Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:55 pm

Andreas89 wrote:
New Creation wrote:It's just odd to me that so many will read God's Word and come away with conclusions on all sorts of matters such as God's love, God's character, God's power, God's saving grace, God's creation, God's people, God's nation (Israel), God's will, and then when the subject of God's knowledge comes out, everybody backs away and says "Oh, that's not for us to know. God is a mystery and can't be understood by the human mind."
It should not be odd to you. God's knowledge about the future is something different than the things you mention. We can speak of those because He has shown us through His Word. So what happened in the past, is not a mystery to us (anymore); that what is necessary for our redemption is even shown in full.

Let me just scratch the surface: the future is something different, because we simply can't know for sure what it holds. Now I do believe that God knows, or at the very least can know the future. To say differently like you do, may be not as much the result of a large ego (although pride is within all of us); I think of it more as projection. Maybe it's the result of unconscious reasoning like "I don't know the future, and I can't imagine how God could know it, so He doesn't know either".

It also deserves attention that the arguments you give for open theism are solely based on circumstantial evidence from Scripture. Given the fact that there's also abundant circumstantial evidence in Scripture for an opposing view, it shouldn't be strange to you that people (like me) don't want to "jump to conclusions" about this.

There's not much to be gained by holding the view of open theism. Why would it be so important to you for God not knowing the future? To me, it holds no value whatsoever. I can imagine how it could help a brother or sister in his or her relationship with God, so that's why I don't want to be too harsh about this.

I still have a lot of reading to do in the Bible, and I think you are way ahead of me in that regard. So if anything I said is incorrect, please say so.
To piggyback on what is said here, I would add that all of our "conclusions" about what the Bible says regarding whatever are more speculation and belief than actual knowing.  A lot of that is rooted in what our view of "Scripture" is.  The person who believes it is more or less dictated by God will come to different conclusions about a lot of things than someone who believes it was written by people as a reaction or interpretation of what they saw God doing around them.  There are a lot of theological questions worth wrestling with and many of them are much more complex than others.  What God knows is one of those complex ones and I think the "we can't possibly know that" is really kind of a cop-out answer.  I believe that God has a different relationship with time than humanity does, so I think God absolutely can know the future, but that it is more like an awareness of it having already happened rather than the idea that the future is scripted out   It is how I believe God can know who will turn to him and who will die in their rebellion without negating the idea of human choice in the matter.  At least that is where I am right now.  I don't see faith and belief as something that you arrive at, I see it as a journey that is constantly evolving and developing throughout life.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by d@v!d on Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:38 pm

messiaen77 wrote:To piggyback on what is said here, I would add that all of our "conclusions" about what the Bible says regarding whatever are more speculation and belief than actual knowing. 
It would seem to be and can often be and yet, I do believe that the bible is knowable, understandable, that God wouldn't leave us half lost feeling around in the dark with a scripture that is unknowable.
A lot of that is rooted in what our view of "Scripture" is.  The person who believes it is more or less dictated by God will come to different conclusions about a lot of things than someone who believes it was written by people as a reaction or interpretation of what they saw God doing around them.
Yes, it's an important factor.
 There are a lot of theological questions worth wrestling with and many of them are much more complex than others.  What God knows is one of those complex ones and I think the "we can't possibly know that" is really kind of a cop-out answer.  I believe that God has a different relationship with time than humanity does, so I think God absolutely can know the future, but that it is more like an awareness of it having already happened rather than the idea that the future is scripted out   It is how I believe God can know who will turn to him and who will die in their rebellion without negating the idea of human choice in the matter.  At least that is where I am right now.  I don't see faith and belief as something that you arrive at, I see it as a journey that is constantly evolving and developing throughout life.
Interesting.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:56 pm

messiaen77 wrote:
To piggyback on what is said here, I would add that all of our "conclusions" about what the Bible says regarding whatever are more speculation and belief than actual knowing.

I agree. ...which makes fighting over non-salvation matters even more excessive...
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:30 am

^That's a bit of a vague statement. Lots of things that may seem as something that has nothing to do with salvation, actually have a connection with salvation. Simply put: if I live my life however I like now because Jesus earned salvation for me anyway, you know as well as I do that that won't work; there's something more at play here.

To stay a bit on topic with this remark, I'd say that the position that Adam holds is not very biblical and does not give us a right idea about both God and the future; the future is somehow reduced to human choices. If I would think that concept through consistently (at least in my view), it would have severe repercussions for my view of salvation. Yet Adam somehow has managed to have a worldview that does not include all the dangers that I would expect from a position like his (for which I'm very glad).
While God's knowledge about the future does not really seems to be linked to salvation, I'd say that it is not out there to say there is. If our choices determine the future, howcome He got me by surprise more than six years ago?

Just because you don't see the link with salvation, does not mean that there isn't one. And somewhat bluntly indirectly accusing people of fighting over it is not very decent. Discussion is not a bad thing, and it should not be a problem that it can be heated from time to time. As long as we can remain brothers and keep looking at each other like that.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:31 pm

Andreas89 wrote:^That's a bit of a vague statement. Lots of things that may seem as something that has nothing to do with salvation, actually have a connection with salvation. Simply put: if I live my life however I like now because Jesus earned salvation for me anyway, you know as well as I do that that won't work; there's something more at play here.

I'm not talking about non-salvation matters regarding how someone LIVES. We need to strive to live like Christ as much as we can - not only is that emphasized in scripture, but its a given when we see other Christians in their daily walks.

I'm talking about non-salvation matters regarding what someone else BELIEVES.

If someone lives like Christ, has Christ in their heart, but believes in, lets say, "infant baptism" - it seems like overkill to IGNORE how they live, IGNORE them having Christ as their savior, just to pick pick pick pick pick pick pick pick at that baptism issue until they fix it.

