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What does God think about Crime & Punishment

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  • What does God think about Crime & Punishment

    My perspective on discussing this has some limitations:
    1. I don't speak for God. It is possible I understand something incorrectly so in discussion, if you have evidence that is the case, I would appreciate you pointing it out to me.
    2. I do not feel qualified to observe a situation and proclaim " that shows that God thinks (this or that), so I will try to support my beliefs using only Scripture (and even at that, see #1, above)


    I'll first pull from the Old Testament since I believe God worked directly through His people during that time.

    Before we get to that, however, I think it was the Skeptic in Sluggo's "death penalty" thread who noted that there is a difference between "justice" and "vengeance." The Old Testament seems to support him in that it proscribes personal vengeance: "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge but you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Lev.19:18). So I do not think anyone can argue that the prohibition of vengeance in the Old Testament negated the death penalty because:

    Several verses in Exodus (and many others elsewhere) suggest to me God was down with Capitol Punishment in the right circumstances:
    • "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:12
      [*["He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:15
    • "He who kidnaps a man... shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:16
    • "He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:17
    • "If an unborn baby is killed you shall give life for life." Ex. 21:23

    I'm pretty sure someone will come back with one of the 10 commandments but to me it is pretty clear that commandment is talking about murder, not all "killing."

    We can discuss the New Testament next if you'd like, but I will point out that God doesn't change so if he was O.K. with punishing criminals in the O.T. He won't then reverse himself when Jesus speaks, for example, about not punishing the adulterous woman or about His followers turning the other cheek. There will have to be another understanding of those examples...

  • #2
    Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

    I think a lot of the confusion and perceived inconsistencies between the Old and New Testament stem from misunderstanding the purposes of the various laws given in the Books of Moses, and just what was fulfilled in Christ, and what the role of the higher law was. If you browse through the list of 613 laws codified in the Books of Moses, you'll find many that pertain to the laws of temple sacrifice intended to point the Israelites towards the coming of Christ, that would have been fulfilled by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The first chapter of Isaiah chronicles God's indifference to animal sacrifices if they they don't serve the intended purpose. You'll also find the dietary laws, which where repealed via revelation to Peter, also foreshadowed by Christs comments concerning what defiles the body. Finally, there are others intended to make the Israelites a separate and peculiar people to inspire and bless all peoples of the Earth. Many of these latter laws are still completely valid today to those who would make covenants with God and build up His kingdom.

    I've been working my way through the audiobook version of Cleon Skousen's The Magesty of God's Law, and it provides fascinating insights into how such laws worked anciently and how they would work in the future. I would be remiss however if I didn't mention that it comes from slightly different perspective than most Christians are used to.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

      This could get to be a very deep discussion. We can talk about physical death or spiritual death. Is physical death even a concern to God? Is crime an act against man or an act against God? If God's laws are followed do we even need another law?

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

        Originally posted by Good1 View Post
        My perspective on discussing this has some limitations:
        1. I don't speak for God. It is possible I understand something incorrectly so in discussion, if you have evidence that is the case, I would appreciate you pointing it out to me.
        2. I do not feel qualified to observe a situation and proclaim " that shows that God thinks (this or that), so I will try to support my beliefs using only Scripture (and even at that, see #1, above)


        I'll first pull from the Old Testament since I believe God worked directly through His people during that time.

        Before we get to that, however, I think it was the Skeptic in Sluggo's "death penalty" thread who noted that there is a difference between "justice" and "vengeance." The Old Testament seems to support him in that it proscribes personal vengeance: "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge but you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Lev.19:18). So I do not think anyone can argue that the prohibition of vengeance in the Old Testament negated the death penalty because:

        Several verses in Exodus (and many others elsewhere) suggest to me God was down with Capitol Punishment in the right circumstances:
        • "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:12
          [*["He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:15
        • "He who kidnaps a man... shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:16
        • "He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:17
        • "If an unborn baby is killed you shall give life for life." Ex. 21:23

        I'm pretty sure someone will come back with one of the 10 commandments but to me it is pretty clear that commandment is talking about murder, not all "killing."

        We can discuss the New Testament next if you'd like, but I will point out that God doesn't change so if he was O.K. with punishing criminals in the O.T. He won't then reverse himself when Jesus speaks, for example, about not punishing the adulterous woman or about His followers turning the other cheek. There will have to be another understanding of those examples...
        Exodus is probably the most interesting text to start with as one could argue well it is by far the most important text in the Old Testament. We are talking about a definition of Israel, and a statement about an ideal society outside of control of Egyptian aristocracy (or really any other.) It makes perfect sense for the text to include a series of societal laws to live by and in OT terms be rather harsh.

