Hey what's up Rasputin here from JC

The beginning... if you are new to the site or just looking for some information about the others, want to introduce yourself, discuss your denomination, etc, start here.

Postby RevSears on Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:47 pm

This is a very deep conversation and a regret my absence from till now.
I see that you have reasoned all of this out very logicaly but i have to ask you have you ever heard of a logical principle (I can't think of the name) that states the simpliest answer is the most likely to be true. God is Real seems far simpler than the arguments you have made in this thread.

I suggest you pick up Josh Mcdowell's new evidence that demands a verdict.
It chronicles why Christianity is different than other religions, many of the ways in wich the bible is accurate and basicaly comes down to the classic lord liar or lunatic, again the simpliest answer being the likeliest.
You mentioned the greek Gods and one part of his book contains logical reasonings showing the differences in intent, writting style, and factual accuracy of the bible and other religions such as the worship of the greek pantheon.
The bible has been backed up like no other religion, it by far the most true to the orginal document of antiquity (i will try to pull the #'s from the book later for you) we can prove he was there, we can prove he lived, we can even proved he died and many accounts of his appearence after death. You can debate logic to say that he was a liar and wanted to do it for the glory, but in his time he recieved death not glory and if this was the case all those who claimed to see him after death were liars as well. YOu can claim he was a lunatic but lunatics simply are not capable of the rational he pocessed to debate with the time's greatest teachers and to convert many and to teach the things he did. Or you can admit he was Lord, short and sweet and simple. He was really God in the flesh and thats why so many miracles are recorded that even other religions and non-beleivers at the time admitted them. You can admit he really was God in the flesh because of his post resurrection appearences and you can accept as savior because if this is true and his words can be backed up he has said there is no other way to the father but through him.
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Postby camper on Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:37 am

GERasputin wrote:Well my notion of God's infallibility is in the notion that there is nothing God overlooked or nothing he has created that tricks or causes us our own suffering, at least not without self cleansing and reload within that person's life. So with that in mind God's ultimate gift to us is that free will and our ability to think and question and spend restless nights in our bed percieving.


A person who is given the ability to think and question yet is prevented from performing actions which will cause their own suffering is not given free will. While I fully agree that God would not trick us (as God does not lie) He will allow us to be tricked if we are not careful and cognizant of our environment. To prevent a person who wants to trick us from tricking us, is to interfere with that person's free will.

Would you rather a person be a Fred Phelps christian baptist or a die hard atheist scientist who's actions and contribution to society most border the actions of Jesus (pro bono work in creating electronic eyes for the blind, and feeding the hungry, and working in 3rd world countries making genetically modified food crops that leave millions with food.)


Obviously the atheistic scientist is performing a service which is of infinitely more value to society than Phelps, but the fact remains that neither is a Christian. But you're equating what is vaulable to you and me as being of value to God. The simple truth is that regardless of how celebrated the scientist's actions are to you and me, to God they are like filthy rags.

It doesn't matter that we're impressed by the work of the scientist, the Bible is clear that the only way to God is through Christ. There are pastors and priests and ministers and theological geniuses that will find themselves cast aside because they do not believe that simple truth.

Now as far as divine inspiration. The problem is we do not know who is or isn't divinely inspired. I believe there are many people who are, BUT we do not and religion does not as a whole recognize them because the direction they use that inspiration for is not "good." I.e. take Norman Borlaug's contribution to genetically modified foods. Is that not divine inspiration? Would not Jesus praise his contribution that have kept upwards of a billion people fed and alive?


Certainly there are people who are divinely inspired in their professions and occupations that are not necessarily of a religious background. God is fully capable of affecting anyone He so chooses. However, to say that Himler was divinely inspired as he created exceptionally efficient ways of erradicating people would be greatly in error.

When you get to the religious texts, you need to understand that the authorship is limited. Here's a link that touches on this subject: http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-authors.html


As far as religious violence its not that it makes the bible irrelevent its that it makes interpretation of this text highly questionable. If it is God's divine word that we should all follow then why should everybody be given a bible if they cannot understand it? Why is it in every hotel room in the country? Only those who are inspired enough and wise enough should then be given the bible to read. Yet then that begs the question of what do we do with those like Fred Phelps?


I write documentation, policies, procedures, and all kinds of other things for my job. I would venture to say that most things are written at no more than the 6th grade level with very clear and easy to understand words. I've assembled guides that have a "Follow step 1, then go to step 2 then go to step 3" process which is intended to be a no brainer, Do what it says and you will succeed sort of thing. Can you imagine how many people don't 'get it'? Not wanting to vent too much here, but the information is as clear as possible and people simply cannot figure out how to get from A to B. The only way it could be more clear would be for me to do it for them.

People don't understand things they read for 5 reasons:

1 - They don't believe it. (If it's too easy they think something must be missing and they dwell on what's not there)
2 - They don't want to understand. (They don't care anyway, they'll do it the way the want either way)
3 - They don't try. (Same as #2, but they also don't think it applies to them)
4 - They lack the mental capacity. (This may be legitimate, but not for 99% of the people)
5 - They just want someone to tell them what to do so they don't have to think. (The catch all for those who simply don't get it)

Of course, #6 (which is intentionally left out) is reserved for those who think they know a better way and ignore what's written.

And really, thats the answer to your "Why should everyone be given a Bible if they cannot understand it?" question. Everyone who doesn't understand falls into one of those categories, and unless they make an effort to understand they can linger in one (or many) of them forever.

Back to Phelps, as has been pointed out the fact that he claims to be a Christian is irrelevant. Claiming to be one, does not make you one. Using your athiest scientist example, if that guy claimed to be an athiest and was supporting Creationism then there would be a major disconnect in logic. You cannot believe that there is no God while supporting a Creationism viewpoint which centers around the idea that God created the cosmos and all in it. It would be very hard to carry the weight of the argument that the self proclaimed athiest who supports creationism is truly an athiest.

Likewise, Phelps cannot be considered a Christian as he is not following Christian teachings. He is picking and choosing one little thing out of the Bible to support (and loosely, mind you) his own personal agenda while blatantly ignoring the rest of what the scriptures say. Yes - homosexuality is an abomination to God but so is lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, and not loving your neighbor. If his 'church' got themeselves out of mindset 5 & 6 above, they would realize that what they are doing is as much an abomination as what they are protesting.

Now who is to say that Palazzi's concept of Islam is any less valuable then Osama's? Who is to say your concept of Christianity is less valuable then Phelps? or vice versa on both. If you listen to Italian muslim scholar sheik Palazzi he believes that most of these terrorists are in fact infidels who corrupt the teachings of Islam and should be destroyed.
That is not meant as an insult but i would think and hope you would agree it is very often that religions try to justify their own vices as being "unchristian" or "unislamic" while tearing down those of other religions as clearly islamic or clearly christian.


I'm not insulted at all. I will say, that I have studied Islam a bit and have come to my own conclusions based upon what I have read in Islamic texts. We could really delve into the topic, but that would really get out far in left field for the purposes of this discussion. Islam teaches that it is acceptable (and dutiful) to kill non-muslims. Moderates may not believe that, but that does not make it a teaching that is any less present in the Koran.

The fact that I find Islam to be a false religion would make me an infidel in Sheik Palazzi's eyes, and hence he would believe that I should be destroyed. Incidently, due to your views on God he would feel the same about you too.

I bet if you listen to Hasan Nasrallah he will explain how it is all a matter of the old christian crusaders fighting a proxy war through Israel and America against Islam.


This is also a very detailed topic, but again the difference is that the crusade was not fully in line with the teachings of Christianity while the Islamic fight against the Jews is in line with Islamic teachings.

If God is all powerful he can inspire you himself to seek that reality. God can implant the whole of the bible into your brain and you will know him. He does not though. Is that because he wants you to seek it yourself? You may think so or maybe he wants you to read it and discard it and use parts of it to form your own bible that you alone read and analyze?


