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Subject: Yahweh is evil subtopic. Hardening hearts and free will. rss

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Mac Mcleod
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It has become apparent that Yahweh hardened human hearts in the Bible on more than one occasion.

And then he punishes or orders genocide and torture because the victims of his influence did what he made them do.

Is there any basis for saying the Lord hardened their hearts and the Lord hardened the pharaohs heart was not temporary removal of free will followed by punishment for doing what the Lord made them do?

Honestly, I can't see it any other way but felt it merited a side bar.
 
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True Blue Jon
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It is strange.

I see it as God hardened his heart because he allowed God to do so.
 
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rico mcflico
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As always, if you want to have some bit of Christianity explained in a way that doesn't make God out to be Malevolent Jerk, you need to avoid asking any of the local Christian apologists, who mainly just make shit up, and go straight to Moshe for guidance:

Moshe wrote:
The heart was viewed as the seat of reason. "Hardening" is more "strengthening". In other words, G-d allowed Pharaoh to intellectually decide and not to be overwhelmed with emotion.



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Daniel
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Seems like Romans 9 would have to be discussed.

God will mercy whom he mercies and hardens whom he hardens.
 
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maxo-texas wrote:
It has become apparent that Yahweh hardened human hearts in the Bible on more than one occasion.

And then he punishes or orders genocide and torture because the victims of his influence did what he made them do.

Is there any basis for saying the Lord hardened their hearts and the Lord hardened the pharaohs heart was not temporary removal of free will followed by punishment for doing what the Lord made them do?

Honestly, I can't see it any other way but felt it merited a side bar.



*Sigh* Again, inspired by God is not the same as DICTATED word for word like a boss to a secretary taking down everything in shorthand.

I have several responses, but my first one is this... let us assume for a minute that Moses did write Exodus. Let us even assume that all the events, burning bush, plagues etc all happened mostly as recorded.

Still... do you imagine that when recording this information years later, nothing of his human nature in any way affected his word choice, or even his personal perceptions of what happened?

Do you really think it required God to personally harden the heart of an arrogant ruler for them to remain stubborn?

The writers of the Bible were not any more perfect than we are today.

I have some very direct experiences I think that involved God teaching me things directly. But if I wrote them down it wouldn't be the same as God dictating the text.

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Mac Mcleod
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spoon wrote:
As always, if you want to have some bit of Christianity explained in a way that doesn't make God out to be Malevolent Jerk, you need to avoid asking any of the local Christian apologists, who mainly just make shit up, and go straight to Moshe for guidance:

Moshe wrote:
The heart was viewed as the seat of reason. "Hardening" is more "strengthening". In other words, G-d allowed Pharaoh to intellectually decide and not to be overwhelmed with emotion.





Interesting viewpoint-- isn't he still repeatedly interfering with their free will?

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aiia/aiia-pharaoh.html

Quote:
The best, most direct, simple answer to the question above is: “In order to demonstrate His power, and in order that His name might be proclaimed throughout the entire Earth.”

The reason that is the best, most direct, simple answer to the question is because it is God's own answer. See Exodus 9:16 and Romans 9:17.

God raised up Pharaoh and hardened Pharaoh's heart in order to promote His own glory.

“But,” you may say, “that doesn’t sound right to me. It just doesn't seem to me that God would arrange for a person to actually sin and rebel just to make Himself great.”
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Daniel
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Mac, are you familiar with the reformed perspective on soteriology which is oftentimes termed "calvinism" and laid out in the canons of Dordt?
 
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Mac Mcleod
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Meerkat wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
It has become apparent that Yahweh hardened human hearts in the Bible on more than one occasion.

And then he punishes or orders genocide and torture because the victims of his influence did what he made them do.

Is there any basis for saying the Lord hardened their hearts and the Lord hardened the pharaohs heart was not temporary removal of free will followed by punishment for doing what the Lord made them do?

Honestly, I can't see it any other way but felt it merited a side bar.



*Sigh* Again, inspired by God is not the same as DICTATED word for word like a boss to a secretary taking down everything in shorthand.

