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betsy

Questions, Misconceptions, Objections,..etc,

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A lot of questions and misconceptions are thrown at Christians, and one meant as ridicule turned out to be quite ironic (from a Christian's perspective).

Recently, during a debate, one exasperated non-believer posted, "Betsy, get a life!" I ignored it at the time, and wished I hadn't. An answer came to me not long after....

I did decide to get a life! That's why I became a Christian.

And as one brother answered too: I have one. Forever. You?

Edited by betsy

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So here are some of the things I've encountered during debates or discussions with non-believers. Feel free to post your questions here...

Misconception: God hates homosexuals.

Correction: God does not hate homosexuals. He hates homosexual acts.

Edited by betsy

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The Persecuted Christians in America thread has kind of veered off-topic into discussing how awesome the Old Testament is. I'd like to transfer that discussion here, so that I can get back to tales of Christians being thrown to the lions in 2012 America. Tim Tebow is suffering as we speak!

To kick-start things a little, I present one of my favorite parts of the Old Testament: 2 Kings 2:23-25, Elisha's road-trip.

Feel the love! God sends two bears to maul 42 children to death because they called Elisha "bald-head". It's like Stephen Colbert told us, bears really are the #1 threat.

-k

"2:23. Bald head was a taunt of scorn. These children were older youths of responsible age who were actually blaspheming God by casting doubt upon Elisha's report of the "going up" of Elijah. Therefore, both God and His newly designated prophet were to be vindicated so proper respect might be shown."

Elisha Heads for Bethel

(2:23a)

“Then” or “thereupon.” Following the ministry in Jericho (which portrayed a kind of firstfruits of the land) Elisha, as a man of God under the direction of God and with the Word of God moves on into the land to minister to the people. They were a people living in idolatry and badly in need of the Word.

“Bethel” means “house of God” or “place of God.” This name spoke of worship and fellowship with God. There was also a school of the prophets in Bethel, but in spite of this the city was now idolatrous and anything but a center of worship. Hosea, who ministered after Elisha, called this city Bethaven “house of wickedness” a name of shame (cf. Hos. 4:15; 5:8; 10:5). It was so called by Hosea because of the idolatrous worship Jeroboam had established in order to effect a complete separation between Israel and Judah. Out of his greed for power and his fear that if Israel went back to Jerusalem to worship, he established two new places of worship in the north with golden calves as the symbol of worship: one at Bethel and the other at Dan. This was of course in complete disobedience to the directives of the Old Testament Scripture.

“And as he was going . . .” calls our attention to the time of the attack. It occurred simply in the normal process of his travels to the city. We never know (though the Lord does) when Satan or others under his control or influence, are going to attack. Just about the time we might think pressures are easing up, and things are getting better--the attack increases. This is why we must always, in spite of how things appear, take heed lest we fall (1 Cor 10:12); why we must look to ourselves lest we be tempted (Gal 6:1); and why we must be careful how we are walking (Eph 5:15) because we live in an evil world and Satan is on the prowl. He is warring against the saints.

Elisha is Mocked

(2:23b)

“Young lads.” The KJV has “little children” which really misses the meaning here. These were not children, but young men. The word “lads” is the Hebrew naar and was used of servants, of soldiers and of Isaac when he was 28 years old. This was a crowd of young men, perhaps students of the false prophets, who were here as antagonists to Elisha’s prophetic ministry and authority. If not students, they were sent by the false prophets or idolatrous priests of Bethel to stop Elisha from entering the city. In Elisha Satan had an enemy and he was acting to protect his territory. Remember, however, Elisha was going to Bethel not to curse, but to bless.

“Came out of the city and mocked him . . . Go up, you baldhead.” “Mocked” is the Hebrew galas and denotes a scornful belittling of something or someone, but it issues from an attitude which counts as valueless that which is really of great value.

Leaders have always had to deal with disrespect. It is seen throughout the Old Testament and it is found in the New Testament as well. But the greatest disrespect here is in relation to God. These young men, undoubtedly under Satan’s influence, were attacking not just Elisha, the man, but they were also attacking his message. But the issue was, regardless of the personality of the man, his physical appearance, or even his short comings, Elisha was God’s man with God’s message. As a result, in the final analysis they were mocking or rejecting God and what He was attempting to do through Elisha as God’s spokesman. Elisha was simply an instrument of God (cf. 2 Thess. 5:12, 13 “on account of the work”). The work referred to in 1 Thessalonians is God’s work--the work of building men in the Word and in Christ through these men. And there is a certain sense in which this applies to all believers.

