An NPR report said that Isis gave Iraqui Christians a matter of days to make a choice.
1) Convert to Muslim or
2) Leave the city or
3) Be killed
The Christians left the city of Mosul, having most of what they owned taken from them first. They fled to the homes of other Christians who were kind enough to take them in, or to empty shelters, but the cities they fled to receive water and power from the city of Mosul b/c of the dam. The ppl of these cities already have little to nothing, and what little they do have may be stripped from them by the Isis group.
If you are a person of faith, pls pray for these families. Few of us can imagine what they are suffering now. Their lives and children's lives are at risk. Pray that they can keep their faith and that they will be given help in their time of need.
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/2 … lee-mosul/
Thank you. One Christian man in Mosul was reported as saying, "It is the end of Christianity." I'm sure that's how he feels. It has been tried for thousands of years, but no one will ever succeed. God's will cannot be thwarted.
All people, whether Christian, Muslim or atheist are suffering under the jack boot of ISIS, why do you choose to only pray for Christians?
I am trying not to be offended by this line of questioning. lol
I brought up the group of Isis a few weeks or months ago when I heard their story on NPR... I did not mention their focus on Christians, only their imposing threat as a group. No one was interested in talking about it. My comment fell thru the cracks.
Let me send the question back to you. Why does it bother you if a current story of abuse is brought to the forefront, no matter who the focus?
Okay, so these people were asked to convert or leave, some may have converted and some may have left. It was their choice. Are these girls given a choice to have their genitals mutilated? You asked only for the Christians to be prayed for, why is that?
First of all, I had not heard the mutilation story... I still don't know it other than the blurbs you keep throwing out. Maybe if you had started a thread about it, requesting prayer for these women... I could be praying for them now.
And there were asked to convert, leave, or BE KILLED.
You could at least pretend this is a travesty.
Her statement in no way implied she didn't think people should pray for other groups. She was simply bringing one tragedy to our attention.
You do realize if one named every group who could be prayed for we would chastise them for a lengthy opening of a thread?
It doesn't bother me that you bring this story to the forefold. However at least these Christians have a choice. Shiite Muslims are simply being executed.
I understand and my heart goes out to them too. It is atrocious.
Please understand, I do not wish well for some victims and not for others.
If your country went to war, would it not affect you on a more intimate level than the unrest in Thailand now?
When we hear these stories, those of us who pray, pray. It is our privilege to pray for those in need. But when someone in our own family is being threatened, we may feel a sense of urgency b/c we can identify with it, as you would if your actual neighbors went to war as opposed to ppl you didn't know.
That doesn't mean you don't care about the ppl of Thailand, or that you wouldn't help in whatever way you could, you would simply identify with a domestic event more readily and have a more immediate sense of urgency.
To us, the connection is faith. They are our family. And we as Christians, have heard that these days would be coming, all our lives.
Thank goodness you posted that link. At first, I thought an ancient Egyptian goddess had instructed fundamentalist muslims to force conversion or death on Christians.
Reading the link, it sounds like 'men of God, Allah' or whatever name they've tacked onto their lust for power and money had the usual ulterior motive, since they quickly made sure the possessions of those people were tagged 'property of ISIS'.
I would think it would be best to pray for all in the Middle East, not just the Christians. Different groups have been victimized by petty tyrants consistently throughout the region.
This world has indeed gone QUITE MAD. Each person is entitled to his/her own religious path as long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others. It is horrendous what ISIS is doing to these poor people.
For sure... all of the Middle East will be affected by this radical Islam group. But not just the Middle East, if the repts Ive heard are to be trusted. I have heard that they are expected to be in competition with the Taliban/al Qaeda over who can do more/greater destruction... which of course will affect us all.
But I very much liked your sentiment, b/c what affects any of mankind, should affect us all.
What about the radical Christians that are somehow affecting laws that hurt people in parts of Africa?
This reminds me of the whole baby dying/baby in hell debacle. So if someone somewhere in the world does something wrong, what has that to do with *this* specific story Ive brought to your attention? If you don't care about these ppl fine. Some of us do. Try to stay on topic, as you are always saying.
I am on topic, trying to understand why you chose these particular people to pray for as one would think that your God would care for them rather than praying for the others that you don't think will make it into heaven?
They are human beings who are currently suffering. They are ppl of my faith, they are in need of prayer.
Lots of people are currently suffering including those women who moved to radical Muslim occupied area who are facing female genitalia mutilation and then later hell from a Christian view point. Why the need to pray for the Christians who the lord will provide for and are facing heaven?
Followed to its natural conclusion, which is probably your underlying point, by your logic nobody should pray for anyone ever because in so doing they are leaving someone else out and the number of things worthy of praying for are innumerable. People will pray for things as they are laid upon their heart to do so, and don't require a moderator.
I agree, people will pray for those they see fit. However I think some deeper thought may be in order. Don't you think that if God is real he may wonder why people are not praying for those who are in line for hell rather than those destined for heaven?
Or perhaps He will wonder why those who don't even believe in Him seek to audit the prayer practices of those who do.
Wonder why those who are already believers can't think deeply?
Maybe you should stop criticizing long enough to realize yours is not the appropriate reaction to this story.
It is the appropriate reaction to your reaction to the story. You see a horrific story of what religious extremism does to societies and you are people to pray for a small minority of the victims who were allowed to leave.
One might wonder why you would think you know that they don't?
Ty Emile. Sometimes even my evidently shallow mind produces something useful.
Well, you do realize since you don't agree with rad man we have to label you a shallow thinker.
Many here would levy that charge against me, not by the merit of my contributions, but rather because I disagree with them. Based on another thread, I suspect you may consider me an idiot, as a young earth creationist. I enjoy the folks in the forums, but don't require their approval, just a little respect all around is nice when we can get it.
Oh. A young earth creationist. I honestly thought they were a myth. Sorry if I offended you.
Not at all, Emile. Reveling in my status as a mythical creature.
Why did you come to the conclusion that we are not praying for all sorts? My prayers have been focused on Katie Davis as of late, the 23 year old American girl who has adopted 14 Ugandan girls and is changing villages, for the better, left and right. She and her girls spend their days bandaging wounds, feeding the destitute and delivering meds to the sick and dying. She miraculously made a way for a village of untouchables to be fed and educated and is now opening a large middle school for children. She gave up everything... friends, family, a young man, comfort, the American life style and is serving the very least of these. She is where my main prayers are now.
However, I have more time to pray, so my prayers are for the missionaries both foreign and domestic who are suffering for the sake of the gospel, b/c of their love for the Lord and the lost. But I have more time, so I pray for my family, for myself, for you, your nephew, for JM, for ATM/Ed, for bBerean and his family, for Chris and his family, for their hearts as they deal with their grief, for the ladies on these threads, for my co-workers, for my battle against the things I would be addicted to, for my marriage, to be able to pay the bills, for my mom...
