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Re: [biblicalapologetics] Re: Jesus and the Mustard Seed

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  • Paul Leonard
    Your problem is a simple one. Rob and I see and believe what is said, even though we disagree on other points of belief. You are not focused on the message,
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 20, 2008
      Your problem is a simple one.

      Rob and I see and believe what is said, even though we disagree on other points of belief.

      You are not focused on the message, rather on the words. You know what Jesus meant, but that is not all that is necessary to benefit from what he said..

      Simply put, NOW you have:

      No Belief
      No Faith, not even the size of a mustard grain
      No hope.

      All you can do is nit pick the words because you no longer believe in the message or the messenger.

      Your opinion of what the "book" should be like, and how obvious anything should be, is simply YOUR opinion. Rob and I both can look at it without the necessity of trying to find fault, to allow us to ignore what the "book" says as you now do; rather we can examine it to find a better guide to our life than our own opinion.

      The only thing you seem to believe in, is your own opinion, in effect becoming your own "God".
       
      That is sad.

      --- On Fri, 9/19/08, Heinz Schmitz <christian_skeptic@...> wrote:
      From: Heinz Schmitz <christian_skeptic@...>
      Subject: [biblicalapologetics] Re: Jesus and the Mustard Seed
      To: biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Friday, September 19, 2008, 10:23 AM

      --- In biblicalapologetics @yahoogroups. com, Paul Leonard
      <anotherpaul2001@ ...> wrote:
      >
      > Planted in a field, Orchids aren't
      >
      > A vegetable, Orchids are not
      >
      > Grows very large and like a tree, Orchids do not.

      The verse actually says: "It is like a grain of mustard seed which a
      man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree"
      Not LIKE a tree, but "became a tree." This is another problem as
      mustard seeds do not grow to become trees.
      I have read this post and Rob's, but this is the sort of wordplay I
      encounter often. If this book of Books is truly divine it does not
      need you to reword and rework it to make it more palatable to reason.
      It should be obviously true. The words of a god who created all plant-
      life should have rephrased this sentence in the Bible, and an
      omniscient deity should have anticipated future arguments against it.
      I just finished listening to a very good Mormon speaker defend his
      beliefs against attacks by Evangelicals, and he resorted to many of
      the same tactics that you all do. Many may not find my present
      worldview desirable, but I am just holding your God to a higher
      standard, not the same standard as LDS beliefs. Had these verses
      about the mustard seed appeared in the Book of Mormon rather than
      the Bible, you Christians would rail against it, and rightfully so.

    • Heinz Schmitz
      ... which ... wordplay ... not ... reason. ... You ... does ... Reply: This type of argumentation provides a defense of every holy book and religion in the
      Message 2 of 14 , Sep 22, 2008
        --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Robert M. Bowman, Jr."
        <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:

        > << The verse actually says: "It is like a grain of mustard seed
        which
        > a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree"
        > Not LIKE a tree, but "became a tree." This is another problem as
        > mustard seeds do not grow to become trees. >>
        >
        > You then wrote:
        >
        > << I have read this post and Rob's, but this is the sort of
        wordplay
        > I encounter often. If this book of Books is truly divine it does
        not
        > need you to reword and rework it to make it more palatable to
        reason.
        > >>
        >
        > But unfortunately what is actually happening here is the reverse.
        You
        > are taking a modern definition of "tree" based on a modern approach
        > to taxonomy and complaining that an ancient book errs because it
        does
        > not use the word in this modern sense.
        >

        Reply: This type of argumentation provides a defense of every holy
        book and religion in the world - it actually works against everything
        you as an apologist works for. This defense does not even need to
        isolate itself to obvious difficulties with geography or taxonomy.
        For instance you have a done a lot of work on the trinity. Perhaps
        you are taking a modern definition of "God" based on a modern
        approach to Theology and not reflecting the very loose use of it in
        the ancient world.

        > You continued:
        >
        > << It should be obviously true. >>
        >
        > If the Bible were "obviously true," then what need would there be
        for
        > it in the first place?

        Reply: This response has me scratching my head in confusion.

        Why would God bother with revelation if
        > everything he was going to say was already obvious to us?

        Reply: That is not what I meant. If God were going to give us a holy
        book, then the words in it should be apparently true, obviously true,
        and we should acquire this absolute truth after reading it. Its
        perfection and superiority should resonate with everyone.

        >
        > You wrote:
        >
        > << Had these verses about the mustard seed appeared in the Book of
        > Mormon rather than the Bible, you Christians would rail against it,
        > and rightfully so. >>
        >
        > Actually, I don't criticize the Book of Mormon on the basis of such
        > picayune problems or difficulties. So I do not operate by a double
        > standard.
        >

        Reply: I was not indicating YOU in particular, but many Christians
        do, which you well know.
      • Heinz Schmitz
        ... other points of belief. ... what Jesus meant, but that is not all that is necessary to benefit from what he said.. ... If the words are incorrect, how can
        Message 3 of 14 , Sep 22, 2008
          --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Paul Leonard
          <anotherpaul2001@...> wrote:
          >
          > Your problem is a simple one.
          >
          > Rob and I see and believe what is said, even though we disagree on
          other points of belief.
          >
          > You are not focused on the message, rather on the words. You know
          what Jesus meant, but that is not all that is necessary to benefit
          from what he said..
          >

          If the words are incorrect, how can I trust the message? On another
          note, since you and Rob focus on the message, how is it you come to
          two differing conclusions? Again, how can I trust the message?

