Are Christians really monotheistic? Really?

Thomas, why do you assume that God must be mad or evil if he created and is happy with evil?
Not my God, your god. Because if your god punishes man for doing what he made him do, then he unreasonable (mad), or cruel (bad), or quite possibly both (a whole heap of trouble).

Added to that, you've removed all freedom of thought and action from the human being, so your god is not only unreasonable and cruel, he's like a man who punishes a dog for not understanding algebra.

He knows that certain evil things are to happen, and he knows how this world will invariably end.
What is apparent in all this is that you don't really understand omnipotence and omniscience as Christianity does ... so you're making a statement — that Christians are not monotheistic — from an erroneous assumption.

His perceptions of good and evil are not the same as our own, Thomas.
Really? Or is it that they're not the same as yours?

I think that the limitations that you put on him, assuming that he is inherently only good, and not inherently everything are a fine example of what this post is originally on.
Really? Or is it that you fail to see the gift you've been given?

If God is in charge of only the good, who then is in charge of the rest, and if no one, how did the rest come to be?
Now you're beginning to ask the questions you should have asked before jumping to conclusions.

The first thing you have to do is get rid of this 'in charge of everything' idea, as if God is a micromanager who has to make every decision that's ever made. I suggest this is your limitation, that you assume that God cannot create something that is free and self-determining.

God is over all — but He allows His creation to act on its own account, even though, by so doing, He knows His creature might make the wrong choice, and moreover an evil choice ... but then that's the price of the greatest gift He can give His creation, that it enjoys the freedom, as much as it can, that He enjoys.

Read Scripture this way, and you'll see that the whole of Salvation History is God trying to lead man back on the right track ... not by making every decision for him, but by invitation ... even the Ten Commandments are an invitation, if you read them in context.

In fact I would say Salvation History shows us that God has more faith, hope and charity towards man, than man has towards God.

+++

It's all about the power and authority of God, and apparently some people have some problems with authority...
I have no problems with Divine Authority, but I do have problems with human authority when it's presented in such a way that it enables people to hide behind and shirk their responsibility as humans ... and your theology will eventually lead to just that.

Thomas
 
What would happen to this world, Thomas, if there was not evil in it? Would any of us truly be able to appreciate the good, with no context?
Oh, that's such a false argument ... and the wrong one anyway.

So the real question is, what would our experience of the world be if there were no freedom? No choices, no thoughts, no ideas ... answer: We would not be human.

So there is freedom, and with freedom come choice, and with choice, responsibility ... now there's wrong choices (where you don't know the outcome in advance), and evil choices (where you do, and still choose what you know to be wrong, because it feels good doing it).

And you're trying to tell me that God makes all our choices, the good ones and the evil ones, which is just plain illogical, and I just don't buy it, and nor does Christianity, which is why your initial premise is wrong.

wouldn't wanna be ya!

Thomas
 
Hi Tao

Does he? If he really wanted to be known he could just with his infinite ability manifest himself every few years and make it unambiguous.
Yes He could, and then where would we be? No freedom, no choice ... and after a few manifestations, we'd get blasé, tired of it ...

And, of course, the other argument is that somehow we put the obligation on God to reveal Himself to us, rather than employ our faculties to find Him.

To some, He reveals Himself all the time ... it's just we're too busy doing our thing to notice.

+++

But he does not...does he. Instead he chooses to reveal it to a few people who get off on controlling people ...
Still bangin' that ol' drum, I see ;)

...hey presto...religion is born. It is not something given. It is an evolved behaviour.
I don't think so ... that's rather a "because A is like B and A is a construct then then B is construct also" argument.

And look at maths! Numbers are pure construct: there are two apples on the table, take the apples away, where is the two? Numbers exist only as constructs, but you can sure explain a lot, and do a lot, with these hypothetical things we call numbers, which don't really exist at all!

Take the numbers away, your world would fall apart in your hands ...

(BTW — I know you're a Vatican watcher and I hope you're keeping up to date with Pius XII and the Jews debate — especially the stuff that's come to light from KGB archives about their disinformation exercise to plant in the West the idea that the Vatican colluded with the Nazis ... and their continued assault against the vatican for its anti-Communist stance, right up to their operations against John-Paul II)

Thomas
 
Yes He could, and then where would we be? No freedom, no choice ... and after a few manifestations, we'd get blasé, tired of it ...
We are not already blasé? Sceptical? Or like me down right rejectionist? You do not teach a child anything by putting him alone in a classroom with one book, locking the door and leaving him to get on with it.

