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Thread: Good vs Evil...

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    Good vs Evil...

    Who makes the definition for good/bad?
    -The bible would have you believe that a "bad" thing is usually something that is harmful or hinders the "society" not yourself. This strongly suggests that the bible might have just been a tactic to keep order. That wouldn't be a completley unreasonable assumption. Think about it, if you can convince your military there's life-after-death...well then you have a great advantage over your enemies, don't you?
    CoWbOy CoRbY

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    In questions of morality...there has to be a standard.

    "What is good and appropriate for you may not be for me, and what is good for me may not be for you, truth is relative"
    Those are not good arguments.
    If that were the case, then we can by NO means say that Hitler was wrong, or evil in what he did. We can by no means say that the drug user who rapes and kills a little child and steals money to supply his drug habit is wrong or bad. YET, we all have a sense of morality, of right and wrong.
    If I kill your parents, you will say I am quite wrong and evil. But who are you to say? Maybe it was OK for me to do so.
    NOT.
    God is our standard. He has set forth rules and a system of morality that, like it or not, rest in the hearts and minds of all people.
    2 Timothy 4:2-4
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    1 Peter 3:15
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    Corbin,
    I'm glad to see another athiest on the board. Welcome.

    Here's a pretty reasonable starting point:

    An' it harm none, do what thou wilt.
    -Wiccan Rede

    Basically you can do whatever you want as long as you aren't harming anyone, using reason as your standard. Some people think this includes yourself, while others feel the individual is the one who should decide their own fate. There's a whole area of philosophy that examines whether there really is such a thing as ethics. The other problem is what exactly constitutes "harm". It's easier to see on a one-to-one level and it gets more fuzzy the larger the group. My personal belief is that if you are in a honest pursuit of truth, there will be very few others in the world that will be able to say you're a bad person. (At least those who don't think doubt is evil.)

    If you are really interested in this topic, I suggest doing some philosophy research on ethical relativism, and the writings of Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Betrand Russell. There's also an extensive library on www.infidels.org.

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    Questian:
    Good post. I think just about everyone believes a statement like if it harms no one then it is okay to do something. A christian does. We just add God to the List of who is included in the not harming anyone. Who makes the decision though if it is harming another or not? That is the question. Does God get to do it? and if so which God or gods? Or is it societies job? then which society? Or is it the individuals job?

    Corbin:

    I disagree with your statement that "he bible would have you believe that a "bad" thing is usually something that is harmful or hinders the "society" not yourself." I think that the Bible does not want you to harm yourself but like Questian said what does the word "harm" mean? I might say that physical exercise is harming me because I am out of breath after a run. However many would point out that I am jsut getting stronger with evry workout so the run actually is benefitting me not harming me. That example just shows the problem.
    blackhaw

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    I don't see that it's possible to harm an omnipotent being. On a human level, the subject of harm needs to be addressed on many different levels: individual, societal, and global.

    Not an easy question with simple answers.

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    questian,

    thanks for your help, I'll be visiting that site later tonite to do some reasearch.


    Fledge,

    I]we all have a sense of morality, of right and wrong.[/I]

    You are quite true in saying, truth is relative. Also, morality is relative. Just like the killer who thinks he is doing the right thing, by purifying the world of jews, he would not think what he is doing is immoral. But the jews would think he's evil.

    God is our standard. He has set forth rules and a system of morality that, like it or not, rest in the hearts and minds of all people.

    Well how can you be sure of that?? Obviously his set of rules doesnt rest in everyone's hearts, or there would be no murderers or rapers out there. When one person kills another he might feel a completley different way than the other person who kills someone. Our set of morals is, more-or-less-likely determined, (at least partially), by our society in which we live in.
    CoWbOy CoRbY

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    questian:

    I never said it was an easy question. It is not easy. I think that we harm God when we do not do His will. I think that God is omnipotent but that does not mean that He can't set up things in a way that He allows Himself to get hurt or people to reject Him. So in a sense we can hurt God. He could make it so we can't hurt Him but He set up the system so we can sin. I think that omnipotence is misunderstood by nonchristians. It does not mean God can set things up one way but have the opposite effect occur. For example God can't set up things for man to be able sin but make it so man can't sin. That is not possible.

    BlackHaw

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    Truth, morality, right/wrong is not relative.

    OK, granted, small issues are debatable on that issue. Questions of "is it OK for me to drive 5 mph over the speed limit" are iffy to the world at large.

