Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Help Me Understand. Help Harder.



NOTE: This is a repost of a blog entry from a few years ago. It is a fairly long and, in my mind, bizarre conversation between me and a more conservative fella. I do not post it again to embarrass the individual, but just to set it out there as just how weird conversations can be. For your consideration...

I have a question about HOW to conduct conversation and I'd like to post an example of how a real conversation proceeded, to serve as a reference point. My question in THIS post is not about the topic being discussed, but about how to get a straight answer to a reasonable question.

So, recently one of our conservative friends had a post all about Israel's attack of the Amalekites found in the OT. This is one of those stories where it appears God is commanding Israel to wipe out everyone in the city - including the children and infants. In striving to justify a literal interpretation of this passage, this writer stated a point which I tried to ask about.

Below, I have copied and pasted the pertinent parts of our conversation. I'm just wondering what I could have done to successfully communicated with this person, to successfully get an answer to a reasonable question. This is how our conversation went (with him in italics and me in bold)...

He said on his blog entry:

Everyone deserves to die. Horribly. Without mercy. Even me. Even you. That is not mean or evil or unkind. It is justice.

I emailed, asking:

So WHERE, in the Amalekite story, do you see the justice of killing infants? What did they do to "deserve to die..." "Horribly"?

I'd be interested in your answer.


Note: I have made no accusation. I have not called him wrong or mistaken. I have not called him names or doubted his Christian faith. He simply stated that everyone deserves to die. Horribly. HIS words.

To which I responded with the I-think reasonable question to such a position: Where in the story cited was the justice in killing infants? I was wanting his answer to THAT question. The conversation continued via email...

In answer, then, to your question, I obviously believe that all human beings are sinners, justly condemned, because they do not seek first the kingdom of God, do not seek first the glory of God, do not operate first from faith. That's my answer. I don't think it's vague or evasive.

???

My question was...

So WHERE, in the Amalekite story, do you see the justice of killing infants? What did they do to "deserve to die..." "Horribly"?

And you are saying that because a ONE DAY OLD INFANT has not chosen to seek first God's kingdom, they deserve to die a horrible death? Is that your actual position?


Note: I THINK I see his answer to my question, but since it seems rather hard to believe, I repeat what I think his answer is and ask him if, indeed that is his answer...

Since you and I DISAGREE that "sin" is defined as a willful rebellion, a knowing act against a known right/wrong, then, of course, we don't agree from the start. You see "choose" as one key component of "sin" and I do not. Frankly, neither does the Bible, but that's neither here nor there. In order for me to agree with you, I would have to redefine sin to coincide with your definition. Do you not see that, as I have repeatedly stated, we do not agree AT THE BASE? Our disagreement starts long before the Amalekite question.

Okay, what if we look at this apparent disagreement for a minute, if you'd like...

From the Bible answer website, "Got Questions?" we get this information about sin...

"Sin is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18)."

Do you agree that these are good, solid biblical understandings of "sin"? That sin is transgressing God's law?

That sin is rebellion against God?

If so, how do you think a newborn babe rebels against God? How do you think a babe transgresses God's law?


Let's see ... you complain that I don't answer your questions directly. Going to your questions directly ...

"Do you agree that these are good, solid biblical understandings of 'sin'?" No.

"That sin is transgressing God's law?" No.

"That sin is rebellion against God?" No.

I think that "Got Questions" got it wrong. 1 John 3:4 does not say that sin is the transgression of the law of God. It says, "Sin is lawlessness".

...John wrote "Sin is lawlessness." (See ESV, NASB, NIV, Green's Literal Translation, Young's Literal Translation, oh, just about any translation at all including the New King James, with the apparent sole exception of the King James.) Sin is the absence of God's Law. Therefore, I disagree with you and with "Got Questions" and I agree with Paul, the psalmist, Isaiah, John, and others...

I am agreeing that newborns or even infants have not murdered or committed adultery or the like, but it is inconceivable that you would argue that they actively and fully operate to the glory of God, work from faith, or love God with their entire being. The biblical definition of sin is lawlessness. That is the absence of God's Law. I don't see how an infant can be defined as operating on anything but that absence. Or, to put it in the terms you've been suggesting, sin is not the choice to violate God's Law and, as long as that Law is not violated, has not occurred. Sin is the the absence of perfect submission to God's Law. Righteousness is active, not merely the absence of sin.


I apologize for my lack of understanding here, So if I may clarify... When I ask:

In what way do you think these infants are lawless and thus, deserving of a horrible death?

Your answer is that because infants do not - at the age of, say, one day old - do not "actively and fully operate to the glory of God," that this is lawlessness and deserving of a horrible death?

I'm just trying to get a clear understanding of your position.


Yeah, I get that you don't get it ... because your idea is that they are innocent and my idea is that God in all His glory deserves to be glorified and honored and loved from the birth of one of His creations. You are unable to understand this idea because you cannot define "sin" as anything but "violating God's law". As long as "sin" is "something I choose to do to violate God's law" as your premise, then none of this will make any sense to you. Oddly enough, despite my constant attempts to explain that disparity between how I see the biblical definition of sin and how you are defining it, you can't seem to see it. Either that or (as I highly suspect not because of simply Dan Trabue, but because of human nature) your view of God is fairly tame ... kind of like I indicated in the post.

NOTE: At this point, I have not offered any opinions about infants or their innocence in this conversation. I have not offered my opinions about sin. I've just asked a question in various ways trying to get a clear answer. I THOUGHT when I quoted him, I'd be able to get a "Yes, that IS my position," but no.

I continued...

I'm just trying to get a straightforward answer to a straightforward question.

When I ask:
in what way do you think these infants are lawless and thus, deserving of a horrible death?

Your answer is...

because infants do not - at the age of, say, one day old - do not actively and fully operate to the glory of God, that this is lawlessness and deserving of a horrible death...

IS THAT YOUR POSITION? If not, could you please re-state your answer to THAT ^ question for me?


Because infants are lawless.

Again, I'm sorry. Maybe I'm not asking the question right. I'm wondering IN WHAT WAY do you think infants are lawless?

What does a "lawless" infant look like?

What are they doing that indicates they are lawless and, thus deserving of a horrible death?

Thanks...


Apparently I lack the words in the English language to express a thought that you can comprehend. I've explained it as a lack of law. I've explained it as the absence of God's law. I've explained that righteousness is active, not merely passive. I've explained that sin is not active violation, but the absence of God's Law.

And so, I summed up your position thusly...

because infants do not - at the age of, say, one day old - do not actively and fully operate to the glory of God, that this is lawlessness and deserving of a horrible death...

Is my summation incorrect? It refers to what is absent (ie, "they DO NOT actively and fully operate to the glory of God"), not what they do.

So, is my summation (which, after all, comes from your direct words) correct? Because infants do not actively operate to the glory of God, they are deserving of a horrible death?


They do not love God. They do not glorify God. They ... according to the Bible ... tell lies. But, of course, you're still operating on the do concept. What do they do that is sin. I am speaking of the absence of the Law in them. They do not love God or glorify Him as a result of this absence. You're talking about what they do and I'm talking about what they lack. That's why your summation falls short. There is no positive righteousness in an infant.