And, of course, the other argument is that somehow we put the obligation on God to reveal Himself to us, rather than employ our faculties to find Him.
If he made this mess, it is his obligation to sort it out.

To some, He reveals Himself all the time ... it's just we're too busy doing our thing to notice.
Yet not one of them can prove it. Funny that aint it. If it were anything else you, yes you, would call them deluded.


Still bangin' that ol' drum, I see ;)
Like Ginger Baker.

I don't think so ... that's rather a "because A is like B and A is a construct then then B is construct also" argument.
And the concept of god is not a construct?!!!!!!!! :rolleyes:
It is not like you paint it. I gave a simple explanation that is testable and verifiable. By anyone who cares to do so. In that alone it is far superior to a mere construct.


(BTW — I know you're a Vatican watcher and I hope you're keeping up to date with Pius XII and the Jews debate — especially the stuff that's come to light from KGB archives about their disinformation exercise to plant in the West the idea that the Vatican colluded with the Nazis ... and their continued assault against the vatican for its anti-Communist stance, right up to their operations against John-Paul II)

Thomas
mmmmm-hmmm ... sources please?
 
I really don't see why you are getting so worked up about what I'm saying Thomas. The way you answer things suggests a level of closed-mindedness that I have never encountered before. And yet you get angry at people for stating that what they say is the truth and the only way. I don't remember what thread it was in, but you said it. Here we go again...

Not my God, your god. Because if your god punishes man for doing what he made him do, then he unreasonable (mad), or cruel (bad), or quite possibly both (a whole heap of trouble).

You are assuming that I agree with the stock version of an eternal hell supported by mainstream Christianity maybe? Or do you mean that he punishes us by allowing evil to be? If the latter, than does not 'your' god do the same? 'Your' god can't even do anything about it according to you.

I still don't see why you insist on talking of multiple gods (mine and your's,) in a thread about Christians (which I assume you are) not being monotheistic. There are other gods?

Added to that, you've removed all freedom of thought and action from the human being, so your god is not only unreasonable and cruel, he's like a man who punishes a dog for not understanding algebra.

What in blazes are you trying to get at here? I have not removed anything. Is it impossible for you to imagine that there can be both free will, and predestination? From our perspective, we make choices everyday based on thoughts and feelings, not some puppet strings hanging above our heads. That's free will. But from God's perspective, who is omniscient, which I remind you means all knowing, the universe he created sits before him in all of it's stages from beginning to end simultaneously, he see's the beginning and end at once. For everyone. So he knows what all of us are going to do throughout our lives, simply because of his omniscience. And, because of that omniscience he must have also known this before he created the universe. That means predestination. That's both. God can do this, because he is also omnipotent. All powerful. I have nothing to say about the dog bit. Was that supposed to make sense?

What is apparent in all this is that you don't really understand omnipotence and omniscience as Christianity does ... so you're making a statement — that Christians are not monotheistic — from an erroneous assumption.

And my understanding is erroneous because it does not line up with the understanding of Christianity? Is that the frame around all your thoughts Thomas, the views of mainstream Christianity? The fact is I don't need to understand their definition of omnipotence and omniscience. All powerful. All knowing. It's that simple. All.

Really? Or is it that they're not the same as yours?

Do you claim to be on the same level of understanding as God Thomas? Of course not the same as mine, I have no idea how God sees Good and evil. Do you truly claim to know? Do you claim to know God's mind?

Really? Or is it that you fail to see the gift you've been given?

I see the fact that he is behind every single thing in this universe as it's own gift. It is much more comforting to have an infallible god.

Now you're beginning to ask the questions you should have asked before jumping to conclusions.

What conclusions did I jump to? That God is much more powerful and great then people give him credit for? You never did answer those questions Thomas. They were not rhetorical. Can you answer them?

The first thing you have to do is get rid of this 'in charge of everything' idea, as if God is a micromanager who has to make every decision that's ever made. I suggest this is your limitation, that you assume that God cannot create something that is free and self-determining.

God is over all — but He allows His creation to act on its own account, even though, by so doing, He knows His creature might make the wrong choice, and moreover an evil choice ... but then that's the price of the greatest gift He can give His creation, that it enjoys the freedom, as much as it can, that He enjoys.