The attack of these young men is twofold:

(1) “Go up”… “go up.” That is, ascend up as you claim Elijah did. The translation of Elijah was a miracle of God and portrayed the biblical truth and hope of the translation of the saints. Though Old Testament saints did not understand this, it was still a type of this truth. Elisha was a prophet of God and by doing this these young men were denying the work of God, denying the Word of God and God’s actions in history.

(2) The second aspect of the attack is seen in the words: “you baldhead.” Whether Elisha was actually bald, or whether he had a different hairstyle, i.e., cropped short on top, they were ridiculing the prophet and telling him to get lost like Elijah. Krummacher writes:

These attacks are typical of the schemes and methods by which Satan seeks to nullify the ministry of God’s saints and the work of God. He attacks the message (the Word) and the messenger or both. He seeks to discourage or discredit the teacher or he attacks those hearing the message

The important thing here is Elisha’s reaction to this and God’s action in response. This is designed to emphasize to us the seriousness of the issues here.

Elisha Curses the Young Men

(2:24a)

This seems harsh, but God and His leaders have, on occasion, acted harshly in order to impress upon man the seriousness of life and the Word of God. Ananias and Saphira are an illustration of this in the New Testament

Conclusion

God does not take it lightly when we ignore His Word or hinder its propagation in the world among His people. This is serious business (cf. 1 Cor 3:16-17 with 10; 11:30).

As believers, we should expect opposition. The more we move out for the Lord, the more attacks we may have to face from our adversary through his various schemes (cf. 1 Pet 4:10-12). As Paul stated it in 2 Timothy 3:12, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (NIV).

http://bible.org/seriespage/elisha-and-two-bears-2-kings-223-25

(For more more detailed explanation of this curse and the lion attacks, go to link).

Edited by betsy

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"2:23. Bald head was a taunt of scorn. These children were older youths of responsible age who were actually blaspheming God by casting doubt upon Elisha's report of the "going up" of Elijah. Therefore, both God and His newly designated prophet were to be vindicated so proper respect might be shown."

http://bible.org/seriespage/elisha-and-two-bears-2-kings-223-25

(For more more detailed explanation of this curse and the lion attacks, go to link).

Short version: God is, in the words of Mark Twain, a malign thug who, in his Old Testament incarnation, recalls the petty, vindictive, flawed deities of other classical mythologies.

As believers, we should expect opposition. The more we move out for the Lord, the more attacks we may have to face from our adversary through his various schemes (cf. 1 Pet 4:10-12). As Paul stated it in 2 Timothy 3:12, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (NIV).

I bet you're miffed that your god doesn't send wild animals to eat the people who "persecute" you, hey?

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Comment: "I don't feel the love." "I don't see the love of God."

Answer: being a non-believer perhaps you'd set yourself against it, from understanding it. Or closed your heart to it. Of course, before you could feel it, you've got to believe in Him first.....for how can one feel something from someone you believe not to exist?

To a believer who says this, perhaps it is a question of pride - to remember to be humble and meek in trusting in God, and accepting God's will.

Edited by betsy

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Correction: God does not hate homosexuals. He hates homosexual acts.

Why? Why would such a supposedly perfect being who loves all of his children hate something that happens in so many species in nature...species that he also created? How can an omnibenevolant being hate?

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Why? Why would such a supposedly perfect being who loves all of his children hate something that happens in so many species in nature

Animals kill too.

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Animals kill too.

but killing actually hurts someone or something. Does a homosexual act hurt anyone?

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but killing actually hurts someone or something. Does a homosexual act hurt anyone?

Doesn't God kill a kitten whenever one is committed?

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Doesn't God kill a kitten whenever one is committed?

You're thinking of Mohammed.

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Who was a mere prophet, not a god.

So?

Then probably Allah. Although Allah doesn't kill kittens, Allah kills the homosexuals themselves. Except in Iran, where none exist! :lol:

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Allah is God.

Yes, the Muslim version.

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Yes, the Muslim version.

You're breaking almost all of the commandments. You're only supposed to acknowledge one God.

#GodFail

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You're breaking almost all of the commandments. You're only supposed to acknowledge one God.

#GodFail

I don't care. I'm not religious.

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yeah

Nope. Your ignorance is profound.

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Prove otherwise.

The word of God in the bible is much different than the word of Allah in the quran. You need that explained to you? :blink:

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The word of God in the bible is much different than the word of Allah in the quran.

Much different? Really? There are some differences, for sure, but since Islam is an offshoot of Christianity....

Christians often claim that the God of the Bible is good and loving, much more so than Allah...but I don't see much evidence in the Old Testament.

Edited by Smallc

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Same guy and everything.

Nope.

As usual, Shady, you're wrong. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in all of their sects follow the exact same deity. Go look it up.

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