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Seeking

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by Claire Simons, May 8, 2021.

  1. Claire Simons

    Claire Simons New Member

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    Hi to anyone reading this

    When I registered here I put myself as a 'seeker'. Religion has fascinated me all my life but I do not have any religious beliefs in that I have no label, Christian or otherwise at this time.

    Recently and for the first time in my life I have come to believe in evil as an actual force/entity in and of itself. I have always know humans have a dark side but until now I didn't believe in evil as an actual force. Now I do.

    No matter how much I read I always just end up with more questions than answers. With religion I keep coming back to the same core questions:

    1. If God created all and is omnipotent then he created evil. He created evil in the knowledge of all that would come. Why would a loving god do this?
    2. God created man in his own image. He created the 'weaknesses' of the flesh. Why did he set mankind up to fail? Why does he punish mankind when he created us in the first place?
    3. The more I read the bible the less I understand the church. The bible is clear on basic things such as not calling anyone by God father and yet priests are referred to as father. Jesus spoke about the hypocrites who worship publically basically to be seen to be worshipping (virtue signalling) and yet people gather together in church. Why the contradictions between Jesus words and the practice of so many Christians?
    4. Men wrote and edited the bible. Isn't the bible the word of God? How is then that mankind censored the word of God? What about all the material these men left out of the bible?

    I've been reading the lost books of Eden and finding it very interesting and challenging. My questions are endless and the more I read the less sure I am of anything!

    Thank you for reading :)

    Best wishes

    Claire
     
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  2. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Welcome! :wave: I have faith, but a lot of questions, too. If you know there's evil, then you know there's good. Love overcomes evil with good, as Jesus did on the cross. Embracing my limitations to know all the answers and trusting in God's love is my approach. Enjoy the forums. :)
     
  3. Shrewd Manager

    Shrewd Manager Through him, in all things, more than conquerors. Supporter

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    Welcome!

    So He can bring you to Him in your need, save you and give you life. The doctor comes for the sick, the healthy have no need. Jesus raised up will draw all souls to him, because he is the way the truth and the life. All sincere seeking leads us inexorably to the foot of the cross. Have you noticed how ppl are starting to value truth again, as the world's shallow deceits become manifest? For the devil comes only to steal kill and destroy.

    He doesn't punish us retributively. He corrects us, straightens us out, sometimes it takes 'tough love', because we resist change. Like a screaming baby who needs to be held down in order to have its teeth cleaned, we often don't realise it's for our own good. With God, all things work together for the good.

    The church and Christian doctrine is a mess, mainly due to concerted attacks from the devil and his minions over the last 2000 years. Pray for us to overcome our hypocrisy and stubbornness, to banish the spirit of pride and ambition. But God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are always at work, there are great acts of self-sacrificial love, restoring faith and hope, healing the broken and freeing the slaves.

    The Spirit gives life to the dead letter. It's not so much the Bible translation or version you need to worry about, it's the prejudices and preconceptions we bring to it. If everything Jesus had said was written down, it would fill the world.

    God wants us to look to Him, seek Him earnestly with an open heart, and confess our need.
     
  4. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Welcome to the forum.

    May I suggest that you check out the christianityexplained web site for churches in your area that have or are running this course.
    If you can get on to one, whether actually meeting or via zoom, it will give you the chance to discuss aspects of Christianity and to get to know the Christians running it.
    There is no commitment to attend church.

    Evil is the absence of good so in that sense God did not create it.
    Why did Adam and Eve have a choice? Otherwise they would be preprogrammed robots doing what they were instructed to do.

    Only the Catholic churches call ministers father, as a prot I can't comment.

    Meeting for worship.
    There is a difference between serious worshippers and flamboyant look at me I'm worshipping. I certainly hope that when I attend church I am giving the idea that I'm serious and not just blowing my religious trumpet.

    May I make another suggestion.

    That you investigate Jesus, his life, death and resurrection.
    Did he live? What happened at his execution?
    What happened to his body?

    If the tomb was found to be empty, then what explainations are there and which is the most reasonable?
     
  5. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello Claire (@Claire Simons), first off, since I see that you are a new member, WELCOME TO CF :wave:

    I don’t have much time this morning, so I’ll answer your first question and then come back later today or tomorrow to answer the others (if they still need to be).

    God didn’t “create” evil, rather, He created us in His perfect image/upright .. Genesis 1:26-27; Ecclesiastes 7:29, so He gave us free will, and because He did, we are able to sin/to disobey Him.

    God could have created us w/o free will I suppose, w/o the ability to choose between doing good or evil, but He wanted us to be human beings with a will of our own for some reason, instead of human robots who would have been ‘forced’ to obey Him.