And my question remains: How do you TELL there is an "absence of law in them..."? What does that look like? Or are you just saying, "I KNOW there's an absence of law in them, take my word for it..."?

As to "there is no positive righteousness in an infant," would it then be fair to sum up your position as:

Because there is NO POSITIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS in a newborn infant (ie, they haven't done anything 'good,'), they deserve to die a horrible death?

I guess I might also ask, what do you mean by positive righteousness? Merely that they haven't done anything righteous at one day old?

...Also, "according to the bible," a one day old infant TELLS LIES? Do you really think this is true? (ie, both that the Bible teaches that and that a one day old infant is capable of telling lies?)


I get it. It won't be getting through. There is a language barrier or something, a fundamental disconnect. That the Bible says they lie from the womb and that there is not a single one righteous and that all have sinned all favor my view. That sin is defined as the absence of law favors my view. That the Church has historically declared this to be so favors my view... These facts, however, are irrelevant. I cannot get this across to you. You cannot think in terms of anything except "what they do". Even in the attempt to use "positive righteousness" you ask "that they haven't done anything...?"

You don't like that I threw in "that they haven't done anything..."? Then say so and throw it out and answer the question I asked with that revision.

Here, let me ask again without that line, using mostly your own words...

Because "there is NO POSITIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS in a [newborn] infant", they "deserve to die" "horribly" - IS THAT YOUR POSITION?

You can see that those are mostly your own words, I'm just restating it to see if I'm understanding you correctly.


I've answered your question repeatedly. You just don't accept the answer. My answer is that all human beings are sinners, that this includes infants, that the Bible says this is the case. My answer is that infants are also sinners, that there is only one, singular-for-all-of-history exception to that fact, and that would be Jesus. My answer is that infants violate the command of God to glorify Him, they lie from their mothers' wombs, they fail to love God with all their hearts. My answer is that infants and toddlers and children and teens and adults are sinners at their very core. And my answer is that God is so perfect, so high, so holy, so inviolable that any transgression or failure or omission or inaction on the part of His creation merits the penalty of eternal death.

Does my position (my position that is the historic position of the Church, the Bible, the Anabaptists, etc.) sound horrible? Undoubtedly. It probably sounds like foolishness on one hand and an offense on the other ... you know, like the Bible says it would. So I'm not equivocating and I'm not avoiding answering direct questions (a favorite mindless accusation of yours for which I would recommend you look to yourself) because of that. You're just not seeing the answers as clearly as they're given. And the Bible has an explanation for that, too.


"I've answered your question repeatedly. You just don't accept the answer."

But you haven't, not directly. Allow me to demonstrate and, if you can see that you are answering questions that I haven't asked, maybe you'll try to answer the question I DID ask.

Here is what YOU say your answers are...

"My answer is that all human beings are sinners, that this includes infants, that the Bible says this is the case."

And that WOULD be an answer to the question, "Are all human beings sinners?" But THAT WAS NOT MY QUESTION...

"My answer is that infants are also sinners, that there is only one, singular-for-all-of-history exception to that fact, and that would be Jesus."

And that WOULD be an answer to the question, "Are infants sinners?" But THAT WAS NOT MY QUESTION...

"My answer is that infants violate the command of God to glorify Him, they lie from their mothers' wombs, they fail to love God with all their hearts."

This might be closer. My actual question was:

BECAUSE "THERE NO POSITIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS IN A [NEWBORN] INFANT", THEY "DESERVE TO DIE" "HORRIBLY" - IS THAT YOUR POSITION?

and so, are you saying your answer (YOUR WORDS) to THIS question is

No, it is NOT my position that because there is no positive righteousness in newborn infants, they deserve to die a horrible death. Rather my position is "[BECAUSE] infants violate the command of God to glorify Him, they lie from their mothers' wombs, they fail to love God with all their hearts..." they deserve to die horribly."

Is THAT the answer to the question asked?


the reason I do not take the bold-faced question you ask and repeat it back to you with a "yes" or a "no" is because you have made it into a simplistic, false statement (read "lie"). You did it (repeatedly) with the whole "So, you believe that God approves of killing your enemies' children?" A lie. It is a naked, out of context, unexplained and therefore misunderstood statement. You were so very quick to misquote me before ("I only took your words and put them out there"). It will not go well here, either.

Do I think that everyone ought to die horribly? Not what I said. Do I think that babies ought to die horribly? Not what I said. Certainly not what I meant. The context was the justice of God that is forgotten...

I believe that all human beings from age 0 up are sinners, guilty of not keeping God's law either consciously or not either positively or not. I believe that God, as just and holy, has the right (that is, it would be right) to put all human beings to death for this guilt. But, of course, that won't satisfy you. Therefore, since I won't play your game and you won't accept an answer, we're done.


IF it's a false statement, then why don't you answer, "No, that is not my position..."? and clarify with your actual position? It would seem like it would have to be pretty close to your actual position because THEY'RE YOUR ACTUAL WORDS.

" You did it (repeatedly) with the whole "So, you believe that God approves of killing your enemies' children?" A lie. It is a naked, out of context, unexplained and therefore misunderstood statement."

It is A QUESTION. IS THIS YOUR POSITION? Notice the question mark at the end. It is a question, seeking to clarify your position (and, hopefully, seeking to help you see how wrong-headed that position is).

"Do I think that everyone ought to die horribly? Not what I said. Do I think that babies ought to die horribly? Not what I said. Certainly not what I meant."

Here is what YOU said in the context of the paragraph...

"When asked about the Galileans killed by Pilate, He assured His listeners, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:2-3). The message? Everyone deserves to die. Horribly. Without mercy. Even me. Even you. That is not mean or evil or unkind. It is justice."

You said, "EVERYONE deserves to die. Horribly. Without mercy."

So, let's drop the baby part for a second and deal with your comment.

DID you say "everyone deserves to die. Horribly..."? Well, of course that is a silly question. It IS what you said, I just quoted you.

So, moving on, Did you MEAN to say that everyone deserves to die horribly?

Did you MEAN to say that infants deserve to die horribly?

If not, why did you say it?

"The context was the justice of God that is forgotten. I don't have the option of carrying out God's justice, so this isn't what I recommend. It is what I believe we cannot see. As a matter of fact, you can't, can you?"

And my question to you was and remains, do you think it is the "justice of God" that babies should die horribly?

Given YOUR WORDS, it is a fair and reasonable question.

If it's NOT your position, just say, No, I don't think so.

"To you, "sin" in EVERY APPLICATION is only when I choose to knowingly violate God's commands. Apparently, the only method of lying is when we speak as well. There are no other forms of lies. So we have radically different definitions of both sin and lies. (Like I said, a recent SECULAR study indicated that they detected lies in 6-month-old babies. You must figure they're pretty stupid, too, since children that age don't speak.)"

So, you think a one day old infant is LYING? Then my question is HOW? What does that look like? In WHAT WAY does a one day old infant lie?

