Saturday, January 06, 2007

In The Beginning: Understanding Creation And Who Created It

Well here it is, my first original post with some of my personal views. Please keep in mind that these are only my views. As always, please feel free to express yours as well, in spite of the fact that you may disagree with me.

Not all posts will be as in-depth, not all will use scripture as a pretext. But I feel that before I can share any other thoughts and views on other topics, I must give all who read this blog, some background of some things that may help explain other things later on. As I said, I am not mainstream. I am not locked up in traditional doctrine. But that doesn't mean that I am locked in to my views, either. I can and do reserve the right to change my mind, as often as I deem prudent to do so.


Many that have read the Bible have historically believed that the first verse in the book of Genesis, is the beginning of all creation by the Almighty.

Gen. 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

But in my extensive readings, I have found that the actual beginning of creation is described in the Gospel Of John.

John 1:1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Let's break this down a bit further starting with verse 1:

In the beginning was the Word. Most biblical scholars have believed this to be Christ and I am in agreement with them on this point. But while it's not disputed by many in Christianity, the rest of this verse has historically been a source of disagreement in some factions.

...and the Word was with God, and the Word Was God. With God? Was God? Sounds confusing doesn't it?

Most Christians have believed that God has always been in existence. There's no more scientific proof for that, than there is for His very existence. But nevertheless, that's the story we have adhered to.

Knowing this, we can surmise that God, in existence for eternity past, seemed lonely and wanted to create something for someone, through someone. So if we are to infer this accurately, we can say this: God created Christ for the purpose of creating the heavens and the earth and for companionship.

There are some people that have interpreted this scripture as God and Christ, being one and the same. They contend that this is one place in the Bible where God reveals that they are both the same entity. Groups known as "oneness people" take a few scriptures, like this one and others where He speaks of He and His Father being one, as evidence of them both being the same entity. Naturally, I disagree.

Most Christians believe in the Holy Trinity. In fact, most of the "oneness people" were offshoots of the Assemblies Of God Churches, when the AG adopted the Holy Trinity as part of their church doctrine. Out of an estimated 2 billion Christians worldwide, "oneness people" make up only approximately 4 million. The rest are for the most part, trinitarian and assign separate status to God and Christ, as well as the Holy Spirit.

But I differ with trinitarians too.

In the Holy Trinity, we are taught the nature of God in the form of three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, with each assigned equal status. I differ with that theology for a couple of reasons.

1. God is not the Son, Christ is the Son. God created the Son, as I have shown in this scripture from John. Even though it says the Word was God, Christ had a distinct separate life after His creation, both in Heaven before He came to earth, and afterward.

2. I do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a personified entity. If Christ were here physically on this earth right now, He'd have to be somewhere. Japan, Europe, America, my garage, He would have to have a specific location. I would not go so far as to say that He would have to travel as we do, He probably could just say the word and He could be anywhere. But my point is He couldn't be in two places simultaneously. I believe that the same holds true for God. But the Holy Spirit can be. This is I believe, that the Spirit of God can be with Mary Ellen, Mustang, and here with me at the same time. It is a spirit, not a person.

So with all of this said, I do not believe that Christ is God, I do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, I believe that the Holy Spirit is the life force and personality of God that emanates from both. It originates from God and flows through Christ and those that believe in Him.

Imagine this scene:

God is lonely and wants to have a companion (not a conjugal companion). He has an idea in his mind to create that companion (The Word was God). He then speaks the word and by His command there is a Son (The Word was with God). And through this Son, He creates the entire world and universe.

We can safely determine this, if we read further into Genesis where we see the scripture where man is created (emphasis is mine):

Gen. 1:26

And God said, Let us make man in our image , after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Looks like their were at least two entities involved here. To me, it's easy to see that Christ was of the same mind and spirit as God, but the one and the same. All of the scriptures that said that He and His Father were one were true, but in a metaphorical sense. Obviously there is much more to creation than just this part, but here is where it all begins. And it is my feeling that to understand anything else, one must (at least) consider this explanation, if nothing else.

Thank you for reading.

82 comments:

A.C. McCloud said...

I must confess to being non-literal when it comes to Genesis. Maybe some of the posters can correct me on this, but if you don't consider the seven days as 24 hour days then the sequence makes sense. Besides, why would days be measured by a 24 hour clock on day one when the Earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep?

Being someone of scientific training I can't in good conscience believe the Earth is only 30,000 years old. I don't rule it out entirely, but all the evidence points the other way. That doesn't change my belief in God, it actually strengthens it, since to think someone got the order correct thousands of years ago (when most still thought the disk was flat) is amazing.

superfrenchie said...

I might answer this post further later, but at this time I'll note that one of your quotes is my favorite Bible quote:

"every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

I use it all the time to describe the people in my house!

ms. miami said...

lasunsett- i view the history of judaism as a development toward monotheism, as in a process that took lots of time.

regarding the genesis 1:26 citation, i read the reference to "us" as a vestige of ancient hebrew polytheism, wherein the hebrew god is speaking within the "council of gods," similar to other ancient near eastern traditions.

indeed, the commandment to have 'no other gods before me,' indicates that other gods existed within the culture at the time.

although there is lots of semantic wrangling over interpretation, the hebrew word for god, 'elohim,' is grammatically plural, further indication of a polytheistic past.

Mary Ellen said...

Wow, LA..you sure bit off a lot in this post! Great!

The confusion of the Trinity has been a real conundrum in the Church. It's no wonder people are confused, it has taken the church a lot of years to try and explain it, and yet, I'm still not sure if it's clear.