          > Simply put, NOW you have:
          >
          > No Belief
          > No Faith, not even the size of a mustard grain
          > No hope.
          >

          If your faith. hope and belief is in an irrational and fractured
          religion then I have a leg up on you.


          > Your opinion of what the "book" should be like, and how obvious
          anything should be, is simply YOUR opinion. Rob and I both can look
          at it without the necessity of trying to find fault, to allow us to
          ignore what the "book" says as you now do; rather we can examine it
          to find a better guide to our life than our own opinion.

          I don't think it is necessarily a good guide, and oftentimes it is a
          detriment to us leading a better life.

          >
          > The only thing you seem to believe in, is your own opinion, in
          effect becoming your own "God".
          >
          > That is sad.
          >

          I get that a lot. It seems Christians have to always look at my views
          in a religious sense, knowing full well that bringing me down to
          their own level makes it easier to mock. When you say such things it
          leads me to acknowledge that you really do not give much honor to
          religion.
        • Paul Leonard
          Hi, First my comment about being sad for you was not meant as a put down, rather an expression of concern. ... what Jesus meant, but that is not all that is
          Message 4 of 14 , Sep 22, 2008
            Hi,

            First my comment about being sad for you was not meant as a put down, rather an expression of concern.

            Now below:

            --- On Mon, 9/22/08, Heinz Schmitz <christian_skeptic@...> wrote:


            >
            > You are not focused on the message, rather on the words. You know
            what Jesus meant, but that is not all that is necessary to benefit
            from what he said..
            >

            If the words are incorrect, how can I trust the message? On another
            note, since you and Rob focus on the message, how is it you come to
            two differing conclusions? Again, how can I trust the message?

            A.P. You are assuming they are incorrect according to the standard you have set. I have no problem with them at all.

            > Simply put, NOW you have:
            >
            > No Belief
            > No Faith, not even the size of a mustard grain
            > No hope.
            >

            If your faith. hope and belief is in an irrational and fractured
            religion then I have a leg up on you.

            A.P. But it isn't.

            Now if you are correct, you still have no advantage. You have no hope beyond this life and that will be the end of it.

            > Your opinion of what the "book" should be like, and how obvious
            anything should be, is simply YOUR opinion. Rob and I both can look
            at it without the necessity of trying to find fault, to allow us to
            ignore what the "book" says as you now do; rather we can examine it
            to find a better guide to our life than our own opinion.

            I don't think it is necessarily a good guide, and oftentimes it is a
            detriment to us leading a better life. 

            A.P. Not a chance. I will agree that those who mis-apply it lead a worse life or cause others to do so, but from a life time of experience I have a better life for following it. Tried the other way once, what a mistake.

            >
            > The only thing you seem to believe in, is your own opinion, in
            effect becoming your own "God".
            >
            > That is sad.
            >

            I get that a lot. It seems Christians have to always look at my views
            in a religious sense, knowing full well that bringing me down to
            their own level makes it easier to mock. When you say such things it
            leads me to acknowledge that you really do not give much honor to
            religion. 

            A.P. A meaning less reply as it is subjective.

            I thought you were a critical thinker? Consider your words; we think of it in a religious sense??? Well I guess when a religious subject is being discussed that is normal and should be expected.

            You make yourself a god as YOUR opinion is primary to you. Then any human who agrees with you, thus "man" is now the god, as no ones view/opinion, etc is higher.

            Right now the only life or hope you have is in man. You do not believe in any God or a higher being that CAN or WILL help you or at best is disinterested, as you have nothing to share about any belief in a "divine" being that is of any value. Your point is to tear down not build up. Dropping down to your position leaves everyone on a downer, as you are now and have been,  since you lost your faith. It isn't God's fault what happened in your life.

            As a believer I am hopeful. As a non believer you are hopeless. Who is more depressed or frustrated?
             

          • Heinz Schmitz
            ... wrote: Dropping down to your position leaves everyone on a downer, as you are now and have been,  since you lost your faith. It
            Message 5 of 14 , Sep 23, 2008
              --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Paul Leonard
              <anotherpaul2001@...> wrote:
              Dropping down to your position leaves everyone on a downer, as you
              are now and have been,  since you lost your faith. It isn't God's
              fault what happened in your life.

              Reply: Nothing "happened in my life" (i.e. I was depressed or down
              and out), the evidence simply led me away from religion.

              As a believer I am hopeful. As a non believer you are hopeless. Who
              is more depressed or frustrated?
              >  

              Reply: I am neither depressed nor frustrated. I am actually the
              happiest I have ever been. You will find though that many Christians
              of any stripe suffer from depression. This is something i found
              unnerving as a Christian. Too many of my brothers were comitting
              suicide.

              Also, untold numbers of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and others have
              suffered horrible guilt and depression because of their
              perceived "abomination" status.

              Then you look at verses like Matthew 7:13, 14 and verses 21-23 and
              you realize that even you don't really have a hope. The best you can
              look forward to is a crapshoot.
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