I'll answer Marc and Dan together here. Marc didn't address my questions
but Dan does. So, Marc, what's your take on the Red Sea, the walls of
Jericho, et al? Did they happen as described?
Dan's answer has a hint of "When the Israelites say they crossed over the
Red Sea on dry ground while the Egyptians perished, what really happened is
that the Israelites found a path around on the north but the Egyptians got
bogged down in quicksand."
Close, but no. What I believe happened was that Israel was _guided_, by
God, through that area, and the Egyptians either were not, or were guided
to their destruction. Your comment seems to imply that God's involvement
was not necessary; to the contrary I know that He was directly involved in
Dan, if the Israelites conquered Jericho without the aid of a miracle as
you hint, then in what way did God help them? Didn't they just accomplish
it all on their own?
In what way does God help you day-to-day without the aid of physical
miracles? I don't believe that they accomplished it "all on their own". I'm
not disputing that God helped them - I know that He did, but I think that
He most likely helped them the same way He helps us today - through the
I hope that isn't what you are trying to say, Dan and Marc. If you really
do believe that the Red Sea parted by the power of God, then I don't
understand your point. I already understand the symbolism and the
principles taught by that actual events. So I haven't disagreed with you.
I just haven't heard you say, "Yes, of course the actual event happened as
described". Instead, you seem to be waffling.
I'm saying that it should not be absolutely _necessary_ for God to have
parted the Red Sea, a'la Charlton Heston, to have a testimony that He
guided the Israelites across it. The fact that He helped them cross the Red
Sea is literal, but the exact means described may or may not be symbolic,
and shouldn't be the basis for a testimony of His power. Could He have done
it? Without a doubt. Was it absolutely necessary for Him to prove His power
to the Israelites in that specific way? Perhaps for them, but not for me.
I also don't see this as "waffling" - just the opposite in fact. Whether He
split the waters, or lifted the land, or caused the wind to blow the waters
out of the way, or simply guided them through on a path that only He could
see; the exact means He choose doesn't detract from my testimony that He
_did_ move them from one side to the other. I'm not going to say "Yes, of
course the actual event happened as described", because it really doesn't
matter. If it did, great; if not _so what_. I refuse to stake my testimony,
and relationship with Him, on whether the biblical description of an
ancient event is symbolic or not - I am concerned that people I care about
might reject the Holy Ghost over it though.
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