    Yes, He knew exactly what would happen, including the fact that His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, would have to come here as a man and die (that horrific death on the Cross) in our stead to save us.

    If there was a different/better way to atone for our sins and secure salvation for us, I’m sure that He would have chosen it, but apparently there was not!

    Praying for you (that He blesses you as you seek to know Him) :)

    —David

    John 3
    16 God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

    Edit: I see that others have already answered your questions. That’s great, but I will still check back in later in case you have additional questions :)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  6. kingsdaughter85

    kingsdaughter85 Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors

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    Welcome Claire . Have a wonderful weekend. God bless you❤️
     
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  7. HIM

    HIM Friend Supporter

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    Hi claire, May the Lord our God guide us into all truth.

    God created, we chose evil.

    Upon completion of each Day of Creation God said it was good. Natural law states For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thereby If there is good, there is evil. It was not created it Just is. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God; good they chose evil; sin, and the end result death.
     
  8. David Hunter

    David Hunter Be passionate about pursuing your purpose in life. Supporter

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    Welcome, Claire!! You'll find the forum very helpful with your questions, and already you've had great responses! :)
     
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  9. mnorian

    mnorian Oldbie--Eternal Optimist Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    This thread has been Moved from Introduce Yourself to Exploring Christianity;
    for a better fit and responses.

    Please be aware of the SOP of this forum:

    Exploring Christianity Forum Statement of Purpose

    This is a forum where non-Christian Seekers are encouraged to ask questions about those aspects of the Christian faith which seem hard to understand or accept, and where Christian members (see Faith groups list) can enter into discussion with them on these questions. The primary focus of this forum is Christian evangelism and discipleship, not to debate Christian Theology or challenge, attack, or argue against, Christianity. If any non-Christian member would like to challenge Christianity, they may do so in the Christian Apologetics forum. Please read and agree with this thread before posting in the Christian Apologetics forum.

    We recognize that sincere non-Christian seekers are looking for real answers, and the first reply given may be insufficient to achieve this. It is acceptable for the Original Poster (OP) to probe the answers given, and to continue the discussion on lines which help to clarify their understanding of the Christian faith. If another non-Christian seeker wishes to ask questions about the Christian faith, they may start their own thread. No more than one non-Christian Seeker (the OP) may post in a thread.

    All Original Posts (OPs) -- the posts that start a new thread -- must contain an identifiable question or concern about the Christian faith. Questions and statements that are either direct flames or imply a flame against Christianity, Christians, or any other group are inappropriate to this site, may be subject to staff action.

    New Christians: You may start threads in the For New Christians forum.

    Forum Guidelines

    Blasphemy

    The site-wide rules prohibit all blasphemy on this site. To clarify, members will not speak in a disrespectful way of the Christian God. Expressing disbelief in God is acceptable, as is questioning Christian beliefs, but this should be done in a polite, respectful manner.

    Statement of Faith
    All replies in this forum must be in accordance with the CF Statement of Faith (SoF). This means that your replies cannot disagree with the SoF. As an example, you may not answer a seeker or new believer's question with a statement that God is not a Trinity, nor may you state that Jesus was merely a very good, human leader. All replies must help the questioner to understand orthodox Christian beliefs and practices, and the theology on which they are based.

    Especially the last paragraph above.
    Thank you.

    Hat off.
     
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  10. Deade

    Deade Called of God Angels Team Supporter

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    Hello Claire,
    welcome to CF.

    I hope you'll enjoy your stay here.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. mmarco

    mmarco Member

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    Evil is not a created entity; evil is the consequence of our free choice to rebel against God and to reject good.

    God has not set mankind up to fail; He created mankind with a free will.
    You must understand that if God had created a universe in which all living creatures were not inclibed to sin (such as angels), we would not exist. God , in His infinite love, has chosen to created also creatures like us, who are inclined to sin with the purpose to save us from our sins and lead us to the eternal and holy life.
    In other words, my answer to the question: "Could God have created me as a better person?" is: God has created better people than me, but those people are not me and God, in His infinite love, has chosen to create also me. However, this is not the end of the story; in fact, God can change us and make us better people. In fact God only is the source of all true good and true love. We are unable to pursue the true good only with our own strengths; we need God, His grace, His teachings, His spiritual help. We need to be saved fom ourselves, our egoism and our sinful passions.
    Only God can change us and make us better people.

    God punishes us in order to help us to understand the gravity of our sins and to help us to choose to abandon sin and evil.
    God wants to save all souls, but He respects man’s free will. If God saved us against our free will, He would destroy our essence of human beings. We are free to love Him or to reject Him. In order to be saved from our sinful passions and our egoism, we must freely allow God to change us and sanctify us.
     
