The non-existence of God

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Well I apologize for my recent erratic behavior and taken that into offense.

What I don't understand is how a loving God would let disease and all of these problems manifest in the world. Why does the whole world have to suffer by the consequences of Adam?
 

ialmisry

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TryingtoConvert said:
That was a mistype, fruedian slip. Yes children, haven forbid I have grandchildren right ialmisry?
Heaven has little to do with it, even if you believe in astrology.

As for God, He did wonders with William J. Murray, so why not your progeny?
 

ialmisry

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TryingtoConvert said:
Well I apologize for my recent erratic behavior and taken that into offense.

What I don't understand is how a loving God would let disease and all of these problems manifest in the world. Why does the whole world have to suffer by the consequences of Adam?
Because Creation, and the human race, are by definition a bounded system.  By introducing sin into that system, it affects all members.  By definition God, being infinite, is outside that system:for Him to step in an seperate causes from their consequences would be to not only to rip open the bounded system of Creation but to change human nature, changing it from the Image and Likeness of God into a puppet.  When God entered the system as a member, through the Incarnation, He preserved the bounded system of Creation, the bounded system of the human race, left intact human nature-in fact, fulfilled it-while restoring it to the path it was originally set on. God suffered in the flesh by the consequence of Adam.
The joy that permeates and enlightens the service of Lazarus Saturday stresses one major theme: the forthcoming victory of Christ over Hades. "Hades" is the Biblical term for Death and its universal power, for inescapable darkness that swallows all life and with its shadow poisons the whole world. But now — with Lazarus’ resurrection — "death begins to tremble." A decisive duel between Life and Death begins giving us the key to the entire liturgical mystery of Pascha. Already in the fourth century Lazarus’ Saturday was called the "announcement of Pascha." For, indeed, it announces and anticipates the wonderful light and peace of the next — The Great — Saturday, the day of life-giving Tomb.

Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, personifies the whole of mankind and also each man, as Bethany — the home of Lazarus, — stands for the whole world — the home of man. For each man was created as a friend of God and was called to this friendship: the knowledge of God, the communion with Him, the sharing of life with Him: "in Him was Life and the Life was the light of men" (John 1:4). And yet this Friend, whom Jesus loves, whom He has created in love, is destroyed, annihilated by a power which God has not created: death. In His own world, the fruit of His love, wisdom and beauty, God encounters a power that destroys His work and annihilates His design. The world is but lamentation and sorrow, complaint and revolt. How is this possible? How did this happen? These are the questions implied in John’s slow and detailed narrative of Jesus’ progression towards the grave of His friend. And once there, Jesus wept, says the Gospel (John 11:35). Why did He weep if He knew that moments later He would call Lazarus back to life? Byzantine hymnographers fail to grasp the true meaning of these tears. "As man Thou weepest, and as God Thou raisest the one in the grave..." They arrange the actions of Christ according to His two natures: the Divine and the human. But the Orthodox Church teaches that all the actions of Christ are both Divine and human, are actions of the one and same person, the Incarnate Son of God. He who weeps is not only man but also God, and He who calls Lazarus out of the grave is not God alone but also man. And He weeps because He contemplates the miserable state of the world, created by God, and the miserable state of man, the king of creation... "It stinketh," say the Jews trying to prevent Jesus from approaching the corps, and this "it stinketh" can be applied to the whole of creation. God is Life and He called the man into this Divine reality of life and "he stinketh." At the grave of Lazarus Jesus encounters Death — the power of sin and destruction, of hatred and despair. He meets the enemy of God. And we who follow Him are now introduced into the very heart of this hour of Jesus, the hour, which He so often mentioned. The forthcoming darkness of the Cross, its necessity, its universal meaning, all this is given in the shortest verse of the Gospel — "and Jesus wept."

We understand now that it is because He wept, i.e., loved His friend Lazarus and had pity on him, that He had the power of restoring life to him. The power of Resurrection is not a Divine "power in itself’," but the power of love, or rather, love as power. God is Love, and it is love that creates life; it is love that weeps at the grave and it is, therefore, love that restores life... This is the meaning of these Divine tears. They are tears of love and, therefore, in them is the power of life. Love, which is the foundation of life and its source, is at work again recreating, redeeming, restoring the darkened life of man: "Lazarus, come forth!" And this is why Lazarus Saturday is the real beginning of both: the Cross, as the supreme sacrifice of love, and the Common Resurrection, as the ultimate triumph of love.

"Christ — the Joy, Truth, Light and the Life of all and the resurrection of the world, in His love appeared to those on earth and was the image of Resurrection, granting to all Divine forgiveness."
http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/lazarussaturday.html

John 12:16 His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of Him and had been done to Him. 17 The crowd that had been with Him when He called Laz'arus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet Him was that they heard He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, "You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after Him." 20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-sa'ida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus.
23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If any one serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves Me, the Father will honor him.
27 "Now is my soul troubled.
And what shall I say?
'Father, save Me from this hour'?
No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.
28 Father, glorify Thy name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
29 The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to Him."
30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for Mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; 32 and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." 33 He said this to show by what death He was to die.
34 The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?"
35 Jesus said to them, "The Light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the Light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light, that you may become sons of Light."

Part of becoming a son of Light is dispelling the darkness. But as St. Paul states, it is not a painless proposition:Col 1:24 "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church." What can be lacking in Christ's aflictions. Nothing, but if we are in Christ, then we too are called to this hour, and share in the blood, sweat and tears exerted in bringing Creation back to where it belongs.