I have several responses, but my first one is this... let us assume for a minute that Moses did write Exodus. Let us even assume that all the events, burning bush, plagues etc all happened mostly as recorded.

Still... do you imagine that when recording this information years later, nothing of his human nature in any way affected his word choice, or even his personal perceptions of what happened?

Do you really think it required God to personally harden the heart of an arrogant ruler for them to remain stubborn?

The writers of the Bible were not any more perfect than we are today.

I have some very direct experiences I think that involved God teaching me things directly. But if I wrote them down it wouldn't be the same as God dictating the text.



I agree if we ignore all the bad parts, christianity isn't bad. I'm kinda interested in the mind control part here. (which applies to heaven where humans can't sin any more too-- because humans lie, humans get angry, humans incapable of sinning won't be human as we understand being human).
 
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Mac Mcleod
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dandechino wrote:
Mac, are you familiar with the reformed perspective on soteriology which is oftentimes termed "calvinism" and laid out in the canons of Dordt?


I'm a little familiar with calvinism. Soteriology is new. I'll look it up. Never heard of the canons of Dordt either.

This?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canons_of_Dort
Quote:
Total depravity
Unconditional election
Limited atonement
Irresistible grace
Perseverance of the saints



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism
http://www.calvinistcorner.com/all-men-saved.htm
Quote:
The question, then, is if God predestines only some to salvation, why are there verses that say God wants all to be saved?

The answer is simple: The "all" are the Christians. Now, before you toss this paper aside, please try to be open-minded. I will prove that the "all" in at least three important verses that deal with salvation means the Christians. To do so, I would like to examine 2 Cor. 5:14, 1 Cor. 15:22, and then Rom. 5:18 where the word "all" is used in a way that can only mean the elect. Then I will examine other apparent universal passages.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soteriology
Quote:
According to Christian belief, salvation is made possible by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, which in the context of salvation is referred to as the "atonement".[7] Christian soteriology ranges from exclusive salvation[8].123 to universal reconciliation[9] concepts. While some of the differences are as widespread as Christianity itself, the overwhelming majority agrees that salvation is made possible only by the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying on the cross and being resurrected from death.


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Daniel
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maxo-texas wrote:
dandechino wrote:
Mac, are you familiar with the reformed perspective on soteriology which is oftentimes termed "calvinism" and laid out in the canons of Dordt?


I'm a little familiar with calvinish. Soteriology is new. I'll look it up. Never heard of the canons of Dordt either.


Confessionally Reformed and attend a Reformed church, we subscribe to the three forms of unity, documents that we believe succinctly summarize the faith and the Bible's teachings. The Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dort, and the Belgic confession. Presbyterians hold to a similar tradition in the Westminster Confession of Faith, and Reformed Baptists hold to the 1689 London Baptist confession.

Anyways, the canons of Dort deals with Arminianism, the objections of Arminius and his followers that were raised decades after the life of John Calvin. These reformed confessions and the Canons of Dort in particular teach 5 points (in addressing the five protests of Arminius) TULIP in regards to free will and God's election of who is saved.

You can read it here and it should have Scripture quotations for each point and refutation.

https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/confessions/canons-dor...

Similarly Luther wrote On the Bondage of the Will.
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Similarly to this, you can reject God enough times that it is no longer possible for you to be saved, just the same as Pharaoh hardened his own heart until God decided to make it even harder, harder than Pharaoh could make it himself.
 
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James King
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maxo-texas wrote:
It has become apparent that Yahweh hardened human hearts in the Bible on more than one occasion.

And then he punishes or orders genocide and torture because the victims of his influence did what he made them do.

Is there any basis for saying the Lord hardened their hearts and the Lord hardened the pharaohs heart was not temporary removal of free will followed by punishment for doing what the Lord made them do?

Honestly, I can't see it any other way but felt it merited a side bar.

That could be because the being referred to as Yahweh in the Old Testament wasn't actually God spelled with a big letter "G" (the Supreme Being) but another person altogether whose exploits were later attributed to as having been performed by the Supreme Being.