    Murder. Blatant killing of an innocent being for no apparent reason, or during the act of another crime. It is wrong. Everybody in their right mind would agree to that. It is not relative.
    Stealing, taking of property that is not yours that you have no right to. Same deal. Everyone in their right mind will agree it is wrong.
    Rape, same thing.
    It is not relative. Where did this sense of moraltiy come from? It couldn't have just "been there". People of all ages (historical time frames), of all cultures, of all backgrounds...we all share this common morality. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from?
    2 Timothy 4:2-4
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    1 Peter 3:15
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    Fledge:

    Right. Morality is not relative. Morality comes from God. He sets up what is moral and immoral. He is where we get it.
    I believe that in every situation there is an ultimate right and an ultimate wrong. However we do not know what these ultimate norms are so we do our best at making our ethics line up with the correct one of God. But we will not be completely right until we get to Heaven and know all. I think human ethics get closer or farther away as time goes on. God gave us the Bible that helps us with getting these norms correct and we have the H.S. to help us interpret the Bible and to convict us when we get them wrong.
    Blackhaw

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    Where did this sense of right and wrong come from?

    Like any species, we have come up with many methods throughout evolution to preserve ourselves. Could it be, that these senses of right and wrong were put naturally into us throughout the course of evolution? Stealing something that is not rightfully ours does not benifit our society, and if it happens enough, there will be chaos. Therefore. it's in our instincts to think of stealing as wrong. Just as it is considered wrong to sleep with your neighbor's wife.






    Anything, and everything we do, we do because it has pay value. There is not one single act in the course of history that has been done for no reason at all.
    For the murderer, with his current awareness of the situation, he gets something positive from killing. It is because this person's awareness is somewhat distorted with misinformation, that he continues to do acts considered "evil".
    CoWbOy CoRbY

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    Corbin:

    okay i will go with the fact that are human morals evolve. That is to say that they change for the good or bad. i still think that there is an ultimate morality and ethics that all the rest is based on. I think that is where we originally formed the concept of it from. So although we say this is right or wrng and we think that we define morality and ethics there is really a standard and no matter what we say it stays the same. if it were not so then we do not have right/ wrong at all.

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    As far as a Christian view, it is not a matter of good/bad, but sin or not sin. Anything that is contrary to the will of god is sin and anything that is following his will is not sin, or good. Of course, it is a sin to murder your neighbor because of his loud music, but you can kill an entire city, children and all, if god says they are evil and need to be wiped out. Then it isn't bad because it is gods will that they die. You can see the problems with this approach....but that is the bottom line for a biblical standard, god's will.

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    universe:

    But what is good/bad is what is in God's will or not in God's will. God's will is always good and everything that is not in God's will is always bad.

    "Of course, it is a sin to murder your neighbor
    because of his loud music, but you can kill an entire city, children and all, if god says they are evil and need to be wiped out. Then it isn't bad because it is gods will that they die."

    God is in a special postition compared to us. As a christian I believe that all of us are evil and that God does not have to do anything for us. God is sompletely just and good. Basically the opposite of us. So if God wants to kill someone He can. the only thing that limits God is himself. God is not being bad or not moral if He kills evil people. God is ont he moral high ground. It would be like if we caught Hitler after WW2. We could of executed him or just sntenced him to a life in prison. Either way we are in our full right to do this. The question there would be do we extend grace to him or not. Compared to God we are like Hitler. Actually Hitler is closer to us than we are to God.

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    My point is that what is gods will may be different one day than the next. It is not his will for the israelites to kill their women, it is his will for the israelites to kill their enemies women. Same action, but a different moral view--good or bad--gets assigned to the action because of gods will or lack of will that it happen.

    Does the bible actually say that people are all evil? Where?

    [It would be like if we caught Hitler after WW2. We could of executed him or just sntenced him to a life in prison. Either way we are in our full right to do this. ]

    But I didn't create hitler, god did. I am not responsible by default for creating someone that I knew in advance would do those horrible things and not stopping them or warning others in a clear manner. It is not the same at all. He created the monster, let it do what monsters do, and then destroyed it. What about gods culpability in the situation? Doesn't he have some responsibility for what his creation does? He already set a precedent for killing everyone(except noah, et al) when they went really astray, why didn't he do it again?

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    universe:
    "My point is that what is gods will may be different one day than the next. It is not his will for the israelites to kill their women, it is his will for the israelites to kill their enemies women. Same action, but a different moral view--good or bad--gets assigned to the action because of gods will or lack of will that it happen."

    Okay. So it is God's will. so we do it because his will is good. I do not see the problem. Maybe I am just not reading you right.



    "But I didn't create hitler, god did. I am not responsible by default for creating someone that I knew in advance would do those horrible things and not stopping them or warning others in a clear manner. It is not the same at all. He created the monster, let it do what monsters do, and then destroyed it. What about gods culpability in the situation? Doesn't he have some responsibility for what his creation does? He already set a precedent for killing everyone(except noah, et al) when they went really astray, why didn't he do it again?"

