Can anyone tell me if there’s another term for the Exercise known as “Devil’s Advocate”? It’s such a misnomer. We challenge a statement by deliberately taking the opposing side which most likely we don’t believe. It’s a valuable tool in philosophical inquiry.
I just had a fantasy interview in my mind. A big shot TV personality wants to question me:
BigShot: So, lemme see if I got this straight. Yer sayin’ . . .
theRobin: Lemme stop you right there. I DO NOT answer questions about Spirit in the material realm. I’ll give you three chances.
BigShot: Why don’t you …?
theRobin: Coz He ain’t there. Strike One.
BigShot: I thought you claimed …
theRobin: “I” didn’t “claim” anything. Strike Two.
BigShot: Wait a minute! I’m gonna mess up this whole interview just because I didn’t do a little due diligence. What can we tell our viewers that will open their eyes to the spiritual realm and enable them to glean its beneficence?
theRobin: YOU have just arrived!
It’s just a little bit too fashionable to judge everything as “FALSE TEACHING”.
I’m becoming more and more uncomfortable with the idea of “false teaching.”
It’s just a mostly meaningless term that we slap on anything we disagree with, or haven’t been studious enough to actually look into for ourselves. When we use it, we defile, in both our own eyes, and those who respect our opinion, ideas and thoughts that may be true, but that we were either too lazy, complacent, or fearful to actually look into. The thing is, though, if you take the time to familiarize yourself with an idea, even if you continue to disagree with it, you at least come away with a respect for it when you understand how it works, where it came from, and how it emerged. Like a person whose story you take the time to learn, ideas can be respected, even while being fully rejected. Of course, this does not work across the board, and sometimes the history of an idea only adds to our disdain for it, but most things Christians carelessly slap the label “false teaching” on, do not fall into that category.
When you place a label like that on an idea that is central to a person’s identity, you not only defile the idea itself, but the person, in your mind, and open the door for you finding justification for mistreating and disrespecting that person. And that is never ok.
Could I just say one little thing
About the God you’ve discarded?
That wasn’t God!!
People are making sport of synonyms:
They believe in ONE,
But not in God.
They believe in creating,
As if that term conjures up
No chance of misappropriation!
But they whisk away Spirit, God,
Who is behind all glorious creativity.
Oneness is not a new dis-covery!
I AM was before the flood!
God can be misunderstood,
But He cannot be affected by all of that!
God is not loving: He IS Love.
God’s not spiritual: He is Spirit.
God isn’t powerful: He’s all power.
God isn’t beautiful: He is Beauty, Harmony, Perfection.
Why does man want to separate
The very Substance of his Being
By refusing to recognize
HAVE YOU HAD A REALLY HARD LIFE – MUCH AKIN TO JOSEPH’S ?
Or, maybe the real question is “Are you being prepared for far greater things than you ever deemed possible?”
Psalm 105: NIV
 and he sent a man before them—Joseph, sold as a slave.  They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons,  till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true.  The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free.  He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed,  to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.
The idea that there is one, singular biblical view of *anything, is simply a fairy tale we tell ourselves to prevent us from feeling the responsibility God places on our shoulders to sift through the variety of ideas present, using our brains, and following Jesus and his Spirit. If God were to give us a book that kept us from ever having to think, or ask questions of his Spirit and of the world, he would absolutely ruin and destroy us. In giving us a guide of that sort, he would aid in turning our brains to mush, and changing us into zombies, who merely regurgitate memorized answers and passages that we took little to no time to actually think through for ourselves.
The bible is an amazing, inspired collection of writings, but it is not the Encyclopedia Godtannica, that we can consult on any number of issues, and get a precise and exact answer. No, sometimes the scriptures are simply goading us on to ask questions. Sometimes its authors do attempt to give us answers, while other authors come along and contradict them with their own answers. It is a book that stimulates creativity, not one that stifles it. When you approach it as though it thinks for you, you are slowly, but surely, sacrificing the beautiful mind God has given you, and being horribly dumbed down.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MENTAL HEALING AND SPIRITUAL HEALING
When one person endeavors to heal another by convincing them that they are perfect and that THEY KNOW IT, this is healing by mental suggestion. The danger in this inferior method is that it’s employing the use of the human mind to contact another human mind to effect a change. Who’s to say the motive is entirely pure here?
There is no battle to be waged between two perceived powers. Spiritual healing is of God alone and entails opening up to His perfect realm of Spirit and realizing that this is the realm of the real.
We don’t “have to” do anything at all to win the allness of God within us. But me personally, I do want to learn, learn, learn more of this allness; and, unlike in Jesus’ time, we have the internet inside which contain (Lol) all our wonderful friends!! As well as glorious teachings.
