Hey what's up Rasputin here from JC

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Hey what's up Rasputin here from JC

Postby GERasputin on Fri May 04, 2007 3:53 pm

Hey guys some of you may know me from joecustoms. I am not a Christian and would probably if forced to choose settle on being agnostic but that is beside the point. Intellectually speaking i enjoy thinking and discussing God so i figured this is as good a place as any to cultivate that rationale.
Hopefully i am not wrong and this place is open to what some may deem "controversial" discussion but if it is i have no problem with that and will keep it down. I would rather be on good terms with Chad and Matt.

thanks
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Postby RevSears on Sat May 05, 2007 1:34 pm

Welcome Rasputin. Glad to see another Joe fan.
Curious as to why as an Agnostic you would to be on a Christian Board. I see you have what appears to be a very Christian saying in your signature and you appear to enjoy discussing God, so any reason for your relgious stance you'd care to share?

and if you've got questions for me as to why I am a Christian feel free to Fire away.
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Postby chad_ghost on Sat May 05, 2007 1:37 pm

Good terms? Of course! This is a place to discuss Christianity, and you don't have to be a Christian. Our hope is that others will be able to learn and ultimately put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, but we love discussion and even debates.

We had some trouble in the past with someone just coming to stir things up, but I don't feel that is why you are here.

I also think that, personally, having these discussions strengthens my faith and understanding.

Glad to have you aboard!
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"We cannot live the Christian life, only strive to. Only one man did, and they named it after Him."
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Postby PoetFlint on Sat May 05, 2007 5:18 pm

Welcome Ras !
"They make their tongues as sharp as serpent's; the poison of vipers is on their lips."
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Postby tigerguy786 on Sat May 05, 2007 7:22 pm

welcome aboard
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Then said I, "Here am I, send me." Isaiah 6:8
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Postby MacGyver on Sun May 06, 2007 7:03 am

I echo completely what Chad said...

Welcome!

I hope we can all give each other something to think about. ;)
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Postby camper on Sun May 06, 2007 9:31 am

Welcome aboard.

You mentioned you're not a Christian yet would be if you were forced to choose, so obviously you've given it some thought.

If I may be so bold to ask, what's holding you back from giving it more serious consideration?

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Postby ColtsFan76 on Mon May 07, 2007 10:22 am

Hey Rasputin,

Glad to have you! As Chad stated this is an open forum. Sincere discussion is appreciated and I look forward to our conversations. And like the rest, I am curious to knowwhy you beleive what you do!
James 1:19-20 (NIV)
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

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Postby Matthew on Mon May 07, 2007 12:04 pm

howdy. love to hear your thoughts and hope you feel right at home.
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Postby GERasputin on Thu May 17, 2007 10:09 pm

RevSears wrote:Welcome Rasputin. Glad to see another Joe fan.
Curious as to why as an Agnostic you would to be on a Christian Board. I see you have what appears to be a very Christian saying in your signature and you appear to enjoy discussing God, so any reason for your relgious stance you'd care to share?

and if you've got questions for me as to why I am a Christian feel free to Fire away.


Well Rev hopefully you won't get too upset as a Christian but i don't see the saying as necessarily Christian so much as "humanist."

If you are a diehard Atheist than there is no harm in that as long as you believe in yourself and help people and advance society forward.

IF God exists which is at the core of my agnostic reasoning (intuitively i believe God does exist BUT there is a whole nother side to my belief system which makes my intuition inconsequential which is why I like the qoute so much) then God believes in that atheist enough to empower him to benefit society and a guiding beacon of light for all of us.

I believe there is true good in religion despite the evil that has been done in the name of Christianity (and other religions and EVEN atheism) by some.

Perhaps the atheist is God's test or even gift to the religious to show that morality, and good do not only co-exist with love for God.

I have considered this question for instance:

Which of these two people are truer and better in God's eyes?

Person 1: A religious man who believes in God and Heaven and doing good because it draws him closer to being in heaven and in the presence of the Lord in your case Christ.

or
Person 2: An atheist who does the same but only for the benefit of the act itself. For society and people and not for his own benefit (although the argument that euphoria and endorphins released when you do these things make any of it self serving but i am leaning away from this for a moment.)


Don't get me wrong i am not promoting the idea of atheism but just saying that we should believe in God not for the sake of "the afterlife" or "heaven," but because we FEEL 100% that it is True, and for no other reason.



IF a person does not believe in God and is a die hard atheist then maybe that person is a tool of God to test the rest of us in our faith. I have debated such people and the more i do that the more i see that it is simple a matter of yes or no within each of us that has no bearing on how good we are as people. That is basically why i make the choice to be agnostic.


