Friday, January 5, 2018

Reasons vs. Excuses

The Bear (The Big Dipper)

Recently I posted a bit more on, w my perspectives on the Astro-theological nature of many of the stories and prophecies in the Bible. Astro-theology is based on the concept of "as above, so below" where over time humans have seen the story they need to see and tell in the movement of the constellations thru the signs of the zodiac and along the ecliptic from season to season. I mostly do this to give a different perspective to all our background in the Bible as understood by the Churches of God and most others.   Most cultures have done this over thousands of years and the writers of the Old Testament and New, in particular the Book of Revelation were no exceptions. 

As I have said before, the night sky was the Netflix of the times.  It's where you got your stories and brought them down to earth to explain life and "all that up there" to yourself.  Job was challenged that if he was so smart could he do or know the following

Job 38:31-33

"Can you direct the movement of the stars--binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion?
(we know today what binds this and Orion is not held by cords.)

Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear (The Big Dipper)  with its cubs?
(We know they bring forth themselves because the earth rotates which gives the impression of movement in the heavens when it is we who are moving)

Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God's dominion over the earth?
(We're getting there nicely)

We also know where snow , hail and rain come from and how they form. Contrary to Bob Thiel's archaic view that weather is still "God's way of trying to get our attention."  To which I have always said, "God has to try?"

Job 9:9

Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.

Orion with Shield and Flaming Sword held high

(There are no chambers in the South. Only locations.  Arcturus, also called Alpha Boötis, one of the five brightest stars in the night sky, and the brightest star in the northern constellation Boötes, with an apparent visual magnitude of −0.05. It is an orange-coloured giant star 36.7 light-years from Earth. The Pleiades is visible star cluster and Orion is a Constellation of the Winter sky. Orion is probably also the Angel placed in the East with a flaming sword to keep Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden but I spare you. It never occurred to them evidently to sneak back from the North, South or West. Orion rises in the East.

The fact is that today all the challenges of the Book of Job, by God to Job are pretty well understood.  Today we'd have to challenge Job that if he was so smart, did he understand quarks, muons , the Cosmic Background Radiation and the double split experiment.  And aside from the average person who could care less, we do understand these things as well.

I was very sincerely sent a long paper on how the heavens DO explain the entire plan of God through the movement of the Sun and constellations through the Zodiac (Ecliptic) tell the story of our salvation and it was God who put it there for us to understand.  In my view, it was man who evinced the story of his salvation and theology by imagining what he thought he saw in the constellations , seasons and journey of the sun through the year with the light and dark cycles as well as times to plant and reap.

I know it is hard to accept, and can be argued until proverbial cows come home,  but the SUN is the original God Most High (Noon) in human history. It is the SUN that is born on Christmas day.  It is the Sun that takes away the darkness (sins) of the world at "Easter", when it comes up due East and the days are now longer than the nights at the Equinox (equal days/nights). Even the Pass-over over is when the SUN passes over this line in the seasons. 

I only include this final exchange to illustrate the conclusion of this exchange.

There are vast differences between REASONS and EXCUSES
In religion apologetics are the excuses of theology. It is when you simply can't admit to being mistaken about something Biblical and must keep it so to keep one's beliefs, which are not the same as truths, intact. IMHO

2000 years ago reasons given outside of Biblical perspectives were considered excuses to rebel against God as understood in that day.  With increased knowledge of how things actually are, excuses must yield to reasons to think outside the boxes of the past.  Just as 2000 years ago, those who asked "where is the promise of his coming" were called scoffers who would get theirs in time, so today we'd simply see they were noticing the obvious.  No one who notices Jesus has not returned "soon" after 2000 years cannot be called a scoffer. They are simply noticing what is evidently and obviously so. 

So it is with where many of our theological concepts and stories come from in reality.

On 12/23/2017 12:19 PM, wrote:
I am a great believer in the astro theological nature of many bible tales. I just don't believe the origin is God putting his plan in the constellations.


"If that is your belief, then please tell me what was God's intention for creating the heavens and universe? There MUST be a reason, for God does nothing without a purpose in mind."

On 01/03/2018 12:07 PM, wrote:

"Actually we humans come up with the concept of "there must be a reason" etc. The fact is the universe and our evolution from ape ancestors to conscious of our mortality does not care and we are not special in it any more than earth is special will billions of them out there just being discovered. 
I don't believe in the existence of the bible God. That is a literary and human construct to help us cope . I don't believe it took a god to bring the universe, which may also be just one of billions to pass. It's a huge topic but I go with science on this stuff"


"I'm sorry, but I didn't realize you were an atheist. Based on your website, I always thought you were part of the COG. With that in mind, I won't bother you any more. I have no desire or time to converse with anyone who doesn't believe in a Creator God.