    You are right God does have a responsiblity in a sense as to what He created since He knew we would go wrong. He is not responsible for our actual sin but just giving us the ability to sin knowing that we would choose wrong. Now was it wrong for God to create us while knowing we would choose wrong and sin? i do not know. What I do know is that I am in no way in a position to judge it. About the Noah thing I think it is God's right to show mercy on us or not show mercy on us. I think that he does not have to do it. But that is good question about whether God has a rsponsibilty for what He creates. I guess the only example close to it that we have would be the parent chil relationshhip. Do we blame the parents if hte child is evil? Maybe to some extent but only for what they did. Did they create a loving enviroment etc.. Now God is a little different but that is the closest example that I could think of. anyone else have an answer to this one?

    Universe: The quesion you asked is the hardest one for me. If there will be any question that will make me become an athiest it would be that one.

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    But what is good/bad is what is in God's will or not in God's will. God's will is always good and everything that is not in God's will is always bad.


    "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

    "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost." Matthew 18:12-14

    "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17


    Evidently, God's will is to save everyone.


    "I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours." John 17:9-12


    Okay, maybe not everyone.


    "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Matthew 25:41


    Well, SOME people are doomed for sure.


    "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'" Luke 16:19-26


    It doesn't look like God wants condemned people to have any chance of getting out of hell.


    "If you had known what these words mean, `I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." Matthew 12:7-12


    Now I'm confused. Does God want to save people or not?


    God is completely just and good. Basically the opposite of us.


    Are you saying that every human being is completely evil? Think about it for a minute. There would be total anarchy everywhere if this were true.

    So if God wants to kill someone He can. the only thing that limits God is himself. God is not being bad or not moral if He kills evil people. God is ont he moral high ground.


    What about when God kills innocent people like children in wars and natural disasters? Oh, I forgot, EVERYONE is evil.

    Compared to God we are like Hitler. Actually Hitler is closer to us than we are to God.


    I'm not sure what to think about this one. Maybe this fits:

    "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." Isaiah 45:7

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    questian:

    Okay if you have read the many threads in soteriology and other forums you know I think God wants all to be saved so I won't comment on those verses. But let's get to the other verses you quoted.

    ""I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours." John 17:9-12
    Okay, maybe not everyone.

    I think that Jesus is prating specifically a[bout hHis apostles here. look at this verse.

    Jhn 17:12 "WHILE I WAS WITH THEM, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.'

    was He with me or all the other christians after that time when He said that prayer. No. He was with the disciples in bodily form. Also where was Jesus when He said this? If I am not wrong it was at the last supper with His discples. I think this is clearly a time when He was praying directly for His disciples and that was what He was saying.

    "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Matthew 25:41

    Well, SOME people are doomed for sure.

    Yes some people will go to hell. But look at why Hell (the eternal fire) was made. Or realy who it was made for. It was prepared for the devil and his angels not for man but God did give us a choice. A choice that if we want to go there we can. He won't stop us. They are cursed because they chose to go to Hell and reject God.

    "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'" Luke 16:19-26

    it doesn't look like God wants condemned people to have any chance of getting out of hell.

    Yes once people are in Hell they can't get out. They have a choice before they die not after.

    "Are you saying that every human being is completely evil? Think about it for a minute. There would be total anarchy everywhere if this were true."

    Okay what I am saying is that man is totally depraved. Meaning that He is evil and can't save himself. God brings some light into the world and holds back some of the evilness of our sins. He gives(as Kermie put it) common grace. We do not get our just rewards for our sin.

    "What about when God kills innocent people like children in wars and natural disasters? Oh, I forgot, EVERYONE is evil."

    Yes there is no one who is totally innocent. People are only innocent compared to us. Babies have not experienced the world yet but have a disease called sin.

    I'm not sure what to think about this one. Maybe this fits:
    "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." Isaiah 45:7

    The evil in this verse is not moral evil. It is talking about natural disasters or most likely war. (compare Psa 65:7 Amo 3:6 )

    Have a good day.

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    Babies have not experienced the world yet but have a disease called sin

    That statement is absurd!

    From what i have read, sin is something against the will of god. If a baby is born with a "disease called sin", then that would mean that the birth of the child is a sin!
    CoWbOy CoRbY

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    Corbin:

    No It is not absurd! You just do not know that Christians have 2 definitions for sin. 1. is as you have stated that sin is doing something is against God's will or not doing God's will. But the second defintion of sin would be the position of mans heart. Beccause Adam sinned every man/woman born after him has a sinful nature. It is what is passed down through generations.

    this might help you understand.