When I say in charge, I do not mean that he is directly involved. I mean that he has power over everything. He need not do anything to keep the world a'spinnin, ok. All I mean is that he rules over and is responsible for (created) all of it. Everything. Do you disagree with that?

Read Scripture this way, and you'll see that the whole of Salvation History is God trying to lead man back on the right track ... not by making every decision for him, but by invitation ... even the Ten Commandments are an invitation, if you read them in context.

I won't read scripture with the answers already in my mind. I read scripture to find the answers to my questions, not to fabricate answers to prove others wrong. You make it sound as if you view man having more power than god.

I have no problems with Divine Authority, but I do have problems with human authority when it's presented in such a way that it enables people to hide behind and shirk their responsibility as humans ... and your theology will eventually lead to just that.

This is not my theology. I am not trying to sway people to my beliefs, I am merely trying to explain them. I do not believe that God makes our every move for us. I believe that from our perspective, free will is real and firm and should be exercised as such.

People will forever be shirking their responsibility as humans with no help from me, Thomas. I'm not trying to start a religion here. Like I said before, I am only trying to state, and clarify my beliefs. You don't need to accept them.
 
Oh, that's such a false argument ... and the wrong one anyway.

How so Thomas? Merely stating that something is false does not make it so.

Think about Good without evil. What would the term be called? It would not be good anymore, it would simply be what is. Think of a world generations after there ceased to be evil. A world with free will. People would stop appreciating good. They would have nothing to weigh it against, to compare it to. The world would come to a standstill. There would be no evil, therefore no urge to combat it, to do good. People would cease to grow spiritually. It would be a bleak and never changing world. People, with their limited physically based understanding could not live in such a world.

So the real question is, what would our experience of the world be if there were no freedom? No choices, no thoughts, no ideas ... answer: We would not be human.

Precisely correct. That is what would happen if God did guide us through every single movement and choice of our lives. I do not propose this. You have gravely misunderstood me.

So there is freedom, and with freedom come choice, and with choice, responsibility ... now there's wrong choices (where you don't know the outcome in advance), and evil choices (where you do, and still choose what you know to be wrong, because it feels good doing it).

And you're trying to tell me that God makes all our choices, the good ones and the evil ones, which is just plain illogical, and I just don't buy it, and nor does Christianity, which is why your initial premise is wrong.

I'm not trying to tell you to believe anything Thomas. I don't mind if you disagree with my beliefs. That is fine. The only reason that I have been debating with you at all is that you have misunderstood, and thus misrepresented my views. You have told me that I am wrong, and I should change my beliefs. I say no. I have not forced anything onto you, please extend me the same courtesy.

Furthermore, what you have said has nothing to do with Christianity being monotheistic, which was my origional premise. So....?vhat
That has more to do with the nature of a purely good god, and a purely evil devil, and never the twain shal meet, or overlap. So Christians only acknowledge half of everything, or they acknowledge the ruler of the other half, and are, as a result, not monotheistic.

See ya! lol. Aparantly this annoys you? I guess it's good that you don't have to be me then, ne?
 
How so Thomas? Merely stating that something is false does not make it so.
Quite. You might apply that rule to your own assertions, you've not supplied one shred of evidence other than your own opinions.

Think about Good without evil. What would the term be called?
It would be called good.
The opposite of good is bad ... bad things are not evil things.

So we're discussing not things, but intentions ... the intention determines the 'good' or 'evil' of a thing. One does not have to do the evil thing to understand evil intention, one knows instinctively that is is wrong, without actually doing it. So we don't need the existence of evil to know that to defy the will of God is wrong ... so your argument collapses.

I'm not trying to tell you what you believe, either. I'm simply pointing out that what you think we believe is wrong.

If you disagree, please quote the references of our teachers that prove your point. Please show where, according to our doctrines, we are taught polytheism — I mean our words, not your assumptions about what our words mean.

Might I note also that to assume you have made some fundamental discovery about Christianity which we haven't noticed for some 2,000 years, and by 'we' I include some of the world's greatest philosophers and mystics ... that we've all had it wrong, all along ...

Annoyed? Please, you assume too much. Don't let my formal tone confuse you. Amused, perhaps, astonished that anyone could make such a crass assumption ... But if I was annoyed, I'd nail you on the fallacy of your philosophical arguments and hammer that home with relentless and forensic precision, rather than try and point you in the right direction.

