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If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?

 
Seed Of Purpose
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12/19/2012 05:54 PM
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If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
He contains all knowledge there is, and all knowledge there would ever be...

So what would be your question and why?
Seed Of Purpose (OP)

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12/19/2012 06:12 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
He knows everything about the universe beyond any knowledge in existence....he knows about the earth, about the past and about the future...
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 06:13 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
I would ask God,Can your love ever be fathomed here on Earth or in the afterlife by us,your children?
I would say even the most spiritual person on Earth hasn't an inkling of the love God has for us. To me,it truly is unfathomable.
He Is Risen Indeed

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12/19/2012 06:19 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
when your wrath comes, will you protect as many people as you can and help them come to you?
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 06:20 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
Can I squeeze your balls ?
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 06:22 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
what are lottery numbers next week?
Apple Ugly

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12/19/2012 06:25 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
Do you hate me because I am a women? That's what all these religions teach. That the point of women is to create more men and for the pleasure of men. The Bible even says that men were created for God, and women for men. So what does this mean. That I am not here for God.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 06:26 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
Can you give us an updated religion?
Seed Of Purpose (OP)

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12/19/2012 06:29 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
what are lottery numbers next week?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 27505470


Would you really ask him that, when you could ask him the most profound questions about reality and existence?
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 07:55 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
WHY? THAT IS THE QUESTION I WOULD ASK THE CREATOR OF ALL...WHY?
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 07:57 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
WHY, did You create ...

Madonna?

scream
Dutch Retriever

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12/19/2012 07:57 PM

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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
I would ask, " Why did you start this website "

After that I would thank him for his finishing touch!


finishingtouch

Last Edited by Dutch Retriever on 12/19/2012 07:59 PM
A small change at one place in a complex system, can have large effects elswhere..
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 08:04 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
why hath thou forsaken me
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 08:10 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
To: God
From: Me

WHY AND THE FUCK WOULD YOU PICK ME!?
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 08:17 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
What the HELL were You thinking? That mankind was created as Your companions? slaphim

So how's that working out for You? We have made a mess of of Your beautiful creation - this planet Earth. verysad

I mean, seriously - WTF? Should have kept us on the astral plane. huffy
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 08:26 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
what are lottery numbers next week?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 27505470


Would you really ask him that, when you could ask him the most profound questions about reality and existence?
 Quoting: Seed Of Purpose


No, definitely the winning lottery numbers.

What if 'God' told you, or another of you anarcho-capitalist libertarian fundamental right-wing Christians that Christ was evil? You'd think the devil was talking to you.

God, or other higher beings (not as high as God, of course) talk to you all the time, it's just that most people are too busy & FUCKING UNEVOLVED to listen!

No, lottery numbers anyday. Anything else can wait!
Seed Of Purpose (OP)

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12/19/2012 08:34 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
To: God
From: Me

WHY AND THE FUCK WOULD YOU PICK ME!?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 30366264


What if he responded why not, than what would you answer?
Seed Of Purpose (OP)

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12/19/2012 08:37 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
Do you hate me because I am a women? That's what all these religions teach. That the point of women is to create more men and for the pleasure of men. The Bible even says that men were created for God, and women for men. So what does this mean. That I am not here for God.
 Quoting: Apple Ugly


I think God loves man and woman equally but organize religion has misrepresented the true...

Remember god is the purest representation of love...
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 08:40 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
Whata fuck am I doing here, pal?
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 08:41 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
To: God
From: Me

WHY AND THE FUCK WOULD YOU PICK ME!?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 30366264


What if he responded why not, than what would you answer?
 Quoting: Seed Of Purpose


i was asked that by someone long ago. Why not. still to this day i have no awnser to either or.
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 08:41 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
What is the reason for our existence?
Why do bad things happen to innocent people?
Why is there so much suffering and pain in the world?
Shustah

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12/19/2012 08:41 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
[link to www.youtube.com]

enjoy hf
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 08:42 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
why did you wait so long to create me?



or



What was I before I was born?



not sure which.
Thylacine

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12/19/2012 08:42 PM

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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
I'd ask him that if he's a God then why has made such a mess of things
Not quite extinct!!!!!!!!
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 08:45 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
Why do we have to kill to eat? What a psychologically nasty thing to do when you say, Do not kill? Are you a psychopath?



Why can't we live of oxygen and the sun's rays?
Anonymous Coward
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12/19/2012 09:11 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
Dominico Zapata, in the year of grace 1625.

Dear God:

How do we prove that the Jews, who we burn by the hundreds, were God's chosen people for 4000 years?

It is blasphemy to say that God is unjust, so how do we justify that God forsook the entire world for one little Jewish tribe, and then abandon them for another, who for 200 years was even smaller and more despised?

Why did God perform His miracles for the Jews, but not such that everyone else would see them and believe? Why did the miracles stop? Why do we, who are now God's people, not see the same sort of miracles?

If God is the God of Abraham, why do we condemn the Jews? When we burn them at the stake, why do we recite their prayers? Since we worship their book of Jewish Laws, why do we put Jews to death for observing Jewish Laws?