    Sin is "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God" (1 John 3:4; Rom. 4:15), in the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward
    conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission (Rom. 6:12-17; 7:5-24). It is "not a mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system of things,
    but an offence against a personal lawgiver and moral governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is (1)
    intrinsically vile and polluting, and (2) that it justly deserves punishment, and calls down the righteous wrath of God. Hence sin carries with it two inalienable
    characters, (1) ill-desert, guilt (reatus); and (2) pollution (macula).", Hodge's Outlines. The moral character of a man's actions is determined by the moral state of his
    heart. The disposition to sin, or the habit of the soul that leads to the sinful act, is itself also sin (Rom. 6:12-17; Gal. 5:17; James 1:14, 15). The origin of sin is a
    mystery, and must for ever remain such to us. It is plain that for some reason God has permitted sin to enter this world, and that is all we know. His permitting it,
    however, in no way makes God the author of sin. Adam's sin (Gen. 3:1-6) consisted in his yielding to the assaults of temptation and eating the forbidden fruit. It
    involved in it, (1) the sin of unbelief, virtually making God a liar; and (2) the guilt of disobedience to a positive command. By this sin he became an apostate from
    God, a rebel in arms against his Creator. He lost the favour of God and communion with him; his whole nature became depraved, and he incurred the penalty
    involved in the covenant of works. Original sin. "Our first parents being the root of all mankind, the guilt of their sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and
    corrupted nature were conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation." Adam was constituted by God the federal head and
    representative of all his posterity, as he was also their natural head, and therefore when he fell they fell with him (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22-45). His probation
    was their probation, and his fall their fall. Because of Adam's first sin all his posterity came into the world in a state of sin and condemnation, i.e., (1) a state of moral
    corruption, and (2) of guilt, as having judicially imputed to them the guilt of Adam's first sin. "Original sin" is frequently and properly used to denote only the moral
    corruption of their whole nature inherited by all men from Adam. This inherited moral corruption consists in, (1) the loss of original righteousness; and (2) the
    presence of a constant proneness to evil, which is the root and origin of all actual sin. It is called "sin" (Rom. 6:12, 14, 17; 7:5-17), the "flesh" (Gal. 5:17, 24), "lust"
    (James 1:14, 15), the "body of sin" (Rom. 6:6), "ignorance," "blindness of heart," "alienation from the life of God" (Eph. 4:18, 19). It influences and depraves the
    whole man, and its tendency is still downward to deeper and deeper corruption, there remaining no recuperative element in the soul. It is a total depravity, and it is
    also universally inherited by all the natural descendants of Adam (Rom. 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 8:7). Pelagians deny original sin, and regard man as by nature morally and
    spiritually well; semi-Pelagians regard him as morally sick; Augustinians, or, as they are also called, Calvinists, regard man as described above, spiritually dead (Eph.
    2:1; 1 John 3:14). The doctrine of original sin is proved, (1.) From the fact of the universal sinfulness of men. "There is no man that sinneth not" (1 Kings 8:46; Isa.
    53:6; Ps. 130:3; Rom. 3:19, 22, 23; Gal. 3:22). (2.) From the total depravity of man. All men are declared to be destitute of any principle of spiritual life; man's
    apostasy from God is total and complete (Job 15:14-16; Gen. 6:5,6). (3.) From its early manifestation (Ps. 58:3; Prov. 22:15). (4.) It is proved also from the
    necessity, absolutely and universally, of regeneration (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17). (5.) From the universality of death (Rom. 5:12-20). Various kinds of sin are mentioned,
    (1.) "Presumptuous sins," or as literally rendered, "sins with an uplifted hand", i.e., defiant acts of sin, in contrast with "errors" or "inadvertencies" (Ps. 19:13). (2.)
    "Secret", i.e., hidden sins (19:12); sins which escape the notice of the soul. (3.) "Sin against the Holy Ghost" (q.v.), or a "sin unto death" (Matt. 12:31, 32; 1 John
    5:16), which amounts to a wilful rejection of grace. Sin, a city in Egypt, called by the Greeks Pelusium, which means, as does also the Hebrew name, "clayey" or
    "muddy," so called from the abundance of clay found there. It is called by Ezekel (Ezek. 30:15) "the strength of Egypt, "thus denoting its importance as a fortified
    city. It has been identified with the modern Tineh, "a miry place," where its ruins are to be found. Of its boasted magnificence only four red granite columns remain,
    and some few fragments of others.

    Source: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

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    If Adam and Eve were able to sin, then they must have been created with a sin nature. God created them with a sin nature. So god set them up from the very beginning to sin.

    Blackhaw, you believe in original sin? That babies are born sinful? Where does the bible explain that there are two definitions of sin? I took my definition of sin by looking at how god related to his people throughout the bible. Where in that accounting does he talk about babies being sinful? The old testament focused on what a person did, not so much on what they thought. I am not aware of any sacrifices that had to be offered because someone hated their neighbor or had bad thoughts. They had to attone for their behavior. What can babies do that needs atonement?

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