 
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Chris Binkowski
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Problems with freewill and God's power to change hearts? Then you're REALLY gonna love this one:

"What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?

What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?" Romans 9
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:


maxo-texas wrote:
It has become apparent that Yahweh hardened human hearts in the Bible on more than one occasion.

And then he punishes or orders genocide and torture because the victims of his influence did what he made them do.

Is there any basis for saying the Lord hardened their hearts and the Lord hardened the pharaohs heart was not temporary removal of free will followed by punishment for doing what the Lord made them do?

Honestly, I can't see it any other way but felt it merited a side bar.

That could be because the being referred to as Yahweh in the Old Testament wasn't actually God spelled with a big letter "G" (the Supreme Being) but another person altogether whose exploits were later attributed to as having been performed by the Supreme Being.


I had to Google to check what the name of this early Christian heresy was. Marcionism.
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Even beyond the issue of free will, why bother at all? What was the expected positive outcome from doing that?
 
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I think you need to define the terms better, as in what exactly does it mean to have one's heart hardened?

I believe some translations say Pharaoh's heart became unresponsive, or that he became more stubborn or more obstinate in his resistance to Moses' requests to free the Israelites. What it could also mean is God allowed Pharaoh's heart to become fixed on his decision to keep the Israelites enslaved, for even though he seemed to realize he should let them go for the good of the nation, he kept defaulting to wanting to keep them in Egypt.

Considering Pharaoh believed himself to be a god, it's not unreasonable to think that he could have "got his back up", as we might say today, when being given orders from the representative of another god he had never heard of. I don't think Yahweh would really have had to interfere with his thinking all that much to help him maintain an uncooperative frame of mind until the 10 plagues had been brought to completion.

What God might have been able to do was "soften" Pharaoh's heart so that he would let the Israelites go freely, but wouldn't that have interfered with Pharaoh's free will just as much as allowing his heart to harden?

I guess the question becomes, what do you think someone like Pharaoh would have decided assuming his thinking wasn't being influenced one way or the other by God? Which plague would be the tipping point? And then, after suffering the international humiliation of letting the country's entire slave force go, does he still chase after them with his military to force them to return?
 
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gamesterinns wrote:
I don't think Yahweh would really have had to interfere with his thinking all that much to help him maintain an uncooperative frame of mind until the 10 plagues had been brought to completion.


Which makes it doubly odd that (a literal reading of) the verse says he did. It's all very well to say 'Pharaoh would have done it anyway', but even if true it seems to make the action seem even stranger.

(Personally, my natural reading of the passage would simply be that 'God hardening Pharaoh's heart' was just an idiom and is no more to be taken literally than Israel's being a land flowing with milk and honey. Though that's just a guess, and it is a translation of a translation after all. If someone could figure out when and by whom it was written, we could compare with other writings of the time.)
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The phrase "but god hardened his heart" is a clear indication that either: 1. the bible is not a true story, 2. god is an evil lunatic.

Of course bible believers are going to say "uh yeah that part is wrong but everything else is 100% gold" but really if you're going to ignore the bible's literal statements because they don't fit with your worldview, since none of the bible fits with my world view, I'll just take your lead and ignore the whole damn thing.
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It was already in Pharaoh's heart to strike out against God and the people of God as it is in all of natural mankind's hearts. Ever since the Fall, we are born in sin rejecting our Creator and hating Him according to the Bible. Our will is inclined to sin already. God didn't author evil and put a new thought into Pharaoh's head.


Here is an article discussing Romans 9 and "Did God Harden Pharaoh's Heart Or Did Pharaoh?":

Quote:

Passages like Exodus 4:21 and Romans 9:17-18 have been a cause of discussion and soul-searching among Christians for centuries due to the uncomfortable image of God they seem to portray. On the one hand, the Bible assures us that God takes no pleasure in wickedness (Psalm 5:4) and from all that Scripture teaches about Gods holiness and hatred of sin, it is inconceivable that He should be made out to be the author of sin. However, in these passages, the Bible presents us with the notion that God actively caused Pharaohs heart to harden when Moses related to him the divine injunction to release the Israelites. This hardening of heart in turn led Pharaoh to disobey God. Disobedience to God is sin, so it would seem to follow that Gods action in hardening Pharaohs heart caused Pharaoh to sin. The Lord is, therefore, apparently portrayed in such passages as putting within a person a desire to commit sin, making Him the author of sin in the persons heart.