Again, this is a reasonable question to the position, "babies are lying from the womb..." - a statement that sounds on the face of it like poetic hyperbole, why should we take it literally?

And that was the end of that ongoing conversation. No more answers.

My question is: What could I have done to have gotten a DIRECT answer to my actual question(s)? For a large part of that conversation, I was simply quoting him and asking, "Is this (ie, what you just said) your actual position?"

My second question is: Do those on the further Right side of things see how this seems to be avoiding a simple question and as if they are avoiding confirming their own actual words because those words sound so horrible? As if they WANT to say it, but they don't want to confirm that it's their actual position?

37 comments:

Marshall Art said...

I've been wanting to peruse this lengthy post for some time...time I haven't had lately. However, the piece about 1 John 3:4 stood out for some reason as particularly typical, so I offer this. What we find so clearly is that you are equivocating over semantics. Transgressing law IS lawlessness. I don't understand why you would play this game, unless a greater deceptive point is being made. Further investigation will certainly bear this out.

Dan Trabue said...

I have no idea what you mean about semantics, but okay, HOW SPECIFICALLY does a baby exhibit lawlessness?

And for me, it's no game. I'm simply trying to get direct, clear answers. You prepared to provide them?

Marshall Art said...

Again, I haven't perused the entirety of the post. But as you've attempted to make this ridiculous point before, I can only say that I don't recall anyone suggesting that a baby does exhibit lawlessness, or that a baby willfully and consciously and purposely commits any given sinful act, as, for example, you do in supporting and enabling sexual immorality. That's just you willfully and consciously and purposely perverting their comments to denigrate their position, since you have no legitimate way to oppose it.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, that's the point of this post, it sure sounds like Stan is saying this and I'm trying to get a straight answer. He said, for instance...

"BECAUSE INFANTS ARE LAWLESS."

Do you agree with this claim?

At which point I asked him,

I'm wondering IN WHAT WAY do you think infants are lawless?

What does a "lawless" infant look like?

What are they doing that indicates they are lawless and, thus deserving of a horrible death?


If you agree with the claim, then perhaps you can answer these questions? Directly?

His response was, and I quote...

I've explained it as the absence of God's law. I've explained that righteousness is active, not merely passive. I've explained that sin is not active violation, but the absence of God's Law.

And went on to further clarify...

They do not love God. They do not glorify God. They ... according to the Bible ... tell lies. But, of course, you're still operating on the do concept. What do they do that is sin. I am speaking of the absence of the Law in them. They do not love God or glorify Him as a result of this absence. You're talking about what they do and I'm talking about what they lack. That's why your summation falls short. There is no positive righteousness in an infant.

And I responded with the following questions...

And my question remains: How do you TELL there is an "absence of law in them..."? What does that look like? Or are you just saying, "I KNOW there's an absence of law in them, take my word for it..."?

As to "there is no positive righteousness in an infant," would it then be fair to sum up your position as:

Because there is NO POSITIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS in a newborn infant (ie, they haven't done anything 'good,'), they deserve to die a horrible death?

I guess I might also ask, what do you mean by positive righteousness? Merely that they haven't done anything righteous at one day old?

...Also, "according to the bible," a one day old infant TELLS LIES? Do you really think this is true? (ie, both that the Bible teaches that and that a one day old infant is capable of telling lies?)


These are reasonable questions. Would you mind answering them, directly?

Marshall Art said...

I can only answer in this way:

There is a difference between what we deserve and what we will get. From all I can gather from a very cursory review of Stan's position, that position is that infants, like all human beings, are stained by sin...they have a sinful nature...and are thus rightly deserving of death and eternal separation from God. (Would that be a "horrible death"? Is there any other kind?) I don't know that Stan has declared that infants WILL receive that just punishment (or consequence or whatever word you prefer to use), but only that they are deserving of it. If I have understood this to be Stan's position, I most certainly agree with it.

Dan Trabue said...

And there it is. Another confusing, indirect answer to questions that I'm not asking. I'm not saying that Stan is saying that infants WILL be tortured for an eternity, I'm saying that he has said that ALL people, infants included apparently, DESERVE to be tortured for an eternity.

So, if you agree that the newborn infant who dies DESERVES to be tortured for an eternity for their "sinful condition" or for their "lies" or their "sins..." the rational follow up question is, WTF? WHAT has a newborn infant done that can be justly called deserving of an eternity of torture?

Another follow up question is, Do you not see how insane and immoral that sounds? Precisely because it is NOT a just punishment for whatever an infant has done or whatever "nature" an infant has?

Marshall Art said...

My answer could not be more direct and clear. If you're confused, that's on you and your notorious poor comprehension skills.

Worse, however, is the suggestion that we ever stated that the Bible speaks of eternal "torture". We only speak of the clear teaching that all have sinned and are deserving of death.

"Do you not see how insane and immoral that sounds?"

No. What I see is that you continue to project onto God YOUR notions of what justice should look like, what should be offensive to Him and that God should abide Dan Trabue's, or another other human's, notion of justice, love and mercy. How dare you?

It isn't a matter of what anyone has done. It's a matter of our nature, our sinful state. That's enough. If you can't bear the thought that God cannot abide the presence of sin, that's your problem, not God's and not of those who understand Scripture without bias.

Like in so many other areas, you will not abide your own demands. In this case, the demand to resist the urge to consider Scripture by modern notions. You do this with gusto as regards anything that suggests God's wrath or abhorrence of sin and His response to it. In short, it doesn't fit the narrative upon which you depend to defend sinful behaviors that you deny are sinful on no other basis than personal preference.

Dan Trabue said...

So, in answer to my question...

So, if you agree that the newborn infant who dies DESERVES to be tortured for an eternity for their "sinful condition" or for their "lies" or their "sins..." the rational follow up question is, WTF? WHAT has a newborn infant done that can be justly called deserving of an eternity of torture?


You are saying that it's not about the sin of the newborn infant. It's because that newborn has a "sinful nature..." EVEN IF that infant has not committed even ONE SIN, that "sinful nature" is worth an eternity of torment.

Is that an accurate description of what you are saying?

Marshall Art said...

Are you retarded, or just evil? You continue to ask me if I said what I already corrected for your understanding. Since I've only said, "all are deserving of death", stop being a prick and saying "deserving of eternal torture".

And again, we're talking about the wages of sin, not whether or not an infant is capable of consciously sinning. We are all sinners. We have a sinful nature. We sin. Pick one you like, but know that regardless, Scripture clearly teaches that we all are deserving of God's wrath due to sin. Only three were born without a sin nature. The rest of us need a Savior to intercede for us...to save us from the wrath of God due to our sin...to pay the price we could never afford. This is Christianity 101. What's your problem?

Dan Trabue said...

I said eternal torment. And I've got no problem. I'm asking because I am trying to confirm what you believe.

So, do you believe that the infant who has a "sinful nature" is, BECAUSE of that "sinful nature" deserving to go to an eternity in hell, eternal torment, eternal torture, however you want to put it?