How can I prove that the books attributed to Moses were written in the desert as claimed, when Moses never crossed to that side of the Jordan River? I may be told that God is not good at geography.

How can I refute the objections of of learned men who find in the Pentateuch the names of towns that were not yet in existence, laws of kings who did not exist until 700 years after Moses, and passages that could only have come much later than Moses such as "the bed of Og which is still seen in Ramath", "the canaanite was then in the land", etc. etc.?

Is the book of Genesis to be taken literally or figuratively? Did God really take a rib from Adam to make a woman? and, if so, why does it say before that, that Adam was both male and female? How did God create light before the sun? How did he seperate light from darkness, when darkness is merely the absence of light? How could there be a day before the sun was made? How was the firmament made amid the waters, since there is no such thing as a firmament?— it was a theory of the ancient Greeks, later found to be an illusion, that the sky made a hard, elliptical, pot-lid covering over the flat Earth. There are those who suggest that Genesis was not written until the Jews had some knowledge of the erroneous philosophy of other peoples, and it would pain me to hear it said that God knows no more about physics than he does about chronology and geography.

What should I say about the garden of Eden, from which one river flowed, then divided into four rivers, the Tigris, Euphrates, Phison, and Gihon, which flows into Ethiopia, and must therefore be the Nile, the source of which is a thousand miles from the source of the Euphrates?

Since God endowed man with reason, He ought to encourage him to advance in knowledge. But He forbade man to eat of the tree of knowledge. Did he wish to be served by only fools?

How should I explain the story of the angels who fell in love with the daughters of men, and begot giants? Would I not be told that this episode is borrowed from pagan legends? But as the Jews invented everything in the desert, and were very ingenious, it is clear that all the other nations took their science from the Jews. Homer, Plato, Cicero, and Vergil learned all they knew from the Jews. Is not that proven?

How should I explain The Flood, and the animals coming from Japan, Africa, America, and the Southern Hemisphere, and being enclosed in the Ark with food and drink for a year, without counting the time when the earth was still too damp to produce food for them? How did Noah’s little family manage to give all these animals their proper food? It consisted only of eight persons.

How can I make the story of the Tower of Babel plausible? This tower must have been higher than the pyramids of Egypt, since God allowed the building of the pyramids.

How can I explain why that, although God told Abraham that all under His covenant should be circumcised, this was not done under Moses?

Will people believe me when I tell them that Lot's wife was changed into a pillar of salt? What should I say to those who tell me the story is an imitation of the ancient fable of Eurydice, and that a salt statue would not last in the rain?

What should I say to justify the blessings which fell on Jacob, who deceived his father Isaac and robbed his father-in-law Laban? And how could Jacob fight an angel all night?, etc. etc.

How shall I tell the story of the Jews in their time in Egypt and their escape? Exodus says that they remained in Egypt four hundred years, but if we count carefully, we find only 205 years. Why did the Pharaoh's daughter bathe in the Nile, yet no one ever bathes in the Nile because of the crocodiles? etc.

How could God choose Moses as His prophet when Moses married the daughter of an idolater? How could Pharaoh's magicians work the same miracles as Moses, except covering the land with lice and vermin? How could they change all the waters into blood, when they had already been changed by Moses? How was it that Moses, led by God Himself, and the head of 630,000 fighting men, fled instead of taking Egypt, in which God had slain all the first-born? Egypt never had an army of even 100,000. How was it that Moses, flying with his troops from the land of Goshen, crossed half of Egypt, instead of going straight to Canaan, and advanced as far as Memphis, between Baal-Sephon and the Red Sea? Finally, how could Pharaoh pursue him with all his cavalry when, in the fifth plague of Egypt, God had just destroyed all the horses and beasts in the country, and, moreover, Egypt, which is much broken by canals, always had very little cavalry?

How shall I reconcile the books of Exodus, Acts, Jeremiah and Amos? Exodus says that they sacrificed to Jehovah for forty years in the desert; Jeremiah, Amos, and Acts say that neither sacrifice nor victim was offered during all that time. Exodus says that they made the tabernacle, which contained the ark of the covenant; Acts says that they took the tabernacle from Moloch and Remphan.

Must I again regard it as a miracle, or as an act of ordinary justice, that twenty-four thousand Hebrews were put to death because one of them had lain with a Midianite woman, while Moses himself had married a Midianite? And were not these Hebrews, who are described to us as so ferocious, really very good fellows to let themselves be slain over women?

What explanation should I give for the law which forbids the eating of the hare "because it ruminates, and has not a cloven foot" when hares have cloven feet and do not ruminate? Or the sentence of death for a man that lays with his wife during the muenstral period? etc. etc.? How can I justify these barbaric and ridiculous laws, which are said to have been given by God Himself?

How should I fathom the depth of the divine decrees which enacted that our divine Saviour Jesus Christ should descend from the harlot Rahab, from the incest of Thamar with her father-in-law Judah, and from the adultery of David and Bathsheba? How incomprehensible are the ways of God!

What should I say of Jephthah immolating his daughter, and having forty-two thousand Jews of the tribe of Ephraim, who could not say Shibboleth, put to death?