There are two common resolutions to this apparent problem. First there is the suggestion that Pharaohs sin was the product of his free will, and God merely saw this development within Pharaohs psyche and permitted it to fulfill His purposes. God did not put the thought into Pharaohs head, and He did not direct Pharaohs intentions toward disobedience; He just took advantage of the carnal stubbornness of the Egyptian ruler to advance His own plan. Advocates of this position consider the language of passages such as the above-cited Exodus 4:21 that indicate God had an active role in the hardening process to be shorthand for God allowed Pharaoh to harden his own heart, and He then used that hardened heart. In a recent blog article, Roman Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong argued that it is necessary to understand the poetic nature of the Hebrew language, allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, and understand such passages in the light of all of what the Bible teaches. In this regard, he cites passages that explicitly state that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:15, 32, et al.) which, for him, add that particular nuance that alleviates him from having to defend God against accusations of positively ordaining evil.


Contrary to this, the Reformed view is that God positively ordains all that will come to pass, both good and evil (see, for example, Isaiah 45:7 and Amos 3:6). Therefore, Pharaoh’s hardening of heart was ordained of God, and performed by God so that He might receive honor (Exodus 14:4) and multiply the signs He intended to perform in the land (Exodus 7:3). According to this view, the passages referring to Pharaoh hardening his own heart merely reflect from Pharaoh’s perspective what the Lord had done within him, just as Peter could on the one hand accuse the people of Israel of crucifying Jesus (Acts 4:10), and also acknowledge that they, along with Pilate and Herod, were merely agents of the Lord’s will (Acts 4:27-28).


The former position, most commonly taken by those of either an Arminian or Roman Catholic theological persuasion, most frequently characterizes the Reformed position as denying man’s culpability for his sin by relieving him of the guilt afforded him by the actions of his free will. The refusal of the Reformed position to make man’s free will responsible for sin, and placing the initiative for the sin on God’s will, they claim, not only makes God morally responsible for the sinful actions of free men, but also permits man to distance himself from his crime by saying, essentially, “God made me do it!” If this is the understanding of the Reformed position that most Arminians have, it is little wonder few have time for it.


In response to this, those who hold to the Reformed position claim that, unlike their opponents, they are dealing honestly with the text of Scripture. Instead of trying to insert meaning into passages, they let the passages stand and say what they say. Therefore, if the text says God hardened Pharaohs heart, then God did exactly that. He did not sit back and wait to see how Pharaoh would respond to Him. Indeed, “the kings heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1). In philosophical terms, I am referring here to God using men as secondary agents for the fulfillment of His purposes. While Armstrong agrees with the fact that God does use people in this way, he arbitrarily denies that God would do so if sin is involved. Interestingly, he cites the crucifixion as evidence of men used as secondary agents, but seems to overlook the fact that God used them to blaspheme, beat, and ultimately kill His only begotten Son. Does he seriously want to suggest that somehow this was not sin? (See his response to Fred in the Comments).


This is what is truly at the crux of the problem with the Arminian position: a lack of appreciation for the true nature of God’s sovereignty. The Bible is replete with statements and stories that support the notion that God is in total and complete control of all things. This concept may not sit well with people, but those who claim to look to the Word of God as the sole and supreme authority on the subject need to come to terms with it. Romans 8:28, a much-beloved passage for many people, clearly states that “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” The impact of this statement upon one’s understanding of the relationship between the will of God and creation should be profound. This passage is part of a section in which Paul is encouraging persecuted Christians. He lifts their eyes beyond the sufferings of the present time to the glory that is to be revealed in them (18), and says that their regenerated hearts ache and groan for the redemption to come, the glorification in heaven, and all that Christ has promised (19-25). Paul then reminds his readers of the wonderful truth that, regardless of whatever might be happening around them, or to them, there is nothing that takes place that God has not caused for the good of His people. This would include not only blessings and encouragements, but also persecutions, beatings, and even death. All things, Paul says, not some things, or even just the good things.


