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A Question to Christians
09-08-2013, 10:12 PM
Post: #1
A Question to Christians
Do you guys believe the Garden of Eden was a type of "perfect" glory at unity with God, akin to Heaven?

If so, what was the point in God giving man free will if he knew there was a chance we would end up eating the fruit and falling out of paradisical glory?

Shouldn't God have just never given men free will then?

How do your particular Christian denominations reconcile this with the fact God gave us free will? Why did he give it to Adam and Eve if they were already in a Heaven-like glory, if the only thing bound to come from that was the Fall, sooner or later, which brought us out of unity with God?

Doesn't this sound like a self-defeating act?

"I want mankind to be saved and join me in Heaven. I created them in a Heaven-like state in the first place: now I'm going to give them free will. But that's going to put them out of unity with me and my glory and now they will have to get back or else be damned. But I wish all of them could be saved!"

I can deduce that, if we go by this line of thinking, God intentionally allowed the Fall because he wanted to damn some people, or allow some people to end up damned, when otherwise, had they been left alone, everyone would have been "saved".

That doesn't ring true to me. In fact the LDS view is different. But I want to know how other Christians reconcile this dilemma. A lot of people who are Christian tell me that Adam and Eve were basically idiots for being disobedient, that they should have stayed in Eden and never eaten the fruit, because that's what God wanted. But then, I think if God really wanted them to be in such a state, there was no point whatsoever to give them free will, except to allow some people to end up damned.

Were Adam and Eve created "already saved"?

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-09-2013, 10:55 AM
Post: #2
RE: A Question to Christians
Shiv... I can't ever seem to understand the argument you put forward here....HELP ME!! Smile

Of course God could have created humans programmed to obey Him and live happily ever after. But God wanted us to love Him. (not just to obey)
Love involves choice.
We can choose to love, or reject Him.
He chose to love us.
See... Elvis- If that isn't love
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfxgGg9aw...r_embedded

"I challenge...to come up with one practical application of biology that would have been impossible were it not for the hypothesis of evolution" Sonenthal, New Scientist
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09-09-2013, 01:54 PM
Post: #3
RE: A Question to Christians
Fossilgirl Wrote:Shiv... I can't ever seem to understand the argument you put forward here....HELP ME!!

It's okay, I think you understand. Your reply makes sense. Thanks.

Basically you are saying: God wanted us to choose to accept him ("love" him) rather than just be programmed to accept him.

Thing is, I have heard different views, acting like it was bad that we had free will, yet God gave it, so I found that self-defeating and strangely contradictory.

Here's a question. If God gave you the choice to accept him, and gave you the freedom to make that choice, did he really need to put in the tree of knowledge of good and evil? What do you say?

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-09-2013, 03:23 PM
Post: #4
RE: A Question to Christians
I do not believe in Original Sin.

I don't believe Eden actually happened I see it as a parable much like the ones Jesus used to teach his followers.
To me this parable is about losing ones inocence and their eyes being opened to right and wrong but the cost of knowledge came at the price of their ignorance now that they knew right from wrong they had to become responsible.

As for Sin, it must exist for free will to exist. God created us and wants us to choose what is right but we are not forced to.

Our fate is not set in stone, Imagine if you will that we each have numerous possible fates and as we make choices we narrow those possibilities.

Imagine god is the person who invented Bowling, he made the rules, and will say he even made the balls and lanes, he then has us play, while God has determined some things such as the rules and the size of the balls, he is not in control of the outcome, the outcome is up to us. But based on the rules god has designed the possible outcomes of the game.

"Hidden underneath the stoned cold surface of every Pious Person lays buried a Kinky Pervert, Stop bringing shovels, Where not digging!"-Azrael
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09-09-2013, 03:52 PM
Post: #5
RE: A Question to Christians
(09-09-2013 01:54 PM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  Here's a question. If God gave you the choice to accept him, and gave you the freedom to make that choice, did he really need to put in the tree of knowledge of good and evil? What do you say?

Yes, He did. God is perfect and as such He cannot create non-perfect people or things (Universe). God also had a Plan for earth and mankind. Man fell because he chose to, not bcuz God wanted him to. Although, God knew he would- God knows everything. And as was stated, God wants us to love Him by choice, not force, therefore He gave us free will. I choose to love God bcuz 1. He loved me first and 2. he showed me how much when He became a man and died for me on the Cross at Calvary.

You mentioned LDS- they see things a lot differently. I have lived in Utah for over 33 years and I have studied Mormonism for over 25- and other religions as well. I know more about the Mormon church than, probably, 99% of the members and 95% (or more) of its leaders. Don't go near that religion!!
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09-09-2013, 03:56 PM
Post: #6
RE: A Question to Christians
(09-09-2013 03:52 PM)rocmonkey Wrote:  
(09-09-2013 01:54 PM)shiverleaf15 Wrote:  Here's a question. If God gave you the choice to accept him, and gave you the freedom to make that choice, did he really need to put in the tree of knowledge of good and evil? What do you say?