        Even just limiting the discussion to Exodus the answer is yes, that the scripture supports capital punishment for a series of crimes including a sort of interpretation by authority (which amazingly enough has a link to how Islam views authority and interpretation of Quran.) Therefore if one believes the text to be the word of God then God supports capital punishment. (As really all the monotheistic religions agree, just in slightly different terms and to different lengths of societal control.) But the point is if one was to compare and contrast how far Exodus goes with when it is acceptable to put someone to death vs. today's limitations on the use of Capital Punishment you could conclude the US is very lenient. For example, no one is up for the death penalty for kidnaping alone. Another, no one is up the death penalty for disrespecting one's mother or father by cursing. There are many others.

        A side note, literal interpretations of all of Exodus would probably be one of the most oppressive societies one could imagine.

        To the OP, then Exodus 20 goes past just commandments and 21 goes well past just dealing with capital punishment, as both discuss a series of mentalities for other areas of societal control. In the context of the period that text was written I am not sure there was enough real difference between "vengeance" and "justice" even though there was text suggesting otherwise. As a concept among the majority of the uneducated populace at the time vengeance probably was looked at as justice (the other way may be more complicated) assuming authority handled a societal matter in terms of how Exodus would have prescribed.

        I would then agree that translation issues over the periods have incorrectly exchanged "murder" and went with "kill" when it comes to commandment being all of one chapter away from all the reasons to "put to death" someone for doing something else wrong.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

          Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
          This could get to be a very deep discussion. We can talk about physical death or spiritual death. Is physical death even a concern to God? Is crime an act against man or an act against God? If God's laws are followed do we even need another law?
          In looking at terminology and lessons from just Genesis the answer is yes, there is a distinct difference between physical death and spiritual death. It would have to concern God as the basis for one (spiritual) is a judgement point for what happens at another (life to death to afterlife conclusion.)

          The exact opposite is true of the next question. A crime against God is a crime against Man (or really society) who has a set of principles, laws and guidelines to exist by here in the physical sense.

          If God's laws were followed to the letter (which means more than just commandments but perhaps existence in totality as the OT suggests) then other law would still be a likely conclusion as there was room for interpretation by authority. This is especially true of religious organization which requires a sort of upkeep as society advances and also commingles its authority with government authority. There is plenty of historical record of the authority of religion having to work with the authority of government (even in occupation.) For instance, Jesus' entire existence is within a timeframe of Jewish authority having to work with whom occupied them. Which is ironic when thinking about all Exodus was in terms of dealing with Egypt's government authority.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

            Originally posted by Good1 View Post
            My perspective on discussing this has some limitations:
            1. I don't speak for God. It is possible I understand something incorrectly so in discussion, if you have evidence that is the case, I would appreciate you pointing it out to me.
            2. I do not feel qualified to observe a situation and proclaim " that shows that God thinks (this or that), so I will try to support my beliefs using only Scripture (and even at that, see #1, above)


            I'll first pull from the Old Testament since I believe God worked directly through His people during that time.

            Before we get to that, however, I think it was the Skeptic in Sluggo's "death penalty" thread who noted that there is a difference between "justice" and "vengeance." The Old Testament seems to support him in that it proscribes personal vengeance: "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge but you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Lev.19:18). So I do not think anyone can argue that the prohibition of vengeance in the Old Testament negated the death penalty because:

            Several verses in Exodus (and many others elsewhere) suggest to me God was down with Capitol Punishment in the right circumstances:
            • "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:12
              [*["He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:15
            • "He who kidnaps a man... shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:16
            • "He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:17
            • "If an unborn baby is killed you shall give life for life." Ex. 21:23

            I'm pretty sure someone will come back with one of the 10 commandments but to me it is pretty clear that commandment is talking about murder, not all "killing."

            We can discuss the New Testament next if you'd like, but I will point out that God doesn't change so if he was O.K. with punishing criminals in the O.T. He won't then reverse himself when Jesus speaks, for example, about not punishing the adulterous woman or about His followers turning the other cheek. There will have to be another understanding of those examples...
            Yeah, I know you cannot speak for God, but you can repeat what some men in the past, long dead, have said, that God revealed to them those things written in the OT.

            But once one is reborn, that rebirth puts that man into communion with the Creator, and through the physical body, then God acts, affects thought, or as the prayer Christ offered up as an example in how to pray, "thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" How is God's Will to be done, if not through those He has chosen, to be saved?