At the same time when people bash Christians for instance i tell them "look its simple. If you believe in biology and psychology and this person believes in this magic guy in the sky and that belief and feeling creates a chemical reaction in him that makes him think better, or run faster, or be a better leader or more altruistic, then where is the bad? If God is just a figment of our imagination, fine so be it but if it is a delusional fairy tale that makes people better where is the bad in that? Is it bad that kids believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy? No. It makes them dream, and believe and be positive. There is nothing wrong with it."


That is basically the core of my belief system and why i am the Agnostic.
My life is generally good and i am content in this system just as a Christian is in the belief in the Bible and Christ. I do not think that i am better in my belief then a Christian and even if a Christian believes i am missing out then so be it, i am content within myself just as i am sure most good christians are so i am happy for my religious brethren ya know?

When life is hard and bad, i chalk it up to nature and life that throw these things my way so that i can appreciate the better days even more. I do not seek to run from sadness or pain but begrudgingly embrace it because it will pay off later on when i am with me future wife laughing in bed about some random crapola.



See man you got me started with 1 question :lol:
God believes in you whether you believe in him or not.
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Postby GERasputin on Thu May 17, 2007 10:15 pm

camper wrote:Welcome aboard.

You mentioned you're not a Christian yet would be if you were forced to choose, so obviously you've given it some thought.

If I may be so bold to ask, what's holding you back from giving it more serious consideration?

dan


No no man i meant i would be agnostic if forced to choose, but i have nothing against Christianity or any belief system if there is some examples of good that come completely from it.
I may be against some of its aspects or even sects of it (Fred Phelps church is just beyond me. I try to be accepting of all sorts of christian denominations but that guy is just beyond me 8O ) but that has nothing to do with that religion at its core.
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Postby ColtsFan76 on Fri May 18, 2007 12:37 am

GERasputin wrote:Which of these two people are truer and better in God's eyes?

Person 1: A religious man who believes in God and Heaven and doing good because it draws him closer to being in heaven and in the presence of the Lord in your case Christ.

or
Person 2: An atheist who does the same but only for the benefit of the act itself. For society and people and not for his own benefit (although the argument that euphoria and endorphins released when you do these things make any of it self serving but i am leaning away from this for a moment.)

I think as Christians we are going to answer Person #1 - but not for the reasons you have listed. The concept of being a Christian is not defined by being "good." And so this is why some have difficulty accepting Christianity when they see Christians doing bad.

So the goal of Christianity is not to be good, it is to be godly. And by godly, we mean holy; we mean modeling our life after Christ and not just for the "reward" of heaven. Being a Christian is not about particpating in a Religion; it is about having a Relationship with God.

So person #2, while being admirable, is not living up to God's standards because God calls him to be obedient to Him. And while that entails doing good, it is more important to be holy and stay focused on His purpose.

And don't worry. Most of us don't get Fred Phelps or Jack Chick and some of these other whack jobs. Unfortunately, they hijack the Christian mantra but rarely show they have the Christian life.
James 1:19-20 (NIV)
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

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Postby GERasputin on Fri May 18, 2007 12:54 am

ColtsFan76 wrote:
GERasputin wrote:Which of these two people are truer and better in God's eyes?

Person 1: A religious man who believes in God and Heaven and doing good because it draws him closer to being in heaven and in the presence of the Lord in your case Christ.

or
Person 2: An atheist who does the same but only for the benefit of the act itself. For society and people and not for his own benefit (although the argument that euphoria and endorphins released when you do these things make any of it self serving but i am leaning away from this for a moment.)

I think as Christians we are going to answer Person #1 - but not for the reasons you have listed. The concept of being a Christian is not defined by being "good." And so this is why some have difficulty accepting Christianity when they see Christians doing bad.

So the goal of Christianity is not to be good, it is to be godly. And by godly, we mean holy; we mean modeling our life after Christ and not just for the "reward" of heaven. Being a Christian is not about particpating in a Religion; it is about having a Relationship with God.

So person #2, while being admirable, is not living up to God's standards because God calls him to be obedient to Him. And while that entails doing good, it is more important to be holy and stay focused on His purpose.

And don't worry. Most of us don't get Fred Phelps or Jack Chick and some of these other whack jobs. Unfortunately, they hijack the Christian mantra but rarely show they have the Christian life.


Well the concept i mentioned is the widespread oversimplification i have noticed both in pamphlets and reading material on the subway and so forth.

I don't see anything wrong with modelling life after christ per say except that since Christ is a holy entity who did not live in our life time, the history of his life is vague and based on other people's interpretations. Who is to say that those people got it right?
Perhaps that is the reason why there have been so many divisions in christianity as well?
Those who think they can give a better explanation of the life of christ then others.


