Struggling with this info that is new to me - Hebrews & Other Gods

I would like to explore the implications of my own belief that reality is not exclusively objective and that the spiritual can be largely identified with the subjective aspect of reality. First remember that my working definition of these is that the objective refers to that which is the same for everyone, while the subjective is not the same for everyone. The mathematical laws of nature are the essence of the objective aspect to reality for they force things upon everyone regardless of what they may want or believe, while the subjective is highly responsive to what we want and believe. The identification of the objective aspect of reality with the physical and the subjective aspect of reality with the spiritual means that while physical reality understood by the methodology of science is the same for everyone, the spiritual is more about our choices and desires.

The implication with regards to the topic is that all these gods may be quite real to those who believe in them while having no reality at all to such as myself who do not believe in them. It also means that the line between demons and delusions according to my suggestion in other threads is also not so much. A common objection by Christians is that God being the creator of the universe must be an objective reality. My reply is that the “objective reality” of the Christian God is too vast for human comprehension and thus the only reality of our experience of the Christian God is highly effected by our own choices and desires. I simply do not believe that the common theist conception of God as some great dictating despot, will force Himself on nonbelievers in order to satisfy some self-righteous “I told you so” on the part of the theists. Far more likely that these nonbelievers will experience God according to their own choices and desires as some sort of logic and natural law.

However, I am not advocating some free-for-all that the spiritual equates to whatever people believe. I have also said many times that logical consistency is the difference between reality and dreams, so this also applies to spiritual reality, and for that reason, just because we believe something doesn’t make it real. This means that there is a kind of “natural law” when it comes to spiritual things as well, derived not from scientific evidence and measurements but from the application of logic to human choices and desires. This connects to my example of the difference between a pet rock, a plant, a pet, and a child – they do not have the same ability to respond to what we give them. There are realities involved in how our choices can actually bring happiness to us.

Thus however the gods of various religions may be real to the people who believe in them, this does not negate the judgments of other religions like Christianity that such gods are not real – meaning you don’t have to believe in them and they likely will not help you in the long run. And the same goes for demons (or delusions if you choose). However real your experience of them may be, it doesn’t mean your belief in them is actually helpful.

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That’s what I conclude as well. One of the events I go back to is the magician shootout in Exodus:

One could say that Pharaoh’s magicians were using sleight of hand, so perhaps this isn’t the best example. Nonetheless, it reads as supernatural on the face of it.

One of the difficulties of course is finding a way through the “Lead (Pb) wall” of stubborn blind faith that prevents those who worship false gods from seeing them for what they are. This leads me to make mention of another dilemma, if one is to simply look at the vast cavern between an atheist and a Christian, the same can be said of Christians…so a Christian claiming a Buddhist worships false gods is viewed as being a hypocrite by the secular world!

A Christian claiming a Buddhist worships false gods is viewed by me as being totally ignorant of Buddhism. The Buddha himself denied there was any such thing as a god. Even if you include the notion of “false gods” referring to such things as money, the Buddhist is called upon to renounce everything that has ever been called a false god even in that sense.

At least that is the simplest understanding of the matter. A closer look shows things to be a bit more complicated than that (such as here).

I personally think Buddha was more specifically rejecting the focus of most theistic religions on appeasing God or gods or that such was a way to heaven (nirvana). In this, I think it has much in common with Christianity (at least as I understand it)… which is too say that all religions promising rewards for appeasing gods are a lie and deceit.

There is much to admire in Buddhism. But reincarnation is one of its basic premises and I do not believe in that. And I am a theist as well. They generally do not believe in a creator God but I do, and the God I believe in is central to the Christian promise of eternal life which I think is superior to the Buddhist promise of nirvana (a little too lifeless to appeal to me).

Makes me laugh

Of course it can . If you guys are gonna judge a particular faith or religion you should be following yours with 100% certainty.If not dont even try to convince others.

You know that argument can be made both ways right?

Wouldn’t you agree that religion does not make the claim one can self elevate through works? Isn’t this completely at odds with Buddhism?
I would say they are nothing alike.

On the contrary the vast majority of religion DOES claim that one can elevate oneself through good works. Christianity and Buddhism challenge this somewhat to say that the highest good is not achieved through good works.

The differences are vast. That is for sure.

But the claim they are nothing alike is foolish. If you choose any two things you can find points in common. They are both religions. That by itself is a very big similarity. But there are many more similarities. Another is that both have monks and monasteries.