God reveals Himself in a multitude of ways, but primarily through the Bible. Of course God wants you to seek Him. Do you want your wife (or future wife) to love you because she has to, or because you choose to? Which is the truer, more powerful love? A woman who loves you because of what you do for her, or one who loves you for you? A woman who loves you because of what you give to her will stop loving you once you lose all your possessions or cannot provide for her the way she wants, but one who loves you for you will stand by you even in the worst times. That is the love that God wants from us, and those who seek him in earnest will find him.

Would you say for instance that Geneticall modified food is a gift from God or that it has little to do with him?
What about airplanes? flu shots? iron lungs? Is science a gift from God? Is history? Literature? I believe that all are and even the notion of questioning God and denying his existence.


I would say that all are a gift from God, however I will make the caveat that denying questioning him and denying his existance is not gift outside the ability to exercise free will. For clarification, see response to below.

If all the world suddenly became atheist ? What does that take away from God?
A great Russian author named Bulgakov once said "What profit or loss does God gain from their (any belief) belief?"
Does his all powerful nature and infinate existence suddenly diminish? does his infinate love and compassion for us falter? If we make a mistake and choose not to know him and suffer for it that is on us and our mistake, however, if we do not suffer for it who is to say that it was not God's intent for say somebody like me to exist to question your belief and you to exist to question mine? I would say we are both happy and content people in life in general so what value does that give our belief? It only helps us to be ourselves. and that is what God wants and why he gives us free will and makes us think and percieve. If we wound up hurting ourselves with this gift en masse God would not give it to us like you wouldn't give your child a sharp knife they can hurt themselves with.


If the world all became atheists it would take nothing from God, but it would take everything from everyone else.

Another thing to keep in mind that God is holy, and cannot stand unholiness. He is also a perfect judge, which is why there is punishment for breaking His laws. If you break His commandments then you deserve to be punished under the law, just like if you break the law in your state you deserve to be punished for breaking that state law. However, because God loves us He has provided a way for us to be forgiven of that punishment by the sacrifice of Christ. He has taken the punishment that we all deserve, and all we need do is to put our faith and trust in Him.

dan
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Postby GERasputin on Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:20 pm

RevSears wrote:This is a very deep conversation and a regret my absence from till now.
I see that you have reasoned all of this out very logicaly but i have to ask you have you ever heard of a logical principle (I can't think of the name) that states the simpliest answer is the most likely to be true. God is Real seems far simpler than the arguments you have made in this thread.

I suggest you pick up Josh Mcdowell's new evidence that demands a verdict.
It chronicles why Christianity is different than other religions, many of the ways in wich the bible is accurate and basicaly comes down to the classic lord liar or lunatic, again the simpliest answer being the likeliest.
You mentioned the greek Gods and one part of his book contains logical reasonings showing the differences in intent, writting style, and factual accuracy of the bible and other religions such as the worship of the greek pantheon.
The bible has been backed up like no other religion, it by far the most true to the orginal document of antiquity (i will try to pull the #'s from the book later for you) we can prove he was there, we can prove he lived, we can even proved he died and many accounts of his appearence after death. You can debate logic to say that he was a liar and wanted to do it for the glory, but in his time he recieved death not glory and if this was the case all those who claimed to see him after death were liars as well. YOu can claim he was a lunatic but lunatics simply are not capable of the rational he pocessed to debate with the time's greatest teachers and to convert many and to teach the things he did. Or you can admit he was Lord, short and sweet and simple. He was really God in the flesh and thats why so many miracles are recorded that even other religions and non-beleivers at the time admitted them. You can admit he really was God in the flesh because of his post resurrection appearences and you can accept as savior because if this is true and his words can be backed up he has said there is no other way to the father but through him.


Whoa Whoa Whoa Rev i am not getting on Jesus's case. :lol:
For one though the simplest answer being the likeliest has to go hand in hand with one's own logical reasoning.

Thereby, I am not questioning the authenticity of the bible but i am questioning whether the "observable phenomena" in it was in fact a sign of God or simply misconstrued as "observable natural phenomena."

I.e. Andy Kauffman, 5 or so years after his death was seen in a comedy club performing stand up.
Was Andy resurrected? Not really. It was just his friend dressing up like him.

What is more likely? That Jesus was resurrected or that somebody who wanted to CONVINCE themselves they were seeing a miracle saw Jesus?

Was that somehow a trick Jesus or his followers meant to pull on society?
Perhaps but i doubt it.
As i said it could have been in the sense that he belief in their own concepts and the benefit they would bring might push them to pull this smaller lie for a bigger one, but i believe it was simply a misunderstanding.

To me a misundestanding seems more logical then a resurrection
HOWEVER, it does not prove or disprove God's existence.

God's existence is one thing.

Whether the bible is his word or the only divine interpretation of his text or a book made by inspired people who were more unaware of their surroundings then we are now is open for debate.
Nobody questions the bible's authenticity (and i didn't either i don't know why some people on this thread made this assumption. I questioned whether the observations in it were natural or rather some great acts of God.)

Consider this:
500 years ago, an "eclipse" was considered some great act of God.
Anybody who said something like "the moon goes in front of the Sun cause that is the center of our universe."
Was burned as a heretic or told to shut up cause it was "Devil speak"

This was a christian notion that destroyed and killed innocent people. Innocent christians.


In the end however observable information and study explained the natural nature of this event.
The question we should be asking is
"perhaps it was God's intent to create this timeline of events so that we do test ourselves. So that we are constantly challenged within to question God's existence."

This test is a gift to us that makes our lives "better" in the sense that we are at constant struggle to think about God. This is why i don't believe in Atheism per say since it wants to erase this conception, EVEN though there has been study and proof of a supposed "God gene" being discovered which would explain why we inherently believe in God.

Some would say this is proof of why God doesn't exist, but i would say that perhaps that was God's intent in making science and nature and our bodies that way.
God believes in you whether you believe in him or not.
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Postby GERasputin on Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:34 pm

camper wrote:
GERasputin wrote:Well my notion of God's infallibility is in the notion that there is nothing God overlooked or nothing he has created that tricks or causes us our own suffering, at least not without self cleansing and reload within that person's life. So with that in mind God's ultimate gift to us is that free will and our ability to think and question and spend restless nights in our bed percieving.


A person who is given the ability to think and question yet is prevented from performing actions which will cause their own suffering is not given free will. While I fully agree that God would not trick us (as God does not lie) He will allow us to be tricked if we are not careful and cognizant of our environment. To prevent a person who wants to trick us from tricking us, is to interfere with that person's free will.

Would you rather a person be a Fred Phelps christian baptist or a die hard atheist scientist who's actions and contribution to society most border the actions of Jesus (pro bono work in creating electronic eyes for the blind, and feeding the hungry, and working in 3rd world countries making genetically modified food crops that leave millions with food.)


Obviously the atheistic scientist is performing a service which is of infinitely more value to society than Phelps, but the fact remains that neither is a Christian. But you're equating what is vaulable to you and me as being of value to God. The simple truth is that regardless of how celebrated the scientist's actions are to you and me, to God they are like filthy rags.

It doesn't matter that we're impressed by the work of the scientist, the Bible is clear that the only way to God is through Christ. There are pastors and priests and ministers and theological geniuses that will find themselves cast aside because they do not believe that simple truth.

Now as far as divine inspiration. The problem is we do not know who is or isn't divinely inspired. I believe there are many people who are, BUT we do not and religion does not as a whole recognize them because the direction they use that inspiration for is not "good." I.e. take Norman Borlaug's contribution to genetically modified foods. Is that not divine inspiration? Would not Jesus praise his contribution that have kept upwards of a billion people fed and alive?


Certainly there are people who are divinely inspired in their professions and occupations that are not necessarily of a religious background. God is fully capable of affecting anyone He so chooses. However, to say that Himler was divinely inspired as he created exceptionally efficient ways of erradicating people would be greatly in error.

When you get to the religious texts, you need to understand that the authorship is limited. Here's a link that touches on this subject: http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-authors.html


As far as religious violence its not that it makes the bible irrelevent its that it makes interpretation of this text highly questionable. If it is God's divine word that we should all follow then why should everybody be given a bible if they cannot understand it? Why is it in every hotel room in the country? Only those who are inspired enough and wise enough should then be given the bible to read. Yet then that begs the question of what do we do with those like Fred Phelps?


