Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer
Yes, any action that you take, being a non-believer without God, is sinful in nature. You ever watch "American Ganster"? What does "Bumpy" do to keep the neighborhood pacified with his evil and criminal nature? Hand out turkeys.
Originally Posted by Itinerant Lurker
Simply put, good deeds do not prove a good person. It is by our intent, our free will, that we are judged. When we use our free will without benefit of including God or even thinking about Him, it is more than likely going to be something evil and sinful, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. Because we are born with free will, yes, we are sinful by nature. This is what God was talking about (in part) when He said that we are ALL sinners.
If cognition and consciousness cease upon death, then why have many clinically brain-dead patients come back to life, having memories, or knowing exactly what the doctor and nurses are saying after they have clinically died and while still in the operating room? Clinically dead, not just assumed dead, but actually dead as determined by a doctor. There are pleanty of amazing stories out there that can not be refuted, at all. It is a miracle, and to me is proof of a soul.
Of course we think with our brains, haven't you ever wondered why people's thinking changes as their brains develop and why people's personalities can change so drastically due to brain damage? We can certainly point to something as say "Ah-hah, there's where our cognitive consciousness is", it's called the brain. When you damage it, we loose certain faculties of cognition and consciousness and when you kill it cognition and consciousness cease.
Brains can be artificially manipulated, but it still doesn't change the intent of the person. A person can feel fear from strong electro-magnetic fields that change the electrical activity in the brain, but that doesn't mean the person WANTS to be scared. Understand?
Modern neuroscience easily accounts for this by our understanding that certain parts of the brain are responsible for certain functions. This isn't evidence of anything other than how our brains can be artificially manipulated.
I think he did a great job with presenting his findings. He's conclusively, as far as I am concerning, proved that the writings were done within a few years of Jesus' death.
I’m vaguely familiar with Peter Theide’s work, but from what I know “proved” is a rather strong and unwarranted adjective. Even if these fragments are correctly dated to the first century, we are still left with second-hand accounts written decades after the events they purportedly describe.
Um. . .Ezekiel claimed that Nebuchadnezzar would take Tyre,
7 For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. 8 He will kill with the sword your daughters on the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you. 9 He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. 10 His horses will be so many that their dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. 11 With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground.
Notice that in all these verses, God is saying to us about Nebuchadnezzar, that HE (meaning Nebuchadnezzar) is going to do all these things. Up untill...
12 They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters. 13 And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the LORD; I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. (ESV)
This change to "They will" is a clear indicator that Nebuchadnezzar would not be the one to do this. It isn't a continuation of events, but a break, a pause in prose. Why do you think God had Ezekiel write it down exactly as stated? Because even Ezekiel didn't know what would happen. Ezekiel is just a vessel, a prophet, but still a human. He doesn't know what God is going to do, or not do, except what we know is going to happen based on what God Himself tells us. But even then, until prophecy is close to happening, it remains mostly unclear, hence the change in personage of "He" meaning Nebuchadnezzar, to, "They" meaning some future event of unknown personage.
The fact that modern-day Tyre is there, doesn't change the fact that Alexander the Great took the old city and used it as a causeway to get to the island. The old city was scraped up and thrown into the ocean, confirming prophecy. So different people rebuilt it? The original inhabitants aren't there.
And that didn’t actually happen. Nebuchadnezzar failed to take the city after a thirteen year siege, came to a negotiated settlement, and went home. Tyre kept right on having pleasant houses and playing their lyres for centuries before being conquered, and when they were the city was rebuilt. In fact, it's still there.
But, the prophecy isn't just about a coastal city, it's about Satan and the inhabitants of the city of Tyre which caused sin to happen, and in doing so cause judgement to happen. Hence, the prophecy of its destruction. You can still see the ruins of Rome or any other city in the world, but the city of Tyre is the only city destroyed by war, and then thrown into the sea! How is it that this is not proof enough for you?
This is why events that happen according to prophecy are a "shadow of things to come" and why prophecy is so important to understand that they're "types" of things that will happen again and again. For example, when the tower of babel was built, God stopped short of destroying them and instead "confounded their language". Why? They were only building a tower, so why was it so important for God to keep them from finishing a mere "tower"? (It was more than likely a Ziggarut, but I'm sticking with "tower" for the mere appearance of everyone knowing what I'm talking about when I say "Tower of Babel" and not "Ziggurat of Babel").
Because of their INTENT in building the tower, is why God "confounded the language". God doesn't hate towers, he hates it when we try to find our own methods of salvation and imortality. And, it is not that he really "hates" it, it's that God is holy and perfect and can't have things that aren't holy and perfect (as He made them) in His presence. We're building our own proverbial tower, even in this day and age, to try and find answers and live forever without benefit of God. Is it any wonder then, that the world is supposed to come to the end of an age, and that at the end of this age God will judge the whole world?
"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." - Titus 1:16 (KJV)
Well, of course I care about this issue. After all, if there is a god that seems like it would be something I should know about.
If you had it in the first place, you wouldn't have left it. The reality is, you never had the truth because Satan works his lies, even among the churches of today. This isn't your fault, and God is willing to forgive, but only if you let Him.
Not understanding what God wants, or not understanding something in the bible that God says, shouldn't cause you to lose your faith. Neither should any thing that is evil or wrong, shake your faith in God. Don't be a reed shaken in the wind. Don't bend under pressure.
Just because you can't explain something, doesn't mean it isn't true, it just means you can't explain it. Maybe this is because you don't understand what is being talked about, again, going back to that whole "Spirituality" thing which the bible is ALL ABOUT. The entire bible is about spiritual things! I don't understand how you can be so blind as to not see this fact, and then go and say that "hell is a literal place"? It makes no sense what-so-ever.
What did Jesus say about being converted as a little child? That with the understanding of a child, we will learn the ways of God, and be able to explain them. Plus...
"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Until you're able to trust what God says over what Satan says, you will never be converted. I don't trust what just any church tells me. No, I go and "test every spirit" like I am told to. "Every spirit" includes you and I, and not just supernatural beings who are in spiritual bodies. No, we have spirits too, and you must judge what man says according to what God says, not the other way around.
Just because some people say that God said hell is a literal place, does that make it true? An actual place, underneath the earth, that is all fiery and brimstone with demons waiting to torment you day and night, for all time, eternally and in physical pain?
John 10 (KJV)
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.