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God Is a Physical Being

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by JAL, May 17, 2020.

  1. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Regeneration makes us holy. Evidently you don't believe in regeneration.
     
  2. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    And He will make us fully holy in heaven. You won't have freedom to sin in heaven. Does that make us Stepford wives? Curious question. God can't sin, right? Does that make Him a Stepford spouse as well?

    Here's why we can't sin in heaven. Sin requires temptation, and temptation involves suffering (viz. the agony of temptation). Since God intends to terminate suffering - heaven will not be a place of eternal torment - He must terminate temptation as well. Therefore sin will be impossible for us. We'll still have freedom to choose between good things (whether to play chess versus checkers, or eat strawberry ice cream versus vanilla) and freedom to use our minds (chess is actually cherished among intellectuals).
     
  3. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    BTW, my metaphysics is flexible enough to allow for the Arminian claim that salvation can be rejected because a material mind has both regenerated sections and unregenerate sections (the sinful nature). In fact 1John 1:9 seems to indicate a neutral section as well. Theoretically, if the neutral section of the mind freely chooses to reject the Lord, thereby grieving the Third Person situated in the regenerate section, He could withdraw from the human body, forfeiting our salvation. I don't know if He would actually do so. I'm just saying that my metaphysics is flexible enough to allow for both monergistic and synergistic salvation.

    Whereas traditional theories of regeneration, BTW, do not even allow for the sinful nature to persist. (After all, regeneration makes us holy). This is a longstanding contradiction in evangelical theology, even though no one admits to it.
     
  4. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    Come on now... say it with me: Jesus is greater!
     
  5. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Deflection. Indicates the lack of a cogent response.
     
  6. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    Come on, it doesn't hurt anything and it is ALWAYS a cogent response. Type it with me: Jesus is greater!
     
  7. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Inasmuch as you haven't engaged me on any specific points of debate in this thread, it would be courteous for you to delete those posts where you insinuated sweeping negative generalizations about me and my posts. How you treat your brother is just as important as any doxologies.
     
  8. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    I find a good way to hit the "reset" button and clear one's head for a debate is to remind ourselves about what is most important. A good way to do that is to simply declare: I love Jesus!!!

    Can you do that with me?
     
  9. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

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    Oh I believe in regeneration...I just scorn the idea it is a hypnosis like rearranging of our thoughts, our wills, to conform to HIS will.

    Neither does it sanctify us and make us holy or there would be no reason for the grievous painful discipline when we are trained in righteousness, Heb 12:5-11, after we are regenerated.
     
  10. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

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    Of course we will have a free will just like HE does but because of our experience with the consequences of evil and also of true love so we will never ever choose to sin ever again. Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. which implies we can choose either sin or love. This implies our enslavement to sin has been broken and our free will restore because before our regeneration our will is enslaved to the addictive power of evil and sin imbues our every choice.

    It is the strict discipline of Heb 12:5-11 wherein after generation we still chose to indulge the flesh we get slapped back until we learn righteousness is our best choice and we mature in holiness as per Matt 13:28 ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

    So the servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
    [ie, bring the judgement upon them] 29 ‘NO,’ he said, ‘if you pull the weeds now, you might uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. The time of the harvest is when the wheat is mature and the only maturity that saves anyone from judgment is a mature holiness.

    GOD can sin but HE won't ever chose to sin because HE knows its destructive power.

    Anyway, the Stepford wife metaphor is about robot wives with no will of their own to be a wife. They are forced to be 'loving, caring' fake wives without any choice. GOD with HIS ability to experience a real love will not abide this kind of fake marriage.

    The whole Bible story ends with HIS version of a pure righteous marriage of people who entered into it by their free will, some of whom forced the postponement of the wedding when they fell away into sin by rebelling against the call for the judgement. They finally choose holiness, the judgement occurs and then the wedding.
     
  11. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    You've divested regeneration of any meaning and also contradicted the fact that it DOES make us holy. For example 60 times in the NT, it refers to the believers as "the saints" where the Greek word there is simply the adjective "holy" and thus literally translates to "the holy ones" using the same Greek word that is used another 90 times for "The Holy Spirit" (The Holy Breath). Regeneration makes us a "new creation; the old is gone, the new is come" (2Cor 5:17).

    You're asking why we still need discipline. I already answered that. The sinful nature exists in those parts of the heart not yet regenerated. The holy nature and sinful nature are at war with another. Sanctification is waiting prayerfully upon God for outpourings upon the rest of the heart (Luke 11:13) until we are gradually filled with the Holy Breath.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  12. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    You ignored the argument. The capacity to choose sin in heaven means that heaven will be a place of eternal torment (viz. the agony of temptation). That's false.

    Scripture is pretty clear that it is impossible for God to sin.

    As I explained, my metaphysics is perfectly compatible with free will (in this life, not in the next). I even defined a neutral section of the human heart where full freedom exists.
     
  13. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    If God can sin, then He too lives in eternal torment (faces the agony of temptation).
     
  14. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    There are several reasons why the Inward Witness must have a strong influence over our thoughts for us to be saved - AND experience real security.
    (1) There are multiple religions in the world. Even if you're a religious scholar, you might select the wrong one.
    (2) God is ineffably holy - the feeble human mind cannot ACCURATELY conceive Him. Therefore any attempt to worship the "God" of the Bible (as as the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses do) will only adore a conceptual idol. Thus the Inward Witness must provide a vision of the true God (2Cor 3:18).
    (3) Children, and those without Bibles, the mentally handicapped, Alzheimers - these are people who especially need the assistance of the Inward Witness to both become, and remain, believers.