If it is true that God causes all things to occur for the good of His people,that must mean He is able to direct the hearts of even sinful men to fulfill His purposes. He would have to prevent any and all hindrances to His plans, even if this means turning the hearts of men against His own, in order to make sure the good He has designed for His people comes to pass. If there is the slightest possibility that a man acting as a free agent could go his own way, contrary to the purpose of God, then God cannot be said to be causing all things to work together for the ultimate good of those who love Him.


The Arminian/Catholic objection at this point should be obvious: if God turns the hearts of men against His own, does that not make Him the author of sin, just as if He hardened Pharaohs heart?


This begs the question: is man morally neutral? Does man stand before God without prejudice or predisposition, and performs whatever actions God deems necessary for him to do? Or is man naturally inclined toward goodness, and takes moral exception to God forcing him to do that which is repugnant to him? To put it another way, did Pharaoh have no opinion of his own about how to deal with the Israelites, and looked solely to God for direction? Or did Pharaoh really want to release the Israelites and be pleasing to God by his obedience to Gods command, but God thwarted him by hardening his heart and making him act contrary to his will?


The Biblical evidence that can be cited to demonstrate mans moral corruptness is plentiful. Jeremiah 17:9 says that “the heart is more deceitful than all else.” Romans 3:23 reminds us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Also, Paul reminds the Ephesian Christians of their former way of life before Christ, that they were dead in transgressions and sins, that they were indulging the desires of the flesh, and were children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). Lest it be supposed that this disposition of heart be assigned only to those in the church at Ephesus, Paul is quick to point out that among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh… (2:3), and that God, even when we were dead in our transgressions, “made us alive together with Christ…” (2:5). This, therefore, is a description of the unregenerate heart, apart from the grace of God in Christ. So, when God hardened Pharaohs heart, He was not acting contrary to the natural desire of Pharaoh’s heart. God was using Pharaoh’s natural predisposition toward sin to cause him to disobey God’s command. The sin, therefore, is totally Pharaoh’s due to the nature of his heart. Remember, God had many times restrained Pharaoh’s evil, and could have, at any point, brought final judgment in death upon him justly. God is absolved from any blame because of the purity of His motive. God used a vessel of wrath (Romans 9:22) that His people may see His glory in a way they would never have otherwise. In hardening Pharaoh’s heart, He not only provided the environment where His people could see, without question, His hand at work in their lives, but God also established the Passover, and won a decisive victory against the armies of Pharaoh that, again, enabled His people to see first hand and without doubt the deliverance of the Lord. God did not tempt Pharaoh (James 1:13), since Pharaoh was fully complicit in God’s decree to harden his heart such that he could not (and did not) say I am tempted by God.


In passing, I should mention that there are a number of occasions where God acts in such a way that He brings disaster upon His own through the actions of wicked men, and in the end redeems His people and brings justice upon those who acted against them. The story of Joseph is a classic example, where Joseph is clearly portrayed as a man of God who is unjustly dealt with by his brothers, and ill-treated by others, until God brings about a turnaround in his life where he ends up as the number two man over all Egypt. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph tells his brothers that all that had happened to him, while they had intended them for evil, “God meant it for good, to bring about this present result…” The present result was the saving of many lives during a long period of drought under Joseph’s administration, and, of course, the reconciliation of Joseph, his brothers, and his father. It also established the Hebrews in Egypt, leading up to the events described in Exodus. See also God’s dealings with Assyria in Isaiah 10 (particularly the statement in 10:6-7).