Should I admit or deny that the Jewish law nowhere speaks of punishment or reward after death? How is it that neither Moses nor Joshua ever spoke of the immortality of the soul, a dogma well known to the ancient Egyptians, Chaldæans, Persians, and Greeks, but hardly known to the Jews until after the time of Alexander, and always rejected by the Sadducees because it is not in the Pentateuch?

I need your advice to help me understand the nineteenth verse of the first chapter of Judges: "And the Lord was with Judah: and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain: but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." I cannot, of my own feeble lights, understand how the God of heaven and earth, who had so often superseded the order of nature and suspended the eternal laws in favour of the Jewish people, was unable to vanquish the inhabitants of a valley because they had iron chariots. Can it be true that, as some learned men say, the Jews at that time regarded their God as a local and protecting deity, sometimes more powerful, at other times less powerful, than the gods of the enemy? And is this not proved by the reply of Jephthah: "Ye possess by right what your god Camos has given you: suffer then that we take what our god Adonai has promised us"?

The story of Ehud gives me even greater trouble. I see that the Jews were always in bondage, in spite of the help of their God, who had sworn to give them all the country between the Nile, the sea, and the Euphrates. For eighteen years they were subject to a petty king named Eglon, when God raised up for them Ehud, son of Gera, who used his left hand as well as the right. Ehud, son of Gera, made a two-edged sword, and hid it under his cloak. He asks a private audience of the king, saying that he has a secret of the utmost importance to communicate to him from God. Eglon respectfully rises, and Ehud drives his sword into his belly with his left hand. God entirely approved this deed; but, judged by the moral code of all nations, it seems rather questionable. Please tell me which was the most divine assassination, that of St. Ehud, or that of St. David who had Uriah, the husband of his mistress, slain, or that of the blessed Solomon, who, having seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, assassinated his brother Adonias because he asked for one of them? etc., etc., etc., etc.

I pray you tell me by what trick Samson caught three hundred foxes, tied them together by their tails, and fastened lighted torches to their hind quarters, in order to set fire to the harvests of the Philistines. Foxes are found only in wooded country, but there was no forests around, and it seems rather difficult to catch three hundred foxes alive and tie them together by their tails. It is then said that he killed a thousand Philistines with the jaw of an ass, and that a spring issued from one of the teeth of this jaw. I certainly need explanations.

How could Saul fight the Philistines and defeat them, when in this battle he is the leader of 330,000 soldiers, in a little country that cannot sustain 30,000 people. At that time the Jews did not have more than a third of Palestine, at the most, and so sterile a country does not sustain 20,000 inhabitants today. And the surplus population was compelled to go and earn its living by prostitution at Damascus, Tyre, and Babylon.

I fear I am not learned enough to justify, by ordinary laws, the conduct of David in associating with four hundred men of evil ways, and burdened with debt, as the Scripture says; in going to sack the house of the king's servant Nabal, and marrying his widow a week later; in offering his services to Achish, the king's enemy, and spreading fire and blood over the land of the allies of Achish, without sparing either age or sex; in taking new concubines as soon as he is on the throne; and, not content with these concubines, in stealing Bathsheba from her husband, whom he not only dishonours, but slays. I find it difficult to imagine how God could afterwards descend, in Judaea, from this adulterous and homicidal woman, who is counted among the ancestresses of the Eternal.

The wealth of David and Solomon, which amounted to more than five hundred thousand million gold ducats, seems to be not easily reconciled with the poverty of the country and with the condition to which the Jews were reduced under Saul, when they had not the means of sharpening their ploughshares and axes. Our cavalry officers will shrug their shoulders when I tell them that Solomon had four hundred thousand horses in a little country where there never were, and are not today, anything but donkeys.

If I were to run over the history of the frightful cruelties of nearly all the kings of Judah and Israel, I fear I should scandalise, rather than edify, the weak. These kings assassinate each other a little too frequently. It is bad politics, if I am not mistaken.

I see this small people almost always in bondage to the Phoenicians, Babylonians, Persians, Syrians, or Romans; and I may have some trouble in reconciling so much misery with the magnificent promises of their prophets.

I do not quite understand the prophets of the Jews. What is the meaning of the vision of Ezekiel, of the four animals which had four faces and four wings each, with the feet of calves; of the wheel that had four faces; and of the firmament above the heads of the animals? How can we explain the order given by God to Ezekiel to eat a parchment book, to have himself bound, and to lie on his left side for three hundred and ninety days, and on his right side for forty days?

How should I explain the great prophecy of Isaiah in regard to our Lord Jesus Christ? It is, as you know, in the seventh chapter. Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, kinglet of Israel, were besieging Jerusalem. Ahaz, kinglet of Jerusalem, consults the prophet Isaiah about the siege. Isaiah replies: "God shall give you a sign: a woman shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child shall be able to refuse the evil and choose the good the land shall be delivered of both the kings, and the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria." This, during a seige?

Then, in the eighth chapter, the prophet, to ensure the fulfilment of the prophecy, lies with the prophetess. She bore a son, and the Lord said to Isaiah: "Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz [Hasten-to-seize-the-spoil, or Run-quickly-to-the-booty]. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father and my mother, the power of Damascus shall be overthrown." I cannot plainly interpret this prophecy without your assistance.