Many may know of the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church regarding how to describe the Holy Trinity. And for those who don't, well, unless you want to know, I won't get into it, it would take too much time.

The Trinity was touched on by the apostle Peter in his first letter with the greeting "to all those living among foreigners..who have been chosen by the provident purpose of God the Father, to be made holy by the Spirit, obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood."

Right there, you can see the Trinity was described as three separate entities. The theological definition of the word "person", is it is an intelligent individual substance, that is single within itself and distinct from others. However, a "human person" gives the implication that it has a body and soul, they are his own and no others.

(Ok, bear with me because this is where it gets really confusing...which is why many struggle with the teachings of the church on this.)

So, the Son is distinct from Father because he originates from the Father who is not the Son. The Holy Spirit is distinct from the Father and the Son because it originates from them, who are not the Holy Spirit. Confused? No problem, you have to read it a few times to figure it out. (BTW, while studying this in my theology classes it gave me enormous headaches)

In the Nicene Creed the Trinity is address this way, "Jesus Christ the Son of God, begotten by the Holy Spirit..." Later it was added,"... the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and together with the Father and the Son, is worshipped and glorified and has spoken through the prophets."

It would take much too much time to try to go into it further on a comment section of a blog. There are books that take hundreds of pages to go into depth the teachings of the Trinity, so please excuse me if this seems a bit lacking in information.

So now that I've tried to explain the Catholic churches description of the Trinity, I'll give you my take on it. I have come to view the Trinity as God the Father as a separate entity of Jesus, and Jesus as His Son, another separate entity. But in order to create His Son, it was necessary for God to take the Spirit of Himself, which in essence WAS Himself to produce Jesus. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and Son. I think of it as two spirits that have mingled into one. Jesus has the spirit of His Father within in Him and is part of Him. That is why Jesus is also God, their spirits have mingled and are one and their Spirit is the essence of God. Which makes sense to me when I read the word of Jesus, "No one can be with the Father unless they pass through Me.".

I have to wonder when I read Gen.1:26, "Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves." that God meant to have our bodies in the image of Christ, and our souls the image of God's spirit, but in order to have God's spirit in our souls, we must invite it. Not to say we need to mumble some words to send a voodoo spell to get this spirit, but to be as God, loving and charitable and make our souls a suitable house for his Holy Spirit.

Again, I'm sorry if this seems incomplete. It's just a difficult subject to dig into with one shot. Although, I have to say, that LA did a great job in making his point clear in his post.

SuperFrenchie:


//"every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

I use it all the time to describe the people in my house!//

I would also venture to say it describes the SuperFrenchie blog," every creeping thing that creepeth upon your blog." You have to admit, there have been some pretty creepy people over there. (ok...go ahead, say I'm one of them!)

Always On Watch Two said...

Note the use of the plural possessive in Genesis 1:26. For me, that speaks to the mystery of the Trinity because most references in Genesis 1 are singular.

Also, one verse states, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the waters."

PS: That use of the plural on Genesis 1:26 could be interpreted as referring to all three parts of the Trinity.

nanc said...

there is the "if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." and entire other studies to refer.

i disagree with you wholeheartedly.

are you from a jehovah witness background?

ms. miami said...

PS: That use of the plural on Genesis 1:26 could be interpreted as referring to all three parts of the Trinity

AOW2- given that the Torah was composed from around 500-900 years BCE (depending on the section) and the concept of the trinity didn't exist until after the death of Jesus, this seems rather impossible.

Mary Ellen said...

miss miami

Actually, the word Trinity is never found in the Bible, it is simply the name given to the complex teaching of the tri-unity of God that is found throughout the Bible, although we see that it is progressively revealed from Old Testament to the New Testament. In the Old Testament,it is more inclined to suggest or imply that God exists in three Persons (for example Gen. 1:26, 3:22; Ps. 45:6-7 cf. Heb. 1:8; and Isaiah 63:10), the New Testament reveals the Trinity more plainly in 2 Cor. 13:14, 1 Pet. 1:2, and Jude 20-21.

nanc said...

rev 1:8 states, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." kjv - which of the Diety of G-d says this?

rev 22:18 states, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." kjv - same question.

rev 1:17-18 states, "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:


Rev 1:18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." kjv - Who said this?

the first question you may wish to ask yourself is WHEN did GOD die?

just a little food for thought. i'm the food for thought police tonight - tomorrow night it may be someone else.

nanc said...

Elohim implies much - it is up to us to decipher and discern, ms. miami.

the Trinity is the most difficult of studies. it's not my forte, but i know enough to know it is so.

Mary Ellen said...

There is also this use of the plural form in Isaiah 6:8 "Then I heard the voice of the Lord , saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?"

"Lord" was actually written "Elohim" which is plural. Which shows that the concept of a tri-unity or Trinity existed in the Old Testament.

I don't mean to keep hitting on this fact, I just really get into the Old Testament. :-D

LASunsett said...

Well, it looks like there's quite an interest and a variety of ideas that are worth looking at.



AC,

//why would days be measured by a 24 hour clock on day one when the Earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep?//

Very good question sir. In fact, it's going to get it's own post. I brought this up on SF's blog a good while back (albeit in a the midst of a different context of a different argument), and it got some interesting responses.



SF,

//"every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

I use it all the time to describe the people in my house!//


Unless you obey my every command I am showing this to your wife.