The Son of God suffered "unto death", not that we might be exempt from suffering, but that our suffering might be like his. Christ offers us, not a way round suffering, but a way through it; not substitution, but saving companionship...Suffering cannot be "justified"; but it can be used, accepted — and, through this acceptance, transfigured.
The Orthodox Way
http://books.google.com/books?id=WpE8MwHLffEC&pg=PA82&dq=orthodox+way+suffering&hl=en&ei=yQ8QTbWXDITSnAfA1ZTDDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=orthodox%20way%20suffering&f=false
http://books.google.com/books?id=WpE8MwHLffEC&pg=PA57&dq=orthodox+suffering,+redeemed+transfigured&hl=en&ei=nxEQTdKyFIKWnAeImaiVDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
 

minasoliman

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TryingtoConvert said:
Well I apologize for my recent erratic behavior and taken that into offense.

What I don't understand is how a loving God would let disease and all of these problems manifest in the world. Why does the whole world have to suffer by the consequences of Adam?
Man influences other men to do things.  The story of Adam teaches us it can take one man to cause everyone around him to fall, like a domino effect.  One can start from Paradise and can still fall.  In Christ, one can start from the bottom, and work his way up, and in fact, one is perfected in that manner.  With Christ it seems, He dragged Paradise into this suffering world, turning our hopeless pains into blessings.  His Eminence the late Metropolitan Paulose Mar Gregorious of India says it all:

In a human person’s life, suffering is the most personal and intimate experience. Descartes definitely took the wrong starting point when he began with his “I think, therefore I am”. For most ordinary people, barring the academics, what they could say would be more like: “I think, therefore I am, I think....”. They would lack that Cartesian certainty about their thinking activity, which is easier for thinkers far removed from every day life. Whereas, if he had started with “I suffer, therefore I am” he would probably have come to quite different conclusions; at least he would have made more sense to common people. Because my suffering is my own, in a particularly intimate way, and I can never doubt it, even if others do not quite see it. The universal I is much more a sufferer than a thinker.

...

What the Christian tradition has taught me is not to ask for the cause of individual suffering, or to resolve philosophically the problem of unmerited suffering. My task is to use suffering that comes my way, for the exercise of self-discipline and compassion. I do not know why we have to suffer, but I know that where there has been no suffering there is no development of character. I know that compassion is learned and taught by entering into the suffering of others and by letting others share one’s own suffering, to a certain extent. Suffering seems to be Love’s way, at least in this world.

Suffering does not open the door by itself. The key has to be turned; suffering has to be transmuted by love. Hate and despair can turn it into poison. I am grateful to God that however close I came to despair in my suffering -filled adolescence, I did not give up. My little faith helped me to cling on in hope.

Suffering is the key to the mystery of existence in this world. That is why God himself, supposedly free from all suffering, decided to come and partake of it Himself. Thereby lies the Grand Mystery. God suffers, in Christ, in us, even today.


A key point of Christian living is to "rejoice in the suffering of Christ."  And if we are at a certain comfort zone while seeing others around us suffer, we leave our comfort zone to help others and spread this joy.
 
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Alright I understand more, and the responses are appreciated sorry I can't follow up invidiually...don't have much to say at the moment.

But regarding the OT God? It seemed like he was such a dictator, all these laws and commandments and I was reading when Moses got the Ten Commandments from mt Sinai and the language being used...it just seems like this is an all powerful distant God.

I don't even know how you can interprete the OT God in the light of Christ, I am finding that much too hard to do.
 

minasoliman

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TryingtoConvert said:
Alright I understand more, and the responses are appreciated sorry I can't follow up invidiually...don't have much to say at the moment.

But regarding the OT God? It seemed like he was such a dictator, all these laws and commandments and I was reading when Moses got the Ten Commandments from mt Sinai and the language being used...it just seems like this is an all powerful distant God.

I don't even know how you can interprete the OT God in the light of Christ, I am finding that much too hard to do.
It is understood that man described God in a way he/she related to at the time.  It is understood that humanity in the OT was immature, childish or adolescent in behavior.  At one point they all followed God's commands, then fail, then back again after suffering, then fail, then back again, then fail, and so on and so forth.  The story of Israel is one with equally both praise and rebuke.  God was like a Father who pretty much praises their good deeds and terrifies them with their bad deeds, not that God is wrathful in any literal sense.  His wrath was that like a parent to a little child so that they can be geared towards the right way.  Also keep in mind, many of the stories really is not God punishing them directly, but rather letting them see for themselves the consequences of their own actions.

Some laws sound rough, but some of these laws were too unrealistic to follow.  Origen, third century theologian commented on the idea that circumcision law of a baby boy, i.e. it is written, if it is not done by the 8th day, the infant is cut off from the people.  Origen explained this doesn't advocate infanticide.  In fact, common sense should punish the father if someone deserved punishing.  The idea is the spirit of the law, not the literality.  In Christian understanding, circumcision is not taken literally, but that of the heart, removing old sins and garbage from your life, cutting them off, and being a new and free man in Christ.

Again, also the blood sacrifices that were performed were vain when people lost the point:

"For if You desired sacrifice, I would have given it with whole burnt offerings, but You shall not be pleased.  A sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.  A broken and contrite heart God shall not despise." (Psalm 51)

The blood sacrifices also an indication of a type of Christ, who sacrificed Himself for us.

Christ even rebuked the Pharisees for taking the law too literal and not understanding the point of the law.  Quoting out of memory, "If a lamb falls into the ditch on the Sabbath, will you not save it?" said Christ, rebuking the Pharisees for interpreting the literal commandment of resting on the Sabbath incorrectly.