Now as for the comment on person 2. At this point i think we are talking belief system differences between the two of us. I don't think we are in a position to know what God expects of us (and i know that christians rely on the bible and their interpretations of it for this bit). However, i am personally very skeptical on the bible for a # of reasons but as i said if it helps people in their beliefs and makes them better then i have no problem with it if it is used for the perpetuation of Good.

Personally I believe he expects different things from all of us and that we all play our roles in his grand scheme. Even atheists, agnostics and so forth are necessary to perpetuate the argument between the real and the spiritual. To push religious people to question their faith (and ideally in that case be even more convinced of their belief in what God wants of us, and what we want from each other, and what is Good and bad and so on.).
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Postby GERasputin on Fri May 18, 2007 2:14 am

Another problem is that while many people believe they are having a relationship with God, there is no definition of this concept that is stone hard.
Many people believe this because of the reaction their body has to certain stimuli.

For instance, in Iran the crazy religious ones like to beat their body bloody because to them they "feel" they are closer to God. We may percieve this as wrong or counter to the principles that should be followed to be closer to God but can we really convince them the feelings they feel are not real?

On the other hand IF science proves that these stimuli that you may feel as a christian are clear cut responses of your nervous system cells and so on, who is to say that was not God's intended plan to have our body and soul to be integrated like that?

The question would then be if we believe that this scientific chemical reaction can be brought about by other stimuli (i.e. with the Iranians beating their body and the buddhists meditating, etc.)


An Atheist in his gut, and in his intuition may feel that his belief in the absence of God brings him closer to that which he does not understand.
Saying that christians feelings regarding being holier and closer to God are just endorphins or what not (ignoring that God could have purposefully created our bodies with this responsive system in mind.)
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Postby camper on Fri May 18, 2007 8:45 am

I disagree on the quote your signature being a humanistic one or one that any athiest would be OK with (other then using it as a joke), but I don't see the need to go into that. You said a lot in your posts, so rather than go into everything I'll just try to address a few things.

Your two examples of which is 'better', the man who does good to get closer to God and the man who does good for the sake of doing good.

The problem with your comparison is that theh 'good' is not defined, and there are too many generalizations. Lets look at it this way:

1 - The religious person (let's just say Christian) that does good to be closer to God would do what is commanded by God via the Bible. Otherwise, he would be doing good as defined by him, and not God. As Brian mentioned, the motivation is to emulate the life of Christ and be a living example of Gods love for mankind, not to receive any reward.

2 - The atheist peforming a good act is judging the goodness of the act based upon his opinions and personal desires, as the good he is performing is based on either his own idea or that of society at large. So the good he's performing could actually be evil according to a Christian world view. To ignite a hotpoint, lets use abortion. Society may think of abortion as a good thing, and an option every person should be able to choose. However this is a point of view is indeed an evil one to a Christian.

So right away, we can show that the term 'good' can have a diametrically opposing point of view based upon the individual.

You said we should do what we think feels 100% right, but the problem with that logic can be seen all across the world. People are in jail because they molested children, murdered their cheating spouses, embezzled millions of dollars, etc. The were doing what they felt was 100% right. Would you classify their actions as good, even though they felt they were right in performing them? Why is your definition of what is good (altruism, better leader, kind to strangers, etc) any more right than the person who believes good is the opposite of that?

In ancient times live, newborn infants and very young children were thrown on fires to in worship of Baal. Even some of the Israelites participated in this practice. They were doing what they felt was 100% right. Was that action good, or evil?

To say there is a definitative good, then you have to have to acknowledge that there must also be a definative evil. If good an evil are subject to vote or opinion, then there is no good or evil as everything would be fully subjective. However If there is an absolute good and an evil, then there would have to be some sort of moral law. If there is a moral law, then there must be a moral law giver.

You say you acknowledge that there is a God, otherwise you couldn't be agnostic. If you did not believe in a God then that would lend you to being an atheist. And athiest has no need to try and get closer to 'that which he doesn't understand' (meaning a spiritual force) because he cannot believe that force exists. If he did, he would not be an atheist.

Yet if you wanted to get closer to God or your idea of Him, but how would you get there unless there was a plan or roadmap to do so? If there is validity in all religions, then why would there be contradictions? You say that your idea of God would be able to use an atheist or agnostic to test other religious people, which implies that you believe God to be all powerful.

So why would this all powerful God use confusion to spread knowledge of Him, especially when there are so many blatant contradictions? Buddhism, Christianity and Islam for example, cannot reconcile with each other because the paths to, and ideas of God are all very different.

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