;)))



MsM,

Very interesting theory there. I have never heard of this particular perspective. Did you read this somewhere, or is this some of your ponderings? I do not ask to be a smart ass, I actually have not heard of or read about this particular interpretation.

//although there is lots of semantic wrangling over interpretation, the hebrew word for god, 'elohim,' is grammatically plural, further indication of a polytheistic past.//

At very least, I think it certainly indicates more than one is involved here.



ME,

//Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and Son.//

I think so too, but more in this sense:

The Spirit originates with God, since He was first. But when The Father raised the Son's status after His resurrection, He made the Son co-equal with Him and with Him rests the Spirit, as if it were His own.



AOW,

//That use of the plural on Genesis 1:26 could be interpreted as referring to all three parts of the Trinity.//

That's what mainstream Christianity has taught for a long time. The vast majority of churches I have been to, teach this. Understand that I am not questioning the existence of the Holy Spirit, nor am I downplaying its role or minimizing the significance or importance, here. What I am questioning here, is merely the personification of the Spirit here.

This is similar along the lines of what ME was trying to say. We have heard that person is made up of mind, body, and spirit. Does a spirit have a mind of its own and/or a body? And if not, how then it be a person?



Hi Nanc,

Welcome to the discussion here.

//there is the "if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." and entire other studies to refer.//

Christ and his apostles specifically highlighted this a lot. But, what i think He was saying has to be put into a certain context here.

Many did not believe as we do, today. They were constantly looking for proof. Even His disciples had some doubts, from time to time. They would (no doubt) ask him endlessly, to show them the Father or let them go to meet the Father.

What He wanted to do was turn this into a teaching opportunity and say that when you had seen Him, you had seen the Father in a metaphorical sense. In other words, If you have seen the things that He did on the earth and were witness to the activities that He wanted no part of, or better yet, had watched his complete example, there would have been no difference in the way either of them would have handled the situations that Christ faced on this earth.

//are you from a jehovah witness background?//

No, I belong to no church or sect.

LASunsett said...

After reading my comments, I seem to have more then the usual amount of typos, because I am very tired. My age is showing in my motor skills and my ability to adequately proofread.

For this, I apologize.

LASunsett said...

Nanc,

//rev 1:8 states, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." kjv - which of the Diety of G-d says this?

rev 22:18 states, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." kjv - same question.//


Christ said this to the Apostle John in a vision John had witnessed, while he was under arrest and incarcerated on the Isle of Patmos.

What I believe He said here was, "I am the first creation and the last creation of the Father. Through me, everything else was made."

//the first question you may wish to ask yourself is WHEN did GOD die?//

Never. Christ died. God raised from the grave on the third day. Very few mainstream Christians dispute this.

If God had died, who would raise Him back up? This is another reason that I believe that God and His Son were two distinct beings.

Mary Ellen said...

Here ya go LA....a few typos aren't such a big deal,wait until you're this old...

I've sure gotten old. I've had two By-pass surgeries. A hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer, and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation, hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends.

But.....Thank God, I still have my Florida driver's license! (hi ms.miami!)

LASunsett said...

Correction (can't let this one go, changes the entire meaning):

God raised from the grave on the third day.

should read

God raised HIM from the grave on the third day.

nanc said...

this is your blog - you are allowed to make as many typos as you'd like! why, i did it just today.

the "trinity" is a concept that has made many a person mad (not as in angry) - my own 15 year old son says it makes his head hurt.

i left out a fourth part to my comment:

16: states: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.


14: Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.


15: For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.


16: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star."

lucky for you, or unlucky (however you end up looking at it) i had a long nap today.

nanc said...

don't you assume much by this statement:

What I believe He said here was, "I am the first creation and the last creation of the Father. Through me, everything else was made."

???

nanc said...

how old are you, mary ellen?

i'm 50 and want to know what to expect! so far, so good.

nanc said...

p.s. am i in a roomful of geriatrics?!?

Mary Ellen said...

//If God had died, who would raise Him back up? This is another reason that I believe that God and His Son were two distinct beings.//

and

//But when The Father raised the Son's status after His resurrection, He made the Son co-equal with Him and with Him rests the Spirit, as if it were His own.//

But wasn't Jesus' "status" raised at his Baptism when the voice of God was heard to say, "This is My Son for whom I am well pleased"..and then the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus as a dove. Once that Holy Spirit descended on Jesus, that is when His ministry began.

then

When Jesus died on the cross,his final words were, "Into your hands I commend my Spirit" and "It is finished".

So, was it God who raised Jesus after His death or was Jesus, after completing his mission on earth, able to raise Himself?

The Bible said, He arose from the dead...not God rose Him from the dead. No?

I'm partially with you...I think that God and Son were two separate entities, but Jesus was always the co-equal with God the Father. Of course, I guess we won't know that ourselves until we get a chance to meet with the big guy on judgement day,I guess, eh?
;-)

LASunsett said...

Nanc

//the "trinity" is a concept that has made many a person mad (not as in angry)//

I'd say it's both. Churches have split over this. I have seen much animosity over this one debate alone.

//don't you assume much by this statement://

Who among us does not assume? Is it a bad thing?

nanc said...

a.c. mccloud: of course they'd be 24 hour days! how could plant life and humans survive a thousand years between events?