I write documentation, policies, procedures, and all kinds of other things for my job. I would venture to say that most things are written at no more than the 6th grade level with very clear and easy to understand words. I've assembled guides that have a "Follow step 1, then go to step 2 then go to step 3" process which is intended to be a no brainer, Do what it says and you will succeed sort of thing. Can you imagine how many people don't 'get it'? Not wanting to vent too much here, but the information is as clear as possible and people simply cannot figure out how to get from A to B. The only way it could be more clear would be for me to do it for them.

People don't understand things they read for 5 reasons:

1 - They don't believe it. (If it's too easy they think something must be missing and they dwell on what's not there)
2 - They don't want to understand. (They don't care anyway, they'll do it the way the want either way)
3 - They don't try. (Same as #2, but they also don't think it applies to them)
4 - They lack the mental capacity. (This may be legitimate, but not for 99% of the people)
5 - They just want someone to tell them what to do so they don't have to think. (The catch all for those who simply don't get it)

Of course, #6 (which is intentionally left out) is reserved for those who think they know a better way and ignore what's written.

And really, thats the answer to your "Why should everyone be given a Bible if they cannot understand it?" question. Everyone who doesn't understand falls into one of those categories, and unless they make an effort to understand they can linger in one (or many) of them forever.

Back to Phelps, as has been pointed out the fact that he claims to be a Christian is irrelevant. Claiming to be one, does not make you one. Using your athiest scientist example, if that guy claimed to be an athiest and was supporting Creationism then there would be a major disconnect in logic. You cannot believe that there is no God while supporting a Creationism viewpoint which centers around the idea that God created the cosmos and all in it. It would be very hard to carry the weight of the argument that the self proclaimed athiest who supports creationism is truly an athiest.

Likewise, Phelps cannot be considered a Christian as he is not following Christian teachings. He is picking and choosing one little thing out of the Bible to support (and loosely, mind you) his own personal agenda while blatantly ignoring the rest of what the scriptures say. Yes - homosexuality is an abomination to God but so is lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, and not loving your neighbor. If his 'church' got themeselves out of mindset 5 & 6 above, they would realize that what they are doing is as much an abomination as what they are protesting.

Now who is to say that Palazzi's concept of Islam is any less valuable then Osama's? Who is to say your concept of Christianity is less valuable then Phelps? or vice versa on both. If you listen to Italian muslim scholar sheik Palazzi he believes that most of these terrorists are in fact infidels who corrupt the teachings of Islam and should be destroyed.
That is not meant as an insult but i would think and hope you would agree it is very often that religions try to justify their own vices as being "unchristian" or "unislamic" while tearing down those of other religions as clearly islamic or clearly christian.


I'm not insulted at all. I will say, that I have studied Islam a bit and have come to my own conclusions based upon what I have read in Islamic texts. We could really delve into the topic, but that would really get out far in left field for the purposes of this discussion. Islam teaches that it is acceptable (and dutiful) to kill non-muslims. Moderates may not believe that, but that does not make it a teaching that is any less present in the Koran.

The fact that I find Islam to be a false religion would make me an infidel in Sheik Palazzi's eyes, and hence he would believe that I should be destroyed. Incidently, due to your views on God he would feel the same about you too.

I bet if you listen to Hasan Nasrallah he will explain how it is all a matter of the old christian crusaders fighting a proxy war through Israel and America against Islam.


This is also a very detailed topic, but again the difference is that the crusade was not fully in line with the teachings of Christianity while the Islamic fight against the Jews is in line with Islamic teachings.

If God is all powerful he can inspire you himself to seek that reality. God can implant the whole of the bible into your brain and you will know him. He does not though. Is that because he wants you to seek it yourself? You may think so or maybe he wants you to read it and discard it and use parts of it to form your own bible that you alone read and analyze?


God reveals Himself in a multitude of ways, but primarily through the Bible. Of course God wants you to seek Him. Do you want your wife (or future wife) to love you because she has to, or because you choose to? Which is the truer, more powerful love? A woman who loves you because of what you do for her, or one who loves you for you? A woman who loves you because of what you give to her will stop loving you once you lose all your possessions or cannot provide for her the way she wants, but one who loves you for you will stand by you even in the worst times. That is the love that God wants from us, and those who seek him in earnest will find him.

Would you say for instance that Geneticall modified food is a gift from God or that it has little to do with him?
What about airplanes? flu shots? iron lungs? Is science a gift from God? Is history? Literature? I believe that all are and even the notion of questioning God and denying his existence.


I would say that all are a gift from God, however I will make the caveat that denying questioning him and denying his existance is not gift outside the ability to exercise free will. For clarification, see response to below.

If all the world suddenly became atheist ? What does that take away from God?
A great Russian author named Bulgakov once said "What profit or loss does God gain from their (any belief) belief?"
Does his all powerful nature and infinate existence suddenly diminish? does his infinate love and compassion for us falter? If we make a mistake and choose not to know him and suffer for it that is on us and our mistake, however, if we do not suffer for it who is to say that it was not God's intent for say somebody like me to exist to question your belief and you to exist to question mine? I would say we are both happy and content people in life in general so what value does that give our belief? It only helps us to be ourselves. and that is what God wants and why he gives us free will and makes us think and percieve. If we wound up hurting ourselves with this gift en masse God would not give it to us like you wouldn't give your child a sharp knife they can hurt themselves with.


If the world all became atheists it would take nothing from God, but it would take everything from everyone else.

Another thing to keep in mind that God is holy, and cannot stand unholiness. He is also a perfect judge, which is why there is punishment for breaking His laws. If you break His commandments then you deserve to be punished under the law, just like if you break the law in your state you deserve to be punished for breaking that state law. However, because God loves us He has provided a way for us to be forgiven of that punishment by the sacrifice of Christ. He has taken the punishment that we all deserve, and all we need do is to put our faith and trust in Him.

dan


Yes God might allow us to be tricked (but what if you are the one who is tricked? and that is common logic that alot of creationists use on atheists but the problem is it works both ways and doesn't solve anything but just reaffirms the schism between them and us or me and you).
BUT our lives and our mistakes will be the cost of that. Not some afterlife.
God is too kind and merciful for any other punishment. However, how do you explain this idea that some atheists are living seemingly happy lives with their choices and this trick of teh environment while some christians are not?
WE can say they are hypocrites or not living the life correctly, but i can say that about any atheist who is not as happy as a Dawkins or somebody. They just aren't living the principle correctly.


2. Your second point is VERY VERY VERY important. To God not only is the work of the scientist useless but so is our belief or disbelief in him. The bible would have you believe that is not true but what value does God gain if you are closer to him?
God is an infinate being who's existence is neither supplemented or detracted from if there is not one christian on earth. He exists separate from us to some degree if he exists.
So what the bible attempts to do is make our lives bearable within a spiritual sense.
However, christian missionaries when they go abroad preaching the word of God they use the works of teh scientists (i.e. food and clothing, etc.) to show people the way to enlightenment.
Without the scientist and his work all they have is the bible itself.
God made our bodies in such a way that food allows us to satiate our baser needs so we can focus on the ones we are discussing here.
Without that scientists work we cannot even get to that level of enlightenment.
What if that was God's intent? To create a movement separate from religion taht will allow the lower needs to be satiated so the upper ones can be approached and met?
In that sense the scientist is just as important to him as somebody who truly understands the bible and is a full hardcore christian.


3. Yes i agree completely Himmler was more then likely insane. However, why is it we assume those we "defeated" or considered "evil" were the ones who were delusional and the ones wh do "good" or things we agree with as "divinely inspired."

We do not know who is divinely inspired. As you said God has the power to touch anyone. Half the people in an asylum could be professing God's divine inspiration yet we are not enlightened enough ourselves to see this (very interesting story by Chekhov i think it was "room #6" deals with this issue very well).