So, in the NT now, you have the symbolism of a mature humanity.  God comes and rather than being above you, raising you, pruning you, disciplining you, He is now an equal to you, encouraging you, helping you understand, enlightening you, and teaching you to love and sacrifice as He did.  It is considered the fulfillment of the OT, and it is why we see the OT through NT lens.  It as like an adult who grows up and realizes the foolishness of his adolescent years, and while acknowledging some fiction along the way that help gear you to the right path, you understand also that these stories still prophetically lead to the fulfillment of the Incarnation of God the Word who raises us up to be closer to Him now, tearing down the veil of the temple altar, and revealing His glory to all.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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TryingtoConvert said:
What I don't understand is how a loving God would let disease and all of these problems manifest in the world. Why does the whole world have to suffer by the consequences of Adam?
Because I am Adam, and you are Adam. We are the cause of the disease and suffering, by our disobedience and deficiency.  But we are called to be the New Adam; to breathe life into the cosmos.

Disease and all of these problems exist precisely because we are created in the divine image and likeness. In order for love to exist there has to be freedom in choice and will, and rebellion and death are the price of this freedom. But in the midst of it, there is still the potential to love. Death, disease and the like are distortions of our true nature and potential. But God was not so apathetic as to leave it this way. He sent his son to free us from death and infirmity by uniting it with his perfection, and thus absorbing all unrighteousness. In that perfect life we find the keys to immortality and victory over death, disease and decay. We arise from the dead glorified; deified.
 

ialmisry

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TryingtoConvert said:
Alright I understand more, and the responses are appreciated sorry I can't follow up invidiually...don't have much to say at the moment.

But regarding the OT God? It seemed like he was such a dictator, all these laws and commandments and I was reading when Moses got the Ten Commandments from mt Sinai and the language being used...it just seems like this is an all powerful distant God.
That is because He was. What I mean by that is there was the natural sepearation between Creator and creation, which the Fall widened into a chasm.  This was symbolized/embodied by the curtain which seperated the Ark of the Covenant and us. At the Crucifixion, as St. Matthew tells us (27:51), it was torn in two, because of "the new and living way which He [Christ] opened for us through the veil, that is, through His flesh (Heb. 10:20). The Jewish Talmud (Yoma 39b) suprisingly provides corroboration: it tells us that for about 40 years before the destruction (70 AD) of the Temple (i.e. the time of Christ's Crucifixion ) every night the gates of the Temple would open of their own accord, and Rabbi Yohanan B. Zakkai rebuked them saying, "Temple, Temple, why do you alarm us? We know that you are destined to be destroyed"
http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/Parochet/parochet.html
Christ offered the archtype of which all the various sacrifices of the OT only prefigured and reflected various aspects of it, the Son of God and the Son of Man pouring out His being to join man to God.

When Moses asked God's name, he was reflecting the prevailing thought in the Middle East: to know a god's name was to be able to put the deity at this beck and call, much like one would call a dog and tell him to fetch.  To this God tells Moses that He is above such things, that He is too big for their petty ideas of power:
Exodus 3:13 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
Christ reiterates this, with a twist, when He says ""When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I AM, and that I do nothing on My own authority but speak thus as the Father taught Me." (John 8:28)
Once Moses asked to see God's glory:
18 Moses said, "I pray thee, show me Your glory." 19 And he said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you My name 'The LORD I AM'; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But," He said, "you cannot see My face; for man shall not see Me and live." 21 And the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by Me where you shall stand upon the rock; 22 and while My glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with My hand until I have passed by; 23 then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."
"Face," "hand" and "back" here are metaphorical, as God had no spatial dimensions. But when God entered space and time through the Incarnation, He replies to His disciples request, which echoes Moses':
John 14:8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does his works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
As St. Paul explains (II Cor. 3)
3 and you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses' face because of its brightness, fading as this was, 8 will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? 9 For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. 11 For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor. 12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. 14 But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But before that could occur, the way had to be prepared, which brings up your second comment.

I don't even know how you can interprete the OT God in the light of Christ, I am finding that much too hard to do.
The Fathers point out that Genesis, the first book of the OT law begins in Paradise and ends (Gen. 50:26) in a coffin in Egypt, underlying how far man had strayed. Scripture then takes up the giving of the Law in Exodus.  To cut it short, for brevity's sake, the Law was given for many complimentary reasons, e.g. :1) to show that man cannot save himself.  The OT records that unrepentent and unregenerated man repeats Adam's error in trying to be God without God, 2) to cultivate holiness from without so that He could in time come to cultivate holiness from within.  The OT records a progressive narrowing  down from Adam to Noah to Abraham to David all the way down to the Virgin Mary, the New Eve, who does not listen to the serpent's hissing promises of divinity but instead conceives God the Word through the ear (as the Fathers say) by hearing the call of God delievered by Gabriel and ansering "Behold the handmaiden of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." As my priest says, all of creation hung on her "yes" to God, as God didn't have a plan B.  3) to prepare the soil do that the new Creation would take root and grow without weeds.  In the beginning of OT, the Hebrews are no better than their neighbors in idolatry and polytheism, and the degenerate morality that engendered. As Moses points out at the giving of the Law:
Deut. 7:6 "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples; 8 but it is because the LORD loves you, and is keeping the oath which he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and requites to their face those who hate him, by destroying them; he will not be slack with him who hates him, he will requite him to his face. 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command you this day. 12 "And because you hearken to these ordinances, and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which he swore to your fathers to keep;...9:1 "Hear, O Israel; you are to pass over the Jordan this day, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves, cities great and fortified up to heaven, 2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, 'Who can stand before the sons of Anak?' 3 Know therefore this day that He who goes over before you as a devouring fire is the LORD your God; He will destroy them and subdue them before you; so you shall drive them out, and make them perish quickly, as the LORD has promised you. 4 "Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, 'It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land'; whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. 5 Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that He may confirm the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6 "Know therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. 7 Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day you came out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD."

