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  • Why are we here

    Id like to say first of all I am not an athiest and I beleive in a God. And if I told you the values I hold it would sound like a Christian God. It has always been hard for me to accept the story of Christianity becuase of the story itself has never made much since to me however I do try and follow what Jesus taught in the bible.
    So Back to the title of my thread. Why are we here. Im referring to the story of Creation. In order for Christianity to fit we all have to be condmened to hell from birth through the fall of Adam and Eve. If the story of Creation is wrong and we are not born with sin then salvation through Jesus would not be necessary and Christianty would be useless. So the story of Creation has to be perfect but it says in the bible that God created us from his image and in the beginning there was no seperation between God and man. If this statement was true Adam and Eve could have never sinned in the first place because God is perfect and incapable of sin. So if they were equal and there was no seperation, no possible way to sin. But Eve and Adam did take the temptation. Now God is all powerful and created everything and can see the future. Why did he put the tree of kowledge in the garden in the first place. He knew before hand that it would lead to eternal damnation of his creation, Man. So why do it? Why create man in your own image just to set him up to fail. Doesnt make much sense to me. Now this last statement"much sense to me" is the answer that is usually given back to me meaning that it is not something humans can fully understand. If not then why put it in the bible in the first place? So were we set up to fail and if not could God not see the future of man? Why even put the tree of knowledge in the Garden in the first place if we were not to eat from it. It would have no purpose but for temptation. Look but dont eat, not a very nice thing to do. You see I want to beleive in Jesus but it is just hard for me to do becuase the story of creation which must be fully beleived in sounds like alot like a man made story. I have to accept for somehting that happened 4000 years ago Im condemend to hell. How is a child who dies of cancer before he is 1 supposed to accept Jesus as his Savior.

  • #2
    Why are we here?

    I suggest it's to have the opportunity to trust God and spend eternity with Him.

    I, personally, choose to believe all of the Bible to be God's infallible Word; and that I am not at liberty to pick and choose which parts to believe or ignore. I need the Salvation offered and have a gut-level faith that it is true, I also choose to believe Creation, as told in Genesis, is true too. . . I have discovered that 'coincidances' happen when I pray, I don't need to understand all the 'why' questions it is possible to ask, and I can always rely on God.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply Frances but it didnt quite answer my question as to why God put the tree of knowledge in the garden knowing man would eat from it and be damned to eternal hell. But man actually couldnt have done that becuase it says in the bible man and God were equal " no seperation" so man could not have sinned becuase God couldnt.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi rationalist,
        In my mind God wants to have a genuine relationship with each of us. He created us to love him, but in order for that love to be real we also have to have the choice to not love. If I put a gun to your head and say "love me", you're probably going to say "I love you", but its not real love. Likewise if I built a robot that followed me around all day playing a recorded message that said "I love you, I love you, I love you" doesn't mean that the robot loves me. The reason we have free will is that is that real love always involves a choice to love.

        If there were no tree of knowledge (i.e. if it were not even and option for Adam and Eve to sin) then there would be no choice for them to love God or not. They choose to reject that love and disobey God's will. They sinned. The wages of sin is death and so disease and death entered into the world. I don't think the point is whether or not God knew beforehand (to God there is not beforehand or afterward - He exists outside of time) that Mankind would fall. I think the point is that we had the chance and choose to fall from his love.
        "The greatest single cause of atheism in the
        world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus
        with their lips then walk out the door and deny
        Him by their lifestyles. That is what
        an unbelieving world simply
        finds unbelievable."

        ~ Brennan Manning

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Rationalist,

          Yes, those are all very good honest questions. I'm going to try and explain as best I can.

          Let me give you a summary first and then I'll elaborate on some of the points you've made. Hopefully this will put things in a better perspective.

          Genesis teaches us the following:
          1. There is a God
          2. He has human traits in that He is a personal God, with feelings, a will, motives, creativity etc.
          3. He also has non-human traits: almighty, eternal, all knowing etc.
          4. He created everything and everything He created was good in His eyes.
          5. He created man in His likeness
          6. Man rebelled against God
          7. The world is messed up
          8. He promises to repair the problem

          Now if you take those 8 points into account and measure it against the world, you'll see it actually fits quite well. If one could look at all the beauty on earth, the trees, sunsets, the ocean, you kind of feel "What a wonderful world"....

          And then you look at mankind, and you think, "how we messed everything up, and how evil we are"

          That is the story of Genesis in a nutshell.