Show me how to interpret the first verses of the prophet Hosea. God explicitly commands him to take a harlot and have children by her. The prophet obeys punctually. He pays his respects to Dona Gomer, daughter of Dom Diblaim, keeps her three years, and has three children. Then God orders him to lie with another fine lady, a married woman, who has already deceived her husband. The good Hosea, always obedient, has no trouble in finding a handsome lady of this character, and it costs him only fifteen pieces of silver and a measure of barley.

I have still greater need of your wise guidance in regard to the New Testament. I hardly know what to say when I have to reconcile the two genealogies of Jesus. Matthew makes Jacob the father of Joseph, while Luke makes him the son of Heli, and that this is impossible unless we change He into Ja and li into cob. I shall be asked why the one counts fifty-six generations and the other only forty-two, and why the generations are quite different; and then why only forty-one are given instead of the promised forty-two; and lastly why the genealogical tree of Joseph was given at all, seeing that he was not the father of Jesus. I fear to make a fool of myself, as so many of my predecessors have done. I trust that you will extricate me from this labyrinth.

If I teach what is in Luke, that Augustus had ordered a census to be taken of the whole earth when Mary was pregnant, and that Cyrenius or Quirinus, the governor of Syria, published the decree, and that Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be enumerated; and if people laugh at me, and antiquarians teach me that there never was a census of the Roman Empire, that Quintilius Varus, not Cyrenius, was at that time governor of Syria, and that Cyrenius only governed Syria ten years after the birth of Jesus, I shall be very much embarrassed, and no doubt you will extricate me from this little difficulty. For how could a book be inspired if there were one single untruth in it?

Astronomers may laugh at the star which led the three kings to a stable. But you are great astrologers, and will be able to explain the phenomenon. Tell me, especially, how much gold the kings presented. For you are wont to extort a good deal of it from kings and peoples. And in regard to the fourth king, Herod, why did he fear that Jesus, born in a stable, might become king of the Jews? Herod was king only by permission of the Romans; it was the business of Augustus. The massacre of the innocents is rather curious. I am disappointed that no Roman writer mentions it. An ancient and most truthful (as they all are) martyrology gives the number of these martyred infants as fourteen thousand. If you would like me to add a few thousand more, you have only to say so.

When you eat figs at breakfast towards the end of July, I beg you to tell me why Jesus, being hungry, looked for figs at the beginning of the month of March, when it was not the season of figs.

Now, having received your instructions on all the prodigies of this sort, I shall have to say that Jesus was condemned to be executed for original sin. And if I am told that there was never any question of original sin, either in the Old or the New Testament; that it is merely stated that Adam was condemned to die on the day on which he should eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and he did not die; and that Augustine, bishop of Hippo, formerly a Manichean, was the first to set up the doctrine of original sin, I submit to you that, as my hearers are not the simple folk of Hippo, I run some risk of derision by speaking much without saying anything. When certain cavillers came to show me that God could not possibly be executed because an apple was eaten four thousand years before his death, and could not possibly have redeemed the human race, yet, apart from a chosen few, left the whole of it in the devil's claws, I had only verbiage to give in reply, and went away to hide my shame.

Throw some light for me on the prophecy which Our Lord makes in Luke XXI. Jesus says explicitly that he will come in a cloud with great power and great glory before the generation to which he speaks shall pass away. He did not do this; he did not come in the clouds. If he came in some fog or other, we know nothing about it; tell me what you think. The Apostle Paul also says to his Thessalonian disciples that they will go with him in the clouds to Jesus. Why did they not go?

Shall I say with Luke that Jesus went up to heaven from the little village of Bethany? Shall I state with Matthew that it was from Galilee, where the disciples saw him for the last time? Or shall I take the word of a learned doctor who says that Jesus had one foot in Bethany and another in Galilee? The latter opinion seems to me the more probable, but I will await your decision.

I shall then be asked whether Peter was ever at Rome. I shall reply, of course, that he was pope there for twenty-five years; and the chief reason I shall give is that we have an epistle from the good man (who could neither read nor write), and that it is dated from Babylon. There is no answer to that argument, but I should like something stronger.

Please tell me why the "Apostles' Creed" was not written until the time of Jerome and Rufinus, four hundred years after the apostles. Tell me why the earliest fathers of the Church never quote any but the gospels which we call apocryphal. Is it not a clear proof that the four canonical gospels had not yet been written?

Are you not sorry, as I am, that the early Christians forged so much bad poetry, and attributed it to the Sibyls? And that they forged letters of Paul and Seneca, of Jesus, of Mary, and of Pilate? And that they thus set up their sect on a hundred forgeries which would be punished today by any court in the world? These frauds are now recognised by all scholars. We are reduced to calling them "pious." But is it not sad that your truth should be based on lies?

Tell me why, since Jesus did not institute seven sacraments, we have seven sacraments; why, whereas Jesus never said that he was threefold and had two natures and two wills and one person, we make him threefold, with one person and two natures; and why, having two wills, he had not the will to instruct us in the dogmas of the Christian religion.