Romans 1:19-20
19 What can be known about God is clear to them because he has made it clear to them.
20 From the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. (GWN)

Dennis, you have NO excuse."

Exactly!  they are reasons......


Connie Schmidt said...

With a nod to Dennis, and his regular astrology column, here is SING ALONG TIME!
Sing to the tune of the most famous astrological song of all time , "AQUARIUS"
Fifth Dimension 1969


There is a loon ...inside the Pack House
And his ideas... come from Mars
No peace is found with this ban-dit
And he... is so bizarre!

This is the dawning of the age of Nefarious!
Age of Nefarious!

No Harmony and understanding
No Sympathy and trust abounding
Lots of falsehoods and derisions
So bad are Pack's dreams and visions
Psychotic crystal revelation
And the mind's true hibernation

RSK said...


Byker Bob said...

There are generally multiple sources for any concept, invention, or philosophy, and it becomes even more difficult from an historical perspective to pinpoint the origins, and whether the sources were "good" or "bad". If there is an onus on people currently living to evaluate and be personally responsible for how they treat these things, one would require an encyclopedic knowledge that spans all history.

What we saw in the past was that Armstrongism made itself the sole arbiter of this sort of information, via research of Hislop quality. With multiple sources for customs, what is true is that a "Godly" nation could have a custom that experienced its genesis simultaneously with the genesis of the same identical custom amongst "pagans". Guess which way the custom would be automatically categorized within the ACOG community!

Astrology is one of those concepts which was always labelled as being pagan or having occultic origins. But was it? Or did it also describe the plan of God? Times, seasons, and cellestial bodies have always been closely interrelated.

It is also disturbing that GWN (whomever that is) would not even converse with an atheist. That pretty much screams "Cloistered Fundamentalist". If you can't dialogue with people of different beliefs or nonbeliefs, there can be no cooperation leading to solutions for so many of the world's challenges or problems.


Anonymous said...

I'm trained in engineering and have experienced the mental strain of design work. Yet this human level of design is childlike compared to the level of design in nature, be it the physical creation or plant and animal life. If you change even slightly the 35 fundamental constants such as the atomic weight of a proton, life as we know it cannot exist.
Sorry Dennis, there's too much ultra sophisticated design for there not to be a master designer.

DennisCDiehl said...

I would not contest 1040 there may be a Master Designer. I would contest it is a Cultic Hebrew mountain Diety that was assigned to be the god of a small cultic people called Israel is that Master Designer. I'd be happy to think there is a Master Programmer and we are a simulation, of something else's creation which is also a theory on why things seems to be as they are the more we learn. According to the OT, YHVH was and is too small a god in that day to be allowed to stray too far afield.

Here's a goody...

Judges 1:19.

"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."

Here YHVH claims to be with Israel but whether the "they" or 'He" is intended, did not or could not because the Canaanites had better technology win the battle in the valley. Mountain gods don't do well in the valleys evidently. Hardly the Creator of the Universe.

Read this probably should have been deleted but made the cut scripture showing that YHVH was merely one of the gods and then only assigned to one people...Israel by the supreme God. GODS EVOLVE IN SCRIPTURE.
Let that sink in

Deut 32:8-9

"When the Most High (’elyôn) gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated humanity, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of divine beings. For Yahweh’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage."

There are two points to take away from this passage. First, the passage presents an apparently older mythic theme that describes when the divine beings, that is each deity in the divine counsel, were assigned and allotted their own nation. Israel was the nation that Yahweh received. Second, Yahweh received his divine portion, Israel, through an action initiated by the god El, here identifiable through his epithet “the Most High.” In other words, the passage depicts two gods: one, the Most High (El), is seen as assigning nations to the divine beings or gods (the Hebrew word is elohim, plural “gods”) in his council; the other, Yahweh, is depicted as receiving from the first god, the Most High, his particular allotment, namely the people of Israel. Similarly, in another older tradition now preserved in Numbers 21:29, the god Chemosh is assigned to the people of Moab.

Other biblical passages reaffirm this archaic view of Yahweh as a god in El’s council. Psalm 82:1 speaks of the “assembly of El,” Psalm 29:1 enjoins “the sons of El” to worship Yahweh, and Psalm 89:6-7 lists Yahweh among El’s divine council.

Thus there seems to be ample evidence in the biblical record to support the claim that as Yahweh become the supreme national deity of the Israelites, he began to usurp the imagery, epithets, and old cultic centers of the god El. This process of assimilation even morphed the linguistic meaning of the name El, which later came to mean simply “god,” so that Yahweh was then directly identified as ’el—thus Joshua 22:22: “the god of gods is Yahweh” (’el ’elohim yhwh)."

DennisCDiehl said...

As far as the 35 fundamental constants, consider the fact you won the lottery and that out of billions if not trillions of planets and earth-like places, you happened to end up on the one in a trillion that won. Now that's meaning!