Heya ill respond to the rest of your post later i got a thing to do now.
God believes in you whether you believe in him or not.
GERasputin
 
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 1:31 pm

Postby GERasputin on Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:23 am

camper wrote:
GERasputin wrote:Well my notion of God's infallibility is in the notion that there is nothing God overlooked or nothing he has created that tricks or causes us our own suffering, at least not without self cleansing and reload within that person's life. So with that in mind God's ultimate gift to us is that free will and our ability to think and question and spend restless nights in our bed percieving.


A person who is given the ability to think and question yet is prevented from performing actions which will cause their own suffering is not given free will. While I fully agree that God would not trick us (as God does not lie) He will allow us to be tricked if we are not careful and cognizant of our environment. To prevent a person who wants to trick us from tricking us, is to interfere with that person's free will.

Would you rather a person be a Fred Phelps christian baptist or a die hard atheist scientist who's actions and contribution to society most border the actions of Jesus (pro bono work in creating electronic eyes for the blind, and feeding the hungry, and working in 3rd world countries making genetically modified food crops that leave millions with food.)


Obviously the atheistic scientist is performing a service which is of infinitely more value to society than Phelps, but the fact remains that neither is a Christian. But you're equating what is vaulable to you and me as being of value to God. The simple truth is that regardless of how celebrated the scientist's actions are to you and me, to God they are like filthy rags.

It doesn't matter that we're impressed by the work of the scientist, the Bible is clear that the only way to God is through Christ. There are pastors and priests and ministers and theological geniuses that will find themselves cast aside because they do not believe that simple truth.

Now as far as divine inspiration. The problem is we do not know who is or isn't divinely inspired. I believe there are many people who are, BUT we do not and religion does not as a whole recognize them because the direction they use that inspiration for is not "good." I.e. take Norman Borlaug's contribution to genetically modified foods. Is that not divine inspiration? Would not Jesus praise his contribution that have kept upwards of a billion people fed and alive?


Certainly there are people who are divinely inspired in their professions and occupations that are not necessarily of a religious background. God is fully capable of affecting anyone He so chooses. However, to say that Himler was divinely inspired as he created exceptionally efficient ways of erradicating people would be greatly in error.

When you get to the religious texts, you need to understand that the authorship is limited. Here's a link that touches on this subject: http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-authors.html


As far as religious violence its not that it makes the bible irrelevent its that it makes interpretation of this text highly questionable. If it is God's divine word that we should all follow then why should everybody be given a bible if they cannot understand it? Why is it in every hotel room in the country? Only those who are inspired enough and wise enough should then be given the bible to read. Yet then that begs the question of what do we do with those like Fred Phelps?


I write documentation, policies, procedures, and all kinds of other things for my job. I would venture to say that most things are written at no more than the 6th grade level with very clear and easy to understand words. I've assembled guides that have a "Follow step 1, then go to step 2 then go to step 3" process which is intended to be a no brainer, Do what it says and you will succeed sort of thing. Can you imagine how many people don't 'get it'? Not wanting to vent too much here, but the information is as clear as possible and people simply cannot figure out how to get from A to B. The only way it could be more clear would be for me to do it for them.

People don't understand things they read for 5 reasons:

1 - They don't believe it. (If it's too easy they think something must be missing and they dwell on what's not there)
2 - They don't want to understand. (They don't care anyway, they'll do it the way the want either way)
3 - They don't try. (Same as #2, but they also don't think it applies to them)
4 - They lack the mental capacity. (This may be legitimate, but not for 99% of the people)
5 - They just want someone to tell them what to do so they don't have to think. (The catch all for those who simply don't get it)

Of course, #6 (which is intentionally left out) is reserved for those who think they know a better way and ignore what's written.

And really, thats the answer to your "Why should everyone be given a Bible if they cannot understand it?" question. Everyone who doesn't understand falls into one of those categories, and unless they make an effort to understand they can linger in one (or many) of them forever.

Back to Phelps, as has been pointed out the fact that he claims to be a Christian is irrelevant. Claiming to be one, does not make you one. Using your athiest scientist example, if that guy claimed to be an athiest and was supporting Creationism then there would be a major disconnect in logic. You cannot believe that there is no God while supporting a Creationism viewpoint which centers around the idea that God created the cosmos and all in it. It would be very hard to carry the weight of the argument that the self proclaimed athiest who supports creationism is truly an athiest.

Likewise, Phelps cannot be considered a Christian as he is not following Christian teachings. He is picking and choosing one little thing out of the Bible to support (and loosely, mind you) his own personal agenda while blatantly ignoring the rest of what the scriptures say. Yes - homosexuality is an abomination to God but so is lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, and not loving your neighbor. If his 'church' got themeselves out of mindset 5 & 6 above, they would realize that what they are doing is as much an abomination as what they are protesting.

Now who is to say that Palazzi's concept of Islam is any less valuable then Osama's? Who is to say your concept of Christianity is less valuable then Phelps? or vice versa on both. If you listen to Italian muslim scholar sheik Palazzi he believes that most of these terrorists are in fact infidels who corrupt the teachings of Islam and should be destroyed.
That is not meant as an insult but i would think and hope you would agree it is very often that religions try to justify their own vices as being "unchristian" or "unislamic" while tearing down those of other religions as clearly islamic or clearly christian.


I'm not insulted at all. I will say, that I have studied Islam a bit and have come to my own conclusions based upon what I have read in Islamic texts. We could really delve into the topic, but that would really get out far in left field for the purposes of this discussion. Islam teaches that it is acceptable (and dutiful) to kill non-muslims. Moderates may not believe that, but that does not make it a teaching that is any less present in the Koran.

The fact that I find Islam to be a false religion would make me an infidel in Sheik Palazzi's eyes, and hence he would believe that I should be destroyed. Incidently, due to your views on God he would feel the same about you too.

I bet if you listen to Hasan Nasrallah he will explain how it is all a matter of the old christian crusaders fighting a proxy war through Israel and America against Islam.


This is also a very detailed topic, but again the difference is that the crusade was not fully in line with the teachings of Christianity while the Islamic fight against the Jews is in line with Islamic teachings.

If God is all powerful he can inspire you himself to seek that reality. God can implant the whole of the bible into your brain and you will know him. He does not though. Is that because he wants you to seek it yourself? You may think so or maybe he wants you to read it and discard it and use parts of it to form your own bible that you alone read and analyze?


God reveals Himself in a multitude of ways, but primarily through the Bible. Of course God wants you to seek Him. Do you want your wife (or future wife) to love you because she has to, or because you choose to? Which is the truer, more powerful love? A woman who loves you because of what you do for her, or one who loves you for you? A woman who loves you because of what you give to her will stop loving you once you lose all your possessions or cannot provide for her the way she wants, but one who loves you for you will stand by you even in the worst times. That is the love that God wants from us, and those who seek him in earnest will find him.

Would you say for instance that Geneticall modified food is a gift from God or that it has little to do with him?
What about airplanes? flu shots? iron lungs? Is science a gift from God? Is history? Literature? I believe that all are and even the notion of questioning God and denying his existence.


I would say that all are a gift from God, however I will make the caveat that denying questioning him and denying his existance is not gift outside the ability to exercise free will. For clarification, see response to below.

If all the world suddenly became atheist ? What does that take away from God?
A great Russian author named Bulgakov once said "What profit or loss does God gain from their (any belief) belief?"
Does his all powerful nature and infinate existence suddenly diminish? does his infinate love and compassion for us falter? If we make a mistake and choose not to know him and suffer for it that is on us and our mistake, however, if we do not suffer for it who is to say that it was not God's intent for say somebody like me to exist to question your belief and you to exist to question mine? I would say we are both happy and content people in life in general so what value does that give our belief? It only helps us to be ourselves. and that is what God wants and why he gives us free will and makes us think and percieve. If we wound up hurting ourselves with this gift en masse God would not give it to us like you wouldn't give your child a sharp knife they can hurt themselves with.


If the world all became atheists it would take nothing from God, but it would take everything from everyone else.