Is the pope infallible when he consorts with his mistress, and when he brings to supper a bottle of poisoned wine for Cardinal Cornetto? When two councils anathematise each other, as has often happened, which of them is infallible?

Would it not really be better to avoid these labyrinths, and simply preach virtue? When God comes to judge us, I doubt very much if he will ask us whether grace is versatile or concomitant whether marriage is the visible sign of an invisible thing, whether we believe that there are ten choirs of angels or nine, whether the pope is above the council or the council above the pope. Will it be a crime in his eyes to have prayed to him in Spanish when one does not know Latin? Shall we be visited with his cruel wrath for having eaten a pennyworth of bad meat on a certain day? And shall we be eternally rewarded if, like you, my learned masters, we ate a hundred piastres' worth of turbot, sole, and sturgeon? You do not believe it in the depth of your hearts; you believe that God will judge you by your works, not by the opinions of Thomas and Bonaventure.

Or shall I not render a service to men in speaking to them only of morality? This morality is so pure, so holy, so universal, so clear, so ancient, that it seems to come from God himself, like the light which we regard as the first of his works. Has he not given men self-love to secure their preservation; benevolence, beneficence, and virtue to control their self-love; the natural need to form a society; pleasure to enjoy, pain to warn us to enjoy in moderation, passions to spur us to great deeds, and wisdom to curb our passions? Will you allow me to announce these truths to the noble people of Spain?

If you bid me conceal these truths, and strictly command me to preach the miracles of St. James of Galicia, or of Our Lady of Atocha, or of Maria d'Agreda (who in her ecstasies behaved in a most improper manner), tell me what I must do with those who dare to doubt? Must I, for their edification, have the Inquisitors put to them?

I await the honor of your reply,

Dominico Zapata, y verdadero, y honrado, y caricativo.


* * * * * * * * * * *

Zapata, receiving no answer, took to preaching God in all simplicity. He announced to men the common father, the rewarder, punisher, and pardoner. He extricated the truth from the lies, and separated religion from fanaticism; he taught and practised virtue. He was gentle, kindly, and modest; and he was burned at Valladolid in the year of grace 1631.
Earthtotruthover

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12/19/2012 09:33 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
Dad, will you be ringing the dinnerbell/trumpet soon?
The hour is late, I'm hungry for what's good and I'm ready to come home.
Seed Of Purpose (OP)

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12/19/2012 09:53 PM
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Re: If you could ask God a question, what would you ask him?
Very interesting....

Dominico Zapata, in the year of grace 1625.

Dear God:

How do we prove that the Jews, who we burn by the hundreds, were God's chosen people for 4000 years?

It is blasphemy to say that God is unjust, so how do we justify that God forsook the entire world for one little Jewish tribe, and then abandon them for another, who for 200 years was even smaller and more despised?

Why did God perform His miracles for the Jews, but not such that everyone else would see them and believe? Why did the miracles stop? Why do we, who are now God's people, not see the same sort of miracles?

If God is the God of Abraham, why do we condemn the Jews? When we burn them at the stake, why do we recite their prayers? Since we worship their book of Jewish Laws, why do we put Jews to death for observing Jewish Laws?

How can I prove that the books attributed to Moses were written in the desert as claimed, when Moses never crossed to that side of the Jordan River? I may be told that God is not good at geography.

How can I refute the objections of of learned men who find in the Pentateuch the names of towns that were not yet in existence, laws of kings who did not exist until 700 years after Moses, and passages that could only have come much later than Moses such as "the bed of Og which is still seen in Ramath", "the canaanite was then in the land", etc. etc.?

Is the book of Genesis to be taken literally or figuratively? Did God really take a rib from Adam to make a woman? and, if so, why does it say before that, that Adam was both male and female? How did God create light before the sun? How did he seperate light from darkness, when darkness is merely the absence of light? How could there be a day before the sun was made? How was the firmament made amid the waters, since there is no such thing as a firmament?— it was a theory of the ancient Greeks, later found to be an illusion, that the sky made a hard, elliptical, pot-lid covering over the flat Earth. There are those who suggest that Genesis was not written until the Jews had some knowledge of the erroneous philosophy of other peoples, and it would pain me to hear it said that God knows no more about physics than he does about chronology and geography.

What should I say about the garden of Eden, from which one river flowed, then divided into four rivers, the Tigris, Euphrates, Phison, and Gihon, which flows into Ethiopia, and must therefore be the Nile, the source of which is a thousand miles from the source of the Euphrates?

Since God endowed man with reason, He ought to encourage him to advance in knowledge. But He forbade man to eat of the tree of knowledge. Did he wish to be served by only fools?

How should I explain the story of the angels who fell in love with the daughters of men, and begot giants? Would I not be told that this episode is borrowed from pagan legends? But as the Jews invented everything in the desert, and were very ingenious, it is clear that all the other nations took their science from the Jews. Homer, Plato, Cicero, and Vergil learned all they knew from the Jews. Is not that proven?

How should I explain The Flood, and the animals coming from Japan, Africa, America, and the Southern Hemisphere, and being enclosed in the Ark with food and drink for a year, without counting the time when the earth was still too damp to produce food for them? How did Noah’s little family manage to give all these animals their proper food? It consisted only of eight persons.