That centuries later the Hebrews were still not ready, the Prophet Amos lamented:
...2:4 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have rejected the law of the LORD,
and have not kept his statutes,
but their lies have led them astray,
after which their fathers walked.
5 So I will send a fire upon Judah,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem."
6 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of shoes--
7 they that trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,
and turn aside the way of the afflicted;
a man and his father go in to the same maiden,
so that my holy name is profaned;
8 they lay themselves down beside every altar
upon garments taken in pledge;
and in the house of their God
they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
9 "Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,
whose height was like the height of the cedars,
and whose strenght was that as the oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above,
and his roots beneath.
10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
and led you forty years in the wilderness,
to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,
and some of your young men for Nazirites.
Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?" says the LORD.
12 "But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
and commanded the prophets 'You shall not prophesy.'
13 "Behold, I will press you down in your place,
as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
14 Flight shall perish from the swift,
and the strong shall not retain his strength,
nor shall the mighty save his life;
15 he who handles the bow shall not stand,
and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself,
nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;
16 and he who is stout of heart among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day," says the LORD.
3:1 Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you,
O people of Israel,
against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt:
2 "Of all the families of the earth, I have known only you;
therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."

However, the Lord was determined to reveal Himself in Israel's seed, in spite of themselves, as the Prophet Hosea demonstrated (3):
1 And the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is beloved of a paramour and is an adulteress; even as the LORD loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins [the pagan version of communion]." 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. 3 And I said to her, "You must dwell as mine for many days; you shall not play the harlot, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you." 4 For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.

Indeed, the Prophet Joel (2) both warns and promises:
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming,
it is near,
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people;
their like has never been from of old,
nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.
3 Fire devours before them,
and behind them a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them,
but after them a desolate wilderness,
and nothing escapes them.
4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses,
and like war horses they run.
5 As with the rumbling of chariots,
they leap on the tops of the mountains,
like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble,
like a powerful army drawn up for battle.
6 Before them peoples are in anguish,
all faces grow pale.
7 Like warriors they charge,
like soldiers they scale the wall.
They march each on his way, t
hey do not swerve from their paths.
8 They do not jostle one another,
each marches in his path;
they burst through the weapons and are not halted.
9 They leap upon the city,
they run upon the walls;
they climb up into the houses,
they enter through the windows like a thief.
10 The earth quakes before them,
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 The LORD utters his voice before his army,
for his host is exceedingly great;
he that executes his word is powerful.

For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?

12 "Yet even now," says the LORD,
"return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments."

Return to the LORD, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love,
and repents of evil.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and repent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a cereal offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?

It took the wake up call of the Babylonian Exile to set the Hebrews straight, and the Prophet Malachi directed them to continue on that path:

3:1 "Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? "For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years. 5 "Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts. 6 "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.

Thereafter we see in the books of the Maccabbees the Hebrews dying rather than follow their kinsmen in disobeying the Law and worshipping Antiochus as ""God Manifest," and eating pigs sacrificed to the Greek pantheon:
2 Maccabbees 7:9 And when he was at his last breath, he said, "You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws." 10 After him, the third was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched forth his hands, 11 and said nobly, "I got these from Heaven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again." 12 As a result the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man's spirit, for he regarded his sufferings as nothing. 13 When he too had died, they maltreated and tortured the fourth in the same way. 14 And when he was near death, he said, "One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!" 15 Next they brought forward the fifth and maltreated him. 16 But he looked at the king, and said, "Because you have authority among men, mortal though you are, you do what you please. But do not think that God has forsaken our people. 17 Keep on, and see how his mighty power will torture you and your descendants!" 18 After him they brought forward the sixth. And when he was about to die, he said, "Do not deceive yourself in vain. For we are suffering these things on our own account, because of our sins against our own God. Therefore astounding things have happened. 19 But do not think that you will go unpunished for having tried to fight against God!" 20 The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honorable memory. Though she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord. 21 She encouraged each of them in the language of their fathers. Filled with a noble spirit, she fired her woman's reasoning with a man's courage, and said to them, 22 "I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. 23 Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws." 24 Antiochus felt that he was being treated with contempt, and he was suspicious of her reproachful tone. The youngest brother being still alive, Antiochus not only appealed to him in words, but promised with oaths that he would make him rich and enviable if he would turn from the ways of his fathers, and that he would take him for his friend and entrust him with public affairs. 25 Since the young man would not listen to him at all, the king called the mother to him and urged her to advise the youth to save himself. 26 After much urging on his part, she undertook to persuade her son. 27 But, leaning close to him, she spoke in their native tongue as follows, deriding the cruel tyrant: "My son, have pity on me. I carried you nine months in my womb, and nursed you for three years, and have reared you and brought you up to this point in your life, and have taken care of you. 28 I beseech you, my child, to look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind comes into being. 29 Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God's mercy I may get you back again with your brothers." 30 While she was still speaking, the young man said, "What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king's command, but I obey the command of the law that was given to our fathers through Moses. 31 But you, who have contrived all sorts of evil against the Hebrews, will certainly not escape the hands of God. 32 For we are suffering because of our own sins. 33 And if our living Lord is angry for a little while, to rebuke and discipline us, he will again be reconciled with his own servants. 34 But you, unholy wretch, you most defiled of all men, do not be elated in vain and puffed up by uncertain hopes, when you raise your hand against the children of heaven. 35 You have not yet escaped the judgment of the almighty, all-seeing God. 36 For our brothers after enduring a brief suffering have drunk of everflowing life under God's covenant; but you, by the judgment of God, will receive just punishment for your arrogance. 37 I, like my brothers, give up body and life for the laws of our fathers, appealing to God to show mercy soon to our nation and by afflictions and plagues to make you confess that he alone is God, 38 and through me and my brothers to bring to an end the wrath of the Almighty which has justly fallen on our whole nation." 39 The king fell into a rage, and handled him worse than the others, being exasperated at his scorn. 40 So he died in his integrity, putting his whole trust in the Lord. 41 Last of all, the mother died, after her sons. 42 Let this be enough, then, about the eating of sacrifices and the extreme tortures.