In closing, I would like to call attention to a couple of things worth noting in Armstrong’s response to an atheist in his blogs comments. First, he implies that proper hermeneutical methodology necessitates that we recognize when a passage should be regarded as poetic, and when its literal meaning should be understood. I wholeheartedly agree with this, but find it completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The section of Scripture under discussion is in the book of Exodus. The book of Exodus is an account of the rise of Moses, the oppression of the Hebrews under the Egyptians, and God’s deliverance of His people with a view to establishing them in their own land governed by His law. The purpose of Exodus is, therefore, to set forth an historical account. It is not a work of poetic myth like the Bhagavad-Gita. It is clearly to be understood as historical fact, especially given that the events described in Exodus are treated as such by other writers of Scripture (Mark 12:26; John 3:14; Acts 7:20-44; Romans 9:17; 2 Timothy 3:8; Hebrews 11:23-24, et al.).Those passages of Exodus that are supposed to be regarded as poetic are clearly indicated. Exodus 15:1-18 begins “Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song…” which, by any reasonable hermeneutic, must be taken to mean that the following verses are to be read as poetry, until it is clear by the stylistic change that the writer has returned to straight narrative prose. In light of this, to claim that a passage such as Exodus 7:3 is employing poetic language when it is, in fact, simply recording the words that God spoke to Moses, is simply evading the issue.


Finally, I think Mr. Armstrong’s response to the atheist demonstrates how much his apologetic is weakened by his refusal to accept the plain reading of Biblical historical narrative. The atheists problem is not, as Armstrong seems to think, a narrow view of Biblical hermeneutics that refuses to recognize the finer nuances of the Hebrew language in plain speech. It is that his view of God is Biblically deficient such that he has no room for the concept of a just and holy God who owes nothing to His creation except the judgment of death for sin, and yet who, in His love and mercy, seeks to save some from that just penalty by redeeming them through the blood of His only Son. Furthermore, this God endeavors to order the whole of creation and the purposes of all men such that ultimate good is achieved for His people, and His name is glorified throughout heaven and earth.


God did not instill sin into Pharaohs heart; it was there by virtue of the Fall. God did not force Pharaoh to do anything contrary to his natural, unregenerate desires. And God did not purpose evil in causing Pharaoh’s sin; rather His purpose was, and always is, His glory and the good of His people.


http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2006/10/13/did-god-har...
 
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Dearlove wrote:
ShreveportLAGamer wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
It has become apparent that Yahweh hardened human hearts in the Bible on more than one occasion.

And then he punishes or orders genocide and torture because the victims of his influence did what he made them do.

Is there any basis for saying the Lord hardened their hearts and the Lord hardened the pharaohs heart was not temporary removal of free will followed by punishment for doing what the Lord made them do?

Honestly, I can't see it any other way but felt it merited a side bar.

That could be because the being referred to as Yahweh in the Old Testament wasn't actually God spelled with a big letter "G" (the Supreme Being) but another person altogether whose exploits were later attributed to as having been performed by the Supreme Being.

I had to Google to check what the name of this early Christian heresy was. Marcionism.

Although Marcionists believed that the wrathful Hebrew God was a separate and lower entity than the all-forgiving God of the New Testament, I wasn't referring to beings who were metaphysical god forces at all.

The actions ascribed to the God of the Old Testament (especially the Great Flood) seemed to be of two minds about humankind and that's no coincidence because the beings in question were two different individuals altogether in the original Sumerian account of the story. After the Sodom & Gamorrah episode, the descendant of the more benevolent being apparently assumed the identity of Yahweh.



 
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I know you're using the Christian meanings of words but this is an example of one of the more egregious butcherings in translation. First, harden is rather strengthen. Second, the heart in Torah terms is as in so many ancient societies the seat of reason, not of emotion. When it says for example G-d strengthened the heart of Pharoah it means G-d made sure the situation did not just overwhelm Pharoah and he was able to rationally deal with it making his own decision. Far from subverting free will, G-d's act made sure free will was really able to be applied.
 
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Did some digging into the history of this interpretation and other interpretations were quite common historically in jewish and christian faiths over the centuries and even today.