There is no END to the list I can pray for. And I can do it deliberately, as well as constantly, while I'm going about my daily life.
When I heard this story on NPR, I knew I needed to share it here and I am sure there are believers here who would consider it an honor to pray for these who are currently suffering.
What about them? You're saying that the Christians in one country (Uganda) are literally the equivalent of a group dedicated to bringing all of the Middle East under a caliphate?
For the record, I don't agree that being gay should bring on the death penalty, but the speed with which some people have tried to turn this betrays more bias than thought.
I'd have to agree with you, however what I find difficult to swallow is her apparent lack of compassion for anyone other than Christians. Clearly most Christians were allowed to leave with their life and faith in tack. Many others were not as lucky.
Would you like to have Sed-me pray for you? I am sure she would do so.
I am happy to, and do.
Isis has continued the killing with the Muslims. They recently took about 50 Muslim youth down to a river and shot them all. This is frightening, they are purely evil. Please keep praying that God will put an end to their reign of terror and bring comfort to their victims.
Edit, they have cut off the water supply to those Christians they exiled from Mosul.
I agree, Emily. This bunch of haters wants to destroy every human that doesn't bow down to their Precious, and yes I mean that in the most Tolkienesque sense of the word. I also wouldn't cry if the day arrives that the real Isis says enough is enough and just decides to just smote every mutilating, murderous religious fanatic off the face of the earth. You can only push a Lady so far.
All HUMANS should be concerned with OTHER HUMANS, regardless of faith/religion/principle.
Horrific. But may I ask why you only asked other to pray for the Christians?
"The radical Al-Qaeda splinter group controlling a third of Iraq has ordered all girls and women in and around the northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations warned Thursday."
So, it seems to me that the way you see it there should be no reason to have to pray for the Christians as you know they will get into heaven for holding onto there faith, however all these Muslims killing and mutilating each other will need some help to make the correct decisions. Right?
However Prayer is not what is needed here as it's been proven to do nothing except make the person praying feel like they are helping. The really sad thing is a week or so back I read an article that talked about the multitudes of North American Muslim women who moved there as they wanted to live in a Muslim state. I wonder what went on in there heads when they heard that they are to undergo female genital mutilation?
Kinda sad that anyone would turn this into a debate. I had heard these ppl's story so I asked for ppl of faith to pray for these ppl of faith. But if you and Wilderness want to be petty, have at it. I'm sure there are others here who can see past an opportunity to turn tragedy into yet another forum argument... 'cause we just don't have enough of that.
Simply trying to get you think a little deeper.
I understand where they are coming from -and I actually agree- but I also realize that the persecution of the Christians is turning into a genocide. And so I understand why anyone might phrase their question in the way you have. So, no hard feelings here. I'd just like to see an end to all the brutality fanatics dole out to others.
The subject of this thread is of extreme importance and keeping it focused on Isis, Iraq, the Kurds, Mosul and the religious minorities Isis is trying to wipe off the face of the earth. We have plenty of threads to debate. It would be nice if we could unite against the enemy on this one and speak out for any and all minorities that Isis is currently abusing. I will pray, a non believer can take another tack, but being united seems the best choice here.
Amen! Where two or more gather... well, we're gathering in a way!
I'm glad you came around Beth. You seemed at first only interested in the Christians.
I read about it yesterday and I could only imagine what our brothers and sisters are facing. But these are the testing times. My prayers are with them.
The testing times indeed. I keep wondering how soon the temple will be rebuilt.
It won't be rebuilt. Not unless Israel decides to bulldoze the Golden Dome Mosque. However considering how they bulldoze the homes of Palestinians in the West Bank with impunity to build their illegal settlements, I wouldn't put it past them.
Really? Do you think Israel will actually send in the troops, order everyone out at gun point, bring in the bulldozers and dump trucks to clear the rubble? Then for the next 5 years kill anyone who comes near the site to protest whilst the new one is being built? Do you think Israel would be right to do this? Would you be cheering them on?
Tell me are you one of those people praying for war in the middle east in the hope it will bring about the rapture and tribulation?
That's such an interesting pov. I never think that way... that my will would come to pass. Pray for war? Never. See, what I believe is that whatever is going to happen is in motion and has been since the beginning of time. I am a spectator to the events of man and God's interventions. I don't know what will happen. In my mind, it could be literally anything. An earthquake? I don't know. But I hold that the Bible is true and without flaw. I hold that the events God said would take place, will. My will doesn't enter in. God's will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
And it should be noted the events, horrible as they will be, are not because of God's will but rather the culmination of the reign of man's will. God will intervene just prior to man's self destruction being fully realized.
Thing is if Revelation is really the word of God why does John imagine a heaven inspired by Babylonian astrology?
I have no idea if that is fact or not, but it is of little meaning to me. I would imagine with your knowledge you would know that when it comes to spiritual things, the darkness has the same intel as the light.
OK John sees four creatures around the throne one on each side. A lion type thing, an ox type thing, one that looks like a man, and an eagle type thing. Now look at an astrological or astronomical chart showing the signs of the zodiac. On four sides opposite each other you will see a lion (Leo), an ox (Taurus), a man (Aquarius) and Scorpio. Now Scorpio is unique in the zodiac in that it is interpreted by either one of two images. Today in the West we see a scorpion but the Ancient East saw an eagle. These four signs are known as the main cartesian signs. The Babylonian looked at the stars and imagined gods in the constellations and gave us the imagery. John presumably interpreted the stars as living creatures. Far from being a revelation from god, he took Babylonian mythology and imagined angels. So this calls into question the whole credibility of Revelation never mind that it was argued over for 400 years before being voted into the Canon by a committee.
I remember being confused that prophecy seemed to indicate a soon return, but that would require the US be rendered irrelevant, not having, or refusing to use the power, to protect Israel. Unimaginable in the early '80s, but not so hard to imagine now. The temple will be rebuilt.
If you too insist that the temple will be rebuilt perhaps you can answer the questions I posed to Sed-me?
I find it shocking that the US does not appear to consider that children and babies in Gaza need protecting when Israel targets hospitals and schools. My wife was telling me earlier about a heart rending news report where shrapnel was being removed from a six month old without anesthetic. But then I guess the life of Israeli is worth 20 unwashed Palestinians.
Why would the temple being rebuilt mean that the ppl in the Gaza strip were to be attacked further?
Is that the only scenario you can imagine?