Since the Hebrews had become singularly monotheistic that in such a monotheistic society that God could come and reveal Himself as Trinity without men falling into idolatry or polytheism with the revelation.  It is only in this retrospect that the OT makes any sense.
 

MatthewHoman

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TryingtoConvert said:
I haven't listened to them in years.

There is nothing wrong with judging God based on Hell's existence.

The particular and final judgments exist because of free will.
A statement as if it is fact, that is not supported by facts.

It is not for me to edit the teachings of the Church, whether they relate to dogma or are theological opinions taught by the saints, simply because they do not square with our own opinions of how we think things are or should be.
How about, because they do not square with how things are? Empirical evidence not something to just dismiss, while concepts that have no empirical evidence to back it up can just be dismissed.

I do not need to show humility before the Church, your mother or teacher. It's not simply a rebellion against any church, theistic concept or person in particular...it's not even a rebellion. I merely do not accept anything as true without understanding it and the evidence that backs it up. The only mystery of god I see is: why even postulate that such a thing exists in the first place?
Two things: first, have you considered that being raised within a completely western mental training has placed you in a position to ardently value only an intellectual approach to life? Within our culture, the west, it is very difficult for us to even see the possibility that there might be a world outside of our framework of logic and reasoning. This sounds absurd to you, of course, but you and others who adopt an attitude of scientific and historical proofs have severely limited your understanding of the world around and within you. Frankly, in your attempts to be rational above all else you have become closed. Are you even capable of being wrong?

Second, no one is going to convince you that God exists. And even if you were to believe that on an intellectual level, it's not enough. You must have faith, in your heart of hearts that He loves you. That, I understand, is what one calls belief in God. But I digress: God might knock upon your door, but He will not break it down. You have the human will to make human decisions. So make them wisely. I suspect most of us have chosen this life to have a relationship with God--to seek Divine experiences, not argue reason. If you want a battle of intellect, religious forums are not the place. Religion addresses what man cannot.

I wish you luck on your journey, my friend. I hope you find what you're looking for. God Bless.

-Matt
 

ialmisry

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Alveus Lacuna said:
TryingtoConvert said:
What I don't understand is how a loving God would let disease and all of these problems manifest in the world. Why does the whole world have to suffer by the consequences of Adam?
Because I am Adam, and you are Adam. We are the cause of the disease and suffering, by our disobedience and deficiency.  But we are called to be the New Adam; to breathe life into the cosmos.

Disease and all of these problems exist precisely because we are created in the divine image and likeness. In order for love to exist there has to be freedom in choice and will, and rebellion and death are the price of this freedom. But in the midst of it, there is still the potential to love. Death, disease and the like are distortions of our true nature and potential. But God was not so apathetic as to leave it this way. He sent his son to free us from death and infirmity by uniting it with his perfection, and thus absorbing all unrighteousness. In that perfect life we find the keys to immortality and victory over death, disease and decay. We arise from the dead glorified; deified.
I would not say that rebellion and death are the price of this freedom, but that they are the consequence of the misuse of this freedom.
 

greekischristian

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ialmisry said:
TryingtoConvert said:
Alright I understand more, and the responses are appreciated sorry I can't follow up invidiually...don't have much to say at the moment.

But regarding the OT God? It seemed like he was such a dictator, all these laws and commandments and I was reading when Moses got the Ten Commandments from mt Sinai and the language being used...it just seems like this is an all powerful distant God.
That is because He was. What I mean by that is there was the natural sepearation between Creator and creation, which the Fall widened into a chasm.  This was symbolized/embodied by the curtain which seperated the Ark of the Covenant and us. At the Crucifixion, as St. Matthew tells us (27:51), it was torn in two, because of "the new and living way which He [Christ] opened for us through the veil, that is, through His flesh (Heb. 10:20). The Jewish Talmud (Yoma 39b) suprisingly provides corroboration: it tells us that for about 40 years before the destruction (70 AD) of the Temple (i.e. the time of Christ's Crucifixion ) every night the gates of the Temple would open of their own accord, and Rabbi Yohanan B. Zakkai rebuked them saying, "Temple, Temple, why do you alarm us? We know that you are destined to be destroyed"
http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/Parochet/parochet.html
Christ offered the archtype of which all the various sacrifices of the OT only prefigured and reflected various aspects of it, the Son of God and the Son of Man pouring out His being to join man to God.

When Moses asked God's name, he was reflecting the prevailing thought in the Middle East: to know a god's name was to be able to put the deity at this beck and call, much like one would call a dog and tell him to fetch.  To this God tells Moses that He is above such things, that He is too big for their petty ideas of power:
Exodus 3:13 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
Christ reiterates this, with a twist, when He says ""When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I AM, and that I do nothing on My own authority but speak thus as the Father taught Me." (John 8:28)
Once Moses asked to see God's glory:
18 Moses said, "I pray thee, show me Your glory." 19 And he said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you My name 'The LORD I AM'; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But," He said, "you cannot see My face; for man shall not see Me and live." 21 And the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by Me where you shall stand upon the rock; 22 and while My glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with My hand until I have passed by; 23 then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."
"Face," "hand" and "back" here are metaphorical, as God had no spatial dimensions. But when God entered space and time through the Incarnation, He replies to His disciples request, which echoes Moses':
John 14:8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does his works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
As St. Paul explains (II Cor. 3)
3 and you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses' face because of its brightness, fading as this was, 8 will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? 9 For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. 11 For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor. 12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. 14 But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But before that could occur, the way had to be prepared, which brings up your second comment.