          Now, Adam is an example of every human being. Each one of us can relate to Adam in that we all want to be better persons, but we all fail horribly at it.

          Every human being has that dark side, so to speak...and we all struggle within ourselves to conquer that. In fact we cannot conquer it. We are simply too evil natured...

          So why do we have this evil nature? Well God didn't really want robots, who do his every bidding. Think about having a robot as a friend that does exactly everything you want it to. No questions asked. You'll get lonely won't you? The robot's loyalty would be contrived, fake.

          Similarly God wants you and me to be in His family. Each person in a family is autonomous, within the constraints of the family. In your own family you can do what you want, but if you crash you dad's car on purpose, He'll get upset, right?

          I've already mentioned that God is personal and therefore He wants a personal relationship with us. A Father and child type of relationship...
          Adam sinned on purpose, and we all keep breaking God's rules on purpose. God gave us the ability to do this, but He never willed it for us. Does that make sense?

          Now something you may have missed in Genesis that right at the moment where God cursed the serpent and Adam and Eve, He also gave the promise of the Messiah, and that the He would conquer death, and crush the serpent's head. Genesis 3:15

          So God isn't unreasonable because even at the very point where Adam and Eve CHOSE to reject God and listen to the devil instead, God already had the plan to send Jesus to bring about forgiveness for us.

          You asked what happens to babies when they die...
          Honestly I don't know. The Bible doesn't say anything about it, but the Bible does say that God is just and fair, so rest assured that whatever happens to the baby, will be fair.

          You asked how does something that happened 4000 years ago affect you...
          Let me ask you some questions, you don't have to answer them here, just think about it.

          Have you ever told a lie?
          If you have, then you are a liar, right?

          Have you ever stolen something, no matter how small?
          If you have then you are a thief, right?

          Have you ever called someone something bad, like an idiot or something? Jesus said that if you do, you have murdered that person in your heart. Have you done that?

          Jesus said that if you look at someone in lust, you have committed adultery with that person in your heart. Ever do that?

          If you've answered any one of these with 'yes' then you're evil, just like Adam and just like me.

          Yes, these are very high standards, and yes we simply cannot keep the 10 commandments, and that's why Jesus paid the price for our sins.

          Why does God expect these high standards in the first place?
          Well, He's perfect and hates evil. Would God be good if He tolerated that which is bad? If the president of a country closed down the military and police force and let criminals get away with anything, would you say such a president is any good?

          So in short.
          God is Good.
          He made everything good, including us but we chose to be bad.
          God doesn't like things that are bad, but He cares for us.
          So He offered Him who is Good for us who are bad, instead of getting rid of us.
          Now we can be good, not because we're good, but because of the Offer, namely Jesus Christ.

          You asked how Adam and Eve could sin, being made in God's image...
          Well first of all, Adam and Eve weren't God, they were simply made in the likeness of God.
          Secondly, God, just like Adam and Eve, could sin if He wanted to, but He doesn't. Didn't the devil tempt Jesus in the desert? If Jesus wasn't capable of sin, why does the Bible say the Holy Spirit led Him into the desert to be tempted by satan?
          Last edited by chisel; Jan 3rd 2008, 05:09 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rationalist View Post
            ...why God put the tree of knowledge in the garden knowing man would eat from it and be damned to eternal hell. But man actually couldnt have done that becuase it says in the bible man and God were equal " no seperation" so man could not have sinned becuase God couldnt.
            Hi Rationalist,

            Could you give a Bible reference for that quote? I don't remember seeing that in my Bible. I think perhaps you have some misunderstandings of the story.

            God created man in His image, not as an "equal" in the same sense that Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit are equal. Only God is perfect, man was never perfect; man is a created being. We are made from the dust of the earth.

            As I view the tree, it was a test. It was not a trick. God gave Adam only one commandment. Adam had a choice and he could have obeyed God. He could have obeyed even after his wife had disobeyed. He could have passed the test but he did not.

            Today we are given a choice as well. We do not have to be condemned to eternal hell. Throughout the Bible we see God seeking to call to Himself the ones who are willing to come and be in relationship with Him. The greatest call has been going out into the world since the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Have you considered your response to this choice? What is your response to the cross?
            Blessings,

            Road Warrior


            Proverbs 4:23
            23 Guard your heart above all else,
            for it determines the course of your life.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rationalist View Post
              In order for Christianity to fit we all have to be condmened to hell from birth through the fall of Adam and Eve.
              Not really. Whether we are born into sin or not, it serves as an allegory to our own lives; every single one of us learns what it is to sin, and does so - we all need redemption.
              Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
              You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name, You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same, You are amazing, God.
              I do not 'hope' I am saved and I do not 'think' I am saved, I know it with an absolute conviction. I know that I am saved just as I know that I think and I know that I feel. I am purchased and sealed, His possession.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rationalist View Post
                Thanks for the reply Frances but it didnt quite answer my question as to why God put the tree of knowledge in the garden knowing man would eat from it and be damned to eternal hell.
                It is a tough job to be "creator" but someone had to do it.