"The creation account in Genesis 1 lists ten major events in this order: (1) a beginning; (2) a primitive earth in darkness and enshrouded in heavy gases and water; (3) light; (4) an expanse or atmosphere; (5) large areas of dry land; (6) land plants; (7) sun, moon, and stars discernible in the expanse, and seasons beginning; (8) sea monsters and flying creatures; (9) wild and tame beasts and mammals; (10) man. The odds of getting that order correct by chance are one in 3,628,800."

info found here:

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/C
H/CH801.html

this is but a mere fact of life - pardon my matter-of-factness.

Mary Ellen said...

nanc

I'm not that old...it was just a joke.

nanc said...

by not THAT old, do you mean as old as i?

Mary Ellen said...

nanc

I don't discuss my age on the blogs.

nanc said...

well, you told us you were everything BUT incontinent - i just figured it was a fair question!

nanc said...

besides - age isn't something you discuss - you either have one or you don't!

LASunsett said...

ME

//But wasn't Jesus' "status" raised at his Baptism when the voice of God was heard to say, "This is My Son for whom I am well pleased"..and then the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus as a dove. Once that Holy Spirit descended on Jesus, that is when His ministry began.//

Yes.

//then

When Jesus died on the cross,his final words were, "Into your hands I commend my Spirit" and "It is finished".//


And yes. But of the two instances you mention where He was elevated, this was the one that sealed his reward of being returned to co-equal status.

//So, was it God who raised Jesus after His death or was Jesus, after completing his mission on earth, able to raise Himself?//

How can one who is dead, raise himself back to life, if he has no thought processes? I just think there has to be an entity with life flowing through it, in order for that entity to restore life elsewhere. The entity needs that life, in order to think and command it to be so.

//I'm partially with you...I think that God and Son were two separate entities, but Jesus was always the co-equal with God the Father.//

I think you are right, but with one additional thing to point out.

For Christ to make an acceptable sacrifice, he had to willingly leave that status He had in Heaven before, take on the form of a man, and offer His life an atonement for the sin of the world. He has is cushy in Heaven. God asked Him to do it and He did it.

From the time of His creation He was given a certain status and has elevated it more than once. But still, there is the issue of when he attained this status in Heaven. We'll look at that down the road, in another post.

LASunsett said...

Correction:

He has is cushy in Heaven.

should read

He had it cushy in Heaven.

LASunsett said...

Nanc

//besides - age isn't something you discuss - you either have one or you don't!//

I have one. I try to forget it. But I am not old enough to, just yet.

nanc said...

you limit God's capabilities.

nanc said...

does that mean you and mary ellen are the same person?

check your posts.

Mary Ellen said...

LA


//How can one who is dead, raise himself back to life, if he has no thought processes? I just think there has to be an entity with life flowing through it, in order for that entity to restore life elsewhere. The entity needs that life, in order to think and command it to be so.

But aren't you limiting yourself to thinking in terms of human and not divine when you say that? Is it God who had to generate life within, or could He not regenerate that life within Himself?

I sometimes wonder if this is where many of the problems atheists have in trying to justify the reality of God. I think they put Him into human terms.

In the case of Jesus, we were taught he was God and man.

When Jesus went into the dessert for 40 days and He was tempted by the Devil, He said that He could call down a legion of angels if that is what He wanted, but He chose not to. Instead, He followed through with His mission as a man, although He was divine. Does that make sense? I'm getting a bit blurry-eyed myself....

I'll end this here, you can respond tomorrow if you like, I know it's getting late.

Good night all!

LASunsett said...

Nanc,

//you limit God's capabilities.//

How so?

//does that mean you and mary ellen are the same person?

check your posts.//


LOL

No. In fact just turn the subject to politics, and you'll quickly see just how different we are.

nanc said...

then why did you answer the pointed question i made to her? and she didn't?

nanc said...

well you're both coming from the same lats and longs in your sitemeter, so i assume you're either in the same house or at least of the same mind.

what else can i deduce?

those pesky sitemeters.

LASunsett said...

//But aren't you limiting yourself to thinking in terms of human and not divine when you say that? Is it God who had to generate life within, or could He not regenerate that life within Himself?//

I suppose you could make that argument, I have no more solid evidence about that than just my ponderings. But I look at what Peter (who was with Christ throughout His ministry) said here:

14But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;

15And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.


and I take that much more for face value, then I do my own musings.

LASunsett said...

//well you're both coming from the same lats and longs in your sitemeter, so i assume you're either in the same house or at least of the same mind.

what else can i deduce?

those pesky sitemeters.//


Not sure what you are getting at. We are not the same people. Sitemeters are notorious for not getting it right. If you look at ME's address and mine, you will be quick to pick up that they are not the same.

But beyond that, I sense an element of mistrust here. If you wish, you can ask Mustang where I live and see if it is the same town as what you believe.

One thing I do not like, is when anyone questions my honor, honesty, or integrity. And it sounds awfully close to that here.

nanc said...

1
United States Naperville, Illinois
2
United States Naperville, Illinois
3
United States Naperville, Illinois
4
United States Fayetteville, Arkansas


i would be the one with the fayetteville arkansas addy. no one else besides you, mary ellen and i have posted in the last two hours.

hmmmmm.........

i actually appreciate when my own integrity is questioned - keeps me on my toes. the ONLY time i'd take offense is well......when i don't deserve it.

perhaps you should choose your adversaries better. you are no match for the likes of me.

good evening.

you may wish to erase this post, but i have other plans for it.

LASunsett said...

Nanc,

Like I said, ask Mustang. You know Mustang don't you?. He's good friends with AOW, who has also commented at my other blog for years. What shows up as his address on sitemeters is not where he lives, either.