ESPECIALLY with this ↓ being true for all parties.

messiaen77 wrote:
To piggyback on what is said here, I would add that all of our "conclusions" about what the Bible says regarding whatever are more speculation and belief than actual knowing.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:26 pm

Well, you might be right if what we believe did not matter. But it does.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone's salvation depends on whether he or she believes in infant baptism or grown up baptism (HINT: infant baptism all the way). Same goes for your answer on the mere question whether or not God knows the future (well, you know my answer on that one).

However, what you believe does have a certain influence on your walk with God. Even more so, it may have an influence on other people's walk with God. Just because you are "on track" despite some, let's call it heretical beliefs, does not mean that others won't be led astray by that belief. Therefore it is even vital that we can hold each other accountable for each other's beliefs. And don't forget that many beliefs are grounded in Scripture.

After all, you are apparently allowed to hold others accountable for their belief that you should be able to hold people accountable for their beliefs.

Of course, you can get a bit carried away when trying to convince people of your own right and their wrong, but that goes for everyone, christian or not. Everyone needs to learn when enough is enough, but that does not mean that we should stop scrutinizing each other's beliefs altogether. Nobody, especially christians, should want a scrutiny-free zone here.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:54 am

Realistically, the only way another Christian would find out about other "Christian beliefs" is if they volunteered it for the sake of discussion, or they're asked about it an answered honestly. ...probably only with other Christians they've known for a little bit.

No ones going to start their introduction to another new Christian by "Hi, I'm a Christian and I believe Noah had dinosaurs on the Ark". Not going to happen.

I personally don't subscribe to infant baptism, but it sounds like you do. I don't think it has anything to do with anything in the grand scheme of faith, so I don't see any harm to you or I in believing it or not believing it... but IF it did negatively effect me in my walk, I would argue that there's something in me that's the problem - not you for having that belief.

I don't necessarily think Christianity should be a giant scrutiny-free zone, but if said scrutiny breeds fights/discord/contempt/etc. then the approach needs to be reevaluated.

Enough is enough isn't a universal concept either. I can definitely attest to having enough of my own beliefs picked apart, and they're just getting started...
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Kerrick on Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:20 pm

ThomasEversole wrote:I personally don't subscribe to infant baptism, but it sounds like you do.  I don't think it has anything to do with anything in the grand scheme of faith, so I don't see any harm to you or I in believing it or not believing it...  but IF it did negatively effect me in my walk, I would argue that there's something in me that's the problem - not you for having that belief.

I don't necessarily think Christianity should be a giant scrutiny-free zone, but if said scrutiny breeds fights/discord/contempt/etc. then the approach needs to be reevaluated.

Generally I'd agree with the first statement of looking inward if there's an issue (though the caveat there is that if you're doing something that causes a fellow believer to stumble, stop it [1 Corinthians 8:13] - but that's more in actions not beliefs... which sometimes overlap.  ANYWAYS...).  I'd also generally agree with you on the second point of avoiding causing fights/discord/etc.  However, I think the logic of your first statement should additionally be applied to your second statement.  Is it the scrutiny that is causing these fights?  Or is it the pride within (of both/either/or the accusing AND the receiving parties)???

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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:46 pm

Kerrick wrote:Is it the scrutiny that is causing these fights?  Or is it the pride within (of both/either/or the accusing AND the receiving parties)???

Its the amount of scrutiny that makes all the difference to me.

Not the perfect example, but here we go. Lets say Kerrick, you've got a bee hive, and I'm with you when you open it up and stick your hands in it without protection. My initial response would be, "WHOA! Don't do that! You need gloves or a suit or something so you don't get stung!". Much like any Christian confronting another Christian on their "faith alignment", that's for everyone's best interest.

If you tell me "thanks for looking out for me" and wear protective gear from then on, then that's awesome.
If you tell me "Thanks, but I know what I'm doing and I won't get stung". From there, I can either take your word for it and leave you be
...or...
insist you still need protection despite what you say.

To continue this scenario, lets say I don't believe you. Every time after this first encounter, you talk about bees, I'll bring up "Are you wearing protective gear yet?", every time I go with you to the hive, I'll bring beekeeper gear with me for you to wear. ....maybe I'll even get to the point that I'll wait at your hive so when you show up, I can be there ready with a speech and the necessary garments. Maybe I'll get to the point that every time I see you, we're going to talk about bees, therefore the gear I want you to wear.

Deep in your mind, you'll know I'm doing this because I really care for your best interest, but if it keeps happening after you've already told me "No", you'll probably start thinking there's ANOTHER reason why I insist. "Does he not believe me when I said its ok?", "Why does he never stop trying to get me to do something that I think is unnecessary?", "What's in it for him to be THIS persistent?", "He never lets up with the gloves and suit thing - its so annoying."

Long story short, I think scrutinizing someone over a skewed faith, the first time or two, is noble. The person receiving said scrutiny should accept it. ...but if they decline to align, there HAS to be a stop, or we're just going frustrate, annoy and damage relationships over it. (aka. You're not going to want to be around me, or me around your hive if I never drop it.)

I know from previous discussions, I've alluded to "salvation is the only important "belief", the rest isn't worth disputing", but that's not entirely true. For me, it aligns more with actions (and belief of said actions) than just "a belief" that has no trve earthly or heavenly consequence.

Make sense?
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Kerrick on Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:24 pm

That makes total sense, thanks Thomas.  I guess I was getting at whether or not that is truly the root of the issue though.  Example, if someone is badgering another person over whatever issue ceaselessly, maybe it's because the aggressor is filled/fueled with pride - or maybe is insecure or embittered by how someone else treated him from the opposing side, etc.  Or maybe the "aggressor" is totally in the right but the recipient is too prideful to hear anything other than what they already believe - or maybe has a persecution complex or self-victimizes as a means of getting what he wants or is obstinate towards change due to some past experience or such.  We may be addressing the symptoms and not the root.