Another thing to keep in mind that God is holy, and cannot stand unholiness. He is also a perfect judge, which is why there is punishment for breaking His laws. If you break His commandments then you deserve to be punished under the law, just like if you break the law in your state you deserve to be punished for breaking that state law. However, because God loves us He has provided a way for us to be forgiven of that punishment by the sacrifice of Christ. He has taken the punishment that we all deserve, and all we need do is to put our faith and trust in Him.

dan



Alright getting to the bible list lets look at it this way.

1. Belief by itself does not have to revolve around it being too "easy" (Religious worship rules aren't that easy anyway) but it just not being true. That is what belief comes down to.
Whether you believe it is true or not. See if you believe it you think its true and thereby based on what you are forced to believe by thinking its true forces you to think that whoever doesn't believe it is deluding themselves.

2. I do man i really do. I think all of us do but just nobody can. Too much blood has been spilt over something that should be so simple. It just isn't that simple unfortunately and that is sad :(

3. Believe me i tried. I have even accepted the notion of the benefit of religion itself, just not that you can be sure about it as you are sure that touching a hot stove means you burn yourself.

4. Aha but who decides? We have come to that conclusion based on scientific principle. I mean before this discovery crazy people were treated like the devil's children and tortured or killed.

5. Yea but the bible tells you what to think. Is that God? or is that people inspired by God? Truth is somebody is telling you what to do. Something many believe is a very simple and direct concept.
This is just not true IMHO. Again i point to the violence of previous generations who were not as developed in scientific and intellectual concepts and were led to blood and war by men who interpreted God's signs (eclipses, etc.) their own way. They also had the bible yet somehow God's message was lost on them.
IN fact what they did was disobey the clear direct commands which are so simple and didn't let somebody else think for them.

Its too obscure bro.

6. I do not believe i know a better way, i just believe nobody does (except maybe the Buddhists or the Amish. Then again though they contribute very little to human or societal advancement. Not that i do much mind you but this monk like or exclusion of self state is not that good).


Now as far as Phelps. Look you claim to be a christian. BUT the question is if he doesn't think you are one for not supporting him
which of you two is right?
You both claim the other is a hypocritical christian who doesn't live the right principles of the bible and so on.

This is hypothetical and i am not insulting you btw, but both of you would ideally lean on the bible for support and claim the other's unchristian values are contradictions to the bible.
It is just not that clear cut.

Now as for Sheik Palazzi. Whether he believes i will go to hell is not any different from any other religious group doing so BUT he severly believes that it is against christian teaching to attack none military combatants.

He says any so called muslim who claims what they do in attacking none military combatants is God's work will burn in hell.
There is alot of difference between
Wahabi and Sunni forms of Islam.
To be honest with you i have met some muslims who are better people then those who claim to be christian.

You might see them as not true muslims and the others not true christians but again we come back to the notion of a you vs Phelps debate where you both claim the other is a hypocrite and not a real christian.
Where is the simplicity? I mean of course both sides will claim the other is ignorant, unwilling to see, blind, etc. but that only serves to reaffirm the schism not offer any definative answer no matter what each side says.
Its consolidating your power base but not converting those who hold conviction to their beliefs.


Now as for the fight against the jews being in line with Islamic teachings, this is also not true. There are numerous islamic scholars who point to proof in the Koran which says fighting against the Israeli state and jews is a sin.
Again the very same Sheikh Palazzi and a few others.
Its all a matter of something else though.

What the islamists do in reality is claim that the Israelites mentioned in the Koran are not true Israelites but infidels and imposters and the palestinians and whoever are the real israelites.

Again that is just vague logic in holy teachings like the Koran, Torah and unfortunately bible.


As for your last point.
If free will is a gift from God then any choice we make with it is an extension of that gift.

See what you are doing with this statement
God is holy, and cannot stand unholiness.


is attempting to in my mind do 2 things wrong
a. attempt to definately state you understand what God is and isn't (holiness itself is a very iffy and vague subject. People argue all the time what holiness and unholiness is. THey kill each other for it. They taint their religion and movement through this. To wash the hands and say it isn't true of that religion and not worry about it because Jesus died for our sins is not fixing the problem in my mind but rather perpetuating and even excusing it. I know the catholics are a touchy debate but they ignore homosexuality among their ranks and look the other way because to them the image is more important then the substance of that image. Consequenty veering a bit off topic. I think the reason so many of these priests are caught being gay is as children when they realize they are attracted to men and know that this is against catholic teaching and that they have to marry a woman, they choose an out that allows them to keep their orientation private and not get involved with someone they have no interest in. Its a self perpetuating cycle that Martin Luther wanted to abolish).

b. attempt to give God human emotion and feelings (and consequently human understanding of justice similar to that justice we see in a secular state for example. God can empathize with us but in order to retain his all powerful nature he need not take on our emotions (i.e. not being able to stand something or be annoyed with it).

Put it this way. Can God hypothetically overlook all atheists and take their souls to heaven if he wanted to? Yes probably. Would some being that is all merciful do that? I believe so.
What i also think is the people who wrote the bible thought that if they do not precondition some behaviors then as Mathew mentioned
we can all just do whatever we want not worrying for our soul.
While in an afterlife sense it wouldn't matter
in a realistic sense we would all be living in a modern sodom and ghomora, banking on the notion that God is all merciful and does not judge us ultimately on the decisions his gift of free will allows us to make.
The concepts of Mercy and judgement are too human IMHO.
We grant them to God because our perception of God can only go as far as our perception of other phenomenon and notions around us (those include, mercy, judgement, annoyance and giving God different moods and feelings that we feel.)

An all powerful being may understand all that but does not have to conceptualize and approach these things the way we do.
He could but at the same time he could not. We just do not know. Better yet i believe i just do not know, and its better that way, because as with the hebrews who recieved the Torah near mount sinai, they cannot "hear" the word of God (i think that is actually a cop out which allows some people good intentions or not to tell us what to do but it still has a nice philosophical ring to it). Hear in this instance refers to understanding it correctly. Moses just cannot be a substitute for God's law coming by God's reason (again these are just terms i use because we understand them. To God reason and law maybe are familiar and alien at the same time).
God believes in you whether you believe in him or not.
GERasputin
 
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Postby camper on Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:11 am

GERasputin wrote:I.e. Andy Kauffman, 5 or so years after his death was seen in a comedy club performing stand up.
Was Andy resurrected? Not really. It was just his friend dressing up like him.


A very major and distinct difference is that his friend was not dressed up like Any Kaufman, but Tony Clifton - an alter ego/comedy bit that both Kaufman and his friend Bob Zmuda used to take turns doing. It's not the same thing.

dan
camper
 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:02 pm

Postby camper on Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:33 am

GERasputin wrote:God is too kind and merciful for any other punishment.


Here we are back at the crux of the issue. At some point you had to justify your belief that God is too kind and merciful to send a person to hell. Simply having that idea does not make it true. Where did you get your proof? Or, are you letting your desire for that statement to be true justify the opinion?

However, how do you explain this idea that some atheists are living seemingly happy lives with their choices and this trick of teh environment while some christians are not?


How do you justify that some Christians are living happier lives than some athiests? The question is a bogus one, because success does not equal correct or incorrect and happiness is defined by your world view. Further for the Christian there is no guarantee that life will be all peaches and roses. Wicked people thrive, and good people suffer.

To God not only is the work of the scientist useless but so is our belief or disbelief in him. The bible would have you believe that is not true but what value does God gain if you are closer to him?


You are confusing terms. God values us individually, and desires fellowship with us. He wants us to worship and trust in Him, but doing so does not make him 'stronger' or more powerful, and choosing not to follow or believe in Him does not weaken him or make him vulnerable. He won't 'fade away' if we don't believe. I love my children and want them to love and obey me, but I won't cease to exist if they choose not too.

However, christian missionaries when they go abroad preaching the word of God they use the works of teh scientists (i.e. food and clothing, etc.) to show people the way to enlightenment.


Are farmers and tailors scientists? Should NASA hit the Amish farms to recruit the vast majority of scientists working their fields and making their own clothes?