As far as what you do with this post, do what you wish. But do not come here and question my honesty and expect to get a pass. You are welcome to comment here, but you have no right to come here and get nasty with me or anyone else, over your mistake.

Disagree with me all you want, but leave the mistrust and nastiness out.

nanc said...

why have a sitemeter, then?

nanc said...

when was i distrustful and nasty?

nanc said...

i have a feeling any other sites who show up in your sitemeter will be those who i have alerted to this site.

i can check those with my own sitemeter stats.

nanc said...

i don't know mustang.

nanc said...

nigh-night, p/p. until we meet again.

eyes on you.

LASunsett said...

Nanc,

//when was i distrustful and nasty?//

You asked if we were the same person. I told you we are not. You keep insinuating that i am. That's mistrustful.

When I call you on it, you say to pick my adversaries more carefully. That's an implicit threat, That's nasty.

//i don't know mustang.//

But you know AOW, don't you? You and her are friends, right? Ask her then. She'll vouch for my integrity here, she's been at my other site since she has been blogging. She's probably the one that sent you the link. And if she was, I highly doubt she would send you here to make threats.

Always On Watch Two said...

LA,
Yes, I sent Nanc the link to this posting; I thought she'd be interested in what you posted. She enjoys theological discussions.

I have sent her an email vouching for your integrity.

I'll vouch for her integrity as well. Nanc is a contrary (familiar with that?) and has an edge--partly because of her days at Moonbat Central.

Does a spirit have a mind of its own and/or a body? And if not, how then it be a person?

My views, with no certainty that they are the final word:

I believe that a spirit has a mind of its own. As to body, a divine Spirit can assume a body. IMO, Jesus is an incarnation of one aspect of the Trinity, but He is both a part of the Trinity and separate from It.

The word "person" is a human designation and, therefore, flawed to describe God. I refer to God and the Holy Spirit as "Beings." Jesus, because He assumed a body, is the Person of God.

LASunsett said...

Hi AOW,

//Yes, I sent Nanc the link to this posting; I thought she'd be interested in what you posted. She enjoys theological discussions.

I have sent her an email vouching for your integrity.//


Thank you. Mustang, you, and I go back a little ways. I knew you wouldn't send someone here to stir up trouble.

//I'll vouch for her integrity as well. Nanc is a contrary (familiar with that?) and has an edge--partly because of her days at Moonbat Central.//

She's still welcome to come here and discuss whatever the subject of the day may be, but she must understand that this is NOT Moonbat Central and there is no particular motive to play those kinds of games, her or at PYY. It is my feeling that if her integrity is as you say it is, an apology would very much be in order.

Thank you for attempting to clear this up with her. Trying is all you can do, the rest is up to her.

ms. miami said...

me/lasunsett-

yes, i am aware of the christian revisionistic interpretation of the hebrew bible to support christian views. however, in doing so, the original hebrew context (still maintained by millions of jews, whose text was "borrowed" by christians) ends up being pushed aside.

lasunsett- i've taken several religious studies courses in grad school.

it is widely held by scholars of ancient near east studies that the road to monotheism was rather long for the ancient hebrews (based on biblical and other sources-other texts, archaeological evidence, etc.). many vestiges of their former polytheism can be found throughout the old testament.

the 'council of gods' concept was widely held throughout near eastern religions at this time. prophets/shamans who had access to the spirit world were thought to be given 'listening access' at times as the deities discussed human affairs.

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//i am aware of the christian revisionistic interpretation of the hebrew bible to support christian views. however, in doing so, the original hebrew context (still maintained by millions of jews, whose text was "borrowed" by christians) ends up being pushed aside.//

I don't necessarily see it as revisionist. I do agree that many in Christianity have pushed the Old Testament aside, to varying degrees of course. I think it is the Church of Christ (not the United Church of Christ, but the old Church of Christ) that has completely disregarded the OT, in their doctrines.

But if we look closely at what Paul wrote to Timothy (emphasis is mine):

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

ms. miami said...

lasunsett- i beg to differ. interpreting an ancient hebrew text as trinitarian is revisionism. conveniently, paul has approved such "corrections."

clearly, everyone is entitled to interpret as he/she wishes. i just want to point out the herculean contortions of logic required to come to such an interpretation.

we'll have to agree to disagree ;)

Always On Watch Two said...

LA,
Obviously, Nanc and I hold to "traditional" Christian doctrine.

I am more the "faith type" than the "philosophical type." Lots of reasons for that--personal ones. All of us have our own experiences.

I don't understand all the site-meter discussion. I know about site meters, of course, but I don't check mine very often.

Well, you know what they say: "Don't discuss religion and politics at the dinner table." Of course, this isn't the dinner table, but discussing those topics are often heated exchanges.

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//i beg to differ. interpreting an ancient hebrew text as trinitarian is revisionism. conveniently, paul has approved such "corrections."//

Maybe I am not following you here. I am not arguing for the trinity, at least not in the traditional sense of it. What I am trying to do is explain what I feel is a valid explanation of who God is, who His Son is, and what the Holy Spirit is.

//clearly, everyone is entitled to interpret as he/she wishes........

we'll have to agree to disagree//


You know me. That's quite all right with me. ;)

Mary Ellen said...

//yes, i am aware of the christian revisionistic interpretation of the hebrew bible to support christian views. however, in doing so, the original hebrew context (still maintained by millions of jews, whose text was "borrowed" by christians) ends up being pushed aside./

Christian revisionistic interpretation of the Old Testament? Interesting that you would think that. The Old Testament was written with the prophesies of the coming of Jesus. The New Testament shows those prophesies fulfilled by the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. How is that a revision? In the New Testament itself, the scripture shows Jesus, Himself, quoting from the Old Testament! (Matth.21:42)"Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: `The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it."