So maybe the questions we should be asking are WHY are you going repeatedly to the bee hive?  WHY am I following you there?  Also, WHAT IS this bee hive?  Is it full of cute little harmless bees without stingers who make delicious and healthy honey or is it full of killer bees who might make good tasting honey but it's filled with poison and/or enough of their stings will ultimately kill you?  WHY might we have differing opinions of this (i.e. that "triage" we spoke about on TBL)?

Now regardless of the root issue, in situations such as this, it may be good to put a pause on trying to steer someone away from the hive anyways (if you have a deep wound, put on a tourniquet first until you're able to get stitches and such later).  But that goes both ways and going out of one's way to announce that they're on their way to the hive or that the honey is tasting particularly delicious today doesn't help either.

Anyways, some of my thoughts.  Sorry for rambling.  flower

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Re: Open Theism

Post by messiaen77 on Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:44 pm

I keep hearing that when someone is off in sin, whether it is lifestyle choices or "bad doctrine," that the loving thing to do is to keep after them until they see the Truth and repent.  I think that is an unbiblical and prideful thing to do, not to mention unloving.  I know I have a more liberal view of the Bible than most of y'all, but here's how I see it.  Jesus told his disciples when he sent them out that if anyone wouldn't receive them, shake the dust off your feet and move on.  Paul to the Corinthians if people wouldn't listen to their rebukes, turn them over to Satan.  What I think both of those instructions mean is that yes, we definitely have a responsibility to present Truth and help our Brothers and Sisters in Christ to see the error of their ways, but ultimately, it isn't our job to bring them to repentance.  That job belongs to the Holy Spirit.  So what I think Jesus and Paul are saying is that we need to speak the truth in love and then the ball is in their court.  If they repent, we rejoice with them.  If they don't, then the consequences are on their heads.  But nagging/badgering/harassing people is just not the work of the Kingdom.  Sometimes, it takes being stung by the bee to get a person to realize they probably should wear gloves.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:40 pm

Kerrick wrote:
So maybe the questions we should be asking are WHY are you going repeatedly to the bee hive?  WHY am I following you there?  Also, WHAT IS this bee hive?  Is it full of cute little harmless bees without stingers who make delicious and healthy honey or is it full of killer bees who might make good tasting honey but it's filled with poison and/or enough of their stings will ultimately kill you?  WHY might we have differing opinions of this (i.e. that "triage" we spoke about on TBL)?

5 questions in a row sounds rhetorical. ...but in case they're not, answers in order:
1) Because we're friends.
2) Because we're friends.
3) Doctrine. We can get stung and it hurts, we can have a serious allergic reaction and die, or we could be perfectly fine. The point of the bee hive is that neither of us really "know" if we're going to get stung.
4) Well obviously in this scenario, I would think the bees are insanely lethal, and you, without your gloves, would think they're just harmless bugs.
5) Because we're rooted on opposite banks. Doesn't mean we're not still trees drinking from the same water.

messiaen77 wrote:I keep hearing that when someone is off in sin, whether it is lifestyle choices or "bad doctrine," that the loving thing to do is to keep after them until they see the Truth and repent. I think that is an unbiblical and prideful thing to do, not to mention unloving. I know I have a more liberal view of the Bible than most of y'all, but here's how I see it. Jesus told his disciples when he sent them out that if anyone wouldn't receive them, shake the dust off your feet and move on. Paul to the Corinthians if people wouldn't listen to their rebukes, turn them over to Satan. What I think both of those instructions mean is that yes, we definitely have a responsibility to present Truth and help our Brothers and Sisters in Christ to see the error of their ways, but ultimately, it isn't our job to bring them to repentance. That job belongs to the Holy Spirit. So what I think Jesus and Paul are saying is that we need to speak the truth in love and then the ball is in their court. If they repent, we rejoice with them. If they don't, then the consequences are on their heads. But nagging/badgering/harassing people is just not the work of the Kingdom.

This. Completely agree.
But... if someone believes that, why they would continue and continue and continue and continue to offer gloves?
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:12 am

Just for the record, I think it is pretty weird to complain about people going on and on about certain beliefs. This is an internet forum, and our main way of communication is through text. If there is a place where this continuously picking on beliefs is happening, you should expect it from a forum.

But apart from that, I think that the people on this forum do a great job respecting each other, yet scrutinizing each other's beliefs. Something I wouldn't expect if I would have only read your posts here, Thomas.

One more thing, it is very well possible that certain beliefs are so far off the truth, that they deserve to be scrutinized as long as it is publicly propagated on this forum.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:31 pm

Andreas89 wrote:Just for the record, I think it is pretty weird to complain about people going on and on about certain beliefs. This is an internet forum, and our main way of communication is through text. If there is a place where this continuously picking on beliefs is happening, you should expect it from a forum.

I'm not complaining at all about scrutinizing beliefs. Its the on and on that has everything to do with everything.
If we define "on and on" as "multiple times over 2 years" then actually, I think you're pretty weird, for thinking I'm weird because I'm complaining.

Show a little empathy man. You've obviously never had someone refuse to stop picking your beliefs apart.

Andreas89 wrote:
But apart from that, I think that the people on this forum do a great job respecting each other, yet scrutinizing each other's beliefs. Something I wouldn't expect if I would have only read your posts here, Thomas.

Ok.

Andreas89 wrote:One more thing, it is very well possible that certain beliefs are so far off the truth, that they deserve to be scrutinized as long as it is publicly propagated on this forum.