I don't even know how you can interprete the OT God in the light of Christ, I am finding that much too hard to do.
The Fathers point out that Genesis, the first book of the OT law begins in Paradise and ends (Gen. 50:26) in a coffin in Egypt, underlying how far man had strayed. Scripture then takes up the giving of the Law in Exodus.  To cut it short, for brevity's sake, the Law was given for many complimentary reasons, e.g. :1) to show that man cannot save himself.  The OT records that unrepentent and unregenerated man repeats Adam's error in trying to be God without God, 2) to cultivate holiness from without so that He could in time come to cultivate holiness from within.  The OT records a progressive narrowing  down from Adam to Noah to Abraham to David all the way down to the Virgin Mary, the New Eve, who does not listen to the serpent's hissing promises of divinity but instead conceives God the Word through the ear (as the Fathers say) by hearing the call of God delievered by Gabriel and ansering "Behold the handmaiden of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." As my priest says, all of creation hung on her "yes" to God, as God didn't have a plan B.  3) to prepare the soil do that the new Creation would take root and grow without weeds.  In the beginning of OT, the Hebrews are no better than their neighbors in idolatry and polytheism, and the degenerate morality that engendered. As Moses points out at the giving of the Law:
Deut. 7:6 "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples; 8 but it is because the LORD loves you, and is keeping the oath which he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and requites to their face those who hate him, by destroying them; he will not be slack with him who hates him, he will requite him to his face. 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command you this day. 12 "And because you hearken to these ordinances, and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which he swore to your fathers to keep;...9:1 "Hear, O Israel; you are to pass over the Jordan this day, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves, cities great and fortified up to heaven, 2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, 'Who can stand before the sons of Anak?' 3 Know therefore this day that He who goes over before you as a devouring fire is the LORD your God; He will destroy them and subdue them before you; so you shall drive them out, and make them perish quickly, as the LORD has promised you. 4 "Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, 'It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land'; whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. 5 Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that He may confirm the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6 "Know therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. 7 Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day you came out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD."

That centuries later the Hebrews were still not ready, the Prophet Amos lamented:
...2:4 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have rejected the law of the LORD,
and have not kept his statutes,
but their lies have led them astray,
after which their fathers walked.
5 So I will send a fire upon Judah,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem."
6 Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of shoes--
7 they that trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,
and turn aside the way of the afflicted;
a man and his father go in to the same maiden,
so that my holy name is profaned;
8 they lay themselves down beside every altar
upon garments taken in pledge;
and in the house of their God
they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
9 "Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,
whose height was like the height of the cedars,
and whose strenght was that as the oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above,
and his roots beneath.
10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
and led you forty years in the wilderness,
to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,
and some of your young men for Nazirites.
Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?" says the LORD.
12 "But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
and commanded the prophets 'You shall not prophesy.'
13 "Behold, I will press you down in your place,
as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
14 Flight shall perish from the swift,
and the strong shall not retain his strength,
nor shall the mighty save his life;
15 he who handles the bow shall not stand,
and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself,
nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;
16 and he who is stout of heart among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day," says the LORD.
3:1 Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you,
O people of Israel,
against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt:
2 "Of all the families of the earth, I have known only you;
therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."

However, the Lord was determined to reveal Himself in Israel's seed, in spite of themselves, as the Prophet Hosea demonstrated (3):
1 And the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is beloved of a paramour and is an adulteress; even as the LORD loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins [the pagan version of communion]." 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. 3 And I said to her, "You must dwell as mine for many days; you shall not play the harlot, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you." 4 For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.

Indeed, the Prophet Joel (2) both warns and promises:
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming,
it is near,
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people;
their like has never been from of old,
nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.
3 Fire devours before them,
and behind them a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them,
but after them a desolate wilderness,
and nothing escapes them.
4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses,
and like war horses they run.
5 As with the rumbling of chariots,
they leap on the tops of the mountains,
like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble,
like a powerful army drawn up for battle.
6 Before them peoples are in anguish,
all faces grow pale.
7 Like warriors they charge,
like soldiers they scale the wall.
They march each on his way, t
hey do not swerve from their paths.
8 They do not jostle one another,
each marches in his path;
they burst through the weapons and are not halted.
9 They leap upon the city,
they run upon the walls;
they climb up into the houses,
they enter through the windows like a thief.
10 The earth quakes before them,
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 The LORD utters his voice before his army,
for his host is exceedingly great;
he that executes his word is powerful.

For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?

12 "Yet even now," says the LORD,
"return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments."

Return to the LORD, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love,
and repents of evil.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and repent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a cereal offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?

It took the wake up call of the Babylonian Exile to set the Hebrews straight, and the Prophet Malachi directed them to continue on that path:

3:1 "Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? "For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years. 5 "Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts. 6 "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.