The New Testament could not exist without the Old. Did Jesus revise the prophesies of the Old Testament? A story cannot be told from the middle, it must start from the beginning. It is the prophesies of the Old Testament which attest to the truth of the New Testament!

I just don't understand the "borrowing" of the Old Testament. It was inspired by God through His Holy Spirit for all His people, not just the Jews. Everything in the Old Testament supports the views of Christians.

Again, the "word" Trinity is not in the bible, however, the concept of the tri-unity is. The word Trinity is used to explain the tri-unity, not change it.

Anonymous said...

This thread makes me wonder how it is I ever got A's in my 4 years of catholic theology in high school. I guess I was good at regurgitating the holy trinity teaching without ever really understanding them. And after reading all the comments here, I think I am more confused than ever.

But I don't really consider myself a catholic and have always been a little suspicious of the bible. Is God one entity or many? I'll never hear an answer that will satisfy me either way.

Greg

LASunsett said...

AOW,

//"Don't discuss religion and politics at the dinner table." Of course, this isn't the dinner table, but discussing those topics are often heated exchanges.//

True, they do. But that doesn't mean it has to lead to that. How is it that you, personally, can comment and disagree with me, without either of us getting ugly?

How is it that MsM and I can discuss and be miles apart on most subjects, and yet there is never an ugly comment, scribed by either of us?

Like I said, I know you didn't mean for this to happen and this was not your intention, in the least. And I do not hold you responsible in any way. It is the responsibility of Nanc to conduct herself according to good blog etiquette, at least on this blog. I do not feel she has done that. Still, she is welcome to apologize and continue to participate in the discussions, if that is her wish. But as of yet, she hasn't. If that's her choice, so be it.

The bottom line here is, you owe me no apology, nor do you owe me any explanation for her conduct here last evening. In no way to I blame you, but I think you know that already :)

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//Is God one entity or many? I'll never hear an answer that will satisfy me either way.//

As ME said earlier, it is not important as many other things. It's certainly not as important as it would seem by reading this thread or many others that will come. ;)

Mary Ellen said...

LASunsett

//It is the responsibility of Nanc to conduct herself according to good blog etiquette, at least on this blog. I do not feel she has done that.//

Exactly... and the problem wasn't so much whether she disagreed with the comments regarding the post,just poor manners in making stupid accusations and insisting on answers to things (like my age or where we lived) that was surely none of her business.

Maybe she just thought she was being funny and didn't pull it off very well. At least that's what I hope it was. Maybe she'll come back and explain herself.

It would be nice to block the site thingy (do you like my high tech computer talk?). It doesn't show up on my computer, but I think that is because of adblock.I didn't realize that anyone could tell on any blog the exact town where I live. Obviously, I am computer illiterate.

Greg:

Regarding your theology courses is high school...you never had ME for a teacher! Do you like my "Nunzilla" picture next to my name? :-D

Greg said...

ME: a wind-up nunzilla, at that! Who picked that out for you, one of the haters on the other blog??

Mary Ellen said...

Greg

Nah...it just reminded me of a toy that one of my favorite students gave me once. It was a hand puppet of a nun wearing boxing gloves, and you could actually make the arms move like it was hitting you. It was hilarious! I think I still have it stored away in a box somewhere. Gee...I wonder what he was trying to tell me? :-D

ms. miami said...

The Old Testament was written with the prophesies of the coming of Jesus

me- yes, this is how christians choose to interpret this text.

however, for hundreds of years (if not thousands considering the oral tradtion), this text was and still is the hebrew bible and was originally written without any trinitarian context.

if one begins with a desired result and backtracks, it is easy to make a text 'say' whatever you like. interpreting the text outside of its orginal context, however, will not get you close to a probable intent of the authors or the original reception of the text.

again, everyone is entitled to interpret how he/she wishes. i am simply pointing out some of the problems with such an interpretation.

furthermore, the hebrew bible continues to exist on its own merit for millions of jews without being a "preamble" to the christian new testament.

LASunsett said...

MsM,

//if one begins with a desired result and backtracks, it is easy to make a text 'say' whatever you like. interpreting the text outside of its orginal context, however, will not get you close to a probable intent of the authors or the original reception of the text.//

I don't always agree with you, but I do appreciate the way you stir the gray matter. I do agree with this in part, but alas, I will have to post on this in some fashion, at a later date. Bear with me, it's going to be awfully hard to publish what has taken me 27 years to study, in a few posts and comments.

Thanks again Ms. :)

Mary Ellen said...

//me- yes, this is how christians choose to interpret this text. //

the problem lies here, if someone does not believe in the Christian faith, they can claim until the cows come home that the trinity, or the tri-unity is only an interpretation that is wrong, or that it doesn't exist. The Jews don't believe in Jesus as the Messiah, however, they do accept that God IS sending a Messiah, who is God made man. They also believe in the Holy Spirit, part of the trinity. They believe in God, they believe God is going to send a Messiah who is God made man and they believe in the Spirit of God. Read the Old Testament and you will see it. This is why the "interpretation" of the tri-unity or Trinity is correct.