            Those people that enter into the Kingdom, have little use of what ancient jews said, about this or about that. Because they have something not born of words on paper, a directness, with no intercessor needed, which is important, because man is a conditioned being, and all he can ever tell you is what he has been conditioned to be. The Kingdom is not like that, no conditioned beings, but live, drawing all from the Living Waters, in the NOW, not in the past, nor in the future.

            Those that have seen, or are in the Kingdom, will not agree to kill any man because he broke some law. Because that man knows that he cannot take life, when he had nothing to do with creating it. Only the Creator has the right to end a physical life, and so when a man kills another in pure self defense, in that the other man was trying to kill him, at some point in that conflict, the same thing that God put in all of life, to survive, will take over. And it is not a thing created psychologically, as other sins are, but an intelligence, directly from the Creator. And so if the attacker dies, it was because that is the way God has wired life, and in essence comes from Him, not the psychology of the ego.

            Man's ego is the origin of all other killing. And what is of the ego, is always sin. The very movement of the ego creates sin. And so, if you seek security and comfort from a religion, you are seeking something for the ego, and you sin in the seeking, because it was a selfish seeking. And every Christian who seeks out of a demand for the continuance of the ego will never find the Kingdom. Their own selfishness keeps them far away from it.

            That these men would try to justify killing, in the name of God, shows those of the Kingdom just how perverted the human ego is. And just how wrong religion has come to be, but it was perverted and corrupted by the very thing that must be denied and transcended if one is to ever walk in the Kingdom.

            If a man were walking in the Kingdom, he would know the answer to this question of killing. And he would not be trying to justify it by what some man said thousands of years ago, when he concocted laws that he attributed to the Creator. Those ancient men may have been wrong, so who would put any trust in them whatsoever? Better to find the Kingdom and get it from the horse's mouth, as He won't fabricate and will only show one the Truth.

            The fact that the so called religious search scripture for answers only tells me they know nothing of the Kingdom, and must rely upon old information, which can be corrupted by the likes of the human ego. They refuse to go straight to the source, perhaps because they cannot get there. And then they have to trust in man, what man wrote.

            To the man who walks in the Kingdom, there is no choice, that is, the brain doesn't choose anything. Right actions comes naturally with no choice whatsoever. Only the confused man chooses. He may choose the right course, or he may not. But those that walk in the Kingdom don't' really choose anything. Right action comes from the OTHER, with no choice involved

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #7
              Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

              Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post
              Yeah, I know you cannot speak for God, but you can repeat what some men in the past, long dead, have said, that God revealed to them those things written in the OT.

              But once one is reborn, that rebirth puts that man into communion with the Creator, and through the physical body, then God acts, affects thought, or as the prayer Christ offered up as an example in how to pray, "thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" How is God's Will to be done, if not through those He has chosen, to be saved?

              <clip>

              To the man who walks in the Kingdom, there is no choice, that is, the brain doesn't choose anything. Right actions comes naturally with no choice whatsoever. Only the confused man chooses. He may choose the right course, or he may not. But those that walk in the Kingdom don't' really choose anything. Right action comes from the OTHER, with no choice involved
              start your own thread if you want to proselytize your arrogance.

              THIS thread is about (our opinions of) God's perspective on crime and punishment.

              and BTW, it is you who are regurgitating nonsense told to you by others... And they were wrong, too.

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              • #8
                Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

                Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
                In looking at terminology and lessons from just Genesis the answer is yes, there is a distinct difference between physical death and spiritual death. It would have to concern God as the basis for one (spiritual) is a judgement point for what happens at another (life to death to afterlife conclusion.)

                The exact opposite is true of the next question. A crime against God is a crime against Man (or really society) who has a set of principles, laws and guidelines to exist by here in the physical sense.

                If God's laws were followed to the letter (which means more than just commandments but perhaps existence in totality as the OT suggests) then other law would still be a likely conclusion as there was room for interpretation by authority. This is especially true of religious organization which requires a sort of upkeep as society advances and also commingles its authority with government authority. There is plenty of historical record of the authority of religion having to work with the authority of government (even in occupation.) For instance, Jesus' entire existence is within a timeframe of Jewish authority having to work with whom occupied them. Which is ironic when thinking about all Exodus was in terms of dealing with Egypt's government authority.
                To provide a bit of background to the "comingling" of Jesus' time:

                When Alexander the Great died, his kingdom was divided between three of his generals with Jerusalem passing (eventually) to the Seleucid Syrians where a hellenistic culture was dominant (Hellenists were a combo of Greek and other eastern cultures). There was a portion of the Jews around Jerusalem who grew more "hellenistic" (or what we might call "progressive" today) and they eventually became the Saducees spoken of in Scripture. The Saducees principal influence was on the Jewish priests. Concurrently, there were Jews who were more conservative and traditional and these were resistive (if not antagonistic) towards assimilating into the Hellenistic culture of the time. These Pharisees appealed mainly to, well, everyone regardless of social place or wealth and derived their influence from the Temple as the center of Jewish culture.