Buddhism is all about good works and Karma.You dont know what you are talking about

I cannot address the Reddit but you might consider reading Mike Heiser’s books and start reading about Mesopotamian history. Pretty soon a theme will emerge. About 6 - 8,000 years ago, homosapiens who had been hunter gatherers for more than 200,000 years and who had only begun farming and creation of transitory towns and villages between 10,000 and 8,000 BC, began building cities capable of housing tens of thousands of people. We do not fully understand the timing, but Old Testament scripture suggests God appointed angelic beings (inferior gods) to rule over designated areas. A revolt or revolts occured from these appointed angelic rulers, and God began a long plan of first redeeming a people from these areas into a nation and eventually into the remainder of the globe. Not every scriptural text will make sense to you, but amazing coincidences will emerge. If the Israelites really wrote the bulk of the Old Testament in Babylonian captivity and were mostly copycats, and did not write the Pentateuch earlier, why not have a Biblical timeline of 200,000 years like the Sumerian kings list widely known at the time? Why does the Biblical breadcrumb timeline of 6-8,000 years since the garden approximately match the history of man since the emergence of cities and city kingdoms in Mesopotamia? Genesis’ first city mentioned, Erad (Hebrew for “fugitive”), is on a timeline of about 6,000 years ago. The first large-scale Mesopotamian city is Eridu, which archaeologists place about 6,000 years ago. How did the Israelites unknowingly get this right? Coincidence? The Sumerian kings list pegged Eridu at 200,000 years earlier? By the way, who told the Sumerians that kings and rulers existed for 200,000 years and began at Eridu? Isn’t this number weirdly coincidental with the age of homosapiens? Were the Sumerians spoon fed half-truths by fallen and degenerate angelic servants of a superior creator God? Why did homosapien thinking evolve so quickly in Mesopotamia in comparison to the rest of the globe which lagged behind for thousands of years, spreading in a central fashion outward from the fertile crescent? Does the scripture about four rivers flowing from the garden seem more about historical poetry pointing to the emergence of civilization and governance? Which of the rivers’ names coincides with governance? Was the use of ‘rivers’ allegorical to the concept of ‘time’? Why would Israelite would be writers in Babylonian captivity give themselves a patriarch in the name of Abram and relatives whose names were definitely Semitic but also close to if not definitely Amorite names? Why would copycats give their patriarch such shameful heritage if simply inventing a narrative? The Biblical Amorites were after all worthy of Holocaust right? Why would God inspire writers in copycat fashion to place Moses in a papyrus basket in a river when everone at the time knew Sargon of Akkad (semitic ruler of Mesopotamia) was placed in such a basket? Did he do so because Pharaoh’s wives were possibly semitic and knew the tale of Sargon and would have seen a child in the basket as a good sign? If the Pentateuch was mere “poetry” how has this Mesopotamian poetry survived the assault of time while others have not? You will never find all the answers you seek, but God is not going away, and many of the coincidences you discover on your journey will add up and remain. God inspired oral and written tradition in a manner and narrative which His people needed to hear and understand at the time. The job of understanding how Israelites ‘understood’ the writings at the time is not easy, but your love of God will grow greatly when you begin the journey.

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Interesting thoughts, and welcome!

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Don’t forget that civilization developed all over the globe starting at roughly the same time.

no it does not. This is at complete odds with biblical knowledge.
There are numerous examples of this claim being absolutely false…I shall cite two obvious and well known references regarding faith and works…

Isaiah 64
6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

7 No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins.

We as Christians know Bible does very clearly tell us that the “fruits of our faith” are visible through our works. The apostle James for example illustrates this point.

James 2

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? 17 So too, faith by itself, if it does not result in action,f is dead.