Take your first premiss:
If God is in charge of everything, as you say,
then no-one else is in charge of anything.

So there is no such thing as personal responsibility.
So whatever I choose to do, I am blameless,
for God is in charge of, and responsible for,
all my actions.

I am but an instrument of His will.
None of this is down to me.
It's not my fault.

+++

See? If such were true, man would never grow beyond spiritual childhood. Adulthood, spiritual or otherwise, is taking responsibility for one's actions — that is what Christianity is all about.

Thomas
 
Quite. You might apply that rule to your own assertions, you've not supplied one shred of evidence other than your own opinions.

I am not asserting anything, saying that something is unquestionably true when I ask, ask mind you if Christians are monotheistic. I am giving my opinion, Thomas not asserting this as fact. It was something that I had been pondering, and I wanted to see others views on my opinion.

Thank you for yours by the way, I've quite enjoyed this debate.

It would be called good.
The opposite of good is bad ... bad things are not evil things.

Evil could also be called the opposite of Good. All that you are doing here is trying to confuse the concept with semantics. You missed my point entirely.
My point, was that if not for evil, there would be nothing to measure good works against. There would be no perspective, and when you loose perspective of something, it looses meaning. When meaning is lost, a concept goes into the realm of the metaphorical. It looses all potency.

So we're discussing not things, but intentions ... the intention determines the 'good' or 'evil' of a thing. One does not have to do the evil thing to understand evil intention, one knows instinctively that is is wrong, without actually doing it. So we don't need the existence of evil to know that to defy the will of God is wrong ... so your argument collapses.

Well then, the old saying that 'the path to hell is paved with good intentions' means nothing. :p

People quite frequently do bad things, even evil things, with the best of intentions, as illustrated in the saying above. Sometimes what people think is good is really very bad. So people don't know instinctively what is wrong, especially morally.

Look to the way that slaves were viewed in America as an example. It was morally wrong to view people the way that those slaves were viewed, and treated, but in that case it was considered culturally right. Culture frequently wins out over morals without people even knowing that what they do is wrong. Because everyone else is doing the morally bad thing too, and they were raised by their culture to think of something that is morally wrong, as right.

I'm not trying to tell you what you believe, either. I'm simply pointing out that what you think we believe is wrong.

Do you mean by this the opinion that Christians aren't really monotheistic? Well, if you mean that, then in your opinion, my opinion is wrong, and it is as simple as that.

If you mean something else by this, then please specify the beliefs that I have gotten wrong. I took those beliefs from the Congregational/Presbyterian church that I have attended with my family more or less since I was a child, and from other Christians that I have talked to that have attended churches of many other denominations. I have stated that not all Christians believe the same things that I use as examples. I have put forth an opinion based on the things that I have learned at my church, and from the bible, through other Christians, and based on beliefs that are commonly known to be held by mainstream Christianity. I really don't see where the argument is about that, so I assume that you disagree with the former.

If you disagree, please quote the references of our teachers that prove your point. Please show where, according to our doctrines, we are taught polytheism — I mean our words, not your assumptions about what our words mean.

Thomas, you have stated yourself that you personally believe that God is responsible for and created only the good in this world. I take this, which apparently I have correctly assumed is a widespread Christian belief, and I ask this:

If God is responsible for and created only the Good in this world, then where did the evil come from? If God isn't responsible for and didn't create the evil, then who did create it? Who is responsible for it?

I then state my opinion, that if the one God isn't responsible for, and did not create, everything in this world, and there is another being in charge of what God is not, and Christians recognize this being as the being that is in charge of what God is not, that they are not strictly monotheist.

I never said that Christians were taught to be polytheist. I attend a christian church regularly, and share many of my beliefs with Christians. I know that Christians are not directly taught polytheism.

But I see from personal experience what others of the Christian faith believe, even if they are not directly taught it, and I can't help but formulate an opinion on the matter.

That is all that I have done here. Please don't make it into something it is not, and get angry. That was not the intention of my post.

Might I note also that to assume you have made some fundamental discovery about Christianity which we haven't noticed for some 2,000 years, and by 'we' I include some of the world's greatest philosophers and mystics ... that we've all had it wrong, all along ...