                By the time Rome was the occupier of Israel, Caesar and his governors realized Israel was more than a bit unruly so to placate the Jews, Herod installed a Jewish "King" to oversee mostly the Jews, but answerable to the Governor of the area. All of this becomes more important as we read the accounts of Jesus' trial: He was arrested and "tried" first before the Jewish leaders (called the Sanhedrin) who really lack the authority to do what they want done: They want to put him to death. So he gets dragged before the Governor (Pilate) who doesn't want to punish him at all for fear of losing control of his area (since Rome put him there to keep the peace). Pilate decides Jesus is a Jew and the Jews are accusing him so it's a problem for the Jewish King, Herod ... who bounces him back to Pilate when he finds nothing wrong with Jesus.

                Religions aside, these accounts provide an interesting look at how the "religion" interacted (usually dysfunctionally) with the government.

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                • #9
                  Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

                  So what about Crime & Punishment in the New Testament?

                  I think there must be a distinction between discipline within the church, itself, and "punishment" as administered by the government (for civil/capitol infractions).

                  Matthew 18 talks about discipline within the church:
                  “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. -Matthew 18:15-17
                  Clearly not talking about something that might be considered at the bar of civil jurisprudence. Church discipline typically involves mitigating some kind of disruptive behavior within the church walls or repairing relationships between believers.

                  The clearest direction to believers about GOVERNMENT administering justice is, I think, in the book of Romans:
                  Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. -Romans 13 1-14
                  That I can find, the Bible is silent when it comes to dealing with malevolent government officials (such as bad judges or police). Can anyone else shed some light on this aspect?

                  So as Dan pointed out (and Sluggo affirmed), "justice" will depend on context in which it is being administered, but it doesn't seem to me like anything is off the table.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

                    Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                    My perspective on discussing this has some limitations:
                    1. I don't speak for God. It is possible I understand something incorrectly so in discussion, if you have evidence that is the case, I would appreciate you pointing it out to me.
                    2. I do not feel qualified to observe a situation and proclaim " that shows that God thinks (this or that), so I will try to support my beliefs using only Scripture (and even at that, see #1, above)


                    I'll first pull from the Old Testament since I believe God worked directly through His people during that time.

                    Before we get to that, however, I think it was the Skeptic in Sluggo's "death penalty" thread who noted that there is a difference between "justice" and "vengeance." The Old Testament seems to support him in that it proscribes personal vengeance: "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge but you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Lev.19:18). So I do not think anyone can argue that the prohibition of vengeance in the Old Testament negated the death penalty because:

                    Several verses in Exodus (and many others elsewhere) suggest to me God was down with Capitol Punishment in the right circumstances:
                    • "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:12
                      [*["He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:15
                    • "He who kidnaps a man... shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:16
                    • "He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:17
                    • "If an unborn baby is killed you shall give life for life." Ex. 21:23

                    I'm pretty sure someone will come back with one of the 10 commandments but to me it is pretty clear that commandment is talking about murder, not all "killing."

                    We can discuss the New Testament next if you'd like, but I will point out that God doesn't change so if he was O.K. with punishing criminals in the O.T. He won't then reverse himself when Jesus speaks, for example, about not punishing the adulterous woman or about His followers turning the other cheek. There will have to be another understanding of those examples...
                    I don't know the answer to your question, but if it were me, I would have a different starting place. That is to say, when it comes to trying to understand the nature of God with respect to any issue, I always try to start with Christ (the most immediate, direct, and sustained contact humans have had with God since Eden) and interpret outward from there. That's where we see God most clearly, actually walking and talking with people and answering questions. For me, the question isn't "How do we understand what Christ said in light of what we know about God from Exodus and Leviticus?" but "How do we understand what Exodus and Leviticus say based on what we know about God from Christ?"

                    It's also worth noting that, while God does not change, that clearly doesn't mean that all the laws given to ancient Israel in the OT were intended to apply to all people throughout time. E.G. the Apostles put aside laws on dietary restrictions and circumcision, and even Jesus makes it clear that "Moses said so" is not a sufficient justification for knowing the will of God. That doesn't by any means make the OT law irrelevant, only that the process of applying ancient Israeli law to other contexts is not a simple, straightforward process.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

                      Originally posted by Dilettante View Post
                      I don't know the answer to your question, but if it were me, I would have a different starting place. That is to say, when it comes to trying to understand the nature of God with respect to any issue, I always try to start with Christ (the most immediate, direct, and sustained contact humans have had with God since Eden) and interpret outward from there. That's where we see God most clearly, actually walking and talking with people and answering questions. For me, the question isn't "How do we understand what Christ said in light of what we know about God from Exodus and Leviticus?" but "How do we understand what Exodus and Leviticus say based on what we know about God from Christ?"