However, do not for a moment think that it is our works that saves us in the Christian model…it absolutely does not (as Isaiah clearly outlined). It has never been a Christian belief that we are saved by our works…that has always been a false doctrine not grounded in the biblical theology. Unfortunately, part of the reason for the adoption of that doctrine by one particular Christian movement, was due to the need for the penance system and as a means of exercising absolute control over both the state and its people…and we all know exactly which denomination this was…the dark ages being the consequence of that horrible false doctrine! Thank goodness for the reformation

Your faith only saved system is the one [-] Christians use to justify their evil actions and amorality on this earth. By claiming they are saved by faith alone they are free to do whatever they want since they believe in Jesus ,they think that absolves them.
From the other hand people that do good works even atheists and such are doing the Lord’s work better than some of you

If you think God will choose a garbage Christian rather than a good person then it really shows on what camp you are

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Greetings Nick. That is a good point and in our church service right now 1 Thess 4:1-8, (good Greek audience), Paul notes that those who do that will be punished…in another situation, he says, “Shall we sin all the more that grace may abound? May it never be!”(anathema, I think)

I can’t say I am at all perfect though…and I don’t think God as any good father, will hit me in the head for mistakes. Thank God he knows and corrects lovingly…more firmly when I need it, too.

I really like how c s Lewis wrote in regard to whether we would get what we deserved …“Oh, no, child…else who would survive?” The point of punishment is correction… We all need mercy!

I have a long way to go though.
Thanks. Keep cool over there. It us unusually hot and humid here for September. How is the weather there in your beautiful country?

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Your strange interpretations of the Bible is at complete odds with reality. Nowhere in what you quoted does it say anything about the majority of religions. The Bible is not an encyclopedia and your treatment of the book as such is insane.

The Bible is not a source of information about computer repair or any other modern technology.
The Bible is not a source of information about cancer or the human body.
The Bible is not a source of information about football or the vast majority of other human activities.
The Bible is not a source of information about science.
The Bible is not a source of information about the sun, the earth, the air, or the universe.
The Bible is not a source of information about human demographics.
The Bible is not a source of information about the vast majority of human history.
The Bible is not a source of information about world religions.
The Bible is not a source of information about Buddhism.

Do you search the scriptures thinking that in them you have eternal life? If they do not even provide eternal life then why would you think they provide everything else? It is like talking to a salesman who claims his tonic cures all human problems. The obvious lie is only going to make you think what he is selling is worthless.

Yes. Like I said. Christianity somewhat challenges the idea of most religions that the highest good is achieved through good works. Buddhism does this by saying that both good and evil works add to positive and negative karma which feeds into the cycle of rebirth, and thus if you would escape the cycle of rebirth and achieve the highest good of nirvana, you have to do more than that.

Do you have anything specific?

Israel didn’t start off monotheistic. Serious scholars do not entertain such a notion. One of the ten commandments says “have no other gods before me.” That sounds strikingly non-monotheistic to me.

His claim that Jesus never said God is one is absurd. Jesus never said lots of tautological things in the record we have. First century Palestinian Jews were fiercely monotheistic but they were not always this way. Did Jesus ever pray to any other gods?

For a while ancient Jews long before Jesus believed God was the supreme God above all the other gods. In a limited sense we believe something similar. We just refer to our other “gods” as angels or demons. They are supernatural entities none the less but obviously our belief is a bit different as well.

Much in the OT was also written by different authors and they used different names for God. I do not mean book to book though that is true. But individual books themselves are composites. There are two flood accounts, two creation accounts and all in all, over 30 doublets, many with contradictory details on the Pentateuch.

The OT is accommodated in the mythology of its time. To read it any other way is just creating fires you must then extinguish.

Vinnie

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I prefer the God of fear and punishment rather that the one of love and forgivennes,To me the first one encopasses and embodies judgment with limited forgiveness.To me the God of Israel represents these ideas perfectly in the Old Testament,

I might get clash for this but i see Jesus as incapable of inflicting harsh judgment and also even if i wanted to believe in it his attributes contradict the God of the Old Testament.

Jesus forgives while The Father punishes.Whats more effective?Punishment. If i punish my child for something he would never cross his mind to do that again.
Jesus tells us to look to God when evil happens and even FORGIVE our enemies.The Father takes revenge for the wrongdoings inflicted upon his children.

I never though i would say this but it turns out only a harsh vengfull judge God can bring order to this world if he exists.If Jesus is indeed the messiah then i dont know .
If Jesus wanted to show ONLY his compasionate side and all that im all for it.Love is need etc etc. But when you are dealing with humans (animals in a sense ) theres only one thing we understand.Power,authority and sumbission.Nothing more.
So let me be the first one when i meet God to tell him how wrong was he and that illusion of free will he created not only doesnt work but it have brought more problems

Love wont make things better. Whilst power and authority and fear.These are emotions we can understand as species. Love wont make a killer change ( no matter how hard some may try to convince me by giving me examples so dont waste time .) Only punishment will

As you said no ones perfect. But how far from “perfect” depends if you ll make it to heaven.At least thats whats logical to me and what i wanna believe.

