Did the Christian god create evil?

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:17 pm

The Abrahamic god seems as though it would be more at home with radical Islam. But that's just my opinion.

As for Christianity, they have taken ALL of this same god as their own, and see the Jews as being "cut away from the vine", with them [christians] being "grafted in". It's all New Testament ideologies. . . . . . Convenient as it is. However, you are right that the Old Testament god cared very little about those who were not Jews . . . and it seems odd that the New Testament god [except for Revelation], through Jesus, is completely different. . . . . wanting ALL people to be saved.

The funny thing is that the Jews never accepted Jesus as messiah, so it just seems odd that a group of people [Jews] would be given a special status when they would ultimately reject "his own son". It seems bipolar in thinking.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by Sakhaiva on Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:35 pm

DeavonReye wrote:As for Christianity, they have taken ALL of this same god as their own, and see the Jews as being "cut away from the vine", with them [christians]

Speaking as a Lutheran Christian (ELCA) ... while we are taught that we are 'grafted' to the tree, there are no teachings that say that all Judaic people have been cut away.

The grafting, btw, is an acknowledgment of God's grace (and the believer's humility) No one can force themselves into a family tree; they have to be invited. IOW, it does not present itself as a bragging point.

In the words of Luther 'we are beggars, this is true'

Peace.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:39 pm

Many believe [at least in MY circle of christianity, . . . when I was in it, that is], that the Jews are no longer "gods people" because they rejected the messiah. I realize that not all sects of christianity believes this.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:15 pm

Sakhaiva wrote:
DeavonReye wrote:As for Christianity, they have taken ALL of this same god as their own, and see the Jews as being "cut away from the vine", with them [christians]

Speaking as a Lutheran Christian (ELCA) ... while we are taught that we are 'grafted' to the tree, there are no teachings that say that all Judaic people have been cut away.

The grafting, btw, is an acknowledgment of God's grace (and the believer's humility) No one can force themselves into a family tree; they have to be invited. IOW, it does not present itself as a bragging point.

In the words of Luther 'we are beggars, this is true'

Peace.

Well, first of all, Messiah, or "anointed [one]", is a term used in the Hebrew Bible to describe priests and kings, who were traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil as described in Exodus 30:22-25. Now there were conditions set forth in Isaiah as well as by other prophets to determine true messiah-ship.

They are:

Isaiah 1:26: "And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning; afterwards you shall be called City of Righteousness, Faithful City." Some Jews interpret this to mean that the Sanhedrin will be re-established.

(Isaiah 1:26) Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance.

(Isaiah 2:4) The whole world will worship the One God of Israel

(Isaiah 2:11-17) He will be descended from King David

(Isaiah 11:1) via Solomon

(Isaiah 11:2) Evil and tyranny will not be able to stand before his leadership

(Isaiah 11:4) Knowledge of God will fill the world

(Isaiah 11:9) He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations

(Isaiah 11:10) All Israelites will be returned to their homeland

(Isaiah 11:12) Death will be swallowed up forever

(Isaiah 25:Cool There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease

(Isaiah 25:Cool All of the dead will rise again

(Isaiah 26:19) The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness

(Isaiah 51:11) He will be a messenger of peace

(Isaiah 52:7) Nations will recognize the wrongs they did to Israel

(Isaiah 52:13-53:5) The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance

(Zechariah 8:23) The ruined cities of Israel will be restored

(Ezekiel 16:55) Weapons of war will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9) Jews will know the Torah without study

(Jeremiah 31:33)[2] He will give you all the worthy desires of your heart

(Psalms 37:4) He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful

(Isaiah 51:3, Amos 9:13-15, Ezekiel 36:29-30, Isaiah 11:6-9)

(1 Chronicles 22:8-10, 2 Chronicles 7:18) The Mashiach will be a man of this world, an observant Jew with "fear of God"

If you look closely, Jesus did not meet even half of these requirements. Therefore is is natural that the Jews did not accept him as their messiah. He just didn't fulfill the prophesies.