Just as you said that the Old Testament was "borrowed" by the Christians shows how little you understand about the connection between the two. In Matthew 7:12 it says, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

"The Law" referred to the first five books of the Bible, the books of Moses (Old Testament) in which God's laws were written down. "The Prophets" referred not only to the writings of the biblical prophets, but also to the historical books of what came to be known as the Old Testament.

Yes, it's true, the Old Testament is the Jewish Torah, but it also belongs to the Christians as the first part of their Bible. It isn't borrowed because it explains the prophosies that are fulfilled with the coming of our Messiah.

You may not believe in it, but you dismissal of it's interpretations doesn't hold water, unless you can show me another "interpretation" of what God, Messiah (Son), and Holy Spirit is supposed to mean, that is.

You don't need to backtrack to see this, BTW. Start from the beginning, it makes more sense.

Mary Ellen said...

Oh...and it might help to explain, the Trinity is described as God IN three persons...not three persons IN God, which bears out LA's thought (and mine) that God, Son, and Holy Spirit are three different entities.

ms. miami said...

me- none of my comments referred to whether or not the trinity is "true" or "exists."

my comments were solely about the use of an ancient hebrew text to support a christian idea.

judaism does not accept the idea of the trinity since this has nothing to do with their interpretation of the messiah.

the christian view that passages of the hebrew bible forsee and, therefore, confirm christian concepts is a view. many other views exist.

i understand plenty, i just disagree with your view.

lasunsett- merci ;)

Mary Ellen said...

I was trying (badly, I guess) to make the point that we didn't borrow anything, that it was the prophesies that were already written in the Torah, a book that belonged to them, that convinced the Jews who followed Christ that He was the Messiah. Of course, those who followed Jesus the closest,the Apostles and Disciples , were taught by Jesus the context of the Trinity, which I said earlier, the word Trinity wasn't used, only the concept of the word. They knew, by their belief and following of the Laws of the Prophets that God existed, they knew that He would send a Messiah and they were told of the Holy Spirit, also contained in the Torah, i.e. before the creation of the world, the Spirit was brooding over the waters (Gen. 1:2). The Spirit inspired the artistic skill of Bezaleel (Exod. 36:1), the triumphs of Joshua (Deut. 34:9), and the strength of Samson (Judges 14:6).

It just came across to me that you were saying a group of people got together, not that long ago and tried to construct events to fit their faith. That isn't true, of course, it was the history of events, from the time of the Old Testament, until the completion and fulfillment of those scriptures that is what our faith is based. Our Christian faith started with the death and Resurrection of Jesus which was given to us in the prophesies of the Old Testament, and continues to this day. That's why I took offense by the term that we just took some old Hebrew text and made it fit what we wanted it to say. I hope that makes better sense.

I agree...you don't have to agree with my view, but I am also careful to correct any misconceptions that may arise.

ms. miami said...

It just came across to me that you were saying a group of people got together, not that long ago and tried to construct events to fit their faith.

i believe that they constructed an interpretation of the hebrew bible to fit their view and their objectives.

in fact, i believe that christianity (esp. via paul and john) rapidly departed from the actual message of jesus of nazareth (who, in my view, aimed to reform judaism).

having a different point of view shouldn't be a cause of offense. nowhere have i told you that your wrong. i've only presented my own view.

ms. miami said...

oops- typo.

"nowhere have i told you that you're wrong..."

Mary Ellen said...

ms.miami

Sorry, I didn't get to this right away, I had grocery shopping to do.

Views are good,but when your facts are wrong, it gives a skewed view. For example...


//in fact, i believe that christianity (esp. via paul and john) rapidly departed from the actual message of jesus of nazareth (who, in my view, aimed to reform judaism).//

Jesus explains His view of the law very quickly after giving the beatitudes: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17).
Jesus had no intention of destroying or revising the law. He even tells us not to even think such a thing. Far from being antagonistic to the Old Testament Scriptures, He said He had come to fulfill "the Law and the Prophets" and proceeded to confirm their authority.

Jesus makes it very clear that those who follow Him and aspire to His Kingdom have a perpetual obligation to obey and uphold God's law. He is saying that we cannot diminish from the law of God by even a jot or tittle—the equivalent of the crossing of a "t" or dotting of an "i."

The value Jesus placed on the commandments of God is also unmistakable—as well as the high esteem toward the law that He requires from all those who teach in His name. His disapproval falls on those who slight the least of the law's commands.

For example, Jesus' scathing denunciation of their hypocrisy in making a show of religion, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence ...For you ...indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness ...You also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness" (Matthew 23:25-28).

This is what I mean about misconceptions being made about Christianity. I could give you many more scripture readings that varify what I say. I'm not trying to trip you up, but what you are giving aren't "views", they are just plain untrue. It's not a good idea to base your views on material that isn't factual.

ms. miami said...

me- the difference between you and me is that you consider the bible to be a 'factual' text and i don't.

as with lasunsett, we'll have to agree to disagree.

Mary Ellen said...

ms.miami

No problem...I just like to make sure if someone who is going to argue against a faith or dogma, they have their facts straight. It's difficult to claim that a book is not fact with misconceptions as to what is in the contents of said book, that's all I am saying. I gave you actual quotes from the Bible that verified my point. If you choose not to believe anything in the Book is based on fact, that's your perrogative, but I can't see how you can argue or discuss dogma of the Christian faith regarding the Trinity when you don't have your facts straight. It's like being in a debate about WWII and not knowing w what battles took place.

So, yes...I agree to disagree with you based on my facts..not views.

LASunsett said...