However, I suspect that "out there" are many planets with much life not like ours because their fundamental constants ended up differently and lead to them not us.

Questeruk said...

Which came first, the figures ascribed to the various constellations, or the stories associated with them?

Thing is Dennis, anyone with a little astronomical knowledge soon gets to see how the constellations swing round year after year.

Describing a set of stars as a particular object leaves a lot to the imagination.

While I admit that Orion does have some resemblance to some sort of man, what about the great bear that your article also illustrates? Does that look like in any shape or form a bear? No way, maybe a square box with a tail!

The constellations were basically shoehorned in to resemble the animal or object that the story teller wanted, rather than any actual resemblance to the object. To put it any higher than that is just wishful thinking on someone’s part.

DennisCDiehl said...

and too...I believe our existence is amazing and incredible. That has nothing to do with the need to believe we came from an Adam and Eve , relatively a short time ago, In reality, humans have only been around 0.000001333% of the age of the earth. If we are the be all and end all of it, it took the Deity way long to figure out what He wanted to do and how to go about it.

I also don't believe in redemption by execution or that "without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins." Why not? What's with spilling all the blood? Why can't one just say "I'm sorry" and the Deity respond, "Oh Nice! I forgive you." Religion has spilt enough blood in His Name.

And too.. Original Sin, which is the tendency to sin innate in all human beings, held to be inherited from Adam in consequence of the Fall, was not inherited in any real way as there was no real First Adam and we did not spring from one in the Garden of Eden. Mr. Augustine had to come up with that one because one idea lead to a problem that had to be solved by yet another equally bad idea. With no literal First Adam, all the theology of the Second Adam comes into question.

We're all just folk. Doing the best we can.

Hoss said...

FWIW, Billy Sunday said, "An excuse is the skin of a reason, stuffed with a lie".

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous engineer, of course things that actually exist are going to look designed if you assume someone intended for them to exist. Think of other possibilities: The Powerball Lottery for one.

It is designed so that some set of numbers will come up every time the balls are scrambled and a specified number of them are drawn, but the odds for any specific set of numbers are extremely low--1 in 292,201,338 per ticket, the way the game is operated these days. A person who wins the big prize might conclude that she was destined to win from the time the game was first created, that the whole operation was designed and carried out so that she could pay off her parents' mortgage and buy herself a Lexus. But she would be dead wrong. In fact, the game was designed to keep her, along with nearly everybody else, from winning.

Consider that a similar situation could hold sway in the universe. Maybe the designer tweaked the basic forces so that stars would form attractive galaxies swirling around black holes, that planets would in turn orbit the stars, and that moons would orbit planets. So much of the resulting universe is hostile to life that it is reasonable to conclude it was designed to prevent life, to keep the place clean and sterile.

Suppose, though, that the arrangement of basic forces necessary to produce the overall architecture of the place had unintended side effects. At certain temperatures and pressures, water would condense into hexagonal crystals. Nice. Pretty.

Maybe under slightly different conditions a biotic scum would form. Carbon atoms would team up with oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, and so on to form molecules that clumped together and eventually began to duplicate themselves and reproduce with variations. Maybe the designer considered the resulting scum a contaminant, icky but so rare in occurrence and negligible in coverage nobody would notice it much. Or maybe the designer thinks of it as a patina that gives the place character.
In neither case is it necessary to consider it was part of the original intention.

To think that the whole universe was designed from the beginning for the purpose of producing us is the same kind of fallacy that a lottery winner falls into in thinking her particular good fortune was planned from the beginning. It has been called the fallacy of retroactive astonishment. We happen to be here, sure, but so what? Things could have turned out some other way entirely.

Retired Prof said...

Dennis, I was typing up my lottery comment before yours came on the screen. I wasn't plagiarizing. Honest.

Anonymous said...

I recall a episode in 'Star Trek the next generation' where they went into a part of space where the laws of physics and chemistry were different. But based on astronomy, there is no proof of this.

Anonymous said...

An explosion in a garage doesn't make a car, you just have a hot mess.

What About The Truth said...

I remember a Plain Truth article that came out in the early 1980's with a title of; "How do you know it is all true"? The article headline was referring to the bible and what was written in it. The concluding statement at the end of the article was that you just have to live it. I thought that article at that time was quite quaint.

I would love to come out West and have a cup of coffee with you Mr. Diehl - not to push my agenda but to selfishly acquire information for myself. One of the questions I would ask is; in all the years of your ministry did you not see even one event that would defy any and all physical laws that are in place now? I know that myself, I have seen or heard of far too many physically unexplained happenings that I have to conclude that having lived over time and based on what is written in the bible, there is a power that can make something out of nothing and can make nothing out of something.

Brian Drawbaugh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.