Thereafter we see in the books of the Maccabbees the Hebrews dying rather than follow their kinsmen in disobeying the Law and worshipping Antiochus as ""God Manifest," and eating pigs sacrificed to the Greek pantheon:
2 Maccabbees 7:9 And when he was at his last breath, he said, "You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws." 10 After him, the third was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched forth his hands, 11 and said nobly, "I got these from Heaven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again." 12 As a result the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man's spirit, for he regarded his sufferings as nothing. 13 When he too had died, they maltreated and tortured the fourth in the same way. 14 And when he was near death, he said, "One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!" 15 Next they brought forward the fifth and maltreated him. 16 But he looked at the king, and said, "Because you have authority among men, mortal though you are, you do what you please. But do not think that God has forsaken our people. 17 Keep on, and see how his mighty power will torture you and your descendants!" 18 After him they brought forward the sixth. And when he was about to die, he said, "Do not deceive yourself in vain. For we are suffering these things on our own account, because of our sins against our own God. Therefore astounding things have happened. 19 But do not think that you will go unpunished for having tried to fight against God!" 20 The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honorable memory. Though she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord. 21 She encouraged each of them in the language of their fathers. Filled with a noble spirit, she fired her woman's reasoning with a man's courage, and said to them, 22 "I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. 23 Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws." 24 Antiochus felt that he was being treated with contempt, and he was suspicious of her reproachful tone. The youngest brother being still alive, Antiochus not only appealed to him in words, but promised with oaths that he would make him rich and enviable if he would turn from the ways of his fathers, and that he would take him for his friend and entrust him with public affairs. 25 Since the young man would not listen to him at all, the king called the mother to him and urged her to advise the youth to save himself. 26 After much urging on his part, she undertook to persuade her son. 27 But, leaning close to him, she spoke in their native tongue as follows, deriding the cruel tyrant: "My son, have pity on me. I carried you nine months in my womb, and nursed you for three years, and have reared you and brought you up to this point in your life, and have taken care of you. 28 I beseech you, my child, to look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind comes into being. 29 Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God's mercy I may get you back again with your brothers." 30 While she was still speaking, the young man said, "What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king's command, but I obey the command of the law that was given to our fathers through Moses. 31 But you, who have contrived all sorts of evil against the Hebrews, will certainly not escape the hands of God. 32 For we are suffering because of our own sins. 33 And if our living Lord is angry for a little while, to rebuke and discipline us, he will again be reconciled with his own servants. 34 But you, unholy wretch, you most defiled of all men, do not be elated in vain and puffed up by uncertain hopes, when you raise your hand against the children of heaven. 35 You have not yet escaped the judgment of the almighty, all-seeing God. 36 For our brothers after enduring a brief suffering have drunk of everflowing life under God's covenant; but you, by the judgment of God, will receive just punishment for your arrogance. 37 I, like my brothers, give up body and life for the laws of our fathers, appealing to God to show mercy soon to our nation and by afflictions and plagues to make you confess that he alone is God, 38 and through me and my brothers to bring to an end the wrath of the Almighty which has justly fallen on our whole nation." 39 The king fell into a rage, and handled him worse than the others, being exasperated at his scorn. 40 So he died in his integrity, putting his whole trust in the Lord. 41 Last of all, the mother died, after her sons. 42 Let this be enough, then, about the eating of sacrifices and the extreme tortures.

Since the Hebrews had become singularly monotheistic that in such a monotheistic society that God could come and reveal Himself as Trinity without men falling into idolatry or polytheism with the revelation.  It is only in this retrospect that the OT makes any sense.
You do know that no one even bothers to read your posts when they constitute absurdly long quotes, right? At most, someone will skim over the first couple lines and respond based on them...but usually not even that. If you have an entire chapter of the bible that you think proves your point, just reference it and maybe give a sentence or two summarizing, if you feel so compelled.
 

Asteriktos

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Alveus Lacuna said:
TryingtoConvert said:
What I don't understand is how a loving God would let disease and all of these problems manifest in the world. Why does the whole world have to suffer by the consequences of Adam?
Because I am Adam, and you are Adam.
Do you really believe that? I mean really really believe that? Or are you just saying, or do you just believe it, because you aren't aware of a better answer? I'm not looking to get into a debate or anything, I just remember lots of times giving an answer on message boards that I knew was "right," but that I pretty much just accepted because I felt like I had to, like it was the only way I could consistently hold to or make sense of things. Sometimes I read these things, like "I am Adam, and you are Adam," or "the doors to hell are locked from the inside," and so forth, and I really wonder about this, how people can really believe such ideas.
 

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GiC said:
You do know that no one even bothers to read your posts when they constitute absurdly long quotes, right? At most, someone will skim over the first couple lines and respond based on them...but usually not even that. If you have an entire chapter of the bible that you think proves your point, just reference it and maybe give a sentence or two summarizing, if you feel so compelled.
But at least you were kind enough to quote it, just in case someone missed it the first time  :p
 
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minasoliman said:
It is understood that man described God in a way he/she related to at the time.  It is understood that humanity in the OT was immature, childish or adolescent in behavior.  At one point they all followed God's commands, then fail, then back again after suffering, then fail, then back again, then fail, and so on and so forth.  The story of Israel is one with equally both praise and rebuke.  God was like a Father who pretty much praises their good deeds and terrifies them with their bad deeds, not that God is wrathful in any literal sense.  His wrath was that like a parent to a little child so that they can be geared towards the right way.  Also keep in mind, many of the stories really is not God punishing them directly, but rather letting them see for themselves the consequences of their own actions...
So basically since man kept falling down and back up, Christ had to come to show us the way. That is why God became man?

And what about setting the stage for the Incarnation? I mean isn't the OT about setting up the savior as well?

I have a question, did Christ fulfill every single prophecy in the OT? And how many prophecies were there?
 

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GiC said:
You do know that no one even bothers to read your posts when they constitute absurdly long quotes, right? At most, someone will skim over the first couple lines and respond based on them...but usually not even that. If you have an entire chapter of the bible that you think proves your point, just reference it and maybe give a sentence or two summarizing, if you feel so compelled.
There you are, speaking for everyone by self appointment again.

There are many who, like you, have gone through any number of my lenghier posts, and feel compelled to stick in comments every other line. Are you admitting that you comment on things you haven't read, in other words you pontificate on what you know not?

Then there are those who post or PM their approval.

Then there are those who seem to skim through, see a point they like, skim some more see another point, skim some more.....Some come back and decide to read the whole thing.

And then there are those who I am a sure just see I posted it and skip it. The funny thing is those who have actually posted that that is what they do, aren't consistent and end up going through any number of my lenghier posts, and feel compelled to stick in comments every other line. In other words, in the first group with you.