Also Jesus was an observant Jew. In the beginning of his ministry, he set forth the conditions he wanted his disciples to follow when spreading the word. Look at Matthew 10:5-7: Matthew 10:5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' It wasn't until the conversion of Paul that the change began to occur.... (read Romans 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. NIV translation. It was none other than Paul who changed the scope of Christianity, and began redefining the Hebrew war god into a Christian god, and according to http://www.angelfire.com/ky/dodone/Jew.html the Christian church sees Romans 1:6 as validation to proselytize to the Jews. In all of this, and the blatant differences Jews and Christians have concerning repentance, and eternal torture and the like, it seems that the Christians did "force themselves into a family tree", then restated the conditions of being a member of the family.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:36 pm

I was trying to edit my post to include where I got my information, but time ran out and I couldn't get them all in there.

The list of sites I took information from that weren't posted was:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_messianism
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:14 pm

That was a very good post, John. Quite provocative.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by Sakhaiva on Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:04 pm

john5180 wrote:Well,
first of all, Messiah, or "anointed [one]", is a term used in the
Hebrew Bible to describe priests and kings, who were traditionally
anointed with holy anointing oil as described in Exodus 30:22-25. Now
there were conditions set forth in Isaiah as well as by other prophets
to determine true messiah-ship.

You are entering a well-worn debate... (Thomas Chubb, from 1679 - 1747 comes to mind) and, like those before you, you are limiting your viewpoint by neglecting the topic of sacrifice. People often fail to grasp the concept of the cross, which is a point that makes or breaks the faith. (Theology of the Cross is mighty big in Lutheran circles, I can assure you. Of all the places to search for God, the last place most people
would think to look is the gallows.)

Not much me going on about it any longer... I did not enter this debate to prove Christ's position.

I entered this debate to clarify a generalization - not every denomination teaches the same way.


Also Jesus was an observant Jew. In the beginning of his ministry,
he set forth the conditions he wanted his disciples to follow when
spreading the word. Look at Matthew 10:5-7: Matthew 10:5These
twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among
the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the
lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of
heaven is near.'

Yes.

Then again, Jesus Himself went to the Samaritans. (Consider the 'woman at the well' story)

It wasn't until the conversion of Paul that the
change began to occur....


For any readers unfamiliar with the term 'Pauline Christianity': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Christianity (Opponents of the same era include the Ebionites and Nazarenes, Jewish Christians who rejected Paul for straying from "normative" Judaism)

The term: Pauline Christianity is a bit of a slap down to those who value his historical written contributions. As quoted above, from wikipedia, people criticized Paul then as John is doing today.... and for the very same reason.

So what did Paul have to say about this? From the wikipedia link:

"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that
all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions
among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My
brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are
quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow
Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas(Peter)";
still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized
into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you
except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into
my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that,
I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me
to baptize, but to preach the gospel — not with words of human wisdom,
lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power"

1 Cor 1:10–18



ok, perhaps one more Biblical text... to bring my post around, full circle Wink:

He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no
beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a
man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our
faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he
hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of
our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

—Isaiah
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:43 pm

DeavonReye wrote:Many believe [at least in MY circle of christianity, . . . when I was in it, that is], that the Jews are no longer "gods people" because they rejected the messiah. I realize that not all sects of christianity believes this.

I mentioned all of this, Deavon because you made a very accurate statement about the difference between the Hebrew (Judaic) god, and the Christian one. For years, I've been laboring under the false belief that the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob were one and the same for Jews, Muslims and Christians. This thread has proven to me otherwise.

The bipolar condition you spoke of in regard to this OP lands perfectly on target. Take the concept of a narcissistic war god who goads a believer into attempting to kill one of his children to prove his love for this god. Think of a god who has no remorse for murdering any one or thing that stands in his way of reaching his goal, yet demands total fidelity of those who worship him, then create the "nice" fuzzy god who loves you, but would not hesitate to torture you forever for lack of the same fidelity. The thing is though.... is it the god who is bipolar, or the authors of the books?
Suspect Remember now, that what Christians call the Old Testament was written by men with a particular understanding of a Hebrew war god. The New was written mainly by Paul (Saul of Tarsus) who after suffering from heat stroke, bad LSD or something had a vision of Jesus, and with his conversion, Christianity grew further and further away from Judaism until it no longer even resembles the religion is sprang from.

Now I'm no horticulturist, and make no claims to be one. However, I know this... when you graft a grapefruit limb to an orange, you do not get a hybrid orange; you get a grapefruit that leached it's nutrients from an orange tree. And the taste is still decidedly different.