They're not directly linked and I never suggested they were. Berean talked about the US supporting Israel, and I'm suggesting this is support blinkered to the war crimes committed by Israel. Israel doesn't need to use the temple as an excuse.
And so you eagerly consume the meal prepared for you as Hamas wraps and surrounds it's weapons in innocents, that it might exploit the inevitable footage to garner world sympathy.
If interested in a well documented perspective rarely articulated on this conflict, I highly recommend at least considering this resource:
"Judgment Day! Islam, Israel and the Nations"
http://www.amazon.com/Judgment-Day-Isla … 1928660320
OK suppose the city where you lived was blockaded for 7 years by a foreign invader that was also dispossessing your countrymen in another city across the river. Your city has been turned into an effective prison camp. Would you be surprised if some of your countrymen decided to launch home made rockets against this people that bombs you with no regard for women and children? Have you turned on the news recently? Last I saw 34 Israelis killed (mostly soldiers on a ground offensive) 550 unarmed Palestinians.
Please don't think I don't sympathize with the Palestinian plight; but if they are going to lob rockets one way I don't think we can blame Israel for lobbing them the other. Both sides are working against peace.
There is the question of proportionality though. Very few hamas rockets actually do any harm. But for every rocket that lands in a field 10s of Palestinians die from an Israeli precision guided missile.
Another fish, swallows hook, line and sinker!
G’day, Beth. So nice to see you here under your new persona. You are a good and selfless person. I am in awe of your empathy for others.
If you have God in your heart then there is no need to quote chapter and verse. Through your faith in each other, you can speak directly to Him and He to you. Nor do you and I need chapter and verse to tell each other what is in our hearts. With respect for your particular viewpoint, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other viewpoints that are equally valid. Here is just one.
God already knows about the plight of these suffering families. He does not, after all, rely on humans to bring Him up to speed on world events.
He will help these people or He will not help these people in accordance with His own determination. He does not sit with clipboard and abacus to tally the number of prayers received on their behalf. Life does not mimic American Idol or vise versa. The number of votes He receives does not decide the outcome. No specific score needs to be reached before He decides if or how He will intervene. Hence, the number of prayer petitioners does not alter the fate of the suffering families. Their faith and the help they will be given in their time of need is in His hands and not in ours.
Unlike prayers of adoration, prayers of petition express a total lack of trust in God’s ability to deal with any and every earthly circumstance. Further, such prayers assume that the destiny of others is controllable by people or by some presumed level of faith.
Prayers of petition are not altruistic. The supplicant always benefits far more spiritually than the subject. The needy gain no benefits since, as we all know, prayers are not packaged with a guarantee. The benefits to the needy are nil while the petitioner gains inner peace of mind, relief from a burden of helplessness and the false sense that they have contributed to another’s well being. God, however, knows the outcome long before the prayers are even offered.
I thank you so much, Beth, for listening. There are hundreds, even thousands, of other viewpoints in this world. I hope in time you get to hear and to consider them all.
I tend to agree with your viewpoint and, as do you, I understand that other viewpoints are equally valid. However, I always wonder what good can come of attempting to convince a person who believes in the power of prayer that there is none to be had. I think faith in God displayed in this manner is tied to the example of Abraham as he accompanied the angels on part of their journey to Sodom. He, the one said to be the first in faith, continued to question concerning the impending judgment. One would wonder if Lot and his family might have been spared without that intervention. I have no doubt that had Lot been lost in the fire Abraham would have found cause to believe the action was justified; but he stepped forth to ensure God understood that he did not see the fairness of the impending judgment.
I don’t think the people who fervently pray that their understanding of mercy and justice to be achieved think cosmic actions are resolved through popular vote from participants on earth. I remember when my father found out he was going to die. He didn’t want to. He did everything he could to find a way to avert it. But, his most spoken saying during that difficult time was ‘God’s will be done.’ He was resolved to stoically accepting fate if fate didn’t go quite the way he’d planned and he wanted his family to find peace with it. I prayed during that time. I didn’t ask for him to live, per se. In many situations continued life is not the better option. I just asked that the best possible outcome for my father be achieved. Was it? Who knows. Only he could know and he is no longer with us, so cannot share his opinion of the outcome.
The call for a prayer of petition is not necessarily indicative of a lack of trust in God’s abilities. It is, in many cases, simply a cry for understanding. An outlet for compassion, when the compassion felt for the person in need cannot find an appropriate action which will help that person. It’s a big world we live in. The news is chock full of information on people who are in need of safety and comfort. We are simply voyagers through life on boats separated by time and space. The news is, for all intents and purposes to many of us, a message in a bottle. One’s heart can go out to many, but hands of help cannot. I see the call for a prayer of petition not so much a cry to God, but to one’s fellow man. Sure, they may ask God to help; but the greater good is done in the public verbalization of that hope. In the bringing to the attention of others a perceived wrong done. If that belief in wrong is shared and others take up the cry it is entirely possible that the message will move from person to person until someone close enough, or powerful enough, to lend aid will hear it and help.
I agree that prayers of petition benefit the supplicant most, at the moment of the prayer. But, I personally think there is no selfless act. So, it’s a moot point, in my mind. Life comes with no guarantees but if we do not voice our dreams of what would constitute fairness; if we don’t cry out in horror at perceived wrongs, if all of humanity simply hunkered down and ‘trusted in God’s plan’ where would we be? Worse off than we are, I think.
As always, I am floored by your response.
For someone "undecided" about God, you have so much insight.
Well, the word God is too big to be encompassed by any philosophy or religion. I'm not really undecided as much as I am certain that the term is used too often in a possessive frame of mind. God, the Divine, Creator or simply the universal consciousness belongs to no one, and everyone, simultaneously. We shouldn't attempt to hog it for ourselves, or those of like mind. Not saying that is what you are doing here, but it is what I see religion as attempting to do.
Im sure you're right. It is the word of God to man. Jesus is the word of God made flesh. It becomes intensely personal to believers. However, I am of the mind that many of us (myself included) will get to Heaven and our jaws will drop over the things we thought we knew. God is too big to be understood fully by we mere mortals, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying.
Nice to read your comments, Emile.
There is no justification for suggesting in your opening remarks that an attempt was made to convince a person to change their beliefs. One needs to be extremely insecure to interpret every contrasting opinion as a covert affront to one’s worldview. Two people can, and many times do, have quite different perspectives on an issue and both can be correct. Only in the religious forum do I find this NOT widely accepted as a given. How sad is that? To me, this entire mindset is intellectually bankrupt!
Too often close-minded animosity undermines every honest attempt to exchange ideas. How curious it is to see you defend this posture and then go on to expound upon your own viewpoints. Unlike your reaction, however, I will not construe your remarks as an attempt to convince me to change my beliefs. Or should I?