I'm deliberately moving from "ALL" to specifics of "the newborn infant who dies..." because the newborn is a subset of All, and I'm just trying to get you to directly affirm what it appears you are saying.

What's the problem with answering directly this question?

Dan Trabue said...

Or, by saying "all are deserving of death," do you MEAN just a literal one time killing/death? That is, all are deserving of an execution, BUT NOT deserving of eternal torment in hell?

I think you mean the latter, in which case I used my words correctly, and thus, am not "retarded" (and shame on you for using such a mean-spirited word that denigrates are beloved sisters and brothers with mental deficiencies, that truly is evil!) or evil for correctly stating what you believe, just correct. But you tell me.

Marshall Art said...

"I said eternal torment."

No, you said "torture" or "tortured". See how that works? I used the word you actually used and did not alter it for my purposes. From there, should I have further questions, I would ask, but until then I use the actual words you use(d). It's the gracious thing to do. You waste so much time playing games.

So let's first get it clear what was said by me and, I believe, by Stan. Infants are equally deserving of death because of sin. They are born with a sin nature. They are thus sinners for whom death, both physical and spiritual, is by them justly deserved. What that punishment looks like, how it manifests...whether actual torture akin to being suspended low over a fire, or merely the torment of separation from God...is irrelevant.

But whether infants will be subjected to their deserved consequence is an entirely separate issue. A case can surely be made that they will be with God for the reasons YOU whine is the only possible "just" result of their death in infancy. But as to whether or not Scripture gives us a definitive answer, I would have to say that I have not seen one. I like to think, like you, that God will acknowledge their inability to choose evil or good and not hold it against them.

Sin was brought into the world as a result of Adam's sin, and with it came death. Thus, the wages of sin is physical death.

God cannot abide sin and thus sin separates us from God. That is spiritual death, as eternal life has us in the presence of God. Thus, the wages of sin is also spiritual death.

I don't know how much more I can add to satisfy your wonder at my position on the issue of infant death. Nor do I know of any more ways to say that same damned thing, none of the previous ways having been any more unclear.

But what if God doesn't spare infants their deserved end? Does that indicate that God is not just? Perhaps by human standards, but not necessarily by HIS standards, and that's another indictment of you and belies your claim of devotion to God and that you're a serious and prayerful student of Scripture...for Scripture clearly teaches that God's way is not our way, that we cannot know His mind. Yet, you insist on judging Him by human standards. What we regard as "justice" is based not on how God treats us, but on how He expects and demands that we treat each other.

Abraham showed us the way when he, without question, was about to fulfill God's demand that Abraham sacrifice Isaac. YOU would have rejected God because YOU won't respect and revere a God who would ask such a thing of you. Abe had the same reservations, was equally dismayed, but complied nonetheless and it was credited as righteousness. It was evidence of his righteousness...proof of it. His willingness to sacrifice his kid showed that all that matters in this world is God's will...God's purpose. Trusting that He knows what He's doing.

Thus, I have no issue with whatever it is that happens to infants when they die. I can speculate all day and forever be wrong about what the possibilities may be. I know that God knows what He's doing. I really don't need to wonder, but think worst case scenario and I'm good with it because it's His will and what He wants and by virtue of that, it is good.

Marshall Art said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dan Trabue said...

That word IS offensive to the families of people far wiser and kinder than you and to those dealing with unkind bastards who would use their mental deficits as a means of insult. I will NOT let you abuse my beloved friends and family that way, Marshall. You WILL NOT use that term here.

Do you understand? Because my friends and loved ones with disabling conditions ARE able to understand basic decency. Learn from them, Marshall.

Dan Trabue said...

Beyond that, with all your words, I'm still waiting for a direct answer to THIS question...

So, do you believe that the infant who has a "sinful nature" is, BECAUSE of that "sinful nature" deserving to go to an eternity in hell, eternal torment, eternal torture, however you want to put it?

Some things I'm NOT asking you:

Do you think newborn infants WILL be tormented in hell for an eternity? Not asking that, so there's no need to answer the question again, since it's not being asked.

Not, "DO you think infants WILL be tortured in hell for an eternity?" But, "DO you think infants DESERVE to be tortured in hell for an eternity?"

See the difference?

What is your answer to THAT question, please.


As to this...

But what if God doesn't spare infants their deserved end? Does that indicate that God is not just?

Yes, that is what it means. You continue, agreeing with me, basically...

Perhaps by human standards, but not necessarily by HIS standards

But now you're begging a question. We understand what Justice is in the human world. You appear now to be suggesting that God has some DIFFERENT notion of justice. Okay, define this OTHER "justice" (which, according to you, is NOT justice as we know it, and you're right on that point... so it's really some other concept, isn't it?), what is your definition for this other word, "godsjustice," let's say? Where do you get your definition?

I, for one, don't think there are two Truths (human truths and GODTRUTH), nor do I think there are two Goods (human Good and GODGOOD), nor do I think there are two Justices, diametrically opposed to one another (ie, human justice and godjustice). Nor do I, for one minute, think that the Bible teaches this strange non-moral, non-good, non-loving, non-just "god" who defines words differently than we do. But do tell...

Marshall Art said...

First of all, you're a complete ass and hypocrite for deleting my defense against your slander of me due to my suggestion that you are mentally deficient. I'll have you know that there are two in my family with actual mental deficiencies and I would rue the day that either of them whined about being called anything by anybody. We're made of better stuff than false defenders of special needs folk like yourself, who feign outrage in order to attack the character of those who oppose you. You're a false champion, a fraud, to dare detour away from the point with such a cheap tactic. What an incredible prick to suggest that I'm insulting them by questioning the level of YOUR intelligence. My defense clearly explained the truth, that no matter what words I used to pose that question, nothing changes. The question gave you, at the very least, an out...a way to get yourself out of the hole you dug by continuously, and purposely misrepresenting my position. If you're stupid, mentally deficient, you'd at least have an excuse for doing so. But you're not mentally retarded, are you?

So you must be evil for your ongoing lying. What's more, you are doing it again. YOU want to frame MY position in the most heinous possible way in order to justify your position that mine is irrational and immoral DESPITE the fact that my position is clearly and unambiguously drawn from Scripture itself. But as you are evil, you reject those parts of Scripture that offend your sensibilities, preferring a god of your own making.

So once again, should I question your intelligence, please tell me how that is any different than assuming you might be mentally retarded? How is that less offensive that calling my position, and by implication me, irrational and immoral for the crime of aligning my position with the clear teachings of Scripture? So, mentally deficient it is. You're either mentally deficient or evil for continually misrepresenting my position after repeated correction and clarifications. Basic decency, indeed!! Hypocrite.

And now you do it yet again:

So, do you believe that the infant who has a "sinful nature" is, BECAUSE of that "sinful nature" deserving to go to an eternity in hell, eternal torment, eternal torture, however you want to put it?

If that's what you think "death" is, then yes. How many fucking times do I need to directly answer this question before you get it through your mentally deficient head? The wages of sin is death. All are deserving of death because of sin. What about this crystal clear statement is so difficult for one who supposedly has reason given by God upon which you rely?

"See the difference?