So you are correct in suggesting there is something inherently wrong in the idea of taking one religion and grafting it onto another. The whole idea is contradictory in terms, and causes the confusion as shown here..... Can a god create evil? By the parameters you rejected, and those espoused by Christians, one would have to reluctantly say yes. But understanding that men wrote the rules, and claimed it to be inspired by radically different god concepts, I am still forced to say no, it's all man's justification for the evil they do, and their attempt to shift the blame.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:14 pm

Sakhaiva wrote:
john5180 wrote:Well,
first of all, Messiah, or "anointed [one]", is a term used in the
Hebrew Bible to describe priests and kings, who were traditionally
anointed with holy anointing oil as described in Exodus 30:22-25. Now
there were conditions set forth in Isaiah as well as by other prophets
to determine true messiah-ship.

You are entering a well-worn debate... (Thomas Chubb, from 1679 - 1747 comes to mind) and, like those before you, you are limiting your viewpoint by neglecting the topic of sacrifice. People often fail to grasp the concept of the cross, which is a point that makes or breaks the faith. (Theology of the Cross is mighty big in Lutheran circles, I can assure you. Of all the places to search for God, the last place most people
would think to look is the gallows.)

Not much me going on about it any longer... I did not enter this debate to prove Christ's position.

I entered this debate to clarify a generalization - not every denomination teaches the same way.


Also Jesus was an observant Jew. In the beginning of his ministry,
he set forth the conditions he wanted his disciples to follow when
spreading the word. Look at Matthew 10:5-7: Matthew 10:5These
twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among
the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the
lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of
heaven is near.'

Yes.

Then again, Jesus Himself went to the Samaritans. (Consider the 'woman at the well' story)

It wasn't until the conversion of Paul that the
change began to occur....


For any readers unfamiliar with the term 'Pauline Christianity': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Christianity (Opponents of the same era include the Ebionites and Nazarenes, Jewish Christians who rejected Paul for straying from "normative" Judaism)

The term: Pauline Christianity is a bit of a slap down to those who value his historical written contributions. As quoted above, from wikipedia, people criticized Paul then as John is doing today.... and for the very same reason.

So what did Paul have to say about this? From the wikipedia link:

"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that
all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions
among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My
brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are
quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow
Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas(Peter)";
still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized
into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you
except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into
my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that,
I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me
to baptize, but to preach the gospel — not with words of human wisdom,
lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power"

1 Cor 1:10–18



ok, perhaps one more Biblical text... to bring my post around, full circle Wink:

He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no
beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a
man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our
faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he
hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of
our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

—Isaiah

You've said nothing new in your argument. And you still fall back on the old stand by the "foot of the cross". Taken from http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm The term "mashiach" literally means "the anointed one," and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne. The mashiach is the one who will be anointed as king in the End of Days.
The word "mashiach" does not mean "savior." The notion of an innocent, divine or semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought. Unfortunately, this Christian concept has become so deeply ingrained in the English word "messiah" that this English word can no longer be used to refer to the Jewish concept.

Some gentiles have told me that the term "mashiach" is related to the Hebrew term "moshiah" (savior) because they sound similar, but the similarity is not as strong as it appears to one unfamiliar with Hebrew. The Hebrew word "mashiach" comes from the root Mem-Shin-Chet, which means to paint, smear, or annoint. The word "moshiah" comes from the root Yod-Shin-Ayin, which means to help or save. The only letter these roots have in common is Shin, the most common letter in the Hebrew language. The "m" sound at the beginning of the word moshiah (savior) is a common prefix used to turn a verb into a noun. For example, the verb tzavah (to command) becomes mitzvah (commandment). Saying that "mashiach" is related to "moshiah" is a bit like saying that ring is related to surfing because they both end in "ing."

The mashiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The mashiach is often referred to as "mashiach ben David" (mashiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being.

It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the mashiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person's lifetime, then that person will be the mashiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the mashiach, then that person is not the mashiach.