So, since you publicly subscribed to infant baptism, its just "game on and on" for anyone who disagrees?
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Re: Open Theism

Post by alldatndensum on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:11 am

To be perfectly honest, I don't believe that most of us here have the right to scrutinize one another's beliefs.  Why?  We are to correct a brother--sure, I get that.  However, I don't feel that the word brother is meant to be any Christian we see sinning or has what we believe to be bad doctrine.  A brother is someone close--someone you know and have a relationship with.

I think we want to correct one another sometimes, especially with the internet, to make ourselves look all holy to others.  "See!  I tried to straighten that poor sinner out.  I am BibleMan--the greatest super Christian of all time!  Look how wonderful I am.  Look how many people I corrected while hiding behind a keyboard and never really got involved in that person's life.  But, i am so spiritual I don't need to.  Yay, me!"

To correct a brother, to me, is to correct someone you have a closeness with out of love.  I can't correct some of you out of love.  We are acquaintances mostly with me having a couple of friends here.  I would correct the friends and expect them to do the same to me.  We love one another.  We've earned the right to speak.  To correct most of you as a stranger or an acquaintance, in my experience, just drives the person further away from you and from God.  Before anyone takes me to task and says that Jesus and the Apostles did it, be careful that you are not elevating yourself to their level to justify your own actions which many times are more detrimental than not saying anything at all.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by exo on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:26 am

Let's be VERY honest here:  if you have an "adversarial" relationship with someone online over the years......you don't really have grounds to "correct" a brother.  There comes a point where you MUST realize that banging a gong while screamng about how "wrong" a brother in Christ is on a doctrinal point ceases to be a fruitful endeavor, and simply becomes part of a meritless routine that causes far more harm than good......

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Re: Open Theism

Post by alldatndensum on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:47 am

exo wrote:Let's be VERY honest here:  if you have an "adversarial" relationship with someone online over the years......you don't really have grounds to "correct" a brother.  There comes a point where you MUST realize that banging a gong while screamng about how "wrong" a brother in Christ is on a doctrinal point ceases to be a fruitful endeavor, and simply becomes part of a meritless routine that causes far more harm than good......


I think you and I said the same thing but you said it much better.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by d@v!d on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:56 am

alldatndensum wrote:To be perfectly honest, I don't believe that most of us here have the right to scrutinize one another's beliefs.  Why?  We are to correct a brother--sure, I get that.  However, I don't feel that the word brother is meant to be any Christian we see sinning or has what we believe to be bad doctrine.  A brother is someone close--someone you know and have a relationship with.

I think we want to correct one another sometimes, especially with the internet, to make ourselves look all holy to others.  "See!  I tried to straighten that poor sinner out.  I am BibleMan--the greatest super Christian of all time!  Look how wonderful I am.  Look how many people I corrected while hiding behind a keyboard and never really got involved in that person's life.  But, i am so spiritual I don't need to.  Yay, me!"

To correct a brother, to me, is to correct someone you have a closeness with out of love.  I can't correct some of you out of love.  We are acquaintances mostly with me having a couple of friends here.  I would correct the friends and expect them to do the same to me.  We love one another.  We've earned the right to speak.  To correct most of you as a stranger or an acquaintance, in my experience, just drives the person further away from you and from God.  Before anyone takes me to task and says that Jesus and the Apostles did it, be careful that you are not elevating yourself to their level to justify your own actions which many times are more detrimental than not saying anything at all.
I totally agree.
exo wrote:Let's be VERY honest here:  if you have an "adversarial" relationship with someone online over the years......you don't really have grounds to "correct" a brother.  There comes a point where you MUST realize that banging a gong while screamng about how "wrong" a brother in Christ is on a doctrinal point ceases to be a fruitful endeavor, and simply becomes part of a meritless routine that causes far more harm than good......
And of course.
alldatndensum wrote:
exo wrote:Let's be VERY honest here:  if you have an "adversarial" relationship with someone online over the years......you don't really have grounds to "correct" a brother.  There comes a point where you MUST realize that banging a gong while screamng about how "wrong" a brother in Christ is on a doctrinal point ceases to be a fruitful endeavor, and simply becomes part of a meritless routine that causes far more harm than good......


I think you and I said the same thing but you said it much better.
But guys, where is this happening here? Why are you talking about this as if it were an issue? In this thread, Adam has a view point that most of us disagree with. Nobody has told Adam he must change his view.

What happens really is that someone brings up their belief and another makes a critical response and the first person doesn't know how to not take it personally.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:09 am

exo wrote:There comes a point where you MUST realize that banging a gong while screamng about how "wrong" a brother in Christ is on a doctrinal point ceases to be a fruitful endeavor, and simply becomes part of a meritless routine that causes far more harm than good......

↑ massive Win

alldatndensum wrote:
I think we want to correct one another sometimes, especially with the internet, to make ourselves look all holy to others. "See! I tried to straighten that poor sinner out. I am BibleMan--the greatest super Christian of all time! Look how wonderful I am. Look how many people I corrected while hiding behind a keyboard and never really got involved in that person's life. But, i am so spiritual I don't need to. Yay, me!"

In my circumstance, I really HOPE its not the case... but the "periodic re-ignition" that occurs, the longer this goes on without a "agree to disagree", the more I think this ↑ is accurate.

I think there's a skewed priority as well. I mean, I'd think that since they knew I listened to a LOT of Satanic black metal, they'd chime in about that - but there has not even been one peep. Meanwhile, what I think or don't think hell will be like, or that I think preacher X isn't a heretic while they do, when discussed, that's pursued with as much vigor to change my mind as trying to save someone who hasn't even accepted Christ.

In my line of work (customer service) there's people that raise a stink over the most bizarre things. Now, someone who's had a problem with a $100+ order, or they're losing money because their service call is late - I TOTALLY get dragging that out until its fixed. Both sides recognize the problem and work towards a resolution.