Yes, He did. God is perfect and as such He cannot create non-perfect people or things (Universe). God also had a Plan for earth and mankind. Man fell because he chose to, not bcuz God wanted him to. Although, God knew he would- God knows everything. And as was stated, God wants us to love Him by choice, not force, therefore He gave us free will. I choose to love God bcuz 1. He loved me first and 2. he showed me how much when He became a man and died for me on the Cross at Calvary.

You mentioned LDS- they see things a lot differently. I have lived in Utah for over 33 years and I have studied Mormonism for over 25- and other religions as well. I know more about the Mormon church than, probably, 99% of the members and 95% (or more) of its leaders. Don't go near that religion!!
Shiver is a mormon smarta$$

Ištu dumqim amqut, u anaku anmiq
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09-09-2013, 04:00 PM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2013 04:16 PM by rocmonkey.)
Post: #7
RE: A Question to Christians
[/quote]
Shiver is a mormon smarta$$

[/quote]

Easy there, I didn't know that. And you could have had a speck of respect. Try being decent next time if that's not asking too much from ya, K?
(09-09-2013 03:56 PM)Achrelos Wrote:  Shiver is a mormon smarta$$

No, I won't leave it there! What did I say that was so wrong? Do you know anything about the Mormon religion? If not, you should have asked what I meant instead of acting like... that. Also, with no offense intended, I doubt Shiver knows the half of what the Mormon church teaches as 'doctrine from God'. That church changed their doctrines around 1915 -1917 and few LDS have ever seen or heard what was taught before then. Hey, I didn't write or eject the stuff they did I only repeat what they taught, printed and published for the world to see.
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09-09-2013, 04:27 PM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2013 04:31 PM by Achrelos.)
Post: #8
RE: A Question to Christians
[/quote='rocmonkey' pid='175645' dateline='1378760432']

[/quote]
Shiver is a mormon smarta$$

[/quote]

Easy there, I didn't know that. And you could have had a speck of respect. Try being decent next time if that's not asking too much from ya, K?
(09-09-2013 03:56 PM)Achrelos Wrote:  Shiver is a mormon smarta$$

No, I won't leave it there! What did I say that was so wrong? Do you know anything about the Mormon religion? If not, you should have asked what I meant instead of acting like... that. Also, with no offense intended, I doubt Shiver knows the half of what the Mormon church teaches as 'doctrine from God'. That church changed their doctrines around 1915 -1917 and few LDS have ever seen or heard what was taught before then. Hey, I didn't write or eject the stuff they did I only repeat what they taught, printed and published for the world to see.


[/quote]

My problem with you is you have only made a few posts on here and every one of them has the elitist "i know eveything there is to know about everything and if you dissagree with me youre wrong" attitude. You have mocked science, LDS, other religions in general. If you read my posts on this site im a fairly mild tempered respectful person. Im losing patience with know it alls telling people what they should and shouldnt believe and which ways are the one and only ways. It is rude and rediculous and wont get you far.

Ištu dumqim amqut, u anaku anmiq
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09-09-2013, 05:52 PM
Post: #9
RE: A Question to Christians
rocmonkey Wrote:That church changed their doctrines around 1915 -1917 and few LDS have ever seen or heard what was taught before then. Hey, I didn't write or eject the stuff they did I only repeat what they taught, printed and published for the world to see.

Sigh. Since you brought it up, why not:

shiverleaf15 Wrote:For as small a religious group as Mormonism is, I feel it is extremely complex in the amount of things it teaches, contemplates, etc. Most of the things we accept are completely unknown material to other people and since we are so few, it is easy for people to think we are the "Great Unknown" in America when it comes to American-bred religion.

Often times, this means people try to simplify our opinions and beliefs down for others to comprehend, and this very easily allows them to establish strawmen of what it is we believe, only to topple them down and stuff of the sort.

I'm going to use five terms to divide LDS beliefs and behaviors, which is important, because if you corner a Mormon and ask him what he believes, sometimes there's more than one meaning to that word in his mind. At least in my mind, so I hope this explanation helps.

First, "doctrine". This means things we believe are revealed truths, and simply "are", regardless of the time or place. For example, it is LDS doctrine that God the Father is an embodied spirit, not a disembodied spirit. We are very static about our doctrines, and they are the one thing that is supposed to remain unchanging. However, we are always expecting that God will give us more understanding through time, by revealing new doctrinal truths to us, the mysteries of godliness and what not, so we are not static about keeping a closed canon, rather, what is doctrine is doctrine precisely because it is "true", whether we knew about it before or not.