ISN’T IT WONDERFUL !!
Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
Isaiah 42:9 ESV
[God] gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that He has foretold and promised as if they already existed.
Romans 4:17 AMPC
At the very beginning, whilst warning humanity against the perils of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God neglected to say a word about incurring his eternal wrath, and securing for themselves a seat in the hot place. (And, no, “you will die” has nothing to do with some sort of spiritual death or postmortem punishment.)
Moses, when warning Israel of the consequences of breaking the Law, again, failed to utter a single, solitary word about hell or eternal perdition.
Jesus, in all of his teachings, never said a word about a “hell” that looks anything like what the majority of Protestant Christian believe in and preach today. No, despite the oft repeated myth that he taught twice as much about hell as he did heaven, Jesus never actually uttered the word hell, but is recorded as using the word Hades 11 times, and the word Gehenna 11 times. And even then, that’s not 11 separate uses of each word, but 11 uses of each word spread over 4 Gospels. That means it is often merely one Gospel writer re-telling the same story, and often the words are used more than once in the course of the same address. All in all, Jesus uses each word just a handful of times, which would be the most irresponsible thing imaginable for the son of God himself to do, if, in fact, all humans are born damned by default.
It cannot even be said for certain whether Hades and Gehenna are synonymous, as they were not always used as such historically. Hades is essentially the Old Testament Sheol, with a little Greek mythology thrown in there for good measure. Sheol can never once be justifiably translated as “hell” in the Old Testament, and so it shouldn’t be assumed, then, that it’s New Testament equivalent means “hell.” In the most famous of Jesus’ uses of Hades (the parable of Lazarus and the rich man), not a word is uttered about original sin, the necessity of faith in Jesus for salvation, or anything else smacking of the Christian doctrine of hell. Rather, it is used to illustrate a role reversal, as the wealth-loving religious leaders believed their status and riches to be a sign of God’s approval, and the destitution of the poor as being a sign of the opposite. The parable (which it clearly *IS, yes, even despite the use of the proper name, Lazarus) is meant, it seems, to illustrate that what man believes God to value is not, in fact, what God values. Furthermore, when dealing with such an important issue, you would think something akin to a quick “altar call” message would be present. You know, forsake your sins, believe in Jesus, and you can avoid this fate type of thing. Instead, though, the rich man who finds himself in Hades is told, essentially, that his brothers could avoid a similar fate by heeding Moses’ and the Prophet’s words. And no self-respecting Protestant on the planet would be OK with claiming one can avoid hell by observing the words of Moses and the Prophets. If Jesus meant hell the way we use the word today, he failed to tell us both why we deserve it and how we can avoid it.
None of Jesus’ uses of the word Gehenna bear any genuine similarities to the modern notion of hell either, but instead seem to be more of a warning against a future, physical judgment of some kind, as he warns his listeners in Matthew 23 that many of them will find themselves physically in Gehenna within a generation. Considering the fact that many of these same ones did, in fact, according to Josephus, have their bodies thrown in the Valley of Ben Hinnom (Gehenna) in the aftermath of Jerusalem’s destruction at the hands of the Romans, it seems very unlikely that anything more than this event is being alluded to, even when Gehenna is used apocalyptically, and with a little dramatic flair added.
All in all, *if Jesus preached about hell, it invalidates the modern doctrine of hell, as the two bear no resemblance to one another. And even then, he failed to give us any warning or hope of salvation from it that looks anything like what is preached today.
The apostle Paul, whose writings have influenced Christian thought, probably more so than even the words of Jesus, failed to speak even once of Gehenna, and uses the word Hades only to speak of death itself having lost its fearful grip on humanity via Christ’s resurrection. And yet this same Paul, who failed to speak of hell even once (and I say that with perfect knowledge of the existence of passages like 2 Thess 1:9), also claimed to have “fully preached the Gospel” (Rom 15:19) and to be “free of the blood of all men” (Acts 20:26). How can one have fully preached the Gospel and be free of the blood of all, if they failed to spell out, even one time in their lengthy epistles, the nature of hell and of how to be saved from it? We think it’s there because we read our presuppositions into scripture as though they were givens, but they aren’t, and we shouldn’t.
All in all, if eternal torment is real, everyone from God himself, to Moses, to Paul, and full circle back to Jesus, failed to adequately spell it out, warn against it, and provide us with a way to escape it. We read into scripture what we already believe, but had we not already believed these things, we would be hard pressed to find them there. So, it would seem that either God is a failure, or that we, as humans, assume too much. I’ll go with number two!