...then there's the people that drag things out over "principle" instead of the "amount". Like one particular customer, placed an order and the charge was 4 CENTS MORE than the pending authorization. They hit the wall 10 minutes into the call, yet 2 hours later, they're still trying to push through it and there's no end in sight...

That's when I think their motive isn't the amount at all - its about POWER. Getting someone else to submit to the mistake, bonus points if they grovel. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if I squeak for days/weeks/months/years, I WILL get them to grease me." type of mentality.

...but they don't anticipate the counter-principle. What does that teach them if they can even get 4 cents out of someone just because they never let it go? Well, that they can get anyone to do anything they want as long as they never drop it.

For the record, in that scenario, I didn't give them their 4 cents even though they were owed it - and that's 100% because of the way they pushed on and on about it. Eventually I hung up on them because there was nowhere else it could go and they obviously had nothing else better to do than argue over loose change.

My employer didn't mind the 2 hour call - they can charge the client for it so that's more revenue for the business.
The client (its their customer) wasn't upset about how it was handled, but thought it could have been handled better. Surprisingly, the feedback was:

"You should have hung up on them after 10 minutes. 2 hours of griping about 4 cents? That customer is INSANE."
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:21 am

d@v!d wrote:
But guys, where is this happening here? Why are you talking about this as if it were an issue? In this thread, Adam has a view point that most of us disagree with. Nobody has told Adam he must change his view.

I've refrained from calling them out HERE because I care about them, they are my friend, and I recognize it would probably cause more harm than healing if I did that.  I guess deep down I DO have the delusion it will actually be dropped - instead of "not talked about" for a while and brought up again later with enough force to make up for lost time, and then some.

...and its hard to NOT take this sort of thing personally because I SEE they let other people live with their "fringe beliefs", meanwhile, I'm not allowed to live with mine.

Bottom line, if someone has Jesus Christ in their heart, and live (to the best of their ability) as a Christian, I could care less if they "believe" something that I consider to be unbiblical.  The why has already been said:
- its not my job to change them
- there's bigger fish to fry than just go on and on about doctrine
- its NOT LOVING to never let something go; its harassment

d@v!d wrote:
What happens really is that someone brings up their belief and another makes a critical response and the first person doesn't know how to not take it personally.

You know, the first handful or so rebuttals I got regarding my view(s), I didn't take personally at all.  When said issue got brought up again later as "fatally incorrect", and several other "beliefs" I had met the same fate...  (and that fate isn't scrutiny - its scrutiny THAT NEVER ENDS) then...  its obvious I'm a selected target.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:37 pm

ThomasEversole wrote:
Andreas89 wrote:Just for the record, I think it is pretty weird to complain about people going on and on about certain beliefs. This is an internet forum, and our main way of communication is through text. If there is a place where this continuously picking on beliefs is happening, you should expect it from a forum.

I'm not complaining at all about scrutinizing beliefs.  Its the on and on that has everything to do with everything.
If we define "on and on" as "multiple times over 2 years" then actually, I think you're pretty weird, for thinking I'm weird because I'm complaining.

Show a little empathy man.  You've obviously never had someone refuse to stop picking your beliefs apart.
Wrong. I know very well how that feels. I just don't care that much about it. But then again, maybe I should try to place myself in the position of a person who cares a bit more...

ThomasEversole wrote:
Andreas89 wrote:One more thing, it is very well possible that certain beliefs are so far off the truth, that they deserve to be scrutinized as long as it is publicly propagated on this forum.

So, since you publicly subscribed to infant baptism, its just "game on and on" for anyone who disagrees?
Again, I really wouldn't mind. I might even enjoy it, but maybe that's just me Wink
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Kerrick on Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:19 pm

Thomas, I'm curious: where are you experiencing most of this scrutiny?  Is it from private texts/emails?  Or within threads specifically about said doctrine?  Are people making unwarranted jabs at you in threads totally unrelated to the topic(s) in question?

I know that I am one of "them" who you have felt most attacked by; you've made that very clear.  I *think* I've been generally pretty good about not turning other threads into "Thomas is wrong" threads but rather only responding to you and your posts, emails, etc.  I may disagree with you - and I'll let you know that - but it's almost always in response to something you first post.  From what I have seen, most everyone else has acted similarly.  Are these the disagreements that you consider to be the barrages against you, or are you referring to something else (or a combination thereof)?

You've been around long enough to know better than thinking you're a "selected target."  The beliefs you subscribe to (universalism) are the "selected target."  Don't you remember EVERY topic that Dale Thompson's name appeared in spiraling disastrously out of control to hell (pun intended... Twisted Evil ) in a handbag?  I sure do.  It was because he promoted the same beliefs you do which is clearly an extremely divisive topic.  I (as a mod) have to watch every topic about Ted Kirkpatrick like a hawk now because of what he preaches about animals.  Similarly, it's nearly just as divisive.

Before this thread became about you feeling bullied, it was Adam single-handedly defending his "fringe belief" of open theism against EVERYONE ELSE - you included.  Do you feel as if you are treated differently than him?  If so, how?  I guarantee you that if Dale Thompson showed up and started a thread about universalism, or if Savage Amusement came back to make a thread about free grace, or if Ted Kirkpatrick made a thread about why eating meat will send you to hell... that each of those threads would receive the same type of response as you have received - if not much more.  Is it the right, proper, "loving," Christian response?  Debatable.  But are you somehow special or unique, being the unlucky one to have drawn the short stick to receive the CMR theological "gank squad's" wrath?  I do not believe so.  It's easier to internalize and personalize disagreements such as you've been on the receiving end of, but I honestly do not believe it's as personal or malicious as you seem to think.