Without that scientists work we cannot even get to that level of enlightenment.
What if that was God's intent? To create a movement separate from religion taht will allow the lower needs to be satiated so the upper ones can be approached and met? In that sense the scientist is just as important to him as somebody who truly understands the bible and is a full hardcore christian.


Can you only appreciate a sunset if you know that the colors are explained by the phenomena of both Rayleigh Scattering and Mie Scattering? Or do you only love your children because you are aware of their DNA makeup and composition and have a clear understanding of how the egg has been fertilized in the uterus?

Yes i agree completely Himmler was more then likely insane. However, why is it we assume those we "defeated" or considered "evil" were the ones who were delusional and the ones wh do "good" or things we agree with as "divinely inspired."


Are the actions of Hitler and Mother Teresa on an equal level? Can you call her actions evil and his good? Are both world views of the two in question equally valid? For example, would you suggest that it would be perfectly acceptable for Mother Teresa to give aid and comfort to the poor and sickly for the sole purpose of exterminating them?

Why would the same God who inspires people to do good inspire them to do evil? That would make him a god of chaos, and a god of chaos would most certainly not have any problem with sending people to heaven or hell at random for no purpose other than his whims (and earlier you stated that God would not send anyone to hell, as that would not be merciful).

GERasputin wrote:Now as far as Phelps. Look you claim to be a christian. BUT the question is if he doesn't think you are one for not supporting him which of you two is right? You both claim the other is a hypocritical christian who doesn't live the right principles of the bible and so on.


If you accept an invitation from me to sit down and play chess, and halfway through the game you begin following the rules to "Battleship"....are you still playing chess?

This is hypothetical and i am not insulting you btw, but both of you would ideally lean on the bible for support and claim the other's unchristian values are contradictions to the bible. It is just not that clear cut.


It's absolutely that clear cut. Even you know that his actions are not Christian, and you're not a Christian. How can you say it isn't clear cut?

To be honest with you i have met some muslims who are better people then those who claim to be christian.


I know Christians that are better people than any athiest, agnostic, buddhist, muslim or hindu. What's that have to do with anything?

Now as for the fight against the jews being in line with Islamic teachings, this is also not true. There are numerous islamic scholars who point to proof in the Koran which says fighting against the Israeli state and jews is a sin.
Again the very same Sheikh Palazzi and a few others. Its all a matter of something else though.


The Koran states clearly to fight against and kill any who are against Islam and do not worship Allah. I can provide a multiude of references in the Koran itself for this, but that's all beside the point. Ask a Jewish person if they are Islamic and worship Allah. Ask a Muslim if a jewish person is Islamic and worships Allah. On that, both of them will agree to an emphatic "no".

Put it this way. Can God hypothetically overlook all atheists and take their souls to heaven if he wanted to? Yes probably. Would some being that is all merciful do that? I believe so. What i also think is the people who wrote the bible thought that if they do not precondition some behaviors then as Mathew mentioned we can all just do whatever we want not worrying for our soul. While in an afterlife sense it wouldn't matter.


Mercy *has* been provided - through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. If one rejects that message, then they are rejecting Gods mercy.

Hypothetically speaking, if a person was an atheist because they hated the idea of God or found it ludicrous, wouldn't spending eternity in heaven with him be their own private hell?

dan
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Postby GERasputin on Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:47 am

camper wrote:
GERasputin wrote:I.e. Andy Kauffman, 5 or so years after his death was seen in a comedy club performing stand up.
Was Andy resurrected? Not really. It was just his friend dressing up like him.


A very major and distinct difference is that his friend was not dressed up like Any Kaufman, but Tony Clifton - an alter ego/comedy bit that both Kaufman and his friend Bob Zmuda used to take turns doing. It's not the same thing.

dan


Yea good point :P
but you gotta admit there is still something to that idea.

IF people want to convince themselves something true they will find signs of it.
That has been the standard in history as far back as we can remember.
God believes in you whether you believe in him or not.
GERasputin
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 1:31 pm

Postby GERasputin on Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:16 am

camper wrote:
GERasputin wrote:God is too kind and merciful for any other punishment.


Here we are back at the crux of the issue. At some point you had to justify your belief that God is too kind and merciful to send a person to hell. Simply having that idea does not make it true. Where did you get your proof? Or, are you letting your desire for that statement to be true justify the opinion?

However, how do you explain this idea that some atheists are living seemingly happy lives with their choices and this trick of teh environment while some christians are not?


How do you justify that some Christians are living happier lives than some athiests? The question is a bogus one, because success does not equal correct or incorrect and happiness is defined by your world view. Further for the Christian there is no guarantee that life will be all peaches and roses. Wicked people thrive, and good people suffer.

To God not only is the work of the scientist useless but so is our belief or disbelief in him. The bible would have you believe that is not true but what value does God gain if you are closer to him?


You are confusing terms. God values us individually, and desires fellowship with us. He wants us to worship and trust in Him, but doing so does not make him 'stronger' or more powerful, and choosing not to follow or believe in Him does not weaken him or make him vulnerable. He won't 'fade away' if we don't believe. I love my children and want them to love and obey me, but I won't cease to exist if they choose not too.

However, christian missionaries when they go abroad preaching the word of God they use the works of teh scientists (i.e. food and clothing, etc.) to show people the way to enlightenment.


Are farmers and tailors scientists? Should NASA hit the Amish farms to recruit the vast majority of scientists working their fields and making their own clothes?

Without that scientists work we cannot even get to that level of enlightenment.
What if that was God's intent? To create a movement separate from religion taht will allow the lower needs to be satiated so the upper ones can be approached and met? In that sense the scientist is just as important to him as somebody who truly understands the bible and is a full hardcore christian.


Can you only appreciate a sunset if you know that the colors are explained by the phenomena of both Rayleigh Scattering and Mie Scattering? Or do you only love your children because you are aware of their DNA makeup and composition and have a clear understanding of how the egg has been fertilized in the uterus?

Yes i agree completely Himmler was more then likely insane. However, why is it we assume those we "defeated" or considered "evil" were the ones who were delusional and the ones wh do "good" or things we agree with as "divinely inspired."


Are the actions of Hitler and Mother Teresa on an equal level? Can you call her actions evil and his good? Are both world views of the two in question equally valid? For example, would you suggest that it would be perfectly acceptable for Mother Teresa to give aid and comfort to the poor and sickly for the sole purpose of exterminating them?

Why would the same God who inspires people to do good inspire them to do evil? That would make him a god of chaos, and a god of chaos would most certainly not have any problem with sending people to heaven or hell at random for no purpose other than his whims (and earlier you stated that God would not send anyone to hell, as that would not be merciful).

GERasputin wrote:Now as far as Phelps. Look you claim to be a christian. BUT the question is if he doesn't think you are one for not supporting him which of you two is right? You both claim the other is a hypocritical christian who doesn't live the right principles of the bible and so on.


If you accept an invitation from me to sit down and play chess, and halfway through the game you begin following the rules to "Battleship"....are you still playing chess?

This is hypothetical and i am not insulting you btw, but both of you would ideally lean on the bible for support and claim the other's unchristian values are contradictions to the bible. It is just not that clear cut.


It's absolutely that clear cut. Even you know that his actions are not Christian, and you're not a Christian. How can you say it isn't clear cut?

To be honest with you i have met some muslims who are better people then those who claim to be christian.


I know Christians that are better people than any athiest, agnostic, buddhist, muslim or hindu. What's that have to do with anything?

Now as for the fight against the jews being in line with Islamic teachings, this is also not true. There are numerous islamic scholars who point to proof in the Koran which says fighting against the Israeli state and jews is a sin.
Again the very same Sheikh Palazzi and a few others. Its all a matter of something else though.


The Koran states clearly to fight against and kill any who are against Islam and do not worship Allah. I can provide a multiude of references in the Koran itself for this, but that's all beside the point. Ask a Jewish person if they are Islamic and worship Allah. Ask a Muslim if a jewish person is Islamic and worships Allah. On that, both of them will agree to an emphatic "no".