What is your answer to THAT question, please."


You're an absolute graceless dick! I posed the differences myself to clarify that I was talking ONLY about what is DESERVED!!! And you dare jump down my throat over what appears more and more to be a legitimate questioning of your mental capacities.

Now, try to find yourself a pair and let this comment stand for all to see. Let your visitors, should you have any, post their disdain for my words and I'll be happy to explain to them what I said previous to you jumping aboard your high horse to pretend you care about the feelings of those who were not insulted.

Marshall Art said...

"But what if God doesn't spare infants their deserved end? Does that indicate that God is not just?

Yes, that is what it means. You continue, agreeing with me, basically... "


No. That is NOT what it means. The opposite is true if justice has anything to do with treating everyone equally. You clearly seem to be a works-based "believer" (as to whom it is in whom you believe...that's another question altogether. For the purpose of this discussion, I'm going to pretend it's the God of the Bible) You position requires that someone do something. The fact says otherwise. If all are deserving, all are deserving and thus to spare anyone who deserves is not just at all. It's the exact opposite. You continue to demonstrate that you are judging God by daring to impose upon Him standards that satisfy YOU, rather than accept HIS standards.

"You appear now to be suggesting that God has some DIFFERENT notion of justice."

Absolutely not, and again such a statement puts in question your mental capacity. The problem is that you fail to consider, or are incapable of considering, that God might not view sin in the same manner that we do. I again cite the common feeling amongst atheists that it is not just to condemn anyone eternally for a single act. But Scripture says that to break one law is to break them all. Wherever there is any reference to the issue, Scripture states that God does not abide sin. YOU want to demand that He consider a single act and give a pass for it. The problem is not what we do...it's what we are. It's what we are that makes us deserving of death. Thus, an infant is just as deserving as the rest of us because like us, an infant is a sinner...has a sin nature.

Therefore, you skunk, I have clearly not created a different god who defines words differently. But YOU have created one who must abide YOUR notion of what constitutes just judgement...rejecting any possibility that you simply don't have a clue what He's thinking. You discern by whatever means, and to the clear limitations of your mental capacity, what constitutes "good", "just", "love" and impose them on God, demanding that He MUST abide. I, on the other hand, look to see what HE declares is good, just and love and strive to abide HIS notions. I make no claim to perfectly match, or even understand, His perfect notion of those things. The best I, or anyone else, can do is an imperfect reflection. Our best is crap compared to Him. You regard His as crap because you can't handle the truth.

Dan Trabue said...

My question remains...

So, do you believe that the infant who has a "sinful nature" is, BECAUSE of that "sinful nature" deserving to go to an eternity in hell, eternal torment, eternal torture, however you want to put it?

Part of your response is...

YOU want to frame MY position in the most heinous possible way in order to justify your position that mine is irrational and immoral DESPITE the fact that my position is clearly and unambiguously drawn from Scripture itself.

No, I don't want to "frame" your position to be anything. I'm ASKING you if you would clarify what your position is. DO YOU BELIEVE (see the question there?) that infants have a sinful nature and, therefore (ie, because of that "sinful nature"), DESERVE to spend an eternity in torment in hell?

It is a question, Marshall, giving you a chance to answer the question and explain your position. I'm still waiting. You continued...

If that's what you think "death" is, then yes.

I'm not asking you what MY position is, I'm asking you what YOUR position is. You answered something earlier saying... "and are thus rightly deserving of death and eternal separation from God."

So, to be clear, you think an INFANT is DESERVING of "DEATH" and "ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM GOD..." is that much right?

And that they "DESERVE" this "death" because of their "sinful nature," and NOT because of anything at all in the whole world that they have done, is that right?

And, do YOU, Marshall, think that this separation is torment and torture, like burning in a fire forever, or do you think it's pleasant and nice?

All questions seeking to get you to directly clarify what you mean and if you mean what it sounds like you're saying.

Answer those questions, please, and spare us any histrionics. I'm simply trying to make sure I am repeating your actual position and doing so correctly, what is wrong with that?

Marshall Art said...

In yet another attempt to be as crystal clear as possible...you know...trying harder to help you understand what I've no doubt you've understood from the beginning...I am going to back way the hell up and begin again. This will reiterate the willful nonsense of your interrogatory style.

From August 14, 2015 at 9:13 AM:

"And my question remains: How do you TELL there is an "absence of law in them..."? What does that look like? Or are you just saying, "I KNOW there's an absence of law in them, take my word for it..."?"

According to Scripture, it's a given. One doesn't have to try to figure it out. It doesn't "look like" anything. We KNOW there's an absence of law in them, because it is what Scripture clearly and unambiguously declares to be the case. What's more, it is easy to turn the question back on you and insist you prove that the law is in them. Are you again going to misuse the notion of "God's law written on their hearts", as you have in the past in other discussions? Or do you just think it is so because they're so damned cute?

"As to "there is no positive righteousness in an infant," would it then be fair to sum up your position as:

Because there is NO POSITIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS in a newborn infant (ie, they haven't done anything 'good,'), they deserve to die a horrible death?"


No. As usual, it would not be fair to agree with your poor understanding of the issue. It is because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".

---Romans 5:12: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”
---Romans 5:18-19 says, "through one man's trespass, judgment came to all men, for by one man's disobedience all were made sinners."
---I Jn. 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”
---Rom. 3:9-12 “both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one"

"...Also, "according to the bible," a one day old infant TELLS LIES? Do you really think this is true? (ie, both that the Bible teaches that and that a one day old infant is capable of telling lies?)"

The question is foolish, because David, when saying this, thus also Stan in repeating, is merely driving home the point that we are born sinful. Thus, a more mature and honest question would seek the meaning of the statement over the foolish question of whether or not a day-old infant can form a single word, much less actually and literally tell a lie.

This is all I have time for now. I'm building up to what I hope will be (but don't have confidence will indeed be) the answer that will prohibit further goofiness on your part. So, no need to respond just yet...

(Disclaimer: Going out of town at the end of the week...could delay completion until just after the weekend. I'll do my best to get to the punchline before then.)

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall…

According to Scripture, it's a given. One doesn't have to try to figure it out. It doesn't "look like" anything. We KNOW there's an absence of law in them, because it is what Scripture clearly and unambiguously declares to be the case.
Question begging. We know that there is a passage that says, for instance, that infants tell lies from their mother’s womb, or that we are from birth. We know the text is there, the question is, what does it mean?
Does it mean, for instance, that infants literally tell lies? That they are literally “full of sin” or “evil…” Or is it hyperbole to emphasize our general sinful nature, but NOT to make the ridiculous claim that babies lie or are evil, themselves, in how they conduct themselves.

So, setting aside your hunches about what a passage from the Bible may or may not mean, how do you KNOW there is an absence of law in infants? What does that look like? Merely that they do not know about law? No, of course, they don’t.
Is simple ignorance from a place of impossibility (that is, it is IMPOSSIBLE that babies understand the notion of law and therefore are ignorant of it) deserving of “death” or eternal torment in a burning hell?
That is the question being asked, Marshall. Do you have an answer for that question?