Think about it.How many sins are putting you further away from perfection? And is it fair to completely wipe them all out and start from the begining by just repenting? Wheres the judgment?
If God loves us and has allowed us free will then why isnt possible to tell someone "Im sorry my child ,i love you but its not fair to forgive you "
If love is in par with judgment then i choose judgment. In my everyday life i see Christians and people doing unbelievable immoral stuff.But Jesus said you cant judge them apparently because … reasons.
I thank God everyday for not beign a Christian.

I agree but mercy cant be given to all.Thats no fair.
Judgment is love ,judgment is right,judgment is God basically.
Sadly many here wont feel that way unless youve seen some stuff in your life.Some may do and some may be in the middle.

If God shows mercy to a christians who was living a pittifull life but repented in the end and he didnt to some atheist who lived a life of a saint just because he didnt believe in him then im sorry thats not a God you worship.Thats a beign with a superiority complex

i also got a question.Lets say someones an atheist.He did some stuff in his life he regretted and he changed his way of life.As an atheist he never asked God for forgivenness he just repented to himself i guess.Do you think that person would go to hell?

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I think these are great points, and many great thinkers (including some not so great ones, like me) agree with you. Both C S Lewis and George MacDonald wrote of one solution (in “Mere Christianity,” “Great Divorce,” and “Justice”. I’ll try to get back to you on this, but @Mervin_Bitikofer and @jpm are also familiar with it.

Macdonald, who influenced Lewis, wrote that he thought God would honor an atheist who left belief in God through honest inquiry, in contrast to someone who stayed in cultural Christianity for selfish reasons.

If you get a chance to read his short sermon “Justice,” he wrote about how God would demand purification–through complete reformation. However, he thought that we could make decisions after death. It’s not based on knowledge–we are not responsible for what we don’t know, but God, like a father, is happy to have us learn.

I think that the OT really talks more about vindictive justice–about God’s honor–rather than correction. Jesus actually does have some pretty harsh words for selfish people, including the story of the rich man. There’s a difference from corrective justice-which is enough to incur repentance and purification. It’s not about God’s honor, but about righteousness.

If we repent after death (who on earth has enough insight to make a decision based on 5-100 years, on how eternity is spent?), then it’s like purgatory.

Am I being clear as mud?

At any rate, I don’t know how things go–but Macdonald wrote that if there was something that we saw that was not just, either God didn’t do it, or we don’t understand it. Not that I have the full idea of what is just yet. I think there’s tremendous grace in the ability to have patience, and learn. The Hausa (where I grew up in Africa) have a proverb: “Hankuri maganin zaman duniya”–patience is the medicine for the world’s ills.

I’m still learning a lot.
Thanks.

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From what I understand, the term “el” is a generic term for a deity in ancient Hebrew, so just the fact that “el” refers to gods other than Yahweh doesn’t really mean anything, anymore than the fact that English-speaking Muslims also call their deity, “God.” The author seems to base his entire argument on the idea that the ancient Israelites believed in more than one deity, something that is hardly news to anyone who studies the cultural world of the old testament. Of course they believed in other gods, they just believed that theirs was supreme, hardly an unusual claim in history even if you don’t believe in the Bible. The idea that El was a supreme deity to which Yahweh was some sort of vassal seems to be little more than speculation, though I have not read the dead sea scroll documents to which the author is referring. I would agree that the author also seems very angry and reminds me of new atheist types that I would encounter on discussion forums I used to frequent over a decade ago. It is probably best to not pay attention to most of what comes out of reddit.

I have some trouble understanding these

Isnt Gods honor basically righteousness?

How so?

I think we know enough.After all we ate from the tree of knowledge

Dont see purgatory as Justice complete though.The ending is the same as if it didnt exist at all so…

One can argue that he is shifting the blame away from God

I think we know and understand enough as i said above

Beautifull quote ,but grace isnt found in patience.At least from my experience.

Curious to hear from you how you find my views. Generally here I’m considered hatefull and have a bad reputation to the point no one takes me seriously in some cases or even want to respond to me.

Yet you Randy are. You always seem nice and open and take my comments with seriousness. I’m really curious . Is that the power of love and the power of compassion may I ask😉?(no sarcasm intented nor trying to be snarky).

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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