How can I make the story of the Tower of Babel plausible? This tower must have been higher than the pyramids of Egypt, since God allowed the building of the pyramids.

How can I explain why that, although God told Abraham that all under His covenant should be circumcised, this was not done under Moses?

Will people believe me when I tell them that Lot's wife was changed into a pillar of salt? What should I say to those who tell me the story is an imitation of the ancient fable of Eurydice, and that a salt statue would not last in the rain?

What should I say to justify the blessings which fell on Jacob, who deceived his father Isaac and robbed his father-in-law Laban? And how could Jacob fight an angel all night?, etc. etc.

How shall I tell the story of the Jews in their time in Egypt and their escape? Exodus says that they remained in Egypt four hundred years, but if we count carefully, we find only 205 years. Why did the Pharaoh's daughter bathe in the Nile, yet no one ever bathes in the Nile because of the crocodiles? etc.

How could God choose Moses as His prophet when Moses married the daughter of an idolater? How could Pharaoh's magicians work the same miracles as Moses, except covering the land with lice and vermin? How could they change all the waters into blood, when they had already been changed by Moses? How was it that Moses, led by God Himself, and the head of 630,000 fighting men, fled instead of taking Egypt, in which God had slain all the first-born? Egypt never had an army of even 100,000. How was it that Moses, flying with his troops from the land of Goshen, crossed half of Egypt, instead of going straight to Canaan, and advanced as far as Memphis, between Baal-Sephon and the Red Sea? Finally, how could Pharaoh pursue him with all his cavalry when, in the fifth plague of Egypt, God had just destroyed all the horses and beasts in the country, and, moreover, Egypt, which is much broken by canals, always had very little cavalry?

How shall I reconcile the books of Exodus, Acts, Jeremiah and Amos? Exodus says that they sacrificed to Jehovah for forty years in the desert; Jeremiah, Amos, and Acts say that neither sacrifice nor victim was offered during all that time. Exodus says that they made the tabernacle, which contained the ark of the covenant; Acts says that they took the tabernacle from Moloch and Remphan.

Must I again regard it as a miracle, or as an act of ordinary justice, that twenty-four thousand Hebrews were put to death because one of them had lain with a Midianite woman, while Moses himself had married a Midianite? And were not these Hebrews, who are described to us as so ferocious, really very good fellows to let themselves be slain over women?

What explanation should I give for the law which forbids the eating of the hare "because it ruminates, and has not a cloven foot" when hares have cloven feet and do not ruminate? Or the sentence of death for a man that lays with his wife during the muenstral period? etc. etc.? How can I justify these barbaric and ridiculous laws, which are said to have been given by God Himself?

How should I fathom the depth of the divine decrees which enacted that our divine Saviour Jesus Christ should descend from the harlot Rahab, from the incest of Thamar with her father-in-law Judah, and from the adultery of David and Bathsheba? How incomprehensible are the ways of God!

What should I say of Jephthah immolating his daughter, and having forty-two thousand Jews of the tribe of Ephraim, who could not say Shibboleth, put to death?

Should I admit or deny that the Jewish law nowhere speaks of punishment or reward after death? How is it that neither Moses nor Joshua ever spoke of the immortality of the soul, a dogma well known to the ancient Egyptians, Chaldæans, Persians, and Greeks, but hardly known to the Jews until after the time of Alexander, and always rejected by the Sadducees because it is not in the Pentateuch?

I need your advice to help me understand the nineteenth verse of the first chapter of Judges: "And the Lord was with Judah: and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain: but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." I cannot, of my own feeble lights, understand how the God of heaven and earth, who had so often superseded the order of nature and suspended the eternal laws in favour of the Jewish people, was unable to vanquish the inhabitants of a valley because they had iron chariots. Can it be true that, as some learned men say, the Jews at that time regarded their God as a local and protecting deity, sometimes more powerful, at other times less powerful, than the gods of the enemy? And is this not proved by the reply of Jephthah: "Ye possess by right what your god Camos has given you: suffer then that we take what our god Adonai has promised us"?

The story of Ehud gives me even greater trouble. I see that the Jews were always in bondage, in spite of the help of their God, who had sworn to give them all the country between the Nile, the sea, and the Euphrates. For eighteen years they were subject to a petty king named Eglon, when God raised up for them Ehud, son of Gera, who used his left hand as well as the right. Ehud, son of Gera, made a two-edged sword, and hid it under his cloak. He asks a private audience of the king, saying that he has a secret of the utmost importance to communicate to him from God. Eglon respectfully rises, and Ehud drives his sword into his belly with his left hand. God entirely approved this deed; but, judged by the moral code of all nations, it seems rather questionable. Please tell me which was the most divine assassination, that of St. Ehud, or that of St. David who had Uriah, the husband of his mistress, slain, or that of the blessed Solomon, who, having seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, assassinated his brother Adonias because he asked for one of them? etc., etc., etc., etc.

I pray you tell me by what trick Samson caught three hundred foxes, tied them together by their tails, and fastened lighted torches to their hind quarters, in order to set fire to the harvests of the Philistines. Foxes are found only in wooded country, but there was no forests around, and it seems rather difficult to catch three hundred foxes alive and tie them together by their tails. It is then said that he killed a thousand Philistines with the jaw of an ass, and that a spring issued from one of the teeth of this jaw. I certainly need explanations.