I said…

Because there is NO POSITIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS in a newborn infant (ie, they haven't done anything 'good,'), they deserve to die a horrible death?"

And you responded…

No. As usual, it would not be fair to agree with your poor understanding of the issue. It is because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".

Again, question begging. But okay, by all means, answer your question: HOW have babies sinned? What have they done, at the age of one day old? You are citing a positive action – that “all have sinned,” which means all have DONE SOMETHING wrong, so support the claim, what sin have babies done?

When you get a chance, you can begin with answers to the questions you’re begging.

Marshall Art said...

From Aug 15 @ 12:27PM

"You are saying that it's not about the sin of the newborn infant. It's because that newborn has a "sinful nature..." EVEN IF that infant has not committed even ONE SIN, that "sinful nature" is worth an eternity of torment.

Is that an accurate description of what you are saying?"


No. As has been said repeatedly due to your purposeful distortion of the reality, we are saying, because Scripture says it (see Scriptural citations above), that due the sin nature of all who are born, all are deserving of death.

"What's the problem with answering directly this question?"

No problem. Asked and answered repeatedly and directly without reservation or trepidation.

From Aug 16 @ 7:20PM, because it bears review:

"That word IS offensive to the families of people far wiser and kinder than you and to those dealing with unkind bastards who would use their mental deficits as a means of insult. I will NOT let you abuse my beloved friends and family that way, Marshall."

The word is not offensive to people of common sense and rational reasoning abilities. The manner in which the word is used can be. All words or phrases used in a manner to question the mental capabilities of those who might normally be regarded as "normal" cannot be honestly separated into groups, such as "offensive" or "inoffensive" at the subjective discretion of people like you. Stupid, retard, idiot, mentally defective, special needs, moron, lunkhead...and likely scores more...all mean the same thing: the recipient is acting in a manner that is inexcusable EXCEPT for the mentally challenged. Here, you continue to ask the same question that has been answered honestly and completely. There are only two reasons for this, the other being that you are evil and looking to find fault to assume what you think will be the moral high ground. You make more likely that possibility by choosing to take issue with the words I use. It is not my word choice that is truly insulting to the truly mentally challenged. It is your own less than intelligent behavior, made worse by the fact that you should know better, this behavior of yours having been challenged about a billion times over the years.

From 9:18PM

"Some things I'm NOT asking you:

Do you think newborn infants WILL be tormented in hell for an eternity?"


Bullshit. When you continually restate my position as such:

"So, do you believe that the infant who has a "sinful nature" is, BECAUSE of that "sinful nature" deserving to go to an eternity in hell, eternal torment, eternal torture, however you want to put it?"

...after repeatedly corrected as regards the eternal torture crap, you are implying that I believe the possibility exists, or that such a thing has a connection to my position. You ARE asking if I think they WILL be tortured. Your tap dancing counts as lie.

Gotta go. I will continue to ignore any further responses until I'm caught up addressing standing responses...a request you ungraciously ignored by posting your last comment. Again, hard to believe you've ever "seriously" studied Scripture when you can't even bother to seriously listen to opposing points of view.

Dan Trabue said...

I had asked, again...

"You are saying that it's not about the sin of the newborn infant. It's because that newborn has a "sinful nature..." EVEN IF that infant has not committed even ONE SIN, that "sinful nature" is worth an eternity of torment.

Is that an accurate description of what you are saying?"


You respond...

No. As has been said repeatedly due to your purposeful distortion of the reality, we are saying, because Scripture says it (see Scriptural citations above), that due the sin nature of all who are born, all are deserving of death.

"What's the problem with answering directly this question?"

No problem. Asked and answered repeatedly and directly without reservation or trepidation.


The problem, Marshall, is that you did NOT answer the question directly. You answered it INdirectly.

A direct answer would be, "Yes, that is what I'm saying, that because a newborn has a sinful nature, that sinful nature is deserving 'death,' by which I mean, 'hell,' or an eternity of torment/torture/burning flames... whatever hell may be, it's going to be awful beyond compare..." THAT is a direct answer to my question.

Your answer ("due the sin nature of all who are born, all are deserving of death.") is a direct answer to the question, "Are all humans deserving of death..." but that is not my question.

Do you understand the difference and why your answer is precisely NOT a direct answer?

So, given what you are willing to say, it appears that you are saying that ALL of humanity is deserving of death.

As a subset of humanity, newborn infants are also deserving of death...

IS that what you are saying?


Please answer THAT question directly if you can or tell me that you can't answer it directly. But don't answer some other question and claim that it is a direct answer. I can read, Marshall, and anyone can see that was not a direct answer.

Continuing, you say that all humans are deserving of "death" because of our "sin nature..." right?

Then please illuminate/clarify:

By "death," you don't mean a mere one time physical death that we are all familiar with, do you? You mean an eternal death, an eternity of torment in "hell," which may or may not be actually fiery, but it is torturous and horribly awful, is that correct?

I will entertain direct answers to THOSE question, please Marshall, before you continue on with other commentary. Understand: OTHER commentary will be deleted until you answer the questions that I have repeated and clarified for you, giving you the opportunity to clarify your position.

Do you really not understand how evasive and indirect your answers appear?

Dan Trabue said...

As to this...

The word is not offensive to people of common sense and rational reasoning abilities.

Obviously, you don't get to decide this for all people of common sense and rational reasoning abilities. There are, as a matter of reality, people with exceeding common sense and dazzling reasoning abilities who do find the term offensive. For their sake, I will not allow you to demean people with your ugly language.

You, sir, do not get to decide for other people.

I insist and you really have no say on my blog on this point. You'll have to get over it.

Also, you say...

Here, you continue to ask the same question that has been answered honestly and completely. There are only two reasons for this, the other being that you are evil and looking to find fault to assume what you think will be the moral high ground.

That your limited reasoning and understanding does not allow you to see more than two options (you're either stupid or evil) does not, in the real world, limit it to only two possibilities. You are, as a point of fact, mistaken.

Further, I ask to get YOUR EXACT and actual position. When you do not answer directly, I repeat and rephrase to try to get a DIRECT answer. I have already demonstrated why specifically and literally your answers (and Stan's before you) are factually NOT a direct answer.

There is nothing either evil or stupid in trying to get exact answers. You are factually wrong.


Finally, you say...

Bullshit. When you continually restate my position as such:

"So, do you believe that the infant who has a "sinful nature" is, BECAUSE of that "sinful nature" deserving to go to an eternity in hell, eternal torment, eternal torture, however you want to put it?"

...after repeatedly corrected as regards the eternal torture crap, you are implying that I believe the possibility exists


Again, factually, you are mistaken. I'm asking A QUESTION to try to get a direct ANSWER, not to imply anything. Now, ONCE we finally get a direct answer (if that ever happens), I may well raise the rational and moral problems your direct answer implies, but I have not gotten there, yet, I've only asked the questions which questions you continue to dodge and obfuscate.

Marshall Art said...

From Aug 16 @ 7:20PM

"That word IS offensive to the families of people far wiser and kinder than you and to those dealing with unkind bastards who would use their mental deficits as a means of insult."