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Re: Open Theism

Post by alldatndensum on Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:51 pm

But guys, where is this happening here? Why are you talking about this as if it were an issue? In this thread, Adam has a view point that most of us disagree with. Nobody has told Adam he must change his view.

Simply because the conversation had swung towards people correcting others.  Nothing more.  Nothing else should be insinuated.  We merely spoke of it to show that many times we don't really have the rights or the right motives to correct someone we feel is in error.

I think there's a skewed priority as well. I mean, I'd think that since they knew I listened to a LOT of Satanic black metal, they'd chime in about that - but there has not even been one peep. Meanwhile, what I think or don't think hell will be like, or that I think preacher X isn't a heretic while they do, when discussed, that's pursued with as much vigor to change my mind as trying to save someone who hasn't even accepted Christ.

In my line of work (customer service) there's people that raise a stink over the most bizarre things. Now, someone who's had a problem with a $100+ order, or they're losing money because their service call is late - I TOTALLY get dragging that out until its fixed. Both sides recognize the problem and work towards a resolution.

...then there's the people that drag things out over "principle" instead of the "amount". Like one particular customer, placed an order and the charge was 4 CENTS MORE than the pending authorization. They hit the wall 10 minutes into the call, yet 2 hours later, they're still trying to push through it and there's no end in sight...

That's when I think their motive isn't the amount at all - its about POWER. Getting someone else to submit to the mistake, bonus points if they grovel. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if I squeak for days/weeks/months/years, I WILL get them to grease me." type of mentality.

...but they don't anticipate the counter-principle. What does that teach them if they can even get 4 cents out of someone just because they never let it go? Well, that they can get anyone to do anything they want as long as they never drop it.

For the record, in that scenario, I didn't give them their 4 cents even though they were owed it - and that's 100% because of the way they pushed on and on about it. Eventually I hung up on them because there was nowhere else it could go and they obviously had nothing else better to do than argue over loose change.

My employer didn't mind the 2 hour call - they can charge the client for it so that's more revenue for the business.
The client (its their customer) wasn't upset about how it was handled, but thought it could have been handled better. Surprisingly, the feedback was:

"You should have hung up on them after 10 minutes. 2 hours of griping about 4 cents? That customer is INSANE."

Ummmmm......to be honest, I don't get some of your comparison stories.  I have no idea what this story has to do with what I was talking about.  LOL
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:11 pm

Andreas89 wrote:
ThomasEversole wrote:
Andreas89 wrote:One more thing, it is very well possible that certain beliefs are so far off the truth, that they deserve to be scrutinized as long as it is publicly propagated on this forum.

So, since you publicly subscribed to infant baptism, its just "game on and on" for anyone who disagrees?

Again, I really wouldn't mind. I might even enjoy it, but maybe that's just me Wink

I didn't mind debating it at first either.  When I didn't see it going anywhere and when I asked it to stop and it didn't then it only became more and more of an irritant.

Kerrick wrote:Thomas, I'm curious: where are you experiencing most of this scrutiny?  Is it from private texts/emails?  Or within threads specifically about said doctrine?  Are people making unwarranted jabs at you in threads totally unrelated to the topic(s) in question?

Well, I would think you'd know more than anyone what mediums I'm experiencing this "on and on" scrutiny.

Kerrick wrote:
I know that I am one of "them" who you have felt most attacked by; you've made that very clear.  I *think* I've been generally pretty good about not turning other threads into "Thomas is wrong" threads but rather only responding to you and your posts, emails, etc.  I may disagree with you - and I'll let you know that - but it's almost always in response to something you first post.  From what I have seen, most everyone else has acted similarly.  Are these the disagreements that you consider to be the barrages against you, or are you referring to something else (or a combination thereof)?

I'm not going to take your inventory and present it in front of everyone.  ...but I'll just say that I disagree and you're the poster boy of me being done talking about it, yet you want to push it to infinity.

Kerrick wrote:
You've been around long enough to know better than thinking you're a "selected target."  The beliefs you subscribe to (universalism) are the "selected target."  Don't you remember EVERY topic that Dale Thompson's name appeared in spiraling disastrously out of control to hell (pun intended... Twisted Evil ) in a handbag?  I sure do.  It was because he promoted the same beliefs you do which is clearly an extremely divisive topic.  I (as a mod) have to watch every topic about Ted Kirkpatrick like a hawk now because of what he preaches about animals.  Similarly, it's nearly just as divisive.

A few things.  For one, I've NEVER promoted my belief.  Only stated that I HAD it, and defended myself when the "doctrinal assault" started.  I could honestly care less if you believed what I believed regarding hell or not - because in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't have anything to do with anything.  

YOU have pulled on the stops to try to get me to change my views.  I haven't even come remotely close to dishing out your medicine.

For two, I thought it was clear from Barabbas's thread on TBL that my belief was NOT universalism.  Universalism-ish, but not universalism.  I believe people will be cast into hell.  ...and its not enough to think people will "only" be there for thousands/millions/billions of years - it HAS to be infinite, like you, or
- I'm going to hell
- I'm dividing Christianity
- I'm telling everyone "Just sin or do whatever you want - doesn't matter, you won't be in hell *forever*"

My scriptural references meant nothing because you wiggled out of all of them crying context loophole, meanwhile your scripture references amazingly have no wiggle?

Kerrick wrote:
Before this thread became about you feeling bullied, it was Adam single-handedly defending his "fringe belief" of open theism against EVERYONE ELSE - you included.  Do you feel as if you are treated differently than him?  If so, how?

This thread became about being bullied because of YOU.  How do I feel I was treated differently from Adam?  Well, I don't see threads here since 2015 of you barrage-disagreeing with Adam's theology.  If Adam also got 5 e-mails just in the past month of you disagreeing with his theology, then I'll eat my hat.

