There are people like me? Lyndale: I'll keep it brief, as I've noted you've begun resorting to the one-liner: "You don't understand!" But some effort is required: If I choose to keep it so brief that there was no text to post, I will have matched your nothing with my nothing, and that's a dumb way to have a debate. Oh, that's right ... I forgot, nobody's supposed to disagree with you. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! So what exactly is it with you Christians and your Devil? In two thousand years of thinking really really hard about it, the collective force of the Christian sacrificed intellect has produced exactly zero in terms of viable philosophical resolutions. At least when Christians argue Creationism, they have one or two standard arguments before they have to resort to, "It's too complicated!" So why don't you establish for us, once and for all, so that we may understand, exactly what purpose the Devil serves in exactly the following context: * Christians assert the perfect knowledge of God--that is, God knows all; if you disagree with this perfect knowledge, we can end the discussion here. * Christians assert the immutable will of God--that is, God does not make mistakes; if you disagree with this immutable will, we can end the discussion here. 1) Will the Devil be redeemed? (Something about Jesus and compassion? What's Jesus' limit on salvation?) 2) What is the extent of the Devil's authority? (Does he not, at least, have God's permission?) 3) Why does God not stop (defeat) the Devil? (What, as if God couldn't if He so wished?) 4) Why does God permit, at the very least--though possibly endorse or even commission--the Devil's work? (What purpose does this serve?) 5) Is God directly responsible for evil? (Consider the above.) The truth of the matter is that by the rules the Christians have chosen by the setting of the Canon make the Devil as described for most of history quite impossible. The Devil is a dramatic tool at worst, a scapegoat at best. If the Devil operates, he does so with God's full authority; the Devil must necessarily be in good standing (we need not even consider Job, such is the manner of the argument, but there's that, too, in case you try to claim that it's not in the Bible that the Devil has good standing); God, therefore, is directly responsible for evil, which makes the Devil into God's flak-man, and one might wonder that the guy's a little upset because look at the wounds he takes for existing as God created him. The "Fall" of the Devil contributes here, too: God foresaw this rebellion, and deemed it necessary to the equation. The Devil behaves exactly as God wants and requires him to. If evil is evil, and should not be, then God has created it and put it into the Universe intentionally. To blame the Devil is the inability of the faithful to consider that God wants it this way. If the Devil is tempting you, it's because God demands that he do. Yes, you specifically. For nothing happens in this Universe, as I understand it, without God's say-so. Or does the Devil exist outside God's authority? Is it possible that something exists in this Universe that transcends God's will, escapes His power? You've missed an option, and I think Emerald may have presented something quite like this before. So the Devil hates God and wishes to obscure the path. How best to do this? Well, dressing up as a virgin-born sorcerer and political commentator seems to have worked. Many of your fellow Christians at Sciforums claim that we pagans hate not you but God; this is probably true in the sense that we choose not to hate people. So if it's about hating God, how better to do that than to take away from him the apples (so to speak) of his eye? What happens if Satan leads the flock to the dark side? How better to do that than to create an obligatory religion, target it at the least educated and therefore most superstitious people in society (we should note here that Jesus was not working to attract the social elite, the academics, or the rich) such as the uneducated homeless, the social refuse, and those ostracized by their illness. What happens, then, when the sum effect of that religion is the outright defiance of God's commandments? Think of all the killing and hatred that Christians have sponsored throughout history: is this really what God intended? What ever happened to Thou shall not kill? (Lawdog is excepted here, since we already know that his answer is, at best, to plead apathy.) What about coveting your neighbors? What, are American Christians going to blame Manifest Destiny on the Deists? (Did you know that a law existed on the books of Tacoma, Washington, until the 1990's that may still be intact that makes it illegal to sell spirits to a person of indigenous American descent? Somehow, I don't see the Deists giving much of a rip about how much a Native drinks; nor do I recall that fierce Deist heritage of writing useless blue laws. I guarantee you this is a holdover of the temperance and prohibition movements driven by evangelical Christianity.) What the hell wasn't covetous about Manifest Destiny? I would advise that you to check out page 9 of Crumbling the foundations of Christianity, in which your fellow Christian Lawdog threatens a culture with extinction(6/9/2001); and later on (page 10, 6/11/2001) when the Dog endorses murder in the name of Jesus. After two thousand years of murder, it seems that Christians still don't get it the way they're supposed to. That's all well and fine for those who know they're imperfect and expect such imperfections, but in the meantime the Christian heart is callous toward the dead. It seems that human life is only reserved to Christian life. If this was a rare thing, and had not two millennia of exemplary history, such a collapse of the thought process would not worry me as much. We know that Christians who bomb medical facilities and shoot doctors aren't following the Bible, but they're right in there with the most glaring trends of Christian faith. We know that men who beat their wives aren't practicing what Jesus said, but what's up with the fact that this still isn't clear? What, is there nothing to be done about it? Are you all just ... waiting around for God to show up and handle it? You, Lyndale, who accuse people of hate, something about a beam in your eye! You would feel persecuted because of something you chose to believe? You would feel persecuted because people are less than comfortable with the brands of violence, hatred, and division you choose to believe in? Your faith is your choice, Lyndale. So is the kicking around of people that has traditionally come with it. As I advised Loone and Deadwood: Clean up your own damn house instead of taking it out on us! You hate people for what they believe. We protect ourselves against what you do. I am so sick and tired of this infantile whining that Christians put on, feeling persecuted when the simple fact is that they simply need to lay the hell off other people. What about it don't you understand that God made these people as they are? Who the hell are you to question God's motives in this Universe? What, does the Almighty have a tech-support desk you can e-mail to tell Him about your perceived bugs in His program? Or do you proceed on faith in your own mortal judgement and try to correct what He has done wrong? What is it about other people that Christians find so unacceptable? Yet after two thousand years of declaring that people are not fit to exist as God made them, Christians dare feel persecuted when people talk about what's wrong with the religion? Get it together: understand your faith so that everything doesn't feel so much like the hatred you're so determined to find. Only two (2) quick notes this time. 1) I especially agree with the part I've boldfaced. 2) The farmer should be more careful about what he sows. For after all, what you sow, so also shall you reap. I'll agree with this except for two quick points: 1) I'm about as positive as I can be in my assumption that we have very different criteria regarding the true meaning of Sin and what it means to understand ... well, just about anything. 2) If I live to see the Judgement, and Christ walks before me, I will expect that He will be the first true Christian I'll ever meet. A personal note: How's the camera coming along? Actually, I'm quite curious, as I've noted the number of your posts and your registration date: I could have sworn you posted a couple of topics, including one in which you told me to stay out of your posts. In this case, I'm quite sorry to rain on your parade except that, well, you addressed me. But did you pull the topics, or is there another reason they've disappeared? If you're actually another Lyndale, or if that Lyndale was an hallucination, then I kindly beg your pardon. (I must note, though, you both bear a striking similarity in tone.) By the way, just what constitutes people like you. Given the associative problems Christians in Oregon have displayed for over a decade, now, I'm kinda curious. Oh, yeah. Whoops. Sorry, I didn't keep it brief. Just do your best, dear. thanx much, Tiassa Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!