I am happy to read that you and I agree on so many points, Emile, particularly on those who benefit the most from prayers of petition. Meanwhile, we can agree to disagree on those who do not.
Stay well and do continue to follow your bliss.
I would disagree as to your intent.
Had Beth posed a question as to personal opinion of the value of a prayer of petition, the intent of a prayer of petition and the mindset of the person making the request that people join them in prayer, your comments would reflect such an intent.
As it stands, she simply made a request that people pray; so your post was more of an effort to point out the pointless nature of such a request, or such an act.
Either way, I was simply voicing an opinion (as was clearly stated, if I remember correctly). I am somewhat curious as to why it would elicit such a response.
How very interesting. As many readers in this forum, I have been so impressed with your responses to many posts. I am surprised to read this one and feel you have completely missed the point of mine.
How could I disagree with you that God is in control and in need of no man? How could I disagree with the fact that there are many points of view? You have just expressed your own, have you not? It differs than the one I expressed. So which of us has missed the fact that we are allowed our own viewpoints?
I'm not sure why you wish to stymy my reliance on scripture, but that would be a losing battle. Being fully in love with the Word of God, and fully reliant, I can not picture myself without it. It is a part of me. What would a student be without his books? At what point does he cast them aside? So I will show you, from my study of scripture why I pray. It is, after all, my viewpoint, if you are interested.
I Tim 2:1-7
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles. Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing."
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
I could go on, as the examples of God teaching us to pray are numerous. Even Christ himself asking the disciples to pray before he was to withstand the cross. But I agree with you that God does not *need our prayers, but the Bible teaches us, over and over, that He desires them.
We pray to be in relationship with God.
We pray to be a part of His work... b/c what matters to Him, should matter to us.
We pray b/c God has established this as an act of worship.
And most importantly, and one I thought I had highlighted in my earlier posting...
We do not pray for our will, but that God's will be done.
So if I understood your suggestions, that scripture was not of great importance, and that prayer for others and world events was unnecessary... I would have to respectfully say, I believe you are off the mark, fully and completely.
There are a great many things I do not know, but of these things... I have no doubt.
Thank you for your contribution to this thread.
For some reason, you have become unnecessarily defensive. It is hard for me to image this kind of a reaction from you if we were discussing how to grow roses.
Not everyone that has a different opinion than you wishes to change your mind. I certainly do not. I did not challenge your being allowed your own viewpoint about prayer nor did I challenge the benefits of all prayers by merely discussing another perspective.
I hope you have a pleasant evening.
Direct from the Miriam Webster online dictionary:
"The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above."
Miriam Webster and I both stand corrected.
Quilligrapher...that was an unecessary statement. Sed-me was not being defensive. Why stoop to such a common and faulty attack?
Really, it is a shame that so many people here are suspicious about a request for prayer to an entity for whom they have no regard. Furthermore, it is highly innappropriate for anyone to tell Sed-Me how to request prayer, especially from those who are prayerless and/or disbelieving. One prays as the Holy Spirit compels one to pray. That's how it works. Sed-me clearly has compassion for all those who are suffering; she simply chose to make a special prayer request. There is nothing unusual about that.
Thank you. It is amazing what kind of reaction this simple request for prayer has elicited. Even ppl who are usually level headed and unbiased seem adversely affected. But in truth, there have been no selfish acts requested. Just a prayer for victims. Where is the actual bigotry found in this thread? In the prayer for a group under attack or those who say we have no right to pray for them?
The opposition says "Isis is a religious group, therefore, you are the same as them." Then they say, "The Iraqi Christians are not your family, you don't even know them." Which is it? Are we affiliated with ppl b/c of their faith or are we not affiliated with ppl b/c of their faith? We do not share the beliefs of Isis. They live in absolute opposition to the teachings of the Bible. The Iraqi Christians have fled for their lives, unwilling to sacrifice their faith. These ppl who believe the Bible to be the holy word of God are the ppl we call our family. No one can put words in our mouth, no one can speak for us. This is the truth, we have no need to argue.
We move on by shining a light on the victims of Isis, bringing attention to their plight and doing whatever we are capable of to help. If you pray, pray. If you have the ability to affect the decisions of the Administration, do so. With the air strikes and humanitarian aide, we are off to a good start. I see these as answers to prayers.
I'm not going to argue any more as you now seem to be praying for all the victims. I am however just wondering something and am hoping you will find the time to respectively answer my question as follows.
If you feel that the aid and bombing are answers to prayers, do you also feel that ISIS's prayers are being answered by their resent success? They pray several times a day and who's to say that the Sunni strong hold in the middle east isn't a result of that prayer?
I'll leave you alone if you give me an honest answer.
God does not answer the prayers of the evil. Does that even make sense to you that He would?
Thank you for leaving me alone now (19 pages later)... would have been good had we started out that way.
Keeping in mind they don't think they are evil, they think they are following the commands of the Quran, they view the west as evil as we do the opposite of what the Quran asks. Can you see how they would see their success being the result of them praying several times a day?
I seldom dare dip my toes in religious forum discussions, but ISIS in the title got my attention.
I completely agree with your response. But I wonder what made you feel it was necessary to criticize a person of faith as being selfish for offering a very common sentiment of the faithful?
Even though I agree with your primary point about "petitioning" prayers, (except the insistence that they indicate a "lack of trust"), I saw sed-me's post as an offering of human compassion, not an effort to make herself feel good because she is showing she cares.
Is her viewpoint not as valid to her faith as those other hundreds or thousands you speak of? Or is it that "prayers of petition" are a particular pet peeve of yours?
I really am surprised that you felt your response was necessary. But then again, I am out-of-my-depth in religious discussions, so maybe I am the one that is out of line.
So sad what goes on in this world. We definitely are praying that terrorism in all of its forms ends in all parts of the world. I asked a couple of Muslim friends of mine and they are absolutely outraged by what's going on. We are hoping that this ends soon!
Great hub, passionate words. Christians should leave the place if and where it is possible. But the Truth is that No power or nation can wipe away Christianity or Israel as a nation from where they stand. Just watch!
And exactly the same thing can be said of Islam.
This sort of statement implies that Christianity and Judaism have some special favour and the God will protect their adherents. I guess you also champion the Israeli cause against Gaza today.
I hope this doesn't sound argumentative, but it seems to me you are actually trying to infer things that aren't there. Who on earth does God *not* care for?
"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."
God sent his son that *all* might be saved. His love is without limit. The bible says that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Hard times are in store for all. We have the opportunity to pray for all of mankind, and all of mankind has the opportunity to respond.
So just wow.
This is perhaps the most disgusting display of the anti-Christian movement I've seen here on Hubpages.