    In sum, the Inward Witness MUST convince/convict us of the truth. But as I said, my system still allows for an Arminian framework where the recipient rebels against the truth by free will (for those who prefer Arminianism).
     
  15. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    Seems like a no? Bummer.


    Oh well back to the topic I guess. I've only encountered this "God is a physical being" idea once before, although the theory was quite different than this one. It's an interesting story actually.

    You see we've had several practicing witches/warlocks try to infiltrate our church over the years. We suspected it at the time, but it was later confirmed because several of them ended up getting saved and telling us directly, confirming our suspicions.

    The first one was a guy that would come in and make a big show of himself. He would come late, while I was preaching, and stand in front of everyone while he slowly took of his coat and scarf and carefully placed them on his (front row) seat. He would leave little "tokens" around the church and even draw occultic symbols. Often after service he would approach me with off the wall questions/theories about the Bible. He was quite prideful of his theories and arrogant towards others regarding them. This is where I heard a form of this argument before.

    Another infiltrator would come in and be loud and boisterous and talk a whole lot of nonsense and WOULD NOT STOP. He would go on, and on, and on, yet no one could follow what he was saying. However, he acted like it all made perfect sense. He also left tokens in the church, including the symbol from the tv/book "the Witcher" (hint, hint). When we confronted him he came back in the night and literally built a witchcraft altar on our front steps.

    We also had a group that would come in of 3-5 witches (4 of whom are now saved and verified much of this). They would come in and cause as much distraction as possible, especially during worship.

    We learned several things from all of these situations. These people always knew their Bible. They'd ask questions & make comments, but they were often odd, obscure theories that they would use to try to get you off balance. We also learned that - though they seemed ok talking scripture - they couldn't stand the name of Jesus. It made them squirm every single time.

    When the first guy would ask me these odd questions, I'd say, "let's see what Jesus has to say about that", or, "We should always start with Jesus", or, "Well, does that (theory) glorify Jesus?" and every single time he'd lose his composure, mumble an excuse and scurry off.

    Similar with the second guy. We started just talking about Jesus around him. At first he tried to ignore it completely, then he tried make light of it and joke about Jesus. When we persisted he too would get flustered and leave.

    One time with the group of witches my wife was leading worship and could literally feel them trying to oppose her. So she just exhorted everyone in the room to say the name of "Jesus" over and over and over. To praise the name of "Jesus". She must have said it 2 dozen times. While this was going on the leader of the witch group turned to another member and said, "She knows what I'm doing!" and the other member said, "I know, I told you!". That was the day several of them got saved. PTL


    So I guess I haven't seen very good fruit when it comes to this topic.
     
  16. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

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    I ignore it because I find it specious.

    ...because HE will never choose to sin.

    James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. "GOD cannot be tempted by evil" means then that GOD has no free will because your premise is that the free will ability to sin must always be tempted causing agony. Obviously wrong... If holiness is by lack of ability to choose evil, it means stones are holy etc. which is prima facie wrong. Perfect holiness is the choice NOT TO SIN EVER AGAIN, to remain in accord with GOD's will and desires forever more.
     
  17. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    That's a copout. Real debate shows why an argument is specious.

    Since you evidently don't understand the difference between "will not" and "cannot", I'm probably wasting my time.

    The good news is, you do seem to understand, unlike most, that free will must enter into the divine definition at some point if He is to be regarded virtuous and praiseworthy - meritorious in a word. Merit has only one possible definition - this definition underlies almost every sermon for the last 2,000 years:

    "Merit is a status achieved by freely choosing to labor/suffer for a righteous cause for an extended period of time."

    Does God's holiness have merit? Historically the church implies No because they say His holiness was His innately and thus WITHOUT LABOR/SUFFERING. This means that anyone who has labored against the agony of temptation (viz angels) has more merit (merits more praise) than He does. That's a problem. I told you that I have redefined God away from the orthodox notions as to solve a number of historic unsolved problems. This is one of them. In my cosmogony, God labored/suffered by free will - at least 13 billion years if scientific dating is correct - to become holy, to achieve all his perfections (knowledge, skill, and purity) and to learn how to create and manage the earth (that part alone took 4 billion years if scientific data is correct).

    He also labored to become IRREVERSIBLY holy - to keep us safe. We'd be in serious danger if God still has freedom to sin. But I'm wasting my words, because you don't get the difference between "cannot" and "will not".

    Huh? This seems to be a non-sequitur and a strawman.

    No it's not. Holiness is the sum total of God's perfections, hence God alone is holy (Rev 15:4). Human holiness is thus derived holiness (it is the presence of a holy God descending upon an object to control it). You refer to such control as Stepford wives but it's true nonetheless. For example the tabernacle became holy when the pillar of cloud filled it - has NOTHING to do with free choice.(Did the tabernacle freely choose?).

    Our free choice is involved in ASKING God for outpourings of more holiness (Lk 11:13) - freely choosing to pray for revival.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  18. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Obviously correct. Where there is no temptation - no agony of temptation - there is no possibility of sin. Think about it.
     
  19. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    I can clarify this way. Suppose your conscience is telling you to do action-A, but a certain rebellious part of you feels some inclination to do action-B. This leaves you torn between two inclinations - wrestling with two inclinations. Might not be terribly painful if the inclination for action-A is exponentially greater than that for B. But if the two inclinations are of similar magnitude, you face a real agony of temptation.

    If you have NO inclination for B - no pain at all - there will be no sin at all. You will choose A.
     
  20. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Sorry I don't see any clear connection between these witchcraft stories and the present debate.
     
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