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I thought this post tied in nicely with the last two I’ve done on morality. Please read this over at Chief of the Least and then come back to see my thoughts on it. I’ll post a quick thought in the comment section below.

Chief of the least

In some circles, a thought is posited as to cast a skeptical light on Scripture’s veracity as a moral authority/guide:

Many written moral codes predate the Bible and even the Ten Commandments (IE Hammurabi Code)

What’s interesting about this argument is that the Bible itself explicitly confirms it. The Bible account displays a moral code that predates its own writing and even predates the stone tablets of Mt Sinai. From the beginning a moral code was expressed in the garden, with God’s displeasure of Cain’s murder of Abel. Not long after that Noah and Enoch were portrayed as righteous men long before a written moral law could show them righteous. Certainly, all manner of foreign ancient civilizations lived by some sort of common moral code.

This is how it should be.

There is a beautiful reality called “common grace” which would include God’s care to protect and preserve all sorts…

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36 thoughts on “”

  1. @Nate
    “Does it ever strike you that Heaven may be a logical impossibility?”
    ~ No. My “wonder” is exactly what it is–wonder.

    I have admitted, and will continue to admit, that there are things I don’t claim to understand. There are things I may NEVER understand. Call me ignorant, a sheeple or brainwashed, but I’m really okay with not “getting” it all. God says, “My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts.”, and I take him at his word.

    I guess my experience with God is kinda the pendulum swing of yours. The more time I spend with him, his son, and in his word, especially over the last six months, the closer I’ve gotten to him. Ironically, I’ve got a post coming out tomorrow (5/21) that talks a little about my experiences–a lot of which I can’t adequately put into words (which is extremely frustrating for a writer). But,through those experiences I just know he’s there. And, if I know he’s there, I’ve got to believe heaven’s there too.

    As far as the heaven questions go; I’m working on a post now that I’ll put up, hopefully by the end of the week, that explains my beliefs and understandings of heaven, hell, how free will fits into it all and so on. I have a page (sub-page actually under “A Little More Thought”) called “On Hell” that deals with some of it, but I’ll expand the heaven part in the post I’m working on.

    Cheers!

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  2. @Persto
    “Well, what does god need to be forgiven of?”
    ~ I would defer to my answer to your previous question of “Can we forgive God?” Again, I don’t see why not because within that scenario the forgiving is more for us (the forgiver) than Him (the forgiven). If you’re asking if God NEEDS to be forgiven, then no I don’t believe so. I believe what’s written in scripture that, a) all things are under his control; b) He works out all things for his good purposes; and, c) His ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts.

    But as to whether or not there may be instances where we may feel the need to forgive God for whatever circumstance, tragedy, or life-altering event may have occurred in our lives–that would an individual decision/discussion between the person and God. I can’t say that an instance like that has or has not ever occurred in someone’s life, but I can see it happening. And I believe he’s a big enough God to accept our desire to forgive.

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  3. Nate, you make a lot of compelling points. The problems you point out with “forgiveness” in the Christian paradigm are part of the reason I can no longer go back to the faith. It just doesn’t make sense anymore, and calling it a “mystery” seems like a convenient cover for absurdity.

    I think the whole notion of the atonement is one of Christianity’s biggest problems (aside from the lack of evidence for the Bible’s divine authorship). You’re right, if Jesus took the penalty humankind deserved, there is nothing left to forgive or punish, sins have allegedly been punished already.God doesn’t forgive anyone, he’s just blown off his wrath on someone else. But I’m more concerned with the fact that Christianity posits a God who punishes the innocent for the sins of the guilty. If God’s “justice” requires that sinners must be punished, then justice cannot have been satisfied by Christ crucified, because Jesus never committed the sins he submitted to being punished for. That’s not justice, it’s just bloodthirsty revenge.

    Things get even trickier when you take the Trinity into account. God punishes himself for the sins committed against him,and that’s justice? He accepts the sacrifice of himself as propitiation for sins? And, if God died on the cross, as Jesus, then the Trinity was broken until the resurrection. Unless Jesus stopped being God on the cross…which brings its own sort of complications and heresies.

    I apologize if I’m derailing any conversation here, or clogging up your blog, but I thought these issues were important to point out. Also, I want to thank you for your writing. I’ve been following your blog for some time, and it’s helpful to know I’m not alone in realizing the faith I once held to be the truth is anything but.

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  4. @Daniel S.
    Thanks for the great comment! And feel free to add your two cents anytime.

    I think you bring up a lot of great points. You’re absolutely right: not only is it a problem for God to still punish people once the debt has been paid, but it’s immoral to accept the death of an innocent person in order to pay for the crimes of someone else. One who would offer himself that way would be a paragon of selflessness, but the one who would accept it would be a brutal monster.

    And really, when we think about it, it’s obvious that it’s just a holdover from the superstitions of human sacrifice that almost every culture has followed at some point in its history. It’s just the barbaric notion that the gods must be appeased by the one thing we can offer — our lives. I suppose the early Christians were stuck with this practice, since they believed in the Hebrew god. If you want to move away from the sacrificial model, you need the mother of all sacrifices to appease God.

    Your point about the Trinity is thought-provoking as well. I’ve really never thought about those particulars before.

    Anyway, thanks again for the great comment! Feel free to “clog up my blog” any time. 🙂

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  5. @Nate
    The christians were probably also trying to make sense of their “messiah’s” death, when he was suppose to assume the triumphant throne. Since he was crucified, I can see where a devout believer might try to make that problem into part of the plan. Christians seem to do that sort of thing today with inconsistencies and contractions. The issues dont make sense, until they invent “possibilities” (unlikely or irrational possibilities are no problem since god can do anything) that resolve them. Problem abated.

    But since Jesus was dead, figuring out that it was “part of the plan” kept the faith alive.

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  6. @Kent

    So, we want–not need–to forgive god; not because god has merited forgiveness, but because we, as docile humans, possess an instinctive impulse to communicate wittingly unwarranted forgiveness–btw, this notion redefines the word forgiveness–for divine acts that appear to contravene the Judeo-Christian-Islamic disposition of god? Doesn’t make much sense to me.

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  7. @ Persto
    I believe what I said was that someone, at sometime, may feel they have need to forgive God for whatever circumstances may have befallen them in their lives, that they themselves felt unwarranted (the circumstances, not the forgiveness). Other than that, it is what it is. I’m sorry, I can’t make it make sense to you, my friend. Cheers!

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