                      It's also worth noting that, while God does not change, that clearly doesn't mean that all the laws given to ancient Israel in the OT were intended to apply to all people throughout time. E.G. the Apostles put aside laws on dietary restrictions and circumcision, and even Jesus makes it clear that "Moses said so" is not a sufficient justification for knowing the will of God. That doesn't by any means make the OT law irrelevant, only that the process of applying ancient Israeli law to other contexts is not a simple, straightforward process.
                      I understand and appreciate your perspective, Dilettante:

                      You're probably right in how I went about it: IN trying to draw a distinction between what the Jews observed and what today's church observes, I might have misled somewhat.

                      I agree that Jesus, the Christ, was the most immediate, direct, and sustained contact we've had with God since Eden... and it was He who gave us the "real" law in Luke, Chapter 10 (and elsewhere) and admonished us HE did not come to replace the law, but to fulfill it.

                      IMO, the pinnacle of God's reaching out to us, and the focus of the Bible, is Jesus Christ.

                      Thanks for your input.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

                        God's idea of crime and punishment.


                        [Jhn 3:18-21 NIV]

                        18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
                        19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
                        20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
                        21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

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                        • #13
                          Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

                          I would say God feels strongly about punishment since he cleaned out Sodom and Gomorrah with brimstone and fire, not to mention He sent his Son so that many may not be punished for eternity in Hell.

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                          • #14
                            Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

                            Originally posted by jotathought View Post
                            I would say God feels strongly about punishment since he cleaned out Sodom and Gomorrah with brimstone and fire, not to mention He sent his Son so that many may not be punished for eternity in Hell.
                            Yes, I think that latter part is what Dan was mentioning about the difference between spiritual punishment and civil punishment (or words to that effect).

                            Also, I agree: God did more than just punish Sodom and Gomorrah. He was pretty rigid about obedience in that dispensation.

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                            • #15
                              Re: What does God think about Crime &amp; Punishment

                              Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                              start your own thread if you want to proselytize your arrogance.

                              THIS thread is about (our opinions of) God's perspective on crime and punishment.

                              and BTW, it is you who are regurgitating nonsense told to you by others... And they were wrong, too.
                              Ok, I doubt God gives a shit about crime and punishment. Crime and punishment are a part of the "world" Christ spoke of. There is the world, which is corrupt, including Christianity, and there is the Kingdom. No crime nor sin in His Kingdom that so few men have walked in.

                              God doesn't hang out in the impure, sin, corruption. He probably can't bear it, being Sacred. So what man does in this "world" perhaps is no concern of His, except the punishing part, if you accept orthodox Christian beliefs. He is concerned about the Truth being revealed, but so few have done that. And when it is, it is always called nonsense. It is a very narrow path, this path, not the great wide one traveled by most who say they are of Christ.

                              I must respond to the arrogance comment, made by the ego of Good1. Arrogance comes from men who are governed by egos, like you. My ego isn't responding in religious posts. He is. But you call it nonsense. And that is understandable, from your perspective. You have never spoken one sentence that proves to those of the Kingdom, that you are of that Kingdom. Take that anyway you want, sir. I don't have any sinful thoughts, do you? That is the means test, that can only be known by the one who experiences it. Because the first response from others is that they call you a liar, that the Bible says all men have sinned and come up short. And that biblical statement is true. But Christ told those sinners that he forgave, to go and sin no more. But that is a great thorn in the side of organized Christianity, because their WAY, doesn't transform man. The saved man then goes on sinning and forever asking to be forgiven. It's a cop out. And those people are still lost. Self deluded in their pursuit of saving a permanent ego that goes to heaven instead of hell.

                              So, what then is the answer to your Topic question, if seen in the light this mind has shined here? What would that sort of God care about? And what would a follower of Christ answer, to your question? The answer from organized orthodox Christianity is predictable, and you probably already gave it.

                              That you would ask this question speaks greatly of your intellect based religious beliefs. But what man by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? What is the place of the thought generated by the brain, in seeking the Kingdom, seeking, God? When taking thought can't even add a cubit to your height, it would be much more so in regards to the Kingdom. Thought is the enemy, not the ally.

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