                Here is an answer: So that God could redeem man to an incorruptible state with Him for eternity.

                Now, why not just do that from the start? I don't know. God suffered the same kind of rebellion among the angels. We aren't told much about angels and when they were created. Some insist it was during the creation account in Genesis, but I have never been to sure about that without insinuating a "time gap theory" of sorts. Apparently at some point angels had to choose who they would serve as well. Perhaps the answer is that God can't create Himself. That would make sense for an eternal God. So in creation, when God creates a being that can be aware of God so then is the presence of the choice of whether to serve Him.

                So God creates angels and loses a third of them. Then man and is likely to lose even more. But those that will be in eternity with God ultimately serve His purpose in creation.
                Originally posted by rationalist
                But man actually couldnt have done that becuase it says in the bible man and God were equal " no seperation" so man could not have sinned becuase God couldnt.
                No, man was never "divine". Man was created, God was not. Man and God were never equal.

                God Bless!
                Watchinginawe

                I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great answers all of you thanks alot. Ill have to find the verse it doesnt say man was equal but no seperation. But why put the tree of knowledge in the garden ? Did Adam and Eve take the fruit from the tree with knowledge that it was wrong ? For instance if you give me a drug and I knowlingly accept it is a sin becuase I know better but if you give a 3 year old a drug wrapped in chocolate is it a sin? Were Adam and Eve privledged to he knowledge that eating from the tree was a sin?

                  Again thanks everyone.

                  Great place for discussion

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rationalist View Post
                    Great answers all of you thanks alot. Ill have to find the verse it doesnt say man was equal but no seperation. But why put the tree of knowledge in the garden ? Did Adam and Eve take the fruit from the tree with knowledge that it was wrong ? For instance if you give me a drug and I knowlingly accept it is a sin becuase I know better but if you give a 3 year old a drug wrapped in chocolate is it a sin? Were Adam and Eve privledged to he knowledge that eating from the tree was a sin?

                    Again thanks everyone.

                    Great place for discussion
                    Here is what Adam knew, because God had told him:

                    Ge 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." NKJV

                    Here is how Eve answered the serpent:
                    Ge 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" NKJV

                    You may notice from this Eve's first mistake. She added a phrase to God's command. This is something that gets people into trouble with God's word. If we add to it, or take something away from it, it weakens the truth of it.

                    They had only one command to obey.

                    Dt 4:2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. NKJV
                    Blessings,

                    Road Warrior


                    Proverbs 4:23
                    23 Guard your heart above all else,
                    for it determines the course of your life.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rationalist

                      Did Adam and Eve take the fruit from the tree with knowledge that it was wrong ?
                      Well for sure they knew:

                      Originally posted by Genesis 2:16-17 & 3:2-3 (New International Version)

                      16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

                      2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "
                      Originally posted by rationalist
                      But why put the tree of knowledge in the garden ?
                      If there were no tree of knowledge then Adam and Eve would not have had an opportunity to choose to obey God or not. Without the opportunity to exercise their free will love means very little. Who would you rather be married to, a husband/wife who truly loves you because they know you and have chosen to love you or one who is only with you because they feel they have no choice? God wants us to love him, but He wants it to be genuine love, not fake pretend High School dating love, real genuine love. That love has to be the result of a choice we make by exercising our free will, otherwise it means nothing.
                      "The greatest single cause of atheism in the
                      world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus
                      with their lips then walk out the door and deny
                      Him by their lifestyles. That is what
                      an unbelieving world simply
                      finds unbelievable."

                      ~ Brennan Manning

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rationalist View Post
                        ...So Back to the title of my thread. Why are we here. ...
                        Rationalist, I thought maybe I'd simplify things a bit, by dropping all the other stuff and answering your title question.

                        We are here, quite simply, because God loves us. If you look carefully at the creation story, you will notice that God came into the garden in the cool of the day and called for Adam, who was now hiding from God because he knew he had violated the commandment. We see the indications that there was relationship between them. God didn't just create the world, create Adam and Eve, then leave. He continued to interact with His creation.