@Wilderness The OP simply requested that those of faith pray for the safety of these people who are certainly being persecuted because of their faith. Is it really necessary to take that request and use it as an opportunity to bash some radical Christians in Africa? Usually I find you to be quite rational and accepting of everyone, even when we disagree on issues.
@Rad Man So you don't believe in God or prayer. That's fine. Why do you find it so necessary to take a simple prayer request and try to dictate how, when and for whom someone else should pray?
This wasn't formed in any fashion as a debate. There was no political bent to the OPs request. They simply stated a tragic circumstance and made a simple request.
It is simply another example of religious intolerance. Atheists think, since they don't believe in God, it isn't fair to classify their actions as such; but actions of this sort do qualify. Sadly, this tactic appears to be a nonviolent way to attempt to run Christians out of town. This statement is not meant to belittle the suffering of those who had to seek refuge in the mountains. I simply wonder if atheists bent on seeking out and belittling those of faith understand that intolerance of that sort first starts with words and actions such as theirs.
Let's see, we have one religious group upset because another branch of their own religion is running the country so they are attempting to cleans the entire nation of anything but their own sect. And you don't think Atheists should be criticizing religion at this point?
They should be loving and criticize hate and violence based on hate, as should everyone.
Right, let's not bring up that it's religion that is motivating Isis.
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
Islamic State (IS)
Many demonic gods are now and have throughout history been served, but their leader is one and the same. He is the same "god" who reigns throughout this earth in the present age, even in the lives of those who claim no god. He is as bloodthirsty now as ever, but he works in various deceptive ways, all intended to destroy God's creation and keep people from the love and salvation of the Lord.
Fantasy. That's all made up stuff without any evidence. Chris says God is behind everything and you claim demonic Gods are responsible. All of which takes the blame away from it's source, humanity.
God is sovereign over all. He gave humans what they demonstrated that they "wanted" - in their unfaithfulness, they chose (and still choose) to love and follow the enemy, Satan. So Satan has been given reign here on earth (the curse). But Satan has no power over God and all God's purposes and plans will come to pass. God made a way to escape the curse, come out victoriously, and live eternally WITH HIM. Satan cannot act to destroy God's ultimate purposes and promises. So, for example, Satan and his forces attempted to get rid of or destroy the work of Jesus Christ several times before the appointed time of his death and resurrection, but they were unable. The fullness of what Christ had come for was going to be carried out due to the ultimate sovereignty of God, and no plan or action of the devil was able to change that. We who put our faith and trust in God will in the end be victorious through the power and might of our Lord. And soon Jesus Christ is returning and he will rule here on earth.
All truly good things come from the Lord because he is the source of all goodness. And he sends what is needed to both the "righteous" and the unrighteous.
All I see here, basically, is people belittling others for believing prayer works, belittling others for asking anyone to be prayed for and basically upset that they didn't make an all inclusive statement when they asked for prayer. I don't see a positive attempt, just negativity flowing freely, as if that were somehow righteous.
What need to know is the facts. The fact is this mess is all about faith. ISIS takes it on faith that they are part of Gods plan. There faith tells them that their particular version of Sunni should rule the middle east, so they are first attacking anyone other than themselves first and for most, which includes the Palestinian Sunni group Hamas as apostates who have no legitimate authority to lead jihad, it regards fighting Hamas as the first step toward confrontation with Israel.
So praying for the Christians who are being displaced while ignoring Shia and other Sunni Muslims as well and the many other religious people who are being killed is rather hypercritical and is just the kind of thing that causes this problem in the first place.
Because NPR did not mention any other group. NPR, a well known *secular radio news station, reported that it was the Christians that were under direct attack. I doubt NPR the *secular station, from where I got the information, got any calls asking them to try to drum up names of other groups that were receiving treatment that equaled that which the Christians were receiving at the time of the report. When they reported other groups under fire, I did too.
Is that your only source of news. Early on some of us asked you repeatedly to include other groups, but you refused.
"When we hear these stories, those of us who pray, pray. It is our privilege to pray for those in need. But when someone in our own family is being threatened, we may feel a sense of urgency b/c we can identify with it, as you would if your actual neighbors went to war as opposed to ppl you didn't know."
We are all humans and all family. Dividing us up along religious lines is the cause of these problems.
Please see my previous post to you. We are all part of the human race created by God and should certainly care about all those who are part of the human race. But FAMILY is something altogether different, and no we're not all one big family (though we cannot know who MAY become a part of our spiritual family, so we cannot make any assumptions). Regardless, we're called to love all people, so our great love for our family members is not to lessen our love for the world.
The way you spend your efforts creating drama where there is none is a shameful and empty effort.
I find it interesting that you typically attack the person when you have nothing to say.
An attack would be to tell you that you are a jerk. I wouldn't do that. An observation is to say that you are creating drama which is detracting from the point of this thread.
You said that I spend my efforts creating drama which is shameful and an empty effort.
That is off topic and is suddenly personal.
Personal is saying you are a bad father. I would never do that. I commented on how your off topic remarks are void of adding anything beneficial to this thread. I hope you will focus on the subject so we can get back on track.
The subject is asking for prayer for those affected by Isis.
You may hope the best for all those going into surgery on any given day, even though they're not in your family and not really known to you, but it is YOUR FAMILY who you make sure is in a good hospital with good care, has a competent doctor, has relief from pain, has the support of loved ones and so on. And you are not wrong for this.
So also the Christian does in fact pray for and hope the best for ALL people (especially innocent victims), but it is their own family - their brothers and sisters in Christ- that they will be concerned for MOST of all.
This does NOT mean they do not care about others. They may care equally to you or anyone else regarding the pain and suffering of all people throughout the world, and then may go UP from there in their concern for their own spiritual family members.
Certainly. A request for people to pray for the downtrodden definitely qualifies as being one and the same as these terrorists. Harassing Christians for the simple act of caring definitely needs to be done. What was I thinking?
Where do you come up with the black woman, white woman example? Beth heard a report on NPR. She simply asked for people to pray for those people showcased on that report. She wasn't attempting to sideline any relief efforts for others. She wasn't implying she didn't care about others. It was a simple request that you have chosen to view in the worst possible light.
You've made a mountain out of a mole hill. I think you know that. The smart thing, at this point, would be to drop it.
I will pray for them, and no I can't imagine it.
3 weeks ago?!?!?!? Today is my first day seeing this forum.
As I read, I noticed a familiar feeling. This was predicted, right?
Not that it hasn't happened before.
I wonder what the World religion will be.
I am praying for the Christian in Mosul. This must be a hard road. Serious business...
Wonder how long it will take them to get to America...