How could Saul fight the Philistines and defeat them, when in this battle he is the leader of 330,000 soldiers, in a little country that cannot sustain 30,000 people. At that time the Jews did not have more than a third of Palestine, at the most, and so sterile a country does not sustain 20,000 inhabitants today. And the surplus population was compelled to go and earn its living by prostitution at Damascus, Tyre, and Babylon.

I fear I am not learned enough to justify, by ordinary laws, the conduct of David in associating with four hundred men of evil ways, and burdened with debt, as the Scripture says; in going to sack the house of the king's servant Nabal, and marrying his widow a week later; in offering his services to Achish, the king's enemy, and spreading fire and blood over the land of the allies of Achish, without sparing either age or sex; in taking new concubines as soon as he is on the throne; and, not content with these concubines, in stealing Bathsheba from her husband, whom he not only dishonours, but slays. I find it difficult to imagine how God could afterwards descend, in Judaea, from this adulterous and homicidal woman, who is counted among the ancestresses of the Eternal.

The wealth of David and Solomon, which amounted to more than five hundred thousand million gold ducats, seems to be not easily reconciled with the poverty of the country and with the condition to which the Jews were reduced under Saul, when they had not the means of sharpening their ploughshares and axes. Our cavalry officers will shrug their shoulders when I tell them that Solomon had four hundred thousand horses in a little country where there never were, and are not today, anything but donkeys.

If I were to run over the history of the frightful cruelties of nearly all the kings of Judah and Israel, I fear I should scandalise, rather than edify, the weak. These kings assassinate each other a little too frequently. It is bad politics, if I am not mistaken.

I see this small people almost always in bondage to the Phoenicians, Babylonians, Persians, Syrians, or Romans; and I may have some trouble in reconciling so much misery with the magnificent promises of their prophets.

I do not quite understand the prophets of the Jews. What is the meaning of the vision of Ezekiel, of the four animals which had four faces and four wings each, with the feet of calves; of the wheel that had four faces; and of the firmament above the heads of the animals? How can we explain the order given by God to Ezekiel to eat a parchment book, to have himself bound, and to lie on his left side for three hundred and ninety days, and on his right side for forty days?

How should I explain the great prophecy of Isaiah in regard to our Lord Jesus Christ? It is, as you know, in the seventh chapter. Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, kinglet of Israel, were besieging Jerusalem. Ahaz, kinglet of Jerusalem, consults the prophet Isaiah about the siege. Isaiah replies: "God shall give you a sign: a woman shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child shall be able to refuse the evil and choose the good the land shall be delivered of both the kings, and the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria." This, during a seige?

Then, in the eighth chapter, the prophet, to ensure the fulfilment of the prophecy, lies with the prophetess. She bore a son, and the Lord said to Isaiah: "Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz [Hasten-to-seize-the-spoil, or Run-quickly-to-the-booty]. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father and my mother, the power of Damascus shall be overthrown." I cannot plainly interpret this prophecy without your assistance.

Show me how to interpret the first verses of the prophet Hosea. God explicitly commands him to take a harlot and have children by her. The prophet obeys punctually. He pays his respects to Dona Gomer, daughter of Dom Diblaim, keeps her three years, and has three children. Then God orders him to lie with another fine lady, a married woman, who has already deceived her husband. The good Hosea, always obedient, has no trouble in finding a handsome lady of this character, and it costs him only fifteen pieces of silver and a measure of barley.

I have still greater need of your wise guidance in regard to the New Testament. I hardly know what to say when I have to reconcile the two genealogies of Jesus. Matthew makes Jacob the father of Joseph, while Luke makes him the son of Heli, and that this is impossible unless we change He into Ja and li into cob. I shall be asked why the one counts fifty-six generations and the other only forty-two, and why the generations are quite different; and then why only forty-one are given instead of the promised forty-two; and lastly why the genealogical tree of Joseph was given at all, seeing that he was not the father of Jesus. I fear to make a fool of myself, as so many of my predecessors have done. I trust that you will extricate me from this labyrinth.

If I teach what is in Luke, that Augustus had ordered a census to be taken of the whole earth when Mary was pregnant, and that Cyrenius or Quirinus, the governor of Syria, published the decree, and that Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be enumerated; and if people laugh at me, and antiquarians teach me that there never was a census of the Roman Empire, that Quintilius Varus, not Cyrenius, was at that time governor of Syria, and that Cyrenius only governed Syria ten years after the birth of Jesus, I shall be very much embarrassed, and no doubt you will extricate me from this little difficulty. For how could a book be inspired if there were one single untruth in it?

Astronomers may laugh at the star which led the three kings to a stable. But you are great astrologers, and will be able to explain the phenomenon. Tell me, especially, how much gold the kings presented. For you are wont to extort a good deal of it from kings and peoples. And in regard to the fourth king, Herod, why did he fear that Jesus, born in a stable, might become king of the Jews? Herod was king only by permission of the Romans; it was the business of Augustus. The massacre of the innocents is rather curious. I am disappointed that no Roman writer mentions it. An ancient and most truthful (as they all are) martyrology gives the number of these martyred infants as fourteen thousand. If you would like me to add a few thousand more, you have only to say so.