Put it this way. Can God hypothetically overlook all atheists and take their souls to heaven if he wanted to? Yes probably. Would some being that is all merciful do that? I believe so. What i also think is the people who wrote the bible thought that if they do not precondition some behaviors then as Mathew mentioned we can all just do whatever we want not worrying for our soul. While in an afterlife sense it wouldn't matter.


Mercy *has* been provided - through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. If one rejects that message, then they are rejecting Gods mercy.

Hypothetically speaking, if a person was an atheist because they hated the idea of God or found it ludicrous, wouldn't spending eternity in heaven with him be their own private hell?

dan



1. Well i get the idea from thinking however since i believe that the proof and justification in regards to the bible is reached the same way there is something to it DEPENDING on what i believe.
If you believe the bible is the truth and any arguments in it are fullproof you will compromise with yourself regarding certain topics.

My perception of the bible forces me to do the same.

2. Right so we should not use the notion that "you will live a fuller life if you become a christian." That kind of "sales pitch" degrades your religion you know? However, so many christians do either that or use fear tactics. That is very unchristian in my mind but at the same time because they call themselves christians and believe what you believe and don't have to convince you you are on the inside looking out to what they say.
I am on the outside trying to evaluate their reasoning and it seems very unchristian.

3. Yes God won't dissappear. Again though i really think that the term "wants" regarding God is just not logical. Want is a human understanding. So is the notion of children and God. The people who wrote the bible imposed those ideas on us because that is something they valued and understood and through inspiration put on paper.

4. No but who is responsible for genetic food crops that don't go bad, and clothing material that makes comfortable clothing? The base thing is not scientific per say but i am sure the improved versions they use are science based (i.e. the cars they use to travel there, the planes they fly there in, and the list goes on. Without God's divine touch put into those scientists the missionaries would not so easily have the same opportunities. After all yes in the middle ages they walked on foot perhaps BUT nowadays they use modern conveniences to pass on the word of God. All without a thought regarding the idea that perhaps science is not the enemy but an ally of God. It seems unappreciative to me but hey that is just me)

5. Exactly right regarding base science degrading that which makes us human. We need a bit of ignorance, and philosophy and religion and weird explanations of the unknown to make us human.
That includes the idea of thinking to yourself "the feelings i feel when seeing those rays of the sun spectrum, are just chemicals and endorphins and its the same as when i eat chocolate just to a diff degree."

See that is the reason why i believe we should not deny these things but rather try to embrace science as the method in which God instilled these things in us.
Creationism just gets to me.
God's time (i.e. those 6 days) is different from ours. I learned that in like 4th 5th grade from my religious teacher. To argue about millions and thousands like that is foolish to me.

6. You COULD make that argument that because her feelings of endorphin release were so high that she meerly followed her selfish interest of making herself feel good by helping the poor.
Same goes for Hitler.
Which benefited society More?

BECAUSE WE DO NOT KNOW WHO GOD INSPIRES. WE claim we do and we point to proof like the bible and how it benefits society and so on but do we truly know?

half the people in an insane asylum could be very sane but we just choose not to believe that we do not understand.

Its not God even if we think it is sometimes.


7. Who decides what the rules of Christianity are?
WHy have the catholics not reconciled with the protestants?
Your example is too base man. If you listen to catholics they are real christians while if you listen to Russian orthodox church folk the catholics are an embarrassment to christianity.
Which of these 2 knows the rules of the game better?
They both apparently use the same rulebook which is simple to read apparently yet they still argue.
Phelps is an extreme example which is why i used him but the differences are still very subtle.

8. Which is why there is value in religion IF that religion drives those people to those heights.
However, would you say that its the religion that drove that person to be good or that one person?

You see a good muslim and you say "he is not a true muslim because that religion is evil or what not."
He doesn't agree with you and thinks like you do that his religion instilled that in him.

How much justification is that person's own perception of his faith?


9.. Not if you listen to Tashbih Sayyedd and other islamic folks i am referring to.
They also "cite" from the Koran and so on to prove how Muslims should to appease God love the jews and Israel, but apparently they are not real muslims in the eyes of many.

Again how much justification and value does one's perception of his own self in relation to his faith have bearing on the perception of others?

I look at Islam through its best examples just like i look that way through christianity.

I think that is only fair because whoever is right that ultimately helps society overall better.


10. Yes which is why if you saw that Saddam episode he gets sent to heaven as punishment. :lol:

However, the question is if that person was mistaken, as we surely are would God's mercy extend to his mistaken soul?
If it would not then God is not all merciful.
(again though that is accepting the idea that God somehow has human qualities like mercy and so on)

Is it bad that God is not all merciful? Not to me. I do not believe we can understand God. We may think we do
and i understand that point alot of people feel where they can almost touch this holy symbol in the sky and feel themselves closer to God
but to me even if you want to live with that feeling and keep getting your "dose of God" by going to church and so on, it just seems selfish.

It seems selfish to me to think about one's own soul and being closer to God too often.

You will have eternity for that supposedly.
God believes in you whether you believe in him or not.
GERasputin
 
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Postby camper on Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:09 am

GERasputin wrote:1. Well i get the idea from thinking however since i believe that the proof and justification in regards to the bible is reached the same way there is something to it DEPENDING on what i believe. If you believe the bible is the truth and any arguments in it are fullproof you will compromise with yourself regarding certain topics.


I will most certainly not throw reason to the wind in order to believe something I choose to believe. I've come to the conclusions I have about the Bible and it's truthfulness thru education and research. If I found something that was contradictory I would examine what I found to make sure I understood both the message and the context, and if there was still an error or contradiction I certainly would not close my eyes and plod along anyway because I wanted to believe what I wanted to believe.

2. Right so we should not use the notion that "you will live a fuller life if you become a christian." That kind of "sales pitch" degrades your religion you know? However, so many christians do either that or use fear tactics. That is very unchristian in my mind but at the same time because they call themselves christians and believe what you believe and don't have to convince you you are on the inside looking out to what they say. I am on the outside trying to evaluate their reasoning and it seems very unchristian.


If your definition of a richer fuller life is one where your life is changed in a positve way, how is that a poor sales pitch? Many people who are Christians experience that same transformation, as their outlook on life in general is much farther than where they started before they became one. If your definition of a richer fuller life means having a 78" plasma, then you may be left wanting.

3. Yes God won't dissappear. Again though i really think that the term "wants" regarding God is just not logical. Want is a human understanding. So is the notion of children and God. The people who wrote the bible imposed those ideas on us because that is something they valued and understood and through inspiration put on paper.


The question is then raised, if there is a God and He is who created the universe with us in it (regardless of the method of creation used) then why would we be so drastically different than Him in terms of feelings and emotions? You keep saying that God is merciful...how can you have mercy without love? How can you have love without emotions?

4. No but who is responsible for genetic food crops that don't go bad, and clothing material that makes comfortable clothing? The base thing is not scientific per say but i am sure the improved versions they use are science based (i.e. the cars they use to travel there, the planes they fly there in, and the list goes on. Without God's divine touch put into those scientists the missionaries would not so easily have the same opportunities. After all yes in the middle ages they walked on foot perhaps BUT nowadays they use modern conveniences to pass on the word of God. All without a thought regarding the idea that perhaps science is not the enemy but an ally of God. It seems unappreciative to me but hey that is just me)


No doubt in my mind that science is not inherently bad. There are many great advances that have come from science, and the more we learn the more we realize there is so much more to know. However that doesn't mean that those same advances can't or won't be used for evil. The past has shown that every scientific advance has been used for evil purposes.

See that is the reason why i believe we should not deny these things but rather try to embrace science as the method in which God instilled these things in us. Creationism just gets to me. God's time (i.e. those 6 days) is different from ours. I learned that in like 4th 5th grade from my religious teacher. To argue about millions and thousands like that is foolish to me.