Praying is something we can actually do from so far away, that actually helps ( I truly believe), that I wonder why I don't do it more. I get so busy with things and have my own concerns that pale to nothing in comparison to what they are going through. I am glad for the reminder and glad you are praying too.
Yes. I do feel somewhat helpless in this because these things must come. It is certain that through it all, the will of the Lord will be done.
I hate that we cannot pray for the stopping of murder (well we can, but people have their own minds, and may do as they see fit). There is a special place in heaven for martyrs. I will pray for their peace of mind; and assurance that God will meet them in the air.
The answer is Yes, not just in Mosul, but all over the world.
Prayer is good for the soul. Moving is good for the body.
For a moment I confused, thinking you referred to the gays in Africa being persecuted and killed by the Christians.
By all means, we should pray to stop all people from following the edicts and wishes of their gods.
Please forgive me guys, but here is the problem I see.
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?N … 9KUEVa_PW0
“I am gravely concerned about the physical safety of several minority groups in Iraq, including Christians, Shia – a minority in the North, Shabaks, Turkmen, Yazidis and others, who are being persecuted on the grounds of their religion and ethnicity,”
"Large numbers of Christians have already fled Mosul, including some 350 families who left on 19 July for northern Ninewa and Dohuk, which are under Kurdish control. According to sources, only a few Christians, who are extremely poor or unable to travel, remain in the city."
Do you guys not think that if you are going to pray for people who are being mistreated by ISIS then you should pray for all of the people being persecuted rather than simple praying for the one group that has the money to be able to leave? That's all, I mean no offence. I'll leave you guys to it.
Please pray for “Amir," an Iranian Christian serving two years in prison outside Tehran after being caught with a truckload of Bibles. There are reports Amir has been scheduled for execution in August. A VOM partner ministry that is encouraging his family is asking for prayer. Please pray for Amir’s deliverance, for his loved ones and for the church in Iran.
Praying for Amir now. Jesus prayed for Peter, that his faith would not fail him.
Thank you SirDent. I just had this sense, while I was praying that we should pray for his escape, and that he could get to safety.
Jesus told the disciple to tarry and he will pray that the Father send another comforter. This is descriptive of a prayer of petition.
The Bible also states, if you lack wisdom, pray for it and it will be given. Another example of a petition.
Please continue to pray for the ppl of Mosul and all the ppl Isis is attacking. They have recently chased one religious group into the mountains. They have no food or water and at least 40 children have died. In addition, there is great fear that they will cut the power to surrounding areas b/c of the dam they have taken control of. They say Iraq will not allow them to have control long, but until authorities can make a move, the ppl are not safe. There was talk of them flooding the city, but as it is their capital, it is unlikely. America is taking action by dropping humanitarian packages into the mountains, but who knows how long these ppl will last. The situation is dire.
Here's what the Russian media is reporting as to the Iraq situation, https://plus.google.com/+RTAmerica/posts/dxgTnbhCP2S (it's a short post).
Interesting to say the least.
Interesting but not unexpected.
I wish I could say there's no truth to that US funding charge, but the history is so convoluted and ISIS is so removed from that, you really have to torture the info to arrive at that conclusion.
When ISIS said they're coming after the US and will raise the flag of Allah over the White House... Well, scr@w them. I hope we bomb the sh!t out of them (ISIS). Better there than here.
Believe me, no one is less in favor of America as an Islamic state than I am. I have just seen too many unintended consequences...
Well, it's all over the news that ISIS is beheading women and children.
And they're not only killing every Christian they can find, they're also killing any Muslim they find who doesn't immediately convert to the ISIS sect.
And ISIS is quite proud of what they are doing. So much so, they are happily taking and showing pictures and videos of it all.
Here's my question for the day...
Why aren't all the neighboring Muslim countries sending in their own troops to put a stop to this? Why is the Middle East so adamantine in its refusal to clean up its own backyard?
Yes, they've said on the radio that Isis would be a terror for months now. I don't know if we can comprehend the horror ppl are living in right now. Our problems are so incredibly small in comparison. These ppl need our prayer! Although those of different races and religions are in the most danger, really no one is safe, not even here. They pose a real threat. Please, everyone who prays, pray!
If it makes you feel good then go ahead, but prayer has no effect on anything other than your own actions and thoughts. Action however does work.
Mr. Obama is taking action. These people need to understand that there is no God behind them.
So Mr. Obama has a plan, those of us who believe will be praying, and what will you be doing?
Nothing I can do, nothing you can do. I am however wishing that the surrounding countries would do something to help. Why don't they do anything? What's wrong with Iran? It's interesting that so many Muslims say that Islam is a peaceful religion but they refuse to fight the extremists. There are people fighting from the north and from the south, but someone needs to step in and say enough.
But go ahead and pray for all the effected people if it makes you feel you are helping.
There is more power in prayer than in any battleground maneuver. Your comment doesn't seem to have added anything to the thread, but I hope making it made you feel better.
Show me that prayer is more powerful than an army? All studies done on prayer have turned up negative. It does nothing. They are simply thoughts inside your head that have no impact on anything other than your thoughts and body.
However if you promise to pray today and the crisis's in the middle east are resolved overnight then I guess you have something.
If prayer worked we'd have no starving children and no ebola in Africa.
I have no need to prove anything. I do not pray in order to please you, though I have prayed *for you many times. Thank you for reminding me about the Ebola epidemic. I have been meaning to request prayer for this for a few weeks.
They need medical professionals worse thank anything else... they need a miracle.
Do we take action against ebola or do we simply pray?
Pray that God will move on the hearts of medical professionals to go there.
Pray that these doctors and nurses will be protected by any means possible.
Pray for comfort for those suffering.
If you are a medical professional and you feel called to go, you should go.
If you hear of the government requesting anything... like water, money, anything... do what you can. West Africa is very densely populated and the disease is spreading like wildfire.
And meanwhile a Christian PASTOR in America argues that the ebola outbreak is an answer to the world problem of homosexuality and atheism. Funny, that.
http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.co … osexuality
Yea, I read about that a few days ago. Seems to think he will be protected from ebola because he's a Christian and protected by the Holy Spirit. Should we test his theory? Probably not a good idea.
Sure, cause Christians never get diseases, and if by some accident they did, they're all surely miraculously healed. Right?
It seems pointless to me to make a debate for every post. You know that Christians pray, can you not leave it at that?
I have made exactly two comments on this thread prior to this one. One to share a link, the other to respond to Rad. That hardly qualifies as making a debate of every post, I think, nor have I said anything about prayer in this thread. Do you want to complain about me, or do you have something actually substantial to say?
Insult, after insult after insult. What I said was substantial to me, I'm sorry you found it lacking. My point stands.