                        It takes the whole Bible to tell the entire story, but maybe I can give you a couple quick verses to illustrate my point.

                        Moses told the people this:
                        Dt 7:7-8
                        7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, ...NKJV

                        Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. NKJV

                        1 Jn 4:7-11
                        7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. NKJV

                        1 Jn 4:15-16
                        15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. NKJV

                        So Rationalist, I would invite you to enter into that place of knowing Jesus as your Savior, and knowing His love. That is the part that drew me to Him, and that is what keeps me in Him. He loves me and cares for me. It makes all the suffering in this world worth enduring.

                        Adam and Eve, by their choice, lost the privilege of living in the garden. First they disobeyed the direct command of God. Then they tried to hide from God. (As if they could!) But God had mercy on them and set into motion the plan of redemption. God still wanted relationship, and He still does today.
                        Blessings,

                        Road Warrior


                        Proverbs 4:23
                        23 Guard your heart above all else,
                        for it determines the course of your life.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We are not puppets

                          I used to struggle with this myself until very recently.

                          I believe God wanted companionship that might love "him". However God did not want robots or force anyone or anything to love "him". The only way for there to be pure love is if it's done by choice and that requires free will. You have the choice to either accept God's love or to reject it, he does not force us to do anything.

                          Why do people suffer is always a hard question for us. I used to get very upset with God for this as well. I finally had to humble myself and admit that my tiny pathetic brain was nothing compared to the mind of God and that I could not see the big picture. While I certainly do not fully understand these things I have accepted them. I anguish over the suffering that goes on, but when I consider the short life we have here vs our eternal soul it pales in comparison.

                          We cant see how one event may impact somebody else far down the road (ripple effect). God uses us in many ways that we can not even begin to see. Everything we say and do can effect many people for years to come no matter how small you may think it is. Something as simple as a kind word to a stranger could produce many good things for years to come.

                          I hope this helps in some small way.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Again every one thanks and very enlightening views. But again going to my original title why are we here. Why make earth to put companions ? Was it becuase heaven was full of angels and no room for man. Yes God did create man with free will for us to have a choice of love but quite a harsh punishment for man's first sin. How about a second chance before bringing death to us ? Was Lucifer's interference inevitable. Did God let Satan in the garden to tempt us. Is there Sin without the worldy possesion that Satan promises us.

                            Im not a bible expert but some who are bible historians say that we are here as pawns to prove to the rest of the angels that God is superior to Satan and that man will chose Gods Love over Satans therefore proving him right.

                            Would God have created us if Satan hadnt rebelled.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rationalist View Post
                              ... Why make earth to put companions ?
                              1.Was it becuase heaven was full of angels and no room for man.
                              2. Yes God did create man with free will for us to have a choice of love but quite a harsh punishment for man's first sin. How about a second chance before bringing death to us ?
                              3. Was Lucifer's interference inevitable. Did God let Satan in the garden to tempt us.
                              4. Is there Sin without the worldy possesion that Satan promises us.

                              5. Im not a bible expert but some who are bible historians say that we are here as pawns to prove to the rest of the angels that God is superior to Satan and that man will chose Gods Love over Satans therefore proving him right.

                              6. Would God have created us if Satan hadnt rebelled.
                              1. If you are worried about whether heaven was too full of angels for there to be room for more, maybe you need to study a bit of astronomy. The universe is enormous, and growing larger. Infinity is endless in both directions.
                              2. A second chance is what we got with Jesus. There are no second chances after we die. We make the choice on the earth and that determines where we go after.
                              3. I think it is of value to read Job chapters 1-3 alongside of Genesis chapters 1-3. In Job you see the interaction between God and Satan, and there is great insight as to what God is doing, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear.
                              4. Sin is not about worldly possessions, but about disobedience. Do you believe God, or not? If you believe God, why would you not do what He says to do?
                              5. Not pawns - that's a rather insulting word don't you think? But here is the scripture that supports what you are trying to express.
                              Eph 3:9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. NKJV
                              6. I personally do not believe that God created us in response to the rebellion of Lucifer, but as I stated in my previous post, He created us to love us, and to grow us up in love. Lucifer/Satan's role is an interference in that process. The story of Job tells us much of what God is looking for in His creation on earth.
                              Blessings,

                              Road Warrior


                              Proverbs 4:23
                              23 Guard your heart above all else,
                              for it determines the course of your life.

                              Comment

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