I have not assumed any such thing. It was merely an opinion, based on the data that I had taken in over my life.

Are you trying to say here that you frown on innovative thinking? That if no one has thought of something in the last 2,000 years, then it must not be worth thinking about? If so, then I'll note that this kind of thinking is what will lead to a standstill of growth. This kind of thinking leads to a lack of creativity and thinking for one's self.

Do you think that by formulating my own opinion, that I place myself above others? Think myself above the worlds greatest philosophers of the last 2,000 years? :confused:

It was not my intention to portray myself that way, not in the least, and I feel like you are saying this simply to make me look foolish. You may not agree with my opinion, but there's no reason to be rude. ;)

But do you see why this kind of thinking is dangerous? What did those world famous philosophers do? They looked at the world around them, and formulated opinions, formulated theories, asked questions. Telling me that I should not do the same, because they already have, goes against the idea that there can be philosophy in the modern age.

Annoyed? Please, you assume too much. Don't let my formal tone confuse you. Amused, perhaps, astonished that anyone could make such a crass assumption ... But if I was annoyed, I'd nail you on the fallacy of your philosophical arguments and hammer that home with relentless and forensic precision, rather than try and point you in the right direction.

I meant that it seemed as if my farewell (See ya!) annoyed you, because of you're, 'Wouldn't wanna be ya' comment. It was kind of a joke.
Over analyze much? lol. :p
It's kinda like what you said, don't let my serious tone color everything I say. I do joke around sometimes, there just aren't enough emoticons to make it clear.
That's it, I'll blame it on the smiley faces. It's all their fault... :cool:

Take your first premiss:
If God is in charge of everything, as you say,
then no-one else is in charge of anything.

So there is no such thing as personal responsibility.
So whatever I choose to do, I am blameless,
for God is in charge of, and responsible for,
all my actions.

I am but an instrument of His will.
None of this is down to me.
It's not my fault.

But people rarely take responsibility for their own actions, even without my help. This argument doesn't magically make free will right. From my viewpoint, it simply puts into perspective just how much about God and the way that he operates we don't know. After all, seeing this through my filter of beliefs, I could just say that if they think that way, then they were meant to, and God had it planned all along.

Evil is only a factor if you believe that God did not create it, and has no control over it. So, could people take my views, and come to those conclusions? Yes. But then, from my viewpoint, if they do, then God meant for them to do so all along. ;)

It is mainly an argument against straight predestination anyways, the kind where God directly guides people through every decision and move they make, which is not a belief of mine. Here are my beliefs on free will, condensed, and such. Just so you know.

"If God is omniscient, and created man, he would have known before creating him the outcome of every decision that every human would face until the end of time. God made his entire creation knowing how it would unfold. When he had created it, he said that it was good. If he didn't want things to be the way that they are, he could have made them different, but he didn't.

We as people can only make decisions based on who we are, and he created us that way. If we do evil or good it is because of who we are, and God created us that way.

We have free will from our perspective, we make our own decisions, and steer the course of our own lives. But God, who created us, already knew the outcome of that course from his omniscient perspective before the beginning of his creation.

We both do and do not have free will.


I say that neither predestination or free will as concepts are entirely right.

I propose the free will paradox as stated above." *

*quoting myself from the 'they speak with a forked tongue' thread.

See? If such were true, man would never grow beyond spiritual childhood. Adulthood, spiritual or otherwise, is taking responsibility for one's actions — that is what Christianity is all about.

In your opinion.

In my opinion, spiritual growth is attained through learning from experiences. You grow through dealing with, and becoming wiser from those experiences. I believe that we are here to learn more than simply right and wrong. We are here for a higher purpose than learning to take responsibility for our own actions. And the idea of incomplete free will doesn't cause me to stumble, because it is God's plan that I'm following, and he created me.

I'm just trying to explain where I'm coming from.

Thank you for continuing to post.

See ya!
 
Evil could also be called the opposite of Good. All that you are doing here is trying to confuse the concept with semantics. You missed my point entirely.
No, I'm saying you're speaking in broad generalisations which leads you to erroneous assumptions about what Christians believe. My point is you misunderstand the Christian concept of evil, so you're making erroneous assumptions about what we think.

Let me try again:
What determines something as evil is not the act as such, but the intention that gives rise to the act. So it's not what you do is evil, it's why you do it.