...and you being a bully is a true resentment from me.  Remember me posting this on TBL?

Been reading on this "condition" called RTS. (Religious Trauma Syndrome)
Excluding the aspects in regards to leaving said faith and "religion is bad mmmkay" rants from Atheists, there are some aspects of this that definitely grabbed my attention, especially the C-PTSD descriptors...

a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma with lack or loss of control, disempowerment, and in the context of either captivity or entrapment, i.e. the lack of a viable escape route for the victim

When the ONLY solution to being berated, rebuked, chastised for losing faith / being maligned in dogmas is essentially to return to and embrace your abusers.... Jeez, no wonder people are traumatized...

Well, I was trying to find answers for my emotions because YOU never let it go.

Kerrick wrote:I guarantee you that if Dale Thompson showed up and started a thread about universalism, or if Savage Amusement came back to make a thread about free grace, or if Ted Kirkpatrick made a thread about why eating meat will send you to hell... that each of those threads would receive the same type of response as you have received - if not much more.  Is it the right, proper, "loving," Christian response?  Debatable.  But are you somehow special or unique, being the unlucky one to have drawn the short stick to receive the CMR theological "gank squad's" wrath?  I do not believe so.  It's easier to internalize and personalize disagreements such as you've been on the receiving end of, but I honestly do not believe it's as personal or malicious as you seem to think.

Its personal because you're close enough to deliver these blows.  Its malicious because if we're talking about it (and its not just me bringing it up) you won't let me just let me believe my beliefs.  You have to fix it.

I know I've already asked this many, MANY times, but if you don't want this to be personal/malicious, then why don't you just leave me alone about it?  FOR GOOD.  ....not just dig it up later and start all over.

alldatndensum wrote:
Ummmmm......to be honest, I don't get some of your comparison stories.  I have no idea what this story has to do with what I was talking about.  LOL

The person going to infinity over someone else's Christian view (that again, doesn't even render on the "being saved" spectrum) is equivalent to going to infinity over the phone with someone over 4 cents.  

Sure its principle, but its also pride, being a control freak, just messing with people's heads because they're anonymous on a computer screen, etc.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by exo on Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:35 pm

What happens really is that someone brings up their belief and another makes a critical response and the first person doesn't know how to not take it personally.


And when that "critical response" is made over and over and over again over the course of years, it ceases to be productive to conversation (we KNOW how the conversation will turn and we do it anyway, continually), and simply becomes a routine response utterly devoid of concern for anything other than being critical and banging a gong to alert people to the disagreement. 

When responding critically becomes rote behavior, it pretty much ceases to be an impersonal thing.  Trying to deflect with a defense of "it's not personal" rings hollow when someone refuses to pay attention to he affect they're having on another person and just doggedly keeps on with the same approach again and again and again.  That's not love, that's not concern; it's shortsighted and self centered, and shuts down the chance to ever develope the type of personal relationship that WILL allow you to be a positive influence on the brother you find to be in the wrong.

There's been a number of awesome people essentially run off the board over the years because some of our more aggressive members get so focused on voicing their critique YET AGAIN that they're blind to the damage their behavior causes.  It's just "automatic response" for them, and to paraphrase a bit from Jurassic Park, they spend so much effort on posting a rebuttal, they never bother to stop and think about if they SHOULD.  To be blunt, when one KNOWS from experience that their response is likely to trigger a wave of butthurt and chooses to make the response anyway, the fault lies not with the receiver of the message, but with the one posting it.



For people who like to think we have a certain level of discernment of Scripture, theology, and the "wrongness" of someone else's position, we all to often fail to exercise that discernment with a decent level of discretion and foresight in regards to the outcome of our course of actions.  That lack of discretion is what ultimately led to the demise of the theology section, and a years long moratorium on those subjects.  It SUCKS to see it creep back in as we loosen the reins with subjects like this.

  Sometimes the BEST response that can be made is to NOT respond at all.  Discretion is the better part of valor, and knowledge is only half the battle or so they say.....

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Re: Open Theism

Post by elparanorman on Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:42 am

I chose not to read the entire thread but, I found some stuff interesting and lately, I have been wondering things similar to this thread. If God knows the future and the future is set, then why do we try to save people? Why do we beg God to help us solve our problems when in the end the results will remain the same? Why do we try to stay on God's "good side" when our fate cannot be changed? Does God know the future or does He know US so well that his accuracy when predicting what we will do and choose is so great that it is like knowing the future?

When I read that God is all powerful and all knowing, I think of somebody who has the power to create and destroy and who knows life so well that He cannot be trick or lied to. He also made promises of the future, that His Son will return and lift us. That IS the future... At least for us it is. So, in a manner of speaking, because God has already marked the end of time (Or the beginning of time) for us, He truly does know the future because he has planned it.

EDIT: Also, I would like to add that I most likely don't know a ton of stuff from the bible since I am still learning. Like, rookie status over here, LOL.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:22 am

exo wrote:There's been a number of awesome people essentially run off the board over the years because some of our more aggressive members get so focused on voicing their critique YET AGAIN that they're blind to the damage their behavior causes.  It's just "automatic response" for them, and to paraphrase a bit from Jurassic Park, they spend so much effort on posting a rebuttal, they never bother to stop and think about if they SHOULD.  To be blunt, when one KNOWS from experience that their response is likely to trigger a wave of butthurt and chooses to make the response anyway, the fault lies not with the receiver of the message, but with the one posting it.
That's a bit of a one-sided view. I get your frustration when you see that happen, but it's too easy to dismiss the people who may cause it like that. Whenever you're using the phrase "them" (like you do), you should be more careful. I once heard a German lady ironically say something like "thank you, God, that I'm not like that pharisee". No matter how much I oppose women in ministry, that remark was spot on.