ME,

As I often say, sometimes it's hard to understand points others are making in the blogosphere, especially when the subject matter is deep, like this is. But I think I finally have the crux of MsM's argument figured out and if I do understand her correctly, I am able to say that her point doesn't sound all that unfounded. That is not to say that what you are saying is unfounded. I see both points.

But here's the thing here, it's awfully hard to cover 6000 yrs of Bible history, which I personally have been studying for 27 years, in a few posts. I wish it were easier, but it's not. Poor Anonim's head is swimming right now, I am sure. (Hi Anonim)

So, as we evolve the topics more fully down the road I will put things up that will cover some of this, if not the majority of it. We do have awhile to do this.

To everyone:

I think almost everyone here has done extremely well handling such sensitive topics here and all are to be commended. Let's not get frustrated too much here in the opening rounds, we have time to get around to everything more specifically, as time goes on. It's not a do or die thing.

I, frankly, am quite surprised at how much interest has been shown, in just four posts. I have spent almost two years at PYY and have yet to get anywhere near 100 comments in one post and the Welcome Post here, generated that. I am well-pleased.

Thanks to all.

ms. miami said...

me- nothing i've said is factually incorrect since we are discussing interpretation.

i'm very familiar with the bible, but i only look at it within its original cultural context.

if you re-read my comments, you'll notice that i've never claimed that 'nothing' in the bible is based on fact. nor have i claimed that the word trinity appears in it. however, you are claiming that i am making such arguments.

i understand that you feel that your view is fact, but you and i have different criteria for what constitutes a 'fact.' and that's ok.

Mary Ellen said...

ms.miami

Ok...lets look at it this way...

you said:

//rapidly departed from the actual message of jesus of nazareth (who, in my view, aimed to reform judaism).//

and I replied:

//Jesus explains His view of the law very quickly after giving the beatitudes: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17)...//

and...

//For example, Jesus' scathing denunciation of their hypocrisy in making a show of religion, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence ...For you ...indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness ...You also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness" (Matthew 23:25-28).//

Those are both, direct quotes from the text of the Bible. No? It isn't my interpretation, they are quotes.

How else would you interpret them?

You said you felt Jesus was trying to reform Judaism, He said He was not there to reform. I could also show other quotes from the text that also backs that up,

So, if you want to discuss text, that's fine. But when I find text that disputes your claims, that is fair. But to turn around after I find those texts (not interpretation of texts, mind you) to say that you don't believe that the Bible is factual doesn't make sense.

Also, you speak of Jesus of Nazareth (whether you believe He is the Christ or not is irrelevant) was trying to reform Judaism, therefore you must believe something in the Bible is factual, otherwise, how do you come up with that statement?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just trying to be sure that misconceptions on what the Christian faith is,is not distorted by misunderstood or false information.

Does that help? I'm not trying to be antagonistic, I'm just trying to figure out what you are saying.

ms. miami said...

me- this will be my last comment on this thread.

despite your doubts, i can assure you that i really understand christianity (both catholicism and protestantism, less with eastern orthodox), however, i disagree with its tenets.

they are quotes

this is what people have quoted as the words of jesus. i do not assume that he actually said these words.

i believe that there is some truth within the synoptic gospels (matthew, mark & luke), but take anything written by john or paul with a giant grain of salt (mostly because these writings are inconsistent with the synoptic gospels).

beyond that, i only view the bible within a greater historical context, which shapes my view regarding what jesus of nazareth was most likely trying to do.

Mary Ellen said...

ms. miami

it's kind of hard to argue with someone who says they believe in some of the synoptic gospels (mine quotes came from Matthew, so I'm not sure what the problem with that was...) and then when given information pertaining to that text,to say, you don't believe in that "portion" of the text.

//despite your doubts, i can assure you that i really understand christianity (both catholicism and protestantism, less with eastern orthodox), however, i disagree with its tenets.//

Of course, I'm sure you think you do,but,I will always have doubts when someone can't come up with a better argument than "that's just my view". I guess I prefer to back up what I'm saying with actual scripture.

Well, the discussion about religion will go on until the end of time, I'm sure, which is why LASunsett will be very busy with this blog!
:-D

It was fun anyway. Have a nice evening, ms. miami!

Mary Ellen said...

LASunsett

//I think almost everyone here has done extremely well handling such sensitive topics here and all are to be commended. Let's not get frustrated too much here in the opening rounds, we have time to get around to everything more specifically, as time goes on. It's not a do or die thing.//

Don't worry, I'm not in the least bit frustrated! I just don't like to let certain things slip by. You know...the spirit of debate and all. ;-) I think ms.miami knows me well enough to know that it is nothing more than any other discussion, nothing in the least bit personal, at least on my end, that is. :)

Besides, it's SF's fault, he's the one who told me that the French love to debate. I learned everything I know from his blog!

I've enjoyed your blog and appreciate the venue. Maybe you can come up with a topic on Islam. I'd love to learn a little about that.

LASunsett said...

ME

//Besides, it's SF's fault,//

Absolutely, it always is.

;)

Mary Ellen said...

Oh...BTW, LASunsett

God said he sent me these numbers for the Power Ball last Friday,but I wasn't paying attention because I was blogging.

Here are the numbers, were they any good?

1 24 40 49 50 (38)Powerball

LASunsett said...

ME,

No No No. Not the last drawing ME. The NEXT one.

Are you sure you asked for the right ones?

;)

Mary Ellen said...

LASunsett

That God! He's always messing with me....it must be some kind of deity humor. :-D