Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Questions for Arians

These,specifically,are for those Arians who believe Jesus is now a glorified man.Although some of them could also be good for those who think he's an angel.

Who was Christ before he was born?Doesn't the writer of Hebrews make it clear that Christ was never an angel(in ch. 1)?If he never was,what was he before he was a man?If you say "the Word of God",could you please prove that "word" means "preexistent spirit" as opposed to what it means thousands of times,namely,NOT a person at all?If John 1:1 said "in the beginning was the gospel" would you think the gospel was a person?If the gospel became flesh,would you think a person did?If not,why do you think "word" is a person who did?What is so different about saying "in the beginning was the gospel" from "in the beginning was the word?"

Is there a prophecy anywhere that would let us know how and that a preexistent spirit would materialize as a man?Why don't any of the numerous prophecies in the OT about the coming Christ mention that an angel (or spirit creature of some kind)would become the awaited Christ?Don't they rather in fact make it sound like a man would come to save the world,as opposed to an angel coming as a man to save the world?If you think I'm arguing from silence,could it be perhaps that I'm simply reasoning with the scriptures?Did the OT faithful patriarchs believe the Messiah would be a spirit who would become a man?Do you think when they're resurrected that they will find out their Messiah was also an angel in the OT who now is a glorified man instead?

Is this concept (of a spirit creature's transmigration into a human womb)communicated in the detailed birth narratives?Wouldn't the absence of such be suspicious if that is in fact what occurred,namely,that a human baby conceived by the spirit of God wasn't simply born but rather that a spirit creature transmigrated into a womb and became a baby to be born?

If Jesus had millenniums of knowledge and wisdom in his preexistent time with God,how is it that he was just like his brothers in every way?If he lived by faith as an example for us,how could it be a genuine model for us if he walked by millenniums of sight,given that faith would suggest the "prize" is unseen?

What exactly would be so special about the exaltation of Christ if he already had that exaltation literally since before the world was even made?Even if there are "added benefits" like a kingship he didn't have before,wouldn't the fact that he became a glorified man after his resurrection instead of going back to spirit form(for those who believe this) be more of an "ontological" demotion as opposed to promotion?Remember John 17:5 says that Christ desires the glory he had before,not a superior glory to that he had before.Was Christ a glorified man and king before?If not,how could he desire the glory he literally had before as a non-king non glorified man?Using 1 Peter 1:20 as a reasoning point,how did Christ have this glory before he was born?I would personally say the glory he had before was that of a Messianic king,a glorified man,in the decree of God,just like Christians had glory with God before time even began.You?If you can't see the logic in that,then how can you see the logic in Christians having glory with God before time began?What did it mean for them and why must it mean something different for Christ?

Are you suggesting God created someone to become "something else ontologically" eventually,namely,a spirit he created first so that the spirit could eventually become the firstborn glorified man?Or do you just think he decided that the first spirit he created would eventually become the first glorified man of a new creation only after Adam fell?Does God seem like he would ever create a creature to go from angel to man or from man to angel,eternally changing states so drastically?Does it seem he thought it was natural or needed for angels to ever be genuine men?How would someone who was something besides a man for centuries on end prior be the best candidate to be a genuine man or to serve God in faith and not in sight?Or to overcome temptation as the Last Adam simply because he loves God and not because he was a supernatural creature who'd actually lived with God for an unknowable ridiculously long time?How could we follow that example genuinely unless we too had literal glory with God for millenniums before we became human?

Could you explain in detail how a spirit became a genuine man but was still the personality of that spirit?If I have that wrong,could you explain Christ's mindset,please?Was he thinking like a millenniums old spirit creature in the body of a true man?If so,how exactly was he a true man?Wouldn't that be fraudulent on some level to pretend you're a 30-something man when in fact you're a millenniums old spirit who was born as a man but still with the knowledge and disposition of a non-man?To me,it would be no different than splitting Jesus in two like the trinitarians do because a man is what he thinks,how he thinks on a huge level.If he thinks like a preexistent spirit plus a man,he isn't thinking like a man.Admittedly,I need help with this one with your explaining in detail.

Where did Jesus ever say he was a spirit before he became man?If you say that isn't a good argument,are you willing to stop asking trinitarians the following:where did Jesus ever claim to be God?

If the humility in view in Philippians chapter 2 entailed a spirit becoming a man,how can we have that mindset,as commanded?If "wisdom" is a preexistent spirit entity that God created everything through in Proverbs 8:22-31,are you willing to literalize all of wisdom's personifications as you've done here?If not,where's the consistency?Could you explain to me what the word and wisdom of God are in Psalm 33:6 and Proverbs 3:19?Have you added to either of those clear statements with any of your own ideas?