exo wrote: Sometimes the BEST response that can be made is to NOT respond at all.
Indeed! To tell you the truth, I have been typing responses several times (on many different boards/facebook) that I decided not to post in the end.
Just one "problem" with that: nobody knows how much of a good boy you have been by not doing so Wink
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Re: Open Theism

Post by Andreas89 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:36 am

elparanorman wrote:I chose not to read the entire thread but, I found some stuff interesting and lately, I have been wondering things similar to this thread. If God knows the future and the future is set, then why do we try to save people? Why do we beg God to help us solve our problems when in the end the results will remain the same? Why do we try to stay on God's "good side" when our fate cannot be changed? Does God know the future or does He know US so well that his accuracy when predicting what we will do and choose is so great that it is like knowing the future?

When I read that God is all powerful and all knowing, I think of somebody who has the power to create and destroy and who knows life so well that He cannot be trick or lied to. He also made promises of the future, that His Son will return and lift us. That IS the future... At least for us it is. So, in a manner of speaking, because God has already marked the end of time (Or the beginning of time) for us, He truly does know the future because he has planned it.

EDIT: Also, I would like to add that I most likely don't know a ton of stuff from the bible since I am still learning. Like, rookie status over here, LOL.
It's OK! Nobody said this subject was easy. Let me just answer your questions in a short way, maybe you'll find some sense in it. Others may have better things to say about it.

"If God knows the future and the future is set, then why do we try to save people?" - because the fact that God knows the future, does not mean that we do. Plus, because of the Great Commission; Jesus ordered His disciples to teach and baptize all peoples in Matthew 28. That work still is not done.
"Why do we beg God to help us solve our problems when in the end the results will remain the same?" - because you cannot solve your problems on your own, and you're not obliged to stay in trouble Wink
"Why do we try to stay on God's "good side" when our fate cannot be changed?" - read Ezekiel 18:26-28. Do not worry that much about our fate, but keep walking with God in righteousness. Remember that faith is persistance (like being faithful to your wife).
"Does God know the future or does He know US so well that his accuracy when predicting what we will do and choose is so great that it is like knowing the future?" - I'm not sure what the starting point of His knowledge of the future is, but I don't think He needs to get to know us first, since He also made us.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:27 pm

I don't know if this will even help, but an additional negative aspect of never dropping someone's "theology quirk" is that more people find out about it.  Just because of my previous post, I'm getting PMs of people curious of my view of a "finite hell".

Seems counter productive to the aggressor to publicly berate someone "without end" for a skewed belief, only to have a pool of new onlookers (who were previously unaware of said belief) take interest...

That only makes this statement true in more ways than one...  ↓

exo wrote:they spend so much effort on posting a rebuttal, they never bother to stop and think about if they SHOULD.
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Re: Open Theism

Post by sentient 6 on Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:53 am

In light of whats been discussed in this thread, I must say I am a bit curious about what people feel are " deal breakers " for acceptable Christian beliefs ?
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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:01 pm

My opinion, for what its worth, as long as someone 1) has Jesus Christ in their heart as their Lord and Savior and 2) lives a Christian lifestyle to the best of their ability (open faith, morals, reads The Word, prays, etc.) then there ARE no other other "belief" deal breakers.

My only "deal breaker" with Christians is in regards to action. Anyone who would rather pursue their own vision of "correct doctine" to the point of ruining relationships and generating hate, just so they can get the satisfaction of not only being right, but pinning others into submitting that they're right...

I have nothing but the utmost contempt for that.

Not because its destructive, but its "pole vaulting over mouse turds" JUST to be destructive...
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Re: Open Theism

Post by exo on Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:31 pm

I've got a very similar outlook to Thomas on that front.  I ended up at those views simply because there is so much difference amongst many various theological viewpoints that ALL HAVE THEIR BELIEVERS BEARING OBVIOUS FRUIT.  The fact that some of that fruit might be apples and some are oranges is far, far less important than the fact that the garden overall is bearing fruit.  We're not told to go out and just farm apples.......

When you get down to it, MUCH of what passes for "theological debate", especially on an Internet forum that is not dedicated to it, amounts to little more than one person preferring Michael W. Smith praise and worship while someone else lectures them about how churches shouldn't have anything more than a piano and organ leading 120 year old hymns. Or that a "good Christian" should only be watching G rated films.  Or that my significantly longer than collar length hair and earrings means I'm somehow violating the OT admonishment about not appearing like a woman and thus in need of a spiritual intervention.  It's just an extension of those same thought patterns.

More than that, we oftentimes ONLY interact without our fellow forumites in online, with absolutely ZERO way of knowing how their beliefs actually fertilize their tree, and what fruit it bears in the "real world".

 There is a LOT of acreage in the garden our trees are planted in.  Those planted around the outer edges of it are still part of it, and some people forget that "we" aren't the Master Gardener.

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Re: Open Theism

Post by ThomasEversole on Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:08 pm

exo wrote:I've got a very similar outlook to Thomas on that front.  I ended up at those views simply because there is so much difference amongst many various theological viewpoints that ALL HAVE THEIR BELIEVERS BEARING OBVIOUS FRUIT.  The fact that some of that fruit might be apples and some are oranges is far, far less important than the fact that the garden overall is bearing fruit.  We're not told to go out and just farm apples.......

Wow. Great analogy Exo!

Also, I'm posting this tongue-in-cheek, but... people who are as serious as a heart attack as the charicitures comments in the drawing, they may have done good work in their walk, but all that I can see is that they've thrown away a lot of perfectly good oranges.



BTW, the comic title is ironic, but I SWEAR I didn't draw this. LOL
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