Where was the first insult, let alone the two insults you say I delivered after that?
When you call someone's post insubstantial, that is condescending, as is mocking one of the cornerstones of their faith, but we are off track. This is a thread about praying for those in Mosul right now.
It was a deductive statement, Beth. I said do you want to complain about me OR did you have something substantial to say. I'm sorry that you took it to mean that you had not said anything substantial ever in your life or anywhere in the thread, but you decided that was what I meant, and it wasn't what I actually said.
Again, I have not said a single thing about prayer on this thread, so I have not, in fact, mocked a cornerstone of your faith. You just made it up to substantiate your claim that I was insulting you. You create these insults where there are none. Why? Why bother?
I bet, if prayer worked, you would have mysteriously ceased this line of questioning a while back. You know she has to have prayed for it. While praying for you, of course
These situations will always arise, as long as there is evil in the world. We do not know what would have happened after 9-11 had ppl not prayed. We do not know what wars would not have ceased or who would have become the victors, had ppl not prayed. What does it harm him if I believe in the power of prayer I wonder? I have seen the wonder of prayer, many have or so many would not continue to pray. I agree with him, however that prayer does not release us from the responsibility to also make a physical effort on behalf of others, when ever possible. After all, the good Samaritan didn't stop and pray... he picked up the man laying wounded in the road. I do not doubt the Samaritan prayed for the healing and well being of the other man though.
And then there's me, bBerean, Chris, CG, Sir Dent, Sunsets, Cat... come on! How could you forget the whole crew!
Ummm, you guys have proof of the power of prayer? Why have you been holding out on us? Bring it on.
I keep sharing the same stories, but no one cares. (whimper)
Ive seen a lot of answered prayers. To be honest, it would just be cool to share stuff, life experiences, etc, but of course every thing is a debate. I should start a thread asking Believers to share their answered prayer stories, but I don't really like the idea of offering something up to be dissected, that to us, is beautiful and sacred. I don't know...
My cousin little boy past away over a year ago while thousand upon thousand prayed for his recovery. Another friend of mine has a 10 month old going through the same thing, he was not doing well and then started to recover, his mom insists it's because of prayer. Worked for her...
I know, Im so sorry about your cousin's son. The bible says we all have a day appointed for us to die. It seems like it would be less painful if it only happened when we were old, but (I say this gently) think about it. It doesn't say, "Some of us die around 10 and some around 80." It says every man has an appointed day. That means each and every person's death is holy. It's foreknown by the very same being that created us. We are all precious. We will never know, this side of eternity, what the plans of God are, but once you learn you are LOVED... it changes everything.
And my wife passed away even though many people prayed for her recovery.
Yet I still believe in and have seen the power of prayer.
Things don't always work the way we think they should and sometimes we never know why.
Is it really fair to state that when we pray for something and it happens we attribute it to prayer when the same odds happen to those who don't pray.
If prayer did work wouldn't we see the results in hospitals? Something like remarkably lower people of a particular religion in hospitals?
Let's say those two children both has a 50% chance of survival. Assuming that because one survives as the result of prayers is not being fair to the odds is it.
It certainly could devastate the person who lost a child.
Sure it's not fair. It's especially not fair when people tell those parents that they must have done something wrong or didn't believe enough. I listened to an interview a while back where a doctor was explaining that people often feel like they did something wrong when they are given back news. "what did I do wrong?". So they are then sick and depressed with guilt. When what we do see are simply odds at play. Every religious group is well represented in the cancer wards.
So sad that people would tell those parents that! And so contrary to what Jesus Christ taught us (and contrary to the message within Job). Death and suffering are naturally occurring aspects of this life on earth and will in most cases not be any direct result of the actions of those involved or affected. Sometimes there is a greater purpose in the suffering - our eternal glory, the encouragement for others, God's powers displayed, etc.
So much hardship here. How awesome it will be when we have our new resurrected bodies - bodies that will never again be sick, or get old, or have pain, or die! Praise God for all he has planned for his children! Come, Lord Jesus, come!!
I wouldn't think being well represented in cancer wards definitively excludes the possibility of a positive effect of prayer. However, there is ample lack of consideration for the suffering of others involved when one praises God for compassion while someone else is not in a position to feel the same.
I do sympathize with the pain involved in the loss of a loved one. Especially a child. But, as I've said before. If eternity exists then the suffering we experience is not only fleeting; it could, quite possibly, serve a purpose in the greater reality.
A shitty philosophy on some levels, I know. But, what would this lifetime equate to in eternity? A nanosecond? Less?
In the end religion attempts to comfort some with wishful thinking.
The religious don't appear to be the only ones on these forums attempting to push wishful thinking off as fact. IMO.
Who else is attempting to push wishful thinking off as fact?
I don't think I've neglected to share my opinion on that already. If you don't know already, if I share it again how do I know you won't forget it again.
I think she has an answer, but it sounds like she already gave you an answer that was missed or forgotten. Maybe she'll revisit it or maybe it's better off not revisited.
Of course I have an answer. I've got an opinion on everything.
Anyone who states, definitively, that there is a God, there is no God, there is a heaven, there isno heaven, there is a hell, there is no hell, there is an afterlife, there is no afterlife, there is a soul, there is no soul, reincarnation happens, reincarnation doesn't, there is intelligent life outside of our planet, there is no life, etc, etc, etc.
How again is stating or thinking there is no God wishful thinking? It doesn't make any sense.
The wording makes it wishful thinking. To say something to the effect that you have no reason to think there is a God is honest. To state that there is no God is over reaching and wishful thinking in that you have no way to know one way or the other Why make a statement you can't prove? Who can prove one way or the other?
But, all of that is obvious. I'm surprised you asked.
Sure, I have no way of knowing for sure there is no God, but thinking one doesn't exist is the opposite of wishful thinking as I'm not wishing for anything. Wishful thinking is attempting to comfort ones self. I'm not comforting my self by understanding that there isn't an afterlife and understanding I won't see my loved ones again. Wishful thinking is making things up to convince ones self that one will see loved ones again.
You are comforting yourself by convincing yourself you know something you don't. It's wishful thinking to believe you can make a definitive statement one way or the others. That's my opinion.
Along these lines, I have often stated believing there is a process or means possible by which creation came to be without a creator, is in itself an indefensible positive affirmation. Wishful thinking. Any holding that position would need to be able to defend it the same as someone saying there is a god, if everyone were to be consistent in their demands for proof.
Berean. First of all, I apologize for my added snark in one of the other forums last week. I was stressed, and I was frustrated, and I spoke to you in a way that was not provoked. I'm sorry.
