Here they are:
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Partly because I've been reading and thinking (NOT so much about translation this time, simply the english and dautch suffice for most materials on this page), and partwise because of what I've encountered recently, I use this page to express my latest thoughts concerning christianity.
This is actually a retyped version of an earlier page with the same material, that got lost, except for one printout.. (no metaphore intended here, it's just what happened).
The main thing is summed up bu stating that ('boldface on'):
God's salvtion is not brought about by a person's suffering.
Considering Jesus' suffering supposedly made it possible for every person to be saved, this cannot be a a general statement, and indeed it is just as different for Him as his divine nature and special position (as God's son and saviour of all those who believe in Him) are different from everybody else. There is supposed to be one eternal, perfect sacrifice, and He once and for always has made the way to God free for us, and if we expect anything from the works of law we are DAMNED.
This is not an acedemic statement with no bearing on practice. people are still spending their lives sacrifycing all they have to achieve something in the spiritual and earthly realms, and God tells them that they will be DAMNED for it, not that it is not necessary, not not that it will do no harm, if you expect to be saved because of your good-enough works, you will be DAMNED. Not my words.
THe type of thinking that reduces scripture and its exegese to mere human politics I find revolting: if the Eternal God is not able to actually say something positively true, if he is not capable of expressing truth without having to make corrections as science catches up on Him, if He is not willing to commit Himself to his own laws, he is not worth following or pondering on. Become a sensible politician instead, and get the hell out of christianity.
Basing oneself on biblcal thinking there are very clear reasons for the things that God brings about or concerns Himself with, the book of Proverbs goes pretty far to make clear that He is not affraid of thinking rationally and logically about expecially the things realy matter. When God says, though Paul who according to Peter has received revelation from God, that is person is DAMNED when he or she expects to be saved by keeping the law, or doing works of law, He is not adding: but if you try real hard, you might succeed in entering heaven, or something. No, He repeats Himself so that there may be not a single doubt as to what He sais: if you expect to be saved by works of law: you will be damned. Period.
Almost everybody knows that Jesus has something to do with salvation, so there must be an answer in that direction, but what exactly are Gods rules, in old and new testament, is he a bit clear on the subject, or is it one great mixed up soup that he turns and twists to his liking to justify what he seems fit, and to have some formal basis for His behaviour that has no logical basis? If that would be the situation, I would be out of christianity (or judaism, or whatever) straight away: that's a liarish, destructive leadership or even personality image that I find utterly unacceptable and detestable. That's just my opinion of course, and luckily, scripture presents a completely different picture. It is probably no coincidence that the jewish religion, as founded on Gods supposed words. is at the basis of our 'modern' logical and scientific thinking, that is darwinistically so succesfull.
Paul deals with the subject that was raised first in the story of Adam, and later with Abraham: 'The righteous shall live through Faith (thrust)'. The first and major rule that He should be trusted, believed, and that a person is justified by his or her trust in the almighty God, not by their works.
So the first rule is to trust Him.
The second rule everybody knows: Love God above all, with all your heart, mind and soul, and your neighbour as yourself. Love God? Or suffer for Him. Love. So probably I have to learn to love suffering. No, you may learn obedience because you see that in the end some suffering when walking in His will is worth while because wha it achieves is worth more than the proce you pay. So one needs to suffer after all? It is not the thing that jutifies you, or brings you to God or Christ, and it is only the unfortunate result of evil situations that exist, and happens when the only way to achieve something is through suffering. That is NOT the same as saying that a person needs to suffer because it will purify them, suffering serves no purpose, it is the result of an evil situation or the dealing with an evil situation, and as such it is an annoying artifact, that probably can only be prevented by Gods direct and rigorous interference with the whole world, disregarding the 'freedom' and possibly of living their own lives of His creatures. As such it is not a desirable concept, and can savely be minimized. Why? because for instance it won't do good if your leaders have to lead you grudgingly, because the love the love 1 Cor. 13 talkes about is effective, not in vain, and thus requires trust and a lack of suffering, to mention a few.
Lets not forget that there is a wannabe God (the bible sais he wanted to become god instead of being a lightbearer, and now in return for his disobedience is condemned to bearing the ons that God chose to display His grace on his head when he is troden under their feet), that is not satisfied unless he brings forth his image: that of the father of lies and of the manslayer from the beginning. The li is that God was making Adam suffer from ignorance when testing his trust in a pathetically simple test (not to eat of the fruit of one out of probably millions), while in fact Adams response would not at all have influenced the outcome of the temptation, because if he would have that snake to go to hell, he at the very same instance would also have had the knowledge of good and evil, and have had the benfit of having that knowledge by staying in heaven. It is not disadvantageous to trust the true God.
Also when He sais the following, which is rather self-explanatory
from that point of view, and at least makes clear that Paul's
and the sources he quotes' points of view are quite in line
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together
become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no,
Rom 3:13 Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have
used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:
Rom 3:14 Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness:
Rom 3:15 Their feet [are] swift to shed blood:
Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery [are] in their ways:
Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith,
it saith to them who are under the law: that every
mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become
guilty before God.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no
flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the
knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested,
being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ
unto all and upon all them that believe:
for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood,
to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,
through the forbearance of God;
It seems quite unlikely that a people that are described in this
wasy can work their way up to meet Gods standard, and if you
are quilty of even one failure towards implementing His law and will,
you are guilty for the whole law, so who will redeem us? The
answer, of course, is Jesus, and a lot of our good efforts.
Or uh, something like that... God saves who He wants to save, and
that is it. So why bother living a good life ? Probably because
the second commandment is sort of logical: if you and your neightbour
become the biggest criminals, liars, cheats selfindulgent
masters of greed that you can possibly be, your hell is probably going
to increase in suffering.
So what's Verelst's system theory? It boils down to simple rules: a system composed of bad components will usually be a bad system, a system that is made to malperform is normally not going to perform optimally in any other measure than a measure of malperformance, and a system that you cannot talk about because the roots of it are mysteriously kept by some obscure dungeon master usually stinks, Block the streets in a city, and traffic is going to get cluttered, not better. Put people in positions where they 'rise to their level of incompetence', and you organization is will be lyable to being scrutinized by an advisory company that has done the same. Make abusers and mafioso criminals the head of your system because then you can have them so nicely by the balls, and your society will be corrupted, eventually powerless to do anything good or interesting and inherently instable at the core and from the top down.
Probaly society is not as simple as this. Probaly. I'm not that good at making complicated systems work, I guess, so people that do not have anything but a whole criminal record to hide probably know better.
Sounds too bitter, I can't play with words to make a point, or forced to be as stupid as to talk big about my own qualities?
I'm retyping the rest of this text, hang on