The creation/evolution debate is a very long drawn out one and can't be summed up here. I also believe that science helps us to grow closer to God as we begin to understand the complexity of the world we live in, and how even the tiniest cell is incredibly complex. There's enough going on in this thread for topics that adding a creationism/evolutionism debate to it would be too much to keep up with. We're already going all over the place ;)

6. You COULD make that argument that because her feelings of endorphin release were so high that she meerly followed her selfish interest of making herself feel good by helping the poor. Same goes for Hitler. Which benefited society More?


That depends on your point of view. If you're an anti-semite, what would you answer? If you're a staunch darwinian evolutionist (the strong survives while the weak perishes) how would you answer? If you're a person who values all human life what would you answer?

How either individuals actions benefited society is all based upon the world view you bring to the table. Then we get back to defining moral law and determining which one is more valid.

BECAUSE WE DO NOT KNOW WHO GOD INSPIRES. WE claim we do and we point to proof like the bible and how it benefits society and so on but do we truly know?


You know based upon the actions of the individuals. Mother Theresa was acting on the words of Christ found in the Bible. Adolf Hitler was acting on the words of Darwinian Evolution (he was trying to user in the master race). Which of the two do you believe had the greatest benefit to society?

7. Who decides what the rules of Christianity are? WHy have the catholics not reconciled with the protestants?
Your example is too base man. If you listen to catholics they are real christians while if you listen to Russian orthodox church folk the catholics are an embarrassment to christianity. Which of these 2 knows the rules of the game better?


First you need to understand where the divisions are. The primary division between Catholics and Protestants are based on disagreements on how certain texts are interpreted and how certain non-essential are performed. However at the core, they are in agreement with the essential doctrines of Christianity:

- The Gospel, which is all of us are sinners and in need of salvation.
- Salvation by Grace through the death of Christ.
- There is only one God, and Jesus is God in Flesh (part of the Trinity).
- Ressurrection of Christ and His imminent return.

One example of a Catholic vs Protestant debate is whether at communion the bread becomes the actual flesh of Christ (transubstantiation) or if it is a symbolic act. It's a big debate between two groups, but that does not change the fact that both parties believe the above list.


8. Which is why there is value in religion IF that religion drives those people to those heights.
However, would you say that its the religion that drove that person to be good or that one person?


A person chooses their own behavior and actions based upon the world view that they have. Trust me, there is something very appealing at a very basic level to have my own personal harem and not have to worry about consequence. But I know that is not what was intended, and I choose to live my life in a way where I will not give in to that temptation. Simply because I *want* to do it on some level does not make it acceptable. Again we're back to the moral law.

You see a good muslim and you say "he is not a true muslim because that religion is evil or what not."
He doesn't agree with you and thinks like you do that his religion instilled that in him. How much justification is that person's own perception of his faith?


I never said that a muslim cannot be good. What I said, was that a loving peaceful muslim and a terrorist muslim are BOTH justified in their actions according to the Koran. I also said that Islam is not a peaceful religion, because Islam teaches that it is acceptable to kill infidels (infidels being non-muslims) in the name of Allah. Whether a person picks and chooses the peaceful way in which to be muslim is irrelevant to the fact that both ways are taught as equally valid.

Back to Phelps again (he's a good example), while the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination to God it never, ever states that attending funerals and spiting on families of fallen soldiers telling them that God is punishing them and giving them what they deserve is acceptable. Those actions are CLEARLY contrary to the teachings of Christ and that which is found in the Bible.

Again how much justification and value does one's perception of his own self in relation to his faith have bearing on the perception of others?


I think I pretty much answered this already above, but I'll try again in case I didn't. The actions of the individual will reflect that persons faith. As you can see by Fred Phelps his faith is not in Christ because he is not following the teachings of Christ, nor is he living in a Godly way. Godly way being living a Christ-centered life. If he was, he would not send his congregation to funerals of fallen soldiers (or anyone else) and spit on them and call them names.

On the contrary, Osama Bin Laden is acting in accordance with the tenants of Islam and is following the Koran. His actions can be justified by the Koran, and have been justified by other Islamic teachers.

The difference is when a Christian is showing where Phelps is in error they say that he is going against the word of God. Those sheiks you're talking about when they go against Osama is that they say that the Koran *also* teaches this. There is a very distinct difference, and you'll never hear a Muslim say that the Koran does not advocate violence. They say it teaches peace. It does, but it also advocates violence. You really need to pay attention to words here, they are exceptionally important. These are highly educated people, they know what they are saying and how they are phrasing it.

However, the question is if that person was mistaken, as we surely are would God's mercy extend to his mistaken soul? If it would not then God is not all merciful. (again though that is accepting the idea that God somehow has human qualities like mercy and so on)


He is merciful, but He is also just. If you break the law are you not expected to be punished for it?

I do not believe we can understand God. We may think we do and i understand that point alot of people feel where they can almost touch this holy symbol in the sky and feel themselves closer to God but to me even if you want to live with that feeling and keep getting your "dose of God" by going to church and so on, it just seems selfish.


You keep saying you don't think we can understand God...but you seem to be someone who has tried awfully hard to do so, based upon your comments and your own personal understanding of Him. That confuses me when you say its not possible to know Him. Have you ever tried? Have you ever prayed to Him and asked Him to reveal Himself to you?

dan
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Postby Matthew on Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:14 am

One thing you keep referring to is Christianity being a religion. I don’t consider myself religious or part of a religion, but in a relationship as a follower of Christ. After reading your responses, I pulled a few to comment on


5. Yea but the bible tells you what to think. Is that God? or is that people inspired by God? Truth is somebody is telling you what to do. Something many believe is a very simple and direct concept.
This is just not true IMHO.


I don’t read the Bible like an instruction manual. When I have a problem, I don’t go to the troubleshooting section for answers or look up my problem in the glossary. Saying the Bible tells me what to think is not accurate. I can read the Bible to say that I’ve read it, or I can read it to know God better. It’s not just the words of the Bible, but the condition of my heart when I read the Word and my desire to know God more that draws me nearer to him. Reading it just to say that you have will not draw you any closer to a relationship with God than reading the TV guide.


Again i point to the violence of previous generations who were not as developed in scientific and intellectual concepts and were led to blood and war by men who interpreted God's signs (eclipses, etc.) their own way. They also had the bible yet somehow God's message was lost on them.
IN fact what they did was disobey the clear direct commands which are so simple and didn't let somebody else think for them.


I agree. God’s message was lost on them. It was also lost on the Jews in the Old Testament. There are stories after stories of false prophets trying to tell the people things, saying they were inspired by God, and lying the whole time. I’m reading Jeremiah right now. God is preparing to punish the Jews for their wicked ways. Jeremiah is prophesying all of this, while other false prophets are saying that God will save them. The false prophets were telling others what they wanted to hear, not the truth.

6. You COULD make that argument that because her feelings of endorphin release were so high that she meerly followed her selfish interest of making herself feel good by helping the poor.
Same goes for Hitler.
Which benefited society More?


Mother Teresa may have benefited society more, but one could argue that Hitler benefited history more.

In Jeremiah, God is allowing the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezer, to take over the Jews in order to punish them for their wickedness. He is allowing and the pagan country of Babylon to rule the.

Much in the same way, God could have allowed Hitler to kill the Jews in order to fulfill prophecy. Because of the Holocaust, the nation of Israel was reformed.

I’m in no way backing Hitler’s actions and I’m not saying that God inspired him to do what he did, but I do think God may have allowed it.

7. Who decides what the rules of Christianity are?
WHy have the catholics not reconciled with the protestants?
Your example is too base man. If you listen to catholics they are real christians while if you listen to Russian orthodox church folk the catholics are an embarrassment to christianity.
Which of these 2 knows the rules of the game better?
They both apparently use the same rulebook which is simple to read apparently yet they still argue.
Phelps is an extreme example which is why i used him but the differences are still very subtle.


We all worship differently and interpret things differently. That is why there are so many denominations. Just because I go to a Baptist church, that doesn’t mean that I believe only Baptist will be in heaven. I believe anyone who admits they are a sinner, believes Christ was born of a virgin and later died on the cross for our sins, and ask Christ to save them, then they will be saved.

To me it doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, what church you go to, etc. It all comes back to the Cross.
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Matthew
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