Given that the preposition "dia" from texts like Colossians 1:16 & 1 Corinthians 8:6 can mean "in" or "for the sake of",how wise would it be to build a dogmatic Christology on texts with integral words that have more than one possible meaning that,depending on which definition you choose to apply,would change the meaning of the passage significantly?And wouldn't it probably be the wisest choice to understand ambiguous passages in a way that fits with the obvious unambiguous texts succintly?In other words,if the bible says that the father created alone in his speech and wisdom(that might have symbolized something greater on occasion but that wasn't a spirit creature by any logical means),is there really any reason to doubt this?Also,considering that almost all of the NT creation passages have either an immediate or a larger context of a new creation,would it be wise to be dogmatic that they're necessarily about an old one?I'm not saying they aren't,but that would still go right back to "dia" having multiple possible meanings even if they are.Does the bible say Christ *became* for us Wisdom from God or that he was named Wisdom of God for untold centuries as a spirit entity?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Evolution and sex

Following quote from F. Lagard Smith :

"For myself,the "grassy knoll" I would want most to scrutinize is the one where evolution supposedly moved from asexual beings to sexual beings.Even Darwin was stumped on this one,and there haven't been any satisfying explanations since.

For the theory of evolution to work,at some point in time asexual organisms would have to be altered dramatically so as to be constitutionally different organisms.The problem is that,in order to make such an extraordinary leap,two asexual beings,acting independently,must have developed highly complex sexual organs within a single generation.(Otherwise,how could they possibly have replicated themselves sexually,as opposed to asexually,for the next generation?)And,of course,it would have required simultaneous development of both male and female sexual organs ....in two beings who just happen to be in the same spot on the planet in exactly the same time...who also just happened to be madly attracted to each other!It's not the missing link between man and apes evolutionists need to worry about most,but the missing sex link."~from "Troubling Questions for Calvinists" p. 60(where he's comparing how evolution,like Calvinism,sometimes flies with many crucial questions not being satisfactorily or logically addressed)

from youtube user ppsimmons:

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image,in the image of God he created him;male and female he created them.28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:23 the man said,“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;she shall be called Woman,because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jesus: I come not to bring peace,but a sword

If you're a Jehovah's Witness who is having a "crisis of conscience"(so to speak) because you know the Watchtower isn't REALLY God's "channel of communication" and you're disheartened because you know you might be shunned or labelled by even your own family if you leave,what does Jesus have to say about this?

If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

Voddie Baucham makes ya think:are the right questions being asked?!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ray Franz on the trinity

A few Jehovah's Witnesses have asked me if Ray Franz became a trinitarian after becoming an ex-Jehovah's Witness like so many other ex JW's do.In a private e-mail to someone(that someone sent to me),this is what he had to say:

"You will find that many of what are called "ex-JW ministries, " have often simply exchanged their previous beliefs for what is known as "orthodoxy." Orthodoxy undoubtedly contains its measure of what is sound. But it also contains elements that are the result of imposition of religious authority, rather than belief clearly set forth in Scripture.It is difficult, for example, to find any reputable reference work that does not acknowledge the post-Biblical origin of the trinity doctrine. I feel that the main problem with the trinity doctrine is the dogmatism and judgmentalism that customarily accompanies it. That to me is but another evidence of the fragility of its foundation.Were it clearly taught in Scripture, there would be no need for authoritarian imposition of the teaching and heavy pressure to submit to it.So many former Witnesses are at a disadvantage when pressured by others to conform to views these have adopted. Dogmatic assertions from sources that claim to base their arguments on knowledge of Biblical Greek often awe former Witnesses—even as they were previously awed by claims of a similar nature from the Watch Tower organization. So many points could be clarified if people were simply to read the same text in a variety of translations.They would then at least see that where translation is concerned, dogmatism is greater evidence of ignorance than of learning. I find this to be the case with many who adopt the Trinity doctrine."From a private e.mail letter from Raymond Franz

Franz has many similar things to say in regards to this matter in his books,even though his books are not about the trinity by a long shot.You will still find him saying things in this vein & line of thought in them.Anyway,hope that answers your questions,those few of you who were curious.No,you don't have to be a JW to be a nontrinitarian.I'm sure many Christians would boldly say Franz wasn't a Christian at all if he thought Christ was the Son of God instead of God the Son,but that's just ignorance.Ugly propaganda from traditionalist preachers like Walter Martin(in the past) and most prominent preachers today. Their boldly calling Christians who believe Jesus is the Christ,the Son of the Living God(while refusing to confess he's the 2nd of three persons in the very same God he serves, obeys, and worships)"cultists" and "hellbound wolves"(etc.) is every bit as pathetic as Watchtower propaganda(if not moreso considering the hell threat) against "apostates."Sad indeed.

If the trinity is such a clear bible teaching,why did it require biasly translating holy texts,threats,authoritarian imposition,banishment,and massive bloodshed to become "orthodox"?Should we ignore all that and read Jesus' words through the lens of our traditions?

If you haven't read Franz's two books,"Crisis of Conscience" and "In Search of Christian Freedom",I HIGHLY recommend them both!Ray was a fine writer,and it is rare for me to want to reread books.But I definitely want to reread both of his.