You merely assume their level of wisdom and kindness. Anyone who was a kid, has kids...indeed, anyone who is a human being who has lived a life, has dealt with any manner of insult hurled their way. Those of true wisdom do not focus on the words used, as they do not matter as much as the attitude and intent behind them. Again, many years ago, the terms "idiot" and "moron" had clinical uses until they, too, were used to insult those who were not actual idiots or morons, but had acted thoughtlessly, stupidly or in a way contrary to reason. You, and those you inappropriately regard as wise and kind, believe idiots and morons are insulted when the labels that refer to them are used to insult those who are neither. But again, such people have an excuse for their poor reasoning abilities. What's yours?

In an amazing display of irony...and I guess this means you really, really do love irony...by chastising me for calling you retarded, you insult all those born out of wedlock. How dare you? How unwise!!! How unkind!!! Indeed, where is the Christian kindness, the "turning of the other cheek" in so labeling those who, in questioning your behavior, wonder at your level of intelligence and reasoning?

Anyway...back to the Aug 16, 9:18PM comment:

"Not, "DO you think infants WILL be tortured in hell for an eternity?" But, "DO you think infants DESERVE to be tortured in hell for an eternity?"

See the difference?

What is your answer to THAT question, please."


No. No difference if you're trying to seek clarification of my position. One doesn't seek clarification by restating the position in a manner never stated in the first place. I never said anything about eternal "torture". Do you not see the difference? Honest people engaging in honest discourse do not repeatedly misrepresent the position of the opposition. So again, my answer to that question is, "I never said that, so I don't have to answer. Ask me about what I actually said, and you'll get a direct answer." Moving on...

I asked:

"But what if God doesn't spare infants their deserved end? Does that indicate that God is not just?"

To which you answered:

"Yes, that is what it means."

This is absolutely the opposite of justice. If what is deserved is not received, no justice has taken place. None whatsoever. MERCY may have taken place, but not justice. You are absolutely without understanding of what it means to be just in terms of responding to behavior, guilt or what is deserved.

continuing...

Marshall Art said...

"You appear now to be suggesting that God has some DIFFERENT notion of justice."

Absolutely not. I'm pointing out the fact that YOU have a different notion of what justice actually is, as well as a notion of when it should be meted out based on YOUR personal sensitivities. That is to say that because YOU don't think a child with a sin nature is deserving of death, then God is unjust to hold that child as deserving of death. You are clearly dictating to God how He should run His business. You are clearly dictating to God what should offend Him and to what degree. Typical leftist.

Therefore, I do NOT think there is a different justice for God...I know you have no idea of what justice truly is.

I do NOT think there are two "truths", one for God and one for us...I know you have chosen to create your own truth while I, and those like me, seek out what God's truth is and act accordingly.

I do NOT think there are two "goods", one for God and one for us...I know that YOU have chosen to dictate what is or isn't good based on your less than intelligently reasoned notions of what is or isn't good, what should or shouldn't be good. God must adhere to YOUR concept of good or He is not just, merciful or loving. Typical you.

From Aug 17 @ 6:37PM

"No, I don't want to "frame" your position to be anything. I'm ASKING you if you would clarify what your position is."

And I've repeatedly restated my position over and over again and YOU continue to recite it back distorted and re-framed in a manner that is inaccurate. At this point, you are clearly demonstrating evil intent in continually doing so...or something else. Case in point:

"DO YOU BELIEVE (see the question there?) that infants have a sinful nature and, therefore (ie, because of that "sinful nature"), DESERVE to spend an eternity in torment in hell?"

Clearly, and unequivocally, I've corrected you over and over again that the answer is emphatically "NO!!!" If you have any care about honest discourse, then your question MUST be "DO YOU BELIEVE (see the question there?) that infants have a sinful nature and, therefore (ie, because of that "sinful nature"), DESERVE DEATH?" and nothing else. The following is an illustration of your ungracious and unChristian behavior in discourse:

Me: I like that girl and want to date her.

Dan: So, you like that girl and want to have sex with her?

Me: I didn't say that.

Dan: Yes you did.

Me: Since when does "date her", mean "have sex with her"?

In the same way, you insist on making "deserving of death" mean "deserving an eternity of torture in hell". No one has gone that far as to conflate the two except for you. What "death" means in Scripture as regards the wages of sin is an entirely different topic. And it may be a totally moot point given God's mercy, which most prefer to assume includes sparing infants the death they deserve due to their sinful nature.

continuing...

Marshall Art said...

The bottom line here is that the position that "the wages of sin is death" and "all are sinners" and thus "all are deserving of death" has absolutely nothing to do with what "death" looks like. It has nothing to do with whether death is merely the end of existence, eternal separation from God while still existing or even, for you who enjoys making your opponents out to be something they are not, eternal torture in hell. What "death" is has absolutely no bearing on the truth of "death" being deserved by every human being, regardless of age, size or behaviors whilst physically alive. You obviously don't like the idea. You obviously reject that clear teaching of Scripture because you don't like that clear teaching. You obviously want that clear teaching of Scripture to mean something it simply cannot mean without your own biases injecting meaning not inherent in the teaching itself because you don't like what that clear teaching means. Too bad. On what basis can you suggest it doesn't mean what it says? It can't be Scripture itself, because that's what it teaches. It can't be God's justice, because that's what justice is...getting what one deserves. It can't be God's mercy, because mercy, granted or not, is based on what one deserves. It can't be God's grace, because God's grace is bestowed without our deserving it and thus isn't related to what we deserve.

Now, let's look at more irony:

You weep over the fact that infants are deserving of death, just like the rest of us. Yet, you support the legal but unjustified deaths of the unborn...deaths that are inflicted most often with great suffering to the child and in a most torturous manner. There is no justice for them, no mercy, no love. Only the selfish desires of the parents to live on without the consequences of the lustful behaviors. You insist that the decision is solely that of the mother of the child, but demand that God, the Father of us all, has no say in the future of those who die in infancy. You insist that mothers have authority over the value of their own child, yet rebuke God for daring to assert His Supreme Authority over all of us, including infants. Are you a hypocrite, evil or mentally deficient?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, you're not dealing with what I'm speaking about. Let's break this down, one simple question and answer at a time.

You have said that you believe that all humans deserve "death..." What do you mean by Death?

Do you mean that they deserve to be killed by God, one time, thus ending their mortal life?

Do you mean that they deserve to be thrown into hell to suffer for an eternity?

What do you mean by "death.."?

Dan Trabue said...

Me: I didn't say that.

Dan: Yes you did.

Me: Since when does "date her", mean "have sex with her"?


Apples, oranges. In the evangelical world, when they say "all deserve death," they ALWAYS mean hell and when they say Hell, they ALWAYS mean an eternity of torment and torture, as if (or literally) you are living forever in burning flames with all the pain and suffering that would entail. So, while in your analogy "I like that girl" does not always equate to "I want to have sex with her," in the evangelical world, "death" always equals hell. The question I've asked you multiple times is how do you define Death?