You will have to forgive me that I do not cater to your group as my target audience.  So I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, and you have attention deficit: what a winning combination. :p
 

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Asteriktos said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
TryingtoConvert said:
What I don't understand is how a loving God would let disease and all of these problems manifest in the world. Why does the whole world have to suffer by the consequences of Adam?
Because I am Adam, and you are Adam.
Do you really believe that? I mean really really believe that? Or are you just saying, or do you just believe it, because you aren't aware of a better answer? I'm not looking to get into a debate or anything, I just remember lots of times giving an answer on message boards that I knew was "right," but that I pretty much just accepted because I felt like I had to, like it was the only way I could consistently hold to or make sense of things. Sometimes I read these things, like "I am Adam, and you are Adam," or "the doors to hell are locked from the inside," and so forth, and I really wonder about this, how people can really believe such ideas.
Life experience, that's how.
 

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ialmisry said:
Life experience, that's how.
Interesting. I used to be a very traditional Christian, and politically conservative. After a bit of life experience I turned into a liberal agnostic. Funny how that works.
 

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Asteriktos said:
ialmisry said:
Life experience, that's how.
Interesting. I used to be a very traditional Christian, and politically conservative. After a bit of life experience I turned into a liberal agnostic. Funny how that works.
Different strokes... :laugh:
 

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TryingtoConvert said:
minasoliman said:
It is understood that man described God in a way he/she related to at the time.  It is understood that humanity in the OT was immature, childish or adolescent in behavior.  At one point they all followed God's commands, then fail, then back again after suffering, then fail, then back again, then fail, and so on and so forth.  The story of Israel is one with equally both praise and rebuke.  God was like a Father who pretty much praises their good deeds and terrifies them with their bad deeds, not that God is wrathful in any literal sense.  His wrath was that like a parent to a little child so that they can be geared towards the right way.  Also keep in mind, many of the stories really is not God punishing them directly, but rather letting them see for themselves the consequences of their own actions...
So basically since man kept falling down and back up,
Some got back up. Others just fell further down.

Christ had to come to show us the way. That is why God became man?
Only in part: God the Son became man so that His relationship with God the Father could become our relationship with the Father.  Not taking us in like foster children, to be given an example of a good family and then sent back, but rather adoption into the divine family of the Holy Trinity.  In baptism our realtionship with God is not like that between Jesus and the Father, it is that relationship between Jesus and the Father.  As the baptismal hymn says "As many as are baptized into Christ, have put on Christ." As St. Peter writes in his second epistle:

1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As Pope St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria, the Great Champiion of the Faith of Nicea, states: "God became man so that man could become God." Not according to the lie of the serpent, which led to death, but according to His Word "'Let Us create Man in Our Image and Likeness'....And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

And what about setting the stage for the Incarnation? I mean isn't the OT about setting up the savior as well?
The OT has no other purpose.

I have a question, did Christ fulfill every single prophecy in the OT? And how many prophecies were there?
There are hundreds referenced in the NT itself, and thousands which the Fathers (and Mothers!) of the Church reference.  To give an exmple of one not in the NT, but expounded from the earliest days of the Church, Isaiah 66:
1 Thus says the LORD:
"Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house which you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest?
2 All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things are mine,
says the LORD.
But this is the man to whom I will look,
He that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.

3 "He who slaughters an ox is like him who kills a man;
he who sacrifices a lamb,
like him who breaks a dog's neck;
he who presents a cereal offering,
like him who offers swine's blood;
he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense,
like him who blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways,
and their soul delights in their abominations;
4 I also will choose affliction for them,
and bring their fears upon them;
because, when I called, no one answered,
when I spoke they did not listen;
but they did what was evil in my eyes,
and chose that in which I did not delight."

5 Hear the word of the LORD,
you who tremble at his word:
"Your brethren who hate you and cast you out for my name's sake have said,
'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy';
but it is they who shall be put to shame.

6 "Hark, an uproar from the city!
A voice from the temple!
The voice of the LORD,
rendering recompense to his enemies!
7 "Before she was in labor she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her she was delivered of a son
.
8 Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?
For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her sons.
9 Shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth?
says the LORD;
shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?
says your God.
10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem,
and be glad for her,
all you who love her; r
rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her;

This Prophecy was fulfilled at the Nativity of Our Lord, and God, and Savror, i.e. Christmas, because the Church teaches that the Virgin Mary, the New Eve, gave birth to Christ, the New Adam without labor pains.  The reason is that from the first moment, Christ was undoing the curse at the expulsion from Paradise, Genesis 3:

14 The LORD God said to the serpent,
"Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all cattle,
and above all wild animals;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed;
He shall crush your head,
and you shall bruise his heel."
16 To the woman he said,
"I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children
,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you."

Because the Holy Theotokos ("She who gave birth to God") listened to God and not the serpent, she gave birth to the New Adam without the pains of Eve. Instead, however, she experienced the pain of seeing her son and God dying on the Cross, where He crushed the head of the serpent.  Btw, according to Tradition, Golgotha, "the place of the Skull" got its name from Father Adam's skull being buried there. You'lll see it on most icons of the Crucifixion.


But back to your question. It may be better to say that He is fulfilling all the prophecies, as there were those on His first coming (which have all been fulfilled), some which were fulfilled during the time of the Apostles, some the Church has fulfilled since then, and some which will be fulfilled at the second coming. (btw, it is often said that the Jews are conflating the prophecies of the first and second coming, which is why they are still waiting for someone who has already come).
 

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Ortho_cat said:
Asteriktos said:
ialmisry said:
Life experience, that's how.
Interesting. I used to be a very traditional Christian, and politically conservative. After a bit of life experience I turned into a liberal agnostic. Funny how that works.
Different strokes... :laugh:
...different experiences.
 
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