You seem to want to exempt God any responsibility.....
You want to make him into a cruel punishing figure. Can you not see the problem with this?
Scourging... the affliction of pain is used in order that "he shall be pacified' is mentioned. The idea of chastisement is throughout the Sacred Texts. I'm not sure how you avoid it?.
Perhaps you should find the writings of the Holy Fathers when they interpret these verses (or maybe someone here can help you). I heard them in a Greek Orthodox Bible study. These psalms and verses you refer to are oftentimes metaphors. I can guarantee you that the Holy Fathers would not tell you that God is a punisher and that he personally inflicts pain to teach lessons.
You said God is not fire.
You know what I meant. You do not need to play this game.
God is not the king of punishment using painful fire to inflict his punishment. Is that better?
That exists in our own day which is why I think Orthodoxy is becoming popular but I'm not sure it's as Biblical as Catholicism.
I have heard that before. Next month you might say the opposite----- that Roman Catholicism is not as Biblical as Orthodoxy. That is why I have sorrow (pity was the wrong word). It must be very difficult to adopt another perspective several times per year.
Coming from a Baptist background I hold that our Salvation must be done in fear and trembling.
Most baptists I know say that they are saved by faith alone. BTW--"fear and trembling" means "respect and awe" in this verse
Which is why I chafe with regards to Once Saved, Always Saved....
So do I. It takes away our free will.
I don't want your pity nor your contempt.
I expressed my pity because I have seen the difficult journey that you are traveling over the years. Perhaps pity was the wrong word. Please do not add contempt--I do not express contempt. If you are going to inject the passion of anger into this, then I suggest you stop responding to me.
I can't agree with you in good conscience if I don't believe your arguments are valid.
I am not here to coax you into "believing my argument".
That might offend you and cause you to belittle me with thoughts of pity and contempt but so be it.
I am not belittling you and I expressed no contempt. I am sorry that the word pity has disturbed you so...it was a bad choice of words. Again, if your passion of anger is going to continue, perhaps you should bow out.
Knowing myself to be a sinner.
We are all wretched sinners.
I can't help be fear the judgment seat.
This fear should be understood as respect and awe.
I'm not proud of my wickedness but I acknowledge it none-the-less. I believe my sin harms those around me... my wife, my daughter, co-workers, friends and family. They clearly deserve better. God deserves better and yet I am incapable of better. I believe that God is Just and the wrongs which I have done, if not corrected, needs to have restitution. I should undo the damage done not simply be content that I am absolved for the crime or harm. If I don't see the harm healed then it is not forgotten by me.
That is a beautiful statement Chris...and it is true for most of us. But you cannot let this turn into scrupulosity and/or despair. That would be dangerous for the soul. Give your best and let God do the rest. He is all merciful and loving...He is not a punisher who does not forgive. Remember the widow who gave her last two mites? Repent, confess, do penance (if it is given to you), then go and sin no more. Then put the past behind you and leave it there because God does not keep a tally if you have confessed with a contrite heart.
I'm looking for the means of conquering sin. If Orthodoxy doesn't help me in this endeavor then it is useless to me.
After 45 years in the the Latin and Eastern Catholic Church, these last two years in the Holy Orthodox Church have offered me that means of conquering sin more than I could ever have imagined. I have made great strides. But I am still a wretched sinner and I always will be.