It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

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Troy
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Troy » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:34 am

Paidion,

Are you forgetting that Jesus turned over tables and then proceeded to use some sort of a whip to drive people out of the temple? What about when he called people brood of vipers and other similar things? What do you make of these things?

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steve
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by steve » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:56 am

I believe "loathe" to be the polar opposite of "like"— not implying ultimate ill-will (which would be the opposite of "love"), but merely disgust. If someone were to serve me a plate of living slugs, I guarantee you that I would find them utterly loathsome—but I would bear the slugs no malice, and would wish them no harm (in fact, I would pray for their safe and hasty escape). I would not be lacking in love—just lacking in liking such fare. Thus, I believe that Paidion's observations establish my point.

The problem with discussing the Old Testament with you, Paidion, is that, unlike Jesus, you often reserve the right to create contradictions between Jesus, on the one hand, and Moses, the psalmists, and other scripture writers—whose inspiration and authority Christ and the apostles took for granted—on the other.

Jesus said that David spoke (in Psalm 110) "by the Spirit" (Mark 12:36). Jesus was not providing a unique insight into the status of this one psalm alone, but was stating a conviction concerning the psalter which required no argument in its favor, because it was universally agreed upon by the Pharisees, to whom He was speaking.

The writer of Hebrews (in chapter 4) based a major doctrinal point on the assumption that God was literally speaking in Psalm 95. Yet, you have decided that this psalm does not correctly represent God's words, because, in it, He speaks of loathing those who provoked Him.

It would seem that God is not permitted to tell us how He feels about things, if they do not fit easily with a flat and colorless view of Jesus—a view that we allow to trump even the views of Christ and the apostles concerning the inspired Psalms.

One Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, both before and after his conversion, accepted the inspiration of the entire Old Testament scriptures, and went so far as to say of them that they are profitable for Christian teaching and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim.6:16-17).

In the same passage, Paul said that the Old Testament scriptures are also profitable for our "correction." It may be that some of us are so sentimentally attached to a favorite image of Jesus that we will not even allow the scriptures to perform this function of correcting our wrong notions, and leading us to a more accurate understanding of the Lord.

By the way, Jesus' treatment of notorious sinners and outcasts is irrelevant to the question of God's loathing those who hate Him. We have no reason to believe that the prostitutes and tax collectors hated God. They never made plots to kill Jesus. They actually seemed to like Him! The religious leaders, however, proved their hatred for God by plotting to kill His Son. "Gentle Jesus" had no "meek and mild" words for that crew. "Loathing" would be an admirable word to designate the emotions Jesus expressed toward them.

It seems fruitless to engage in biblical discussion, if the Bible is not permitted to interpret itself and stand above our prejudices. Therefore, my case is made, based upon the assumption that Christ and the apostles were correct about the Old Testament scriptures, and that, while they did come to introduce the next development of divine revelation, they did not do so by declaring the Old Testament to be an uninspired misrepresentation of the mind of God. If Christians are not to credit the Old Testament as a principal authority, why did the apostles continually quote from it (and comparatively seldom quote Jesus) when seeking to establish the authority of their points to Christian readers?

Undermining the inspiration of the Old Testament is not a Christian option. At least it is not one that Jesus or the apostles would approve.
Last edited by steve on Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RickC
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by RickC » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:52 am

[quote="On orthopraxy {"the correct practice of Christian living"} Jason"]Rick, I can appreciate your situation more than you know. No professing Christian in today's age is going to be exempt from such treatment. Perhaps you will find comfort in knowing that I, and many others, experience the same thing with you. Let's encourage one another in perseverance and pray that we'd all model Christ-like behavior in the "lions den." If you find another job without the hostility it might be a better situation. But that depends on God's will, I suppose.[/quote]

I really appreciate your reply, Jason, and have added your name in a prayer requests notebook I keep. Last evening at work things took a turn for the worse...but I won't elaborate on it. Just to say I'm joining with you in prayer.
"Not my will, but Yours be done, O God. Amen."
Thank you.

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Paidion
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Paidion » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:40 am

Some make the Bible their authority. I make Christ my authority.

Some appeal entirely to the written word. I appeal entirely to the Living Word.

Some derive their understanding of the character of God from the description of His thoughts and actions recorded in the Old Testament. I derive my understanding of the character of God as revealed by and through Jesus Christ, both by Christ's words and by the life of the One who was the exact expression of the Father's essence.

Jesus revealed the Father in a way that was unknown under the old order.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Troy
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Troy » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:43 am

Some make the Bible their authority. I make Christ my authority.
What is the difference?