As you can see, there is no neglecting the topic of sacrifice. It is all carefully considered, and found suspect. From the same source: Jews do not believe that Jesus was the mashiach. Assuming that he existed, and assuming that the Christian scriptures are accurate in describing him (both matters that are debatable), he simply did not fulfill the mission of the mashiach as it is described in the biblical passages cited above. Jesus did not do any of the things that the scriptures said the messiah would do.

On the contrary, another Jew born about a century later came far closer to fulfilling the messianic ideal than Jesus did. His name was Shimeon ben Kosiba, known as Bar Kokhba (son of a star), and he was a charismatic, brilliant, but brutal warlord. Rabbi Akiba, one of the greatest scholars in Jewish history, believed that Bar Kokhba was the mashiach. Bar Kokhba fought a war against the Roman Empire, catching the Tenth Legion by surprise and retaking Jerusalem. He resumed sacrifices at the site of the Temple and made plans to rebuild the Temple. He established a provisional government and began to issue coins in its name. This is what the Jewish people were looking for in a mashiach; Jesus clearly does not fit into this mold. Ultimately, however, the Roman Empire crushed his revolt and killed Bar Kokhba. After his death, all acknowledged that he was not the mashiach


Even if there were a sacrificial crucifixion, why would a god send himself down to be killed for the benefit of his creation when he could just as easily rewire the circuitry of man and remove all traces of evil nature? And where is the sacrifice when this god/man places himself up for sacrifice knowing fully well that within a certain amount of time, he will simply return to the land of the living?

The writings of Paul, who is credited with authorship of most of the canonical New Testament and taken literally by Christians changed the face and scope of the Christian movement from a small sect of Judaism to something completely foreign to what Christ taught. To call it "Paulian Christianity" is a bit of a slap to Jews. In reality, Paulianity would be more concise.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:21 pm

I find it highly interesting about Paul. He wrote a huge chunk of the New Testament, . . . by having his own "revelation" that no one else saw, of course. Much of the church is based on Paulian theology.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:25 am

DeavonReye wrote:I find it highly interesting about Paul. He wrote a huge chunk of the New Testament, . . . by having his own "revelation" that no one else saw, of course. Much of the church is based on Paulian theology.

You know, Deavon, if you read Paul's letters, before reading Luke-Acts and letting the two volume work affect the way you see Paul, Paul seems to know nothing of this vision he was supposed to have seen. It's pretty interesting, if you read the New Testament in chronological order.

http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/christian/blchron_xian_nt.htm

There is some debate on what order they were written in, but there is no doubt the true Pauline letters were written first. Of course, half the Pauline letters in the New Testament are actually Pseudo-Pauline letters, but still.

Anyway, that link is about as good as any other is a probable list of in what order the books were written.

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:49 am

Thanks for the link. It's interesting what you learn when you stop relying solely upon a pastor [behind the pulpit] for your "understanding of religious things".
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by gillyflower on Sun May 02, 2010 7:08 pm

Deavon, if you can download and listen to the Historical Jesus class from Stanford which is offered on iTunes, I think you'd learn a lot and have much to think about.

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Tue May 11, 2010 1:27 pm

Haven't been on this site in a while. Thanks for the reply, Gilly.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by silverswhispers on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:24 am

Ottr wrote:I’ve a question that I was hoping to get some opinions on. I’ve looked through the threads, but I may have missed this being discussed before. If so, my apologies.

Anyway… I’ve come across an opinion that the Christian god didn’t "create" evil, that he simply "allowed" it to happen.
The idea is framed as:
If a person is asked, “Does cold exist?” the answer would likely be “yes.” However, this is incorrect. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness does not exist; it is the absence of light. Evil is the absence of good, or better, evil is the absence of God. God did not have to create evil, but rather only allow for the absence of good.

My own thoughts are … If this god is perfect, all knowing, and all powerful, then he would understand that the conscious act of withdrawing himself would create the darkness, or the evil. With the foresight of the consequences to his actions, he went ahead anyway. This indicates to me that the creation of darkness or evil was not simply a passive event allowed by this god, but a purposeful, desired outcome.

Any thoughts, or opinions?

I've written something that may interest on that is similar to this concept. Theory of Creation
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:16 pm

IMHO. If the Christian God is responsible for creating everything then he is responsible for creating sin & evil. To say otherwise would mean that he didn't create everything. Therefore IMHO there are other Gods just as powerful or powerless as the Christianity.

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