All rational beings would agree that man has a sense of 'conscience' about right and wrong.
Evil requires foreknowledge of a wrong, and the willing intention to perform a wrong act.
Man can do bad things, that aren't necessarily evil.
Man can do a good thing, for an evil reason, but he is still evil in his intention, regardless of how much good comes about from his action.

In the Christian sense, evil is an act contrary to what we know to be the will of God.

An alcoholic is a bad thing, a sad thing, but not an evil thing necessarily (it depends upon why the man drinks) ... but someone who puts a glass of whisky under and alcoholic's nose to watch him struggle, just to see him fail ... that's evil.

God is not one bit like that.

Then again ... tough love ... someone might stand by, and watch a person drink, and not interfere, not because they get pleasure from watching an alcoholic go to pieces, but because they know that the person's got to want the cure before the cure can be effective — to act too soon can be as bad as acting too late.

God is a bit like that.

+++

I then state my opinion, that if the one God isn't responsible for, and did not create, everything in this world, and there is another being in charge of what God is not, and Christians recognize this being as the being that is in charge of what God is not, that they are not strictly monotheist.
No, because we do not recognise 'the prince of this world' (see John's Gospel) as a god ... a powerful force, but not a god, and not even in chage on anything ... he is sly, cunning, a liar — in fact the father of lies — a tempter and a seducer ... but he does not make us do evil, he is not in charge of anything ... the choice to do evil is ours.

So I think your basic error is in giving Old Nick too much credit in the wrong area.
And not giving humanity any credit at all.

Because, as I see it, your point absolves man of all responsibility for his actions — it makes God ultimately responsible for everything.

Thomas
 
Well, if as you say, Christians don't believe that the devil is in charge of all that is evil, then where does the evil come from? In your own words, God did not create it, so how did it get here?

By the way, what you stated is not what all Christians believe. It is, as I understand it, what you believe. I stated my opinion on what Christians I know, and a good deal of Christians that I don't, believe. You cannot possibly argue that your beliefs hold true for all Christian followers. So my opinion still holds true. I did not misunderstand or misrepresent what the Christians I was talking about believe. We have merely sussed out that this is not what you-and Christians that believe as you do-believe.

So what if the thread went all politically correct and changed it's name to 'Are some Christians really monotheistic? Really?' We wouldn't have anything to argue about anymore, ne?

Doesn't have quite the same ring to it though, does it.... :)

Thanks for the post. I'm glad it's calmed down a little. We were both gettin' a bit heated for a while there. :eek:

See ya!
 
This is turning into a free will thing. Everything stems from free will one way or another, I knew this would turn into a free will thing....:rolleyes:

Lame.

Oh well, on that subject I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. ;) I don't see either of our perspectives changing in the near future. Probably a good thing though, adds variety to life. :D
 
Sorry, I'm posting again... I do see what you're saying, truly. You are presenting Christian teachings that have been carefully studied and researched. The sad fact is that most people who call themselves Christians don't put in the effort that you do. The Christians that I am talking about do believe the things I say. Maybe Christian doctrine does not support the things that I say about Christianity, but they are common beliefs nonetheless, among less scholarly Christians. (But no less ready for a debate, or sure that what they believe is the ultimate truth.) It is from personal experience that I speak, as I said before.

I would still like answers to the questions in my first post from today, as I am sincerely curious about what your faith has to offer about that. You seem to be a researcher, like my dad, you examine your faith closely. I examine mine with just as much care, so I appreciate a good effort. I have to look carefully because it is not a mainstream belief, just a personal one. I do not have thousands of years of previous followers and teachings to fall back on for all that I believe. Parts, but not all. It's complicated.

Get back to me about those questions, if you will.

And one more question, do you believe that it is a fallacy on my part to think that Christians believe God to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent? I'd like you to answer this one too please, in all honesty. Thanks in advance if u do.

See ya! (for real this time, I swear!)
 
Well, if as you say, Christians don't believe that the devil is in charge of all that is evil, then where does the evil come from? In your own words, God did not create it, so how did it get here?
Intention ... intention is not creation, intention is the direction or the use we put to God-given things. Evil is not 'created' in that sense, rather it's the misuse of the created, it's the wilful misuse of a gift.

It's the misuse of free will.