Serious theological scholars were expressing concern over this at least as far back as Luther.

http://truthsaves.org/articles/why-does-god-harden-hearts/

Quote:
Nine of those times are in relation to Pharaoh. Outside of Pharaoh, God says that he will harden the hearts of the Egyptians (Exodus 14:17), that the LORD hardened the spirit of Sihon, king of Heshbon (Deuteronomy 2:30), that it was of the LORD to harden the hearts of the northern kings in Canaan (Joshua 11:20), the prophet Isaiah asks why God has hardened Israel’s heart (Isaiah 63:17), and the apostle Paul states that whom God wills He hardens (Romans 9:18).


https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/otesources/...
Quote:
The ninth chapter of Romans has been one of the key texts
throughout church history for debates concerning predestination,
reprobation and free will. One of the crucial passages in this perplexing chapter has been vv 17-18, where Paul alludes to God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart (Exod 9:16 and chaps 4-14). While this problematic passage was not a primary point of debate in the Augustinian-Pelagian controversy, it did become important beginning with the discussions of the Reformation period. In trying to refute Erasmus' claim that Pharaoh first hardened his heart freely apart from divine influence, Luther attempts to argue that God was the ultimate cause. John Calvin agreed with Luther, but Sebastian Castellio and Jacob Arminius agreed with Erasmus. The debate has continued even into the twentieth century, especially undergoing scrutiny in recently published literature.


So I feel defenders of the position are engaging in humpty dumpty logic here. The words mean what you say they mean, no more and no less.

Also other jewish and christian rabbi's, priests, and scholars are contemporaneously suggesting other interpretations of the same passages.

The most ludicrous I read was that yahweh felt it was coercing pharoah with the plagues and took away the pharoah's free will so it made the pharaoh act as if there were no plagues coercing him. Absolutely bat shit crazy ludicrous. And that was from a rabbi.

If christianity doesn't want the words interpreted this way, then change the words to a different standard translation. It is fair to interpret "But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go" this way and many biblical scholars have wrestled with the same issue (free will) for at least the last 1000 years.

I think it's a stretch to interpret all the verses in a way that avoids the conclusion that the lord used its powers to cause the pharoah to make bad decisions. And the bible shows that the pharoah's bad decisions resulted in the murder of many innocent children (which the lord would have foreseen and could have avoided) by yahweh as well as a huge amount of extra suffering by the egyptians and the isrealites.
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dandechino wrote:

Quote:
The Arminian/Catholic objection at this point should be obvious: if God turns the hearts of men against His own, does that not make Him the author of sin, just as if He hardened Pharaohs heart?


This begs the question: is man morally neutral?


It doesn't beg that question at all. Even if Pharaoh would have done something evil without his heart being actively hardened, that doesn't explain God's actions at all.

Though you are the article seem to want it both ways. God did change Pharaoh's actions via his heart hardening, but bears no responsibility because Pharaoh was having those thoughts anyway. As if Pharaoh having the thoughts were as bad as doing the actions. Even if you think that is the case in terms of sin, the results on the people involved are rather different.

Of course, we are talking about a story where many, many people many of which were children are killed via at least the orders of God. That seems to me to be an action that undermines free will rather a lot more, to say the least of it.
 
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whac3 wrote:
I know you're using the Christian meanings of words but this is an example of one of the more egregious butcherings in translation. First, harden is rather strengthen. Second, the heart in Torah terms is as in so many ancient societies the seat of reason, not of emotion. When it says for example G-d strengthened the heart of Pharoah it means G-d made sure the situation did not just overwhelm Pharoah and he was able to rationally deal with it making his own decision. Far from subverting free will, G-d's act made sure free will was really able to be applied.


Do you not consider your emotions part of your free will decisions?

Honestly, the translation seems very little different from what you've just described.
 
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I know you're using the Christian meanings of words but this is an example of one of the more egregious butcherings in translation. First, harden is rather strengthen. Second, the heart in Torah terms is as in so many ancient societies the seat of reason, not of emotion. When it says for example G-d strengthened the heart of Pharoah it means G-d made sure the situation did not just overwhelm Pharoah and he was able to rationally deal with it making his own decision. Far from subverting free will, G-d's act made sure free will was really able to be applied.


Do you not consider your emotions part of your free will decisions?

Honestly, the translation seems very little different from what you've just described.
I'm not saying the emotions were cut off, just that Pharoah was not unable to cope.
 
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