Second, "practice". This means things which are official at a certain time period (the "present") but which are subject to change, and are not "doctrine", or unchanging abstract truths. For example, it is LDS practice that men and not women are ordained to the priesthood, it is not doctrine. It is common for persons to think that practice equals doctrine when it really doesn't. Mormonism is malleable when it comes to practice, but usually we expect God's direction if we are looking to changes in our practices. It is a great mistake to conflate doctrine with practice for obvious reasons.

Third, "speculation". This means things which are not revealed doctrine or official practice, but derive through some amount of logic and become well-established conclusions subject to acceptance by some or many Mormons. For example, Young Earth Creationism is Mormon opinion among some, while Darwinism is Mormon opinion among others, therefore these two would be considered speculative because they have basis in doctrine and the like but are not doctrine themselves. It is common for people to think that speculation, if it is popular or held by high-ranking LDS leaders, equals doctrine when it actually does not. Speculation can use as sources doctrine, practice, Mormon folklore (see below), and non-LDS material.

Fourthly, "custom". This means things which have nothing to do with doctrine, practice, or opinion. These are quirks that arise when enough Mormons are put together and their religious homogeneity causes cultural homogeneity as an indirect effect. This can be called "Mormon culture" but it is not representative of Latter-day Saints as a whole. Not all "custom", however pervasive, is seen as positive by other Latter-day Saints. Personally, I find some "customs" too "Pharisaic", for example, a sentiment that I find resonates strongly among fellow LDS intellectuals and sometimes even LDS leaders themselves. Sadly, some people will equate "customs" with who we as a whole are as a religion, and this is a gross mistake to make.

Fifthly, "folklore". Mormon folklore is not based on derivations from doctrine or practice, and it does not classify as cultural quirkiness. Rather, it refers to things passed about anecdotally which may be true or may be false. Some "Mormon folklore" is very much provably false, other stuff is controversial but practically impossible to either prove or disprove. Sometimes folklore is included along with doctrine and practice as material from which speculation is derived.

I think this five-fold division of belief/behavior is applicable to all religions, but especially when it comes to Mormonism a lot of our critics easily conflate one with another or even all five together. I wish this weren't so: therefore, being aware of the problem, I propose this five-fold division, that people may understand the differences in the beliefs I or other Latter-day Saints accept.

If there is one additional category to add it might be "experience", as some Mormons report rather unique spiritual experiences, ranging from just being moved by the Holy Ghost, to experiencing spiritual gifts like visions and tongues, and so forth. But experience is particular to the person experiencing it: after that, it will become anecdote for anyone who accepts it, therefore eventually it must be accepted as folklore to some degree.

Plural marriage was "practice" before it was abandoned, and from the beginning, Mormons have understood that "practice" is always bound to change. Adam-God theory was "speculation", that was very clear from the beginning, just ask Orson Pratt or read all the different ways people already in the 19th century interpreted it in LDS publications of the time. What else do you want to discuss that was dropped by the LDS Church after the early 1900s? The fancy theories Orson Pratt and the others conjured, which are found in the Journal of Discourses and what not, such as Pratt's theory that there existed spiritual vegetables in Heaven and other theories, were from the beginning recognized as speculation, and to this day admitted as such.

The LDS view of how doctrine is canonized is this: the First Presidency must feel that the Holy Spirit affirms it, as well as the entire Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They must present it to other general authorities, and then be prepared to present it before the entire Church during General Conference for acceptance. It is asked that individual members of the Church look for spiritual affirmation from the Holy Ghost themselves before accepting anything as doctrine personally. Speculation in Mormonism never turns into canonical "doctrine" by way of popularity, it can only be canonized the one proper way I have outlined, which requires the fifteen apostles/prophets to be agreed and have a testimony of the truth of the thing by way of the Holy Spirit. Things like Adam-God theory were not something the First Presidency/Quorum of the Twelve Apostles agreed upon 100%, much less were they presented before the Church to be canonized. Mormon academics get very frustrated at the way in which anti-Mormons rely on the general ignorance of common Mormons and the general public to set up straw man arguments. It's very academically dishonest to do it, roc, and I recommend you don't even try it.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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09-09-2013, 07:22 PM
Post: #10
RE: A Question to Christians
Rocmonkey Wrote:No, I won't leave it there! What did I say that was so wrong? Do you know anything about the Mormon religion? If not, you should have asked what I meant instead of acting like... that. Also, with no offense intended, I doubt Shiver knows the half of what the Mormon church teaches as 'doctrine from God'. That church changed their doctrines around 1915 -1917 and few LDS have ever seen or heard what was taught before then. Hey, I didn't write or eject the stuff they did I only repeat what they taught, printed and published for the world to see.

1. It's your overall attitude for starters. 2. We don't allow religion bashing here. 3. You singled out the religion of a well liked member of this forum and naturally we defend our own.

Grow up already.

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence - Me
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