  12. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Well, moral evil is, at bottom, the deprivation or absence of moral goodness. Such a condition can be found in us all; we are all of us, as the Bible says, at our core fundamentally and profoundly devoid of moral goodness. That is, in our natural state, we are all apart from the Ultimate Source of such goodness, who is God, because we wish to be our own god, to be self-ruling, autonomous from our holy Maker. So long as this is the case, we are deprived of true, moral Goodness which only originates and emanates from the One, True God, and so, are agents of evil in the world. Evil, then, doesn't exist in some one locale, embodied in one particular entity, but is within each of us, which is why we so desperately need God.

    Imagine a wood carver who fashions a wood-carving knife. The knife must be very strong and very sharp, able to shave off and dig easily into wood. Is it possible to make such a wood-carving knife that is not also capable of piercing and cutting human flesh? Though the wood carver made the knife to create art, to make beautiful wood carvings, someone could steal the knife and use it to commit murder. If this happened, would the wood carver be guilty of the murder? Would it be his fault because he was the one who made a tool that could be used in such an evil way? No court in the world that I know of would say so. The wood carver's aim in creating the knife was to make beautiful things, not to cause death. Only the one who used the knife to an evil purpose is guilty of wrongdoing.

    In the same way, God has given to us the "carving knife" of free agency. He intends we should use it to choose Him and so to manifest His beauty, truth and righteousness in the world. But the "knife" of our free will makes us capable of choosing ourselves over God, which will take us away from Him, the Source of all light and truth, into darkness and evil. Is it God's fault that we use what He intended for good, to produce evil? I don't see how.

    If God is good, as the Bible says He is, then of all the possible worlds He could have created, He has actualized the one world where the maximum number of people would freely choose Him. Inasmuch as this is the world He brought into being, we can deduce that a world in which everyone in it would freely choose Him is not possible; for being good, He would have made such a world if it were possible.

    It is possible, too, that the evil in the world ultimately, in ways impossible for us to see, serves good ends. If this is even possible, it defeats the notion that God MUST, if He is both good and omnipotent, have created a world without evil.

    Love cannot be coerced. The freedom to choose is crucial to real love. And it is this love that is at the heart of what God desires to give to us and desires from us. In order to have truly free agents really able to love Him, God had to create a world where genuine choice between good and evil exists. When given such a choice, Man chose evil. God, then, did not set up Man to fail; He gave Man the freedom to choose and thus to love Him.

    In spite of the evil choice of Man, God has made a way through His Son for all who would take it to escape the punishment their sinful choices incur. He's not out to get Man, after having set him up to fail. Not at all.

    I don't know why the first command you mentioned is ignored by Catholics.

    No Christian believer I know - and I know a great many - who attends church on Sunday does so with a view to virtue-signaling. In fact, these days, attending church often places one in a very poor light as far as the secular culture is concerned.

    God wrote the Bible through men. He inspired and superintended their writing of what we call Scripture, both Old and New Testaments.

    Men did not edit the Bible. The Early Christian Church, through prolonged widespread and common use of certain letters and Gospels, written by those established as Christ-ordained apostles and thus speaking authoritatively for God, very organically adopted the canon of the New Testament. Eventually, in response to challenges to this established canon and a growing number of letters falsely attributed to various apostles, the leaders of the Christian Church simply formally-acknowledged what that canon was. There was no 'editing" that went on at all.

    The canon of the Bible is what it is for good reason. Apocryphal and pseudipigraphal writings were excluded on good grounds, chief of which is that the Early Church did not adopt them as canonical. What makes you a better judge of what should be considered Scripture than the Early Church?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  13. Claire Simons

    Claire Simons New Member

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    Thank you very much for the warm welcome, I really appreciate it. You have already given me much to ponder on so thank you :)

    I think I may have it wrong. I thought, from what I have read in the bible, that God created The Light. Through the light He then created the heavenly hosts 'sons of God' who assisted him with creation.Lucifer was one of them. God then created the animals and Adam and Eve. God created Lucifer and the heavenly host before he created Adam and Eve, the 'sons of man'. I haven't been able to find any reference in the bible to the heavenly host, the 'sons of god' being given free will by God. Therefore, as an omnipotent entity, he created evil before he created mankind. Am I reading it wrong?
     
  14. Claire Simons

    Claire Simons New Member

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    I've been studying and reading about these things for years but end up with more questions :)
     
  15. Claire Simons

    Claire Simons New Member

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    Hi Aiki

    You stated "The canon of the Bible is what it is for good reason. Apocryphal and pseudipigraphal writings were excluded on good grounds, chief of which is that the Early Church did not adopt them as canonical. What makes you a better judge of what should be considered Scripture than the Early Church?"