By the way, what you stated is not what all Christians believe. It is, as I understand it, what you believe.
My beliefs, on this matter at least, are in accord with the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Patriarchates (Greek, Russian, Slavonic, Coptic ... ) so quite a few billions.

Where divergence starts is with the Reformation. Some Protestant Christians believe that God made some people for damnation, and that was determined before they were born ... I don't believe that.

There are so many American Christian sects, I can't speak for them. I readily admit they do hold to some particularly ... er ... interesting ... beliefs ...

You cannot possibly argue that your beliefs hold true for all Christian followers.
No. I can argue that what I believe is doctrine among those I have mentioned, whereas you're arguing from personal experience. If you see Christians worshipping the devil, praying to him, offering sacrifice to him praising him, etc ... my advice, forget the arguments, just RUN!

Personally I have never come across Christians who believe the devil is a god ... as far as I know we all believe him to be a fallen angel ... so that's why I dispute that we're not monotheists. If a Christian does claim polytheism, he or she is no Christian by any definition I know.

Pax et bonum

Thomas
 
I would still like answers to the questions in my first post from today, as I am sincerely curious about what your faith has to offer about that ... Get back to me about those questions, if you will.
Can you point me too them, I've lost track of where we are here ... sorry. (The time/post number will do.)

And one more question, do you believe that it is a fallacy on my part to think that Christians believe God to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent? I'd like you to answer this one too please, in all honesty. Thanks in advance if u do.
Not at all. I believe God to be the three O's ... that's why we have free will. I reckon without the three O's, God wouldn't dare make His creature free ... he couldn't trust Himself, let alone us ...

There is an assumption among many that because God is the three O's, then He must be directing, and be responsible, for everything we do. Not at all. Quite the reverse, in my book. Christ said:
"Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come." Matthew 12:31-32

That says you can sin against God — use the gifts God gave you for the wrong reason, knowingly and with intent — and you can still be forgiven ... We can even crucify Christ, and still be forgiven ... but if we reject God, if we reject the Holy Spirit (who leads us into Sonship with God — "And because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father" Galatians 6:4) ... then we cannot be forgiven, not because God won't forgive, but because we reject His forgiveness.

Thomas
 
Intention ... intention is not creation, intention is the direction or the use we put to God-given things. Evil is not 'created' in that sense, rather it's the misuse of the created, it's the wilful misuse of a gift.

It's the misuse of free will.

Can you point me too them, I've lost track of where we are here ... sorry. (The time/post number will do.)

Your answer above is the answer to the question that I asked, so don't worry about it. :)

If you see Christians worshipping the devil, praying to him, offering sacrifice to him praising him, etc ... my advice, forget the arguments, just RUN!

LOLZ! I'll be sure to do that!

Personally I have never come across Christians who believe the devil is a god ... as far as I know we all believe him to be a fallen angel ... so that's why I dispute that we're not monotheists. If a Christian does claim polytheism, he or she is no Christian by any definition I know.

What I meant is that because some Christians believe that the devil is in charge of all evil, and that God is in charge of all that is good, and these two things are exclusive, that they do not believe that only one being is in charge over all. By reducing God's power, they make him less than God as well, but more like a partially powerful polytheistic God-like being in charge of certain aspects of the creation. Putting the devil in charge of all evil then elevates him to that level as well, a partially powerful god-like being in charge of certain aspects of the creation. These Christians balance out the power levels between the devil and god, and that's what I mean. I don't mean that they worship the devil necessarily, make sacrifices to him. I just mean that they regard him as a god, because they give him power over a chunk of creation. Like Christians who believe that demons can posess the body, and cause people to act against their own will.

Is this a christian teaching according to your beliefs? Curious, again. If someone was to believe that then they believe that demons strip people of their free will, so the devil can do this, God allows him to. That's a scary thought... :eek:

Not at all. I believe God to be the three O's ... that's why we have free will. I reckon without the three O's, God wouldn't dare make His creature free ... he couldn't trust Himself, let alone us ...

There is an assumption among many that because God is the three O's, then He must be directing, and be responsible, for everything we do. Not at all. Quite the reverse, in my book. Christ said:

Well, when I think of God's omniscience, I think that he simply knows all that we will do, not that he uses his knowledge or power to control us, or direct us. We direct ourselves. He just knows what we will do. And he knew this before he created us.

That's why I say that neither free will or predestination are completely right in my opinion. We have both at the same time. :)
 
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