And are you unaware that Evangelicals define death (in passages like "the wages of sin is death...") as meaning "hell..."?

Marshall Art said...

My point was that you purposely chose to use words I didn't use in representing my position. Where's the Christian grace in that? At the very least, honor demands you first confirm my statement and then, if so desired, ask what I mean. Even then you can ask "By that do you mean...?" and go from there. Doing so would not expose you as the jerk you seem to want to be.

Your tap dance above does you no favors, either. Provide some evidence that "death" always means what you need it to mean in order to put me in the worst possible light whilst adhering to Scripture. I submit that the exact meaning of "the wages of sin is death" is debatable as regards what is meant by "death".

Worse, all this time, the whole discussion was brought about by your revulsion at the thought that Scripture actually teaches that ALL are deserving of death. "ALL" would have to include infants who die simply because Scripture also teaches that we have inherited our sin nature from Adam.

Dan Trabue said...

So, what does it mean TO YOU? What do YOU think it means? Best guess?

Or are you saying you just really don't know what the word means in that context? That's fine, too, I just need an answer of some sort to move on to the next points.

Is death, in this text, in your best guess, mean simply that they stop breathing and there is a blissful nothingness, they're simply gone? Or do you think, in your best guess, that it means something much more like "hell..."?

If you truly have no idea what it means, then just say, I have NO idea whatsoever what death means in this context. Otherwise, please offer your hunch about what you think it means.

Thanks.

Marshall Art said...

There's much debate about what it means, and there is much debate about what hell is. For my part, I don't much care what it means. It's enough for me that Jesus encourages us to choose life. Isn't that enough for you? Whatever death and/or hell is, I'm wagering I'd not much care for it. I don't need details if Christ suggests I wouldn't like it. I doubt it would be "blissful" in any way, shape or form. That would suggest we'd feel something. That we'd experience something. I doubt it. "Cease to exist" makes the most sense, but there are implications of suffering. What that means is not especially clear. As I said, it's enough for me that Jesus encourages us to choose life.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, good. So you don't blindly agree with the traditional evangelical belief that hell is eternal (everlasting) torment in a fiery dungeon, or even eternal torment without the fire. Maybe, you think, it's only "just" death, capital punishment for having a sinful nature. A simple killing off of the body, and the soul is just gone, is that it? Or you just don't know? If so, my apologies for assuming you believed in the traditional teaching on hell, I hope you understand why I assumed you were holding to the traditional teaching (since that is your normal starting place), no offense intended.

Let's assume the least horrible option then: You appear then to believe that a newborn infant "deserves" to be killed for their "sinful nature..." Is THAT a correct summarization of your position? Or perhaps you'd prefer to put it this way: That all people - newborn infants included - deserve to be killed for their crime of having a "sinful nature.." Is one of those your position?

At the risk of making things too confusing, I'll assume your answer is Yes, and move on to the next question:

In what sense is it rational or just to say that a newborn infant deserves to be killed? They have a "sinful nature," but haven't really done anything wrong yet, aren't capable of choosing wrong at 1 hour old. I believe you agreed with me on that point. So, how is it in any way Just to say that they deserve to be killed?

Do you understand how insane that sounds, from a simply rational and justice point of view?

Marshall Art said...

"Maybe, you think, it's only "just" death, capital punishment for having a sinful nature. A simple killing off of the body, and the soul is just gone, is that it? Or you just don't know?"

I have, in no uncertain terms, made my position perfectly clear.

"Do you understand how insane that sounds, from a simply rational and justice point of view?"

No. It only sounds insane to those who believe in the hippie god, not the God of Scripture. To those who believe in the God of Scripture, the God of Abraham, who sent His only Begotten Son to pay the price each and everyone of us who has lived deserves to be paying, it doesn't sound insane at all.

But I'll play your game and you still lose. It's as insane as hell. That few can truly wrap their minds around that truth, that we are all deserving of death due to sin, it seems so unfair. Boo-freakin-hoo, Dan. That's what it's all about as clearly described in Scripture.

Instead of worrying how insane it sounds to you, why not instead live according to God's will and encourage others to do the same, and leave the eternal fate of infants and the unborn you don't care to protect to God. Then there are no worries.

You might also want to give up this works-based ideology of yours.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, given then, that you think a new born infant "deserves" to be killed, then here is the reasonable question that you ned to address:

In what sense is it rational or just to say that a newborn infant deserves to be killed? They have a "sinful nature," but haven't really done anything wrong yet, aren't capable of choosing wrong at 1 hour old. I believe you agreed with me on that point. So, how is it in any way Just to say that they deserve to be killed?

Dan Trabue said...

As to this...

I'll play your game and you still lose. It's as insane as hell. That few can truly wrap their minds around that truth, that we are all deserving of death due to sin, it seems so unfair. Boo-freakin-hoo, Dan. That's what it's all about as clearly described in Scripture.

Instead of worrying how insane it sounds to you, why not instead live according to God's will


Instead of getting defensive and going on the attack, how about just dealing with reasonable questions put to you? That is part of the point of this whole post? Why is it that your sort of evangelical can't just offer direct answers to reasonable questions? Why is it all about dodging and attacking and being defensive, when confronted with reasonable questions? I'm not insulting you, you are saying that infants deserve to die for their "sinful condition," it's a reasonable and biblical and moral question to ask, why?

And I am looking not only to reason, but to Scripture. Ezekiel 18 (and other places) tells us that "the soul who sins, that soul shall die... the soul that oppresses the poor, causes harm, charges interest, takes profit, kills and does other abominations, THAT soul shall die..." (my paraphrase). It is, biblically, morally and rationally, wrong and UNJUST to punish a person for crimes they did not commit. It is UNJUST to unduly punish a person beyond what the crime calls for. You appear to be arguing for a God that is unjust and immoral (biblically speaking, as well as rationally speaking) and so, it is a reasonable thing to ask the questions that I have asked. Why not answer the question?

And all of that is just to put things in perspective. I would like you to deal with the question at hand before dealing with anything in this comment, please. AFTER answering the question (what has the newborn done that is "deserving" of death - of a "horrible death," according to Stan?). Thank you.

Dan Trabue said...

As to this...

It only sounds insane to those who believe in the hippie god, not the God of Scripture.

I wouldn't begin to suggest that hippies are the only ones who are rational, who believe in Justice, not whimsical tyrannical actions. I think most rational people agree that infants are truly innocent of any crime, this is only rational, moral and biblical. Do you disagree?

I think most reasonable people would agree that justice precludes punishments that are wildly disproportionate to the crimes committed. Do you chop off an infant's hand for knocking over a glass of milk? Do you put a baby who's pooped their diaper in front of a firing squad? No, of course not! That would be grossly UNJUST (and, again, crazy as hell).

Do you actually disagree with this reasonable and biblical position? I doubt that you do.

Reason and justice are not just for hippies, Marshall, but thanks for your vote of confidence!

Dan Trabue said...

So, are you finished here, Marshall? If so, I'm still left with unanswered questions, reasonable questions based on what you all are saying. Why is this so difficult?