    First may I was why so aggressive and rude? Where did I say I was a better judge?Im trying to understand why men censored the bible by omitting material from it. What was their reasoning and motivation? Just because the early church did not adopt them as canonical, I could ask you the question, what made them better judges as to what books the bible should contain? Surely that decision is Gods alone. I'm sorry you feel the need to be so rude over a simple question. I think I will keep my questions to myself form now on.
     
  16. mmarco

    mmarco Member

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    Yes, you are reading it wrong. Evil is not a created entity.
    Besides, you must understand that the Genesis is not to be interpreted literally, but it has an allegorical meaning. I strongly recommand you to read and meditate the New Testament, together with many commentaries, before reading the Old Testament.
    The Bible provides a progressive understanding of God's nature, and in some verses of the Old Testament you can find wrong anthropomorphic ideas about God, which are expression of a certain spiritual immaturity.

    John 1: 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ .
     
  17. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    I'm afraid you've overlaid a tone upon my words that isn't really there. Maybe I should have added a smiley face...

    Anyway, my question was sincere. Is there some good reason you have for thinking you can better decide what the canon of Scripture should be? I'm not asking this with snarky intent but with curiosity.

    The word "censoring" suggests to me that you think something untoward, something evil, even, has taken place in the formal acknowledgment of a clearly-defined and closed biblical canon; that legitimate Scripture has been excluded from the canon of the Bible. As I've explained, however. this isn't the case.

    It wasn't until more than three centuries had passed that, necessitated by the challenges of Marcionism and Gnosticism in particular, the canon of Scripture, well-established by prolonged and common use of the Early Church as divinely-inspired Scripture, was formally acknowledged and closed. Many other letters and writings of the apostles and various Church leaders existed alongside the "books" of the New Testament, but none of them were adopted as canon by the Early Church because they did not, for various reasons, commend themselves as divine Scripture to the Church (I don't mean here the Roman Catholic organization, but, rather, the Body of Believers universal).

    The Early Church had, of course, much nearer, more direct, connections to the original manuscripts, teachings, and authors of the NT than we do today. Much has been lost to us over the two millenia since the canon was first delivered through the Apostles to the Church. This puts the Early Church in a far better position to recognize the spiritual authority of the writings they embraced as canonical, don't you think?
     
  18. Claire Simons

    Claire Simons New Member

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    You say
     
  19. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

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    Hello again Claire, all of space/time and everything in it (which includes both the angels and us) was created by Jesus Christ (who is God the Son) in accordance with His Father's will. In the first Chapter of John for instance (where Jesus is referred to as "the Word"), it says,

    John 1
    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 came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
    4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

    14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    So, it was the Lord Jesus who created everything (called everything into being), and He did so without help from anything in the created realm, whether it be "The Light" (whatever that is?) or the "heavenly host", both of which, again, were created by Him.

    We are told that the ~host of heaven/sons of God/morning stars~ .. Job 38:7 looked on and shouted with joy as the physical universe was being created, but they are all "creatures", like we are, NOT the Creator (who requires nothing/no assistance from His creatures) .. see all of Job 38.

    That Lucifer choose to disobey God is documented for us in the Bible from cover to cover. For instance, here are a few of the things that are said about Satan (and by him in Isa 14:14) .. Genesis 3:13; Isaiah 14:12-14; John 8:44 and Revelation 12:9.

    Finally (and again) God did not create "evil" or evil "beings", not even Satan (who was called the "bright morning star" before he fell), nor is evil a created "thing" of some sort, rather, evil is the result of a creature's disobedience to God.

    --David
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  20. Claire Simons

    Claire Simons New Member

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    Why the "Finally (and again)"? I really dont understand your tone. Is this how you treat people trying to find their way?

    JOHN 1:10 He was in the world [kosmo], and the world [kosmos] was made THROUGH him, and the world [kosmos] did not know him. (NKJV).

    The Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BDAG) says that the original meaning of kosmos was "that which serves to beautify through decoration, adornment, adorning." The Messiah was the "master worker" in charge of adorning the earth and the heavens with all those things which God had planned for His creation (land, mountains, hills, seas, lakes, planets, stars, life). Paul's statement in Colossians 1 about Yeshua's role in creation confirms this:

    COLOSSIANS 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers — all things have been created THROUGH him and for him. (NRSV) 17 He existed before all things, and he holds everything together. (CJB)

    Proverbs 8 speaks figuratively of the Messiah as "Wisdom" (cf. 1 Cor. 1:24) and tells us that the Almighty Father used him as His "master worker" (Pro. 8:30) to complete the creation of the heavens and the earth.

    JOHN 1:1 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. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him. (NKJV)

    I think I will leave it there, thanks anyway. If I had come here being disrespectful rather than genuinely seeking to understand I might understand the attitude I have had from several. As I get the message I am not welcome so wont be posting again.
     
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