When you eat figs at breakfast towards the end of July, I beg you to tell me why Jesus, being hungry, looked for figs at the beginning of the month of March, when it was not the season of figs.

Now, having received your instructions on all the prodigies of this sort, I shall have to say that Jesus was condemned to be executed for original sin. And if I am told that there was never any question of original sin, either in the Old or the New Testament; that it is merely stated that Adam was condemned to die on the day on which he should eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and he did not die; and that Augustine, bishop of Hippo, formerly a Manichean, was the first to set up the doctrine of original sin, I submit to you that, as my hearers are not the simple folk of Hippo, I run some risk of derision by speaking much without saying anything. When certain cavillers came to show me that God could not possibly be executed because an apple was eaten four thousand years before his death, and could not possibly have redeemed the human race, yet, apart from a chosen few, left the whole of it in the devil's claws, I had only verbiage to give in reply, and went away to hide my shame.

Throw some light for me on the prophecy which Our Lord makes in Luke XXI. Jesus says explicitly that he will come in a cloud with great power and great glory before the generation to which he speaks shall pass away. He did not do this; he did not come in the clouds. If he came in some fog or other, we know nothing about it; tell me what you think. The Apostle Paul also says to his Thessalonian disciples that they will go with him in the clouds to Jesus. Why did they not go?

Shall I say with Luke that Jesus went up to heaven from the little village of Bethany? Shall I state with Matthew that it was from Galilee, where the disciples saw him for the last time? Or shall I take the word of a learned doctor who says that Jesus had one foot in Bethany and another in Galilee? The latter opinion seems to me the more probable, but I will await your decision.

I shall then be asked whether Peter was ever at Rome. I shall reply, of course, that he was pope there for twenty-five years; and the chief reason I shall give is that we have an epistle from the good man (who could neither read nor write), and that it is dated from Babylon. There is no answer to that argument, but I should like something stronger.

Please tell me why the "Apostles' Creed" was not written until the time of Jerome and Rufinus, four hundred years after the apostles. Tell me why the earliest fathers of the Church never quote any but the gospels which we call apocryphal. Is it not a clear proof that the four canonical gospels had not yet been written?

Are you not sorry, as I am, that the early Christians forged so much bad poetry, and attributed it to the Sibyls? And that they forged letters of Paul and Seneca, of Jesus, of Mary, and of Pilate? And that they thus set up their sect on a hundred forgeries which would be punished today by any court in the world? These frauds are now recognised by all scholars. We are reduced to calling them "pious." But is it not sad that your truth should be based on lies?

Tell me why, since Jesus did not institute seven sacraments, we have seven sacraments; why, whereas Jesus never said that he was threefold and had two natures and two wills and one person, we make him threefold, with one person and two natures; and why, having two wills, he had not the will to instruct us in the dogmas of the Christian religion.

Is the pope infallible when he consorts with his mistress, and when he brings to supper a bottle of poisoned wine for Cardinal Cornetto? When two councils anathematise each other, as has often happened, which of them is infallible?

Would it not really be better to avoid these labyrinths, and simply preach virtue? When God comes to judge us, I doubt very much if he will ask us whether grace is versatile or concomitant whether marriage is the visible sign of an invisible thing, whether we believe that there are ten choirs of angels or nine, whether the pope is above the council or the council above the pope. Will it be a crime in his eyes to have prayed to him in Spanish when one does not know Latin? Shall we be visited with his cruel wrath for having eaten a pennyworth of bad meat on a certain day? And shall we be eternally rewarded if, like you, my learned masters, we ate a hundred piastres' worth of turbot, sole, and sturgeon? You do not believe it in the depth of your hearts; you believe that God will judge you by your works, not by the opinions of Thomas and Bonaventure.

Or shall I not render a service to men in speaking to them only of morality? This morality is so pure, so holy, so universal, so clear, so ancient, that it seems to come from God himself, like the light which we regard as the first of his works. Has he not given men self-love to secure their preservation; benevolence, beneficence, and virtue to control their self-love; the natural need to form a society; pleasure to enjoy, pain to warn us to enjoy in moderation, passions to spur us to great deeds, and wisdom to curb our passions? Will you allow me to announce these truths to the noble people of Spain?

If you bid me conceal these truths, and strictly command me to preach the miracles of St. James of Galicia, or of Our Lady of Atocha, or of Maria d'Agreda (who in her ecstasies behaved in a most improper manner), tell me what I must do with those who dare to doubt? Must I, for their edification, have the Inquisitors put to them?

I await the honor of your reply,

Dominico Zapata, y verdadero, y honrado, y caricativo.


* * * * * * * * * * *

Zapata, receiving no answer, took to preaching God in all simplicity. He announced to men the common father, the rewarder, punisher, and pardoner. He extricated the truth from the lies, and separated religion from fanaticism; he taught and practised virtue. He was gentle, kindly, and modest; and he was burned at Valladolid in the year of grace 1631.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 30370071

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