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Jason
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Jason » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:06 pm

Paidion, what do you make of Paul's exhortation to Timothy in verse 6 of his second epistle? I think I recall you having a problem interpreting "the writings" Paul spoke of as the OT. Since Timothy had a Jewish mother, she probably taught him concerning the law and prophets. His father was Greek but I doubt Paul was exhorting him to read Plato. What say ye?

I also believe the way you do but I find it very difficult to discard the OT as not being instructive, or even revealing about God's character. In the NT, for example, we find two people just dropping dead for lying to the Holy Spirit. We also find Jesus getting furious in the temple courts and having anger toward certain people. Harod died and was eaten with worms because he didn't give credit to God. The book of Revelation uses very violent and disturbing imagery, borrowing from the prophets of the OT. I see more parallels than I used to in Christ and the God revealed to the prophets of old.

However, John tells us Jesus brought light to the world and Paul said He is the exact image of Theos. I believe the new light Jesus brought was that God loved not only the Jews but everyone, and calls all people to repentence. Paul said that was the great mystery of God revealed in Christ. Also that one man should die for the many, which was a profound concept. Jesus also shed light on what's important to God and pushed that theme further than the OT ever did. Anyway, these are just my thoughts as I process these many things.

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steve
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by steve » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:08 pm

Paidion wrote:

"Jesus revealed the Father in a way that was unknown under the old order."

Apart from coming here in a human form and showing us how it is done, what else was there about God's expectations that Jesus made known, which had not been made known in the Old Testament? Specifically, I would like to know if you can point to one thing that Jesus taught or exemplified that was not already in the ethical teachings of the Old Testament. If you can find no examples (I can't), then how can you create such an artificial dichotomy between the ethics revealed in the Old Testament and those revealed in Jesus? I think you are on thin ice here.

Precisely what did Jesus reveal about the Father that had not been previously revealed in the Law, the Prophets and/or the Psalms?

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Paidion
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Paidion » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:25 pm

Jesus, bearing the precise stamp of the Father's nature was the living expression of the Father's character. He said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." There was no need to show Philip the Father in any other way. To observe Christ in action was to observe the Father in action.

How did Jesus treat the woman caught in adultery? He said to her, "I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more."

What command did the ancient Hebrews understand was to be carried out for adultery? Both the adulterer and adulteress were to be put to death (Lev 20:10). Jesus by His clever words asking those without sin to throw the first stone, prevented the woman from being put to death. Isn't killing an adulteress and preventing the killing of an adulteress opposite acts? So which of the two does the Father do? Kill her? Or save her life?

But in the Mosaic law, God supposedly commanded that if a man marries a young woman and the "tokens of virginity" are not found in her, she is to be put to death. (Deut 22:13-21). Did Jesus ever suggest such a thing?

Indeed, if a man even suspected his wife of adultery, she was made to drink "the water of bitterness that brings the curse" as a test. This water was prepared by placing dust or dirt on the floor of the tabernacle into the water. I suspect this dust or dirt was germ-laden from the bare feet that walked on it, though some from this forum have argued against this idea. If the woman survived the drink, then it was understood that she was innocent. I wonder what proportion of those undergoing the test of "the water of bitterness that brings the curse" survived. Did Jesus ever prescribe such a test?

In the Mosaic law, God supposedly commanded that a disobedient son be put to death. (Deut 21:18-21), Did Jesus ever give such a command?

Though I disagree with the postulate of the gnostics of the second century, I can understand why the gnostics thought the Father of the Lord Jesus was a different God from the God of the Jews.

Yahweh, God of the Jews was indeed Jesus' Father, but the ancient Hebrews just didn't understand His character. I wonder if that accounts, in part, for their rebellious heart. And does the same lack of understanding account, in part, for the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders in Jesus' day?

I realize that God gave a deeper revelation of Himself to prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah. But it was Jesus who brought the full revelation of whom the Father truly is.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

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Michelle
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Michelle » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:42 pm

Paidion, I know that you believe that much of the Mosaic law was borrowed from surrounding cultures, or else mistaken by Moses to be from God when it wasn't. Are you saying that you believe most of the Old Testament is a record of the Jews misunderstanding God? Are you saying that their rebellious nature can be excused because they had a picture of God that was a huge distortion? If so, do you believe that God punished them for rebelling and turning to other gods, or do you believe that their misfortunes and captivities were just historical events that were attributed as God's punishments, but really had nothing at all to do with Him?

Troy
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Re: It's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate...

Post by Troy » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:46 pm

Hey Paidion,

I appreciate reading your posts, as they sometimes put things into a perspective that I haven't seen before. Your example here in this thread is one of them. However, I still await your explaination of Jesus' actions in the temple and his calling some of the religious leaders things such as brood of vipers.

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