Secondly, onto your post:
your post is not actually true, and you're committing two logical fallacies in the process. 1) You're asserting that it is a creation which then begs the question of a creator which you have not proven (and if you say there MUST be a creator and you can't imagine another way, you're using the argument from ignorance). 2) You're shifting the burden of proof. I have no idea how the universe started, but my ignorance does not become your evidence to assert the opposite is necessarily true. You have to prove a creator, regardless, and you have failed to do so. The absence of a viable theory for the beginning of a universe without a creator does not automatically mean that a creator, let alone a specific creator, has been proven.
I have never in my life that I can recall said that no god was required to explain the origin of the universe or life. I don't know. I don't think it's possible to know - at least not in a way that can be proven, as evidenced by the fact that no believer can prove with evidence that their deity is the creator of the universe. Saying it doesn't make it so. Reading out of a book does not make it so. It's true that absence of evidence does not equate to evidence of absence, but the absence of evidence is an absence of evidence, and it needs to be addressed.
Asserting that atheists or non believers must positively assert that no god was required seems to me like you are trying to put atheists on the same platform of non-provable claims as theists are, thereby making us on equal footing, which is not at all the case. I don't make claims or assertions of the origin of the universe because I simply don't know. It's dishonest for anyone to say that they do. Acknowledgement of that simple fact will move conversation forward exponentially. It is possible to be an agnostic theist or a gnostic theist. It is also possible to be an agnostic atheist or a gnostic atheist. Strong atheists are comfortable saying "there is no god" or "no gods created the universe" That is not, however, my position - nor has it ever been. Saying that atheists, then, must assume the burden of proof for a claim that many of them have never made is a bit dishonest as well.
But the thing is, I'd much rather be wrong. I'd more than happy if someone could prove me wrong. I don't want to convince myself I'm right, I'd rather find out I'm wrong. However, reality steps in and we have to pull off the bandage. It stings, but it's reality. I'd also really like to imagine that Santa exists, but is it wishful thinking to think he doesn't because it proves I'm right?
Nobody wishes they have cancer to prove they do, it makes no sense.
Perhaps that is true for you, Rad. There are those who do not want to be accountable to a creator or even admit there is an intelligence greater than man. As some have said here, if they knew the God of the bible were real they would still proudly defy Him.
It's true, if the god of the bible were proven real, I would still not automatically worship or follow him. That does not, however, mean that I secretly believe that he exists yet hate him, or that I acknowledge a god out there but want to go my own way and not follow its demands. That's not an atheist. A person who believes in god but hates him is a misotheist.
You'd rather be wrong? Are you serious? How would you like to find out that there is a God, he backs up the conservative Christian ideology and that if we didn't back it up we'd burn in hell for eternity. Or, maybe there is an Allah and we should either submit to sharia law or suffer Allah's wrath.
That would make you happy?
Everyone who grabs onto nutrition/positive thinking/oddball 'cures'? Maybe? It's rather telling that you single out religion as the only 'wishful thinking.'
Because she said…
"The religious don't appear to be the only ones on these forums attempting to push wishful thinking off as fact. IMO."
What other group is trying to push wishful thinking off as fact? The atheists? The Muslims (I lump them up with believers)?
Though what is wished for varies, wishful thinking can be found in any person or group. For example, as understood from a Christian perspective, many atheists exhibit the following wishful thinking (not all, as there are unbelievers who simply haven't met the Lord yet): many wish not to be accountable to God, wish to make all their own rules and decisions, wish to have their own ideas and ways exalted, wish not to be bothered making life changes, wish not to submit in any manner, wish not to face crucial life questions and so on.
I see three groups of people based on the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ - believers, deceived unbelievers and other deceived persons.
All this time, all these conversations and you still don't understand or don't want to understand Atheism. We don't see any evidence for any Gods and therefore don't feel the need to submit to any Gods, just as you don't feel the need to submit to the Islamic God.
I also with there were an afterlife where we get to meet again with those who are no longer with us, however I'm not going to delude myself into thinking that that's possible because I want it.
I also don't get to simply do anything I like without God as we have laws that I must for many reasons live by. I simple don't have to live by the rules you attempt to impose on others because of your religious beliefs if they don't conflict with secular laws, as I imagine you wouldn't want to live by Islamic laws.
Claiming that me and others like me want to purposely dismiss a God we think exists so that we can do things he doesn't want us to do even though it would put us in hell is ridiculous to say the least.
Rad Man, this was my wording - "many atheists exhibit the following wishful thinking (not all, as there are unbelievers who simply haven't met the Lord yet)". I acknowledged it didn't hold for all atheists and I didn't say anything about you in particular and really wasn't intending to. But I still believe many atheists do not really want to believe in God (for many of the reasons mentioned and others) and so they do not wholeheartedly, openly and genuinely seek him with a sincere and willing heart. They have a hardened heart in regards to God. They may or may not be conscious of this. I believe much goes on in the subconscious for humans, especially when it comes to motivations (God alone judges the heart; we're not even fully able to judge our own hearts), so I don't just take what people say at face value. But that doesn't mean what you're saying here doesn't hold true for you and I really don't think I need to make any kind of determination of that. I was making a general point regarding wishful thinking.
I don't go around attempting to impose a bunch of rules on people. The only truly essential rule is love. While we all (believer and unbeliever) often fail even here because we're human, love should be our goal. Of course, then we get into the different ideas of exactly what constitutes love. I believe telling people the truth that can help save their eternal lives is true love, while telling them whatever they want to hear or what makes them feel good at the moment is not real love. We strive to "treat others as we want to be treated", but occasionally the way we desire to be treated varies. Regardless, I don't generally get into a lot of behavior rules for people (mostly just kindness, which relates to love).
The wonderful benefit of being with our loved ones for eternity has nothing to do with my belief in God. I believe because I've met him; I believe because the Holy Spirit has revealed him to me and sealed me in the truth of him. If I would never see my loved ones in eternity, I'd believe still. And while I look forward to a reunion with my mother and grandmother (the only two people involved in my upbringing), it is God who I desire to be with more than anyone and it is the full union with him I most look forward to.
Generally speaking what is occurring will occur regardless of our desires or prayers - if they were going to die, they'll die, and if they were going to live, they'll live. This has to do with 1) the natural laws set into motion by God (the sick body heals brilliantly, until it's overcome...), 2) the consequences of human actions (e.g., our radiation and toxins cause cancer and other illnesses, and we WILL die from these), and 3) our APPOINTED time for death.
Yet the miracle can and does happen even when the chances of survival are close to 0% - terminal cancer that's suddenly gone and shocks people, etc. This is for God's purposes. God is still Healer and He is the God of miracles. Those who believe no matter what it looks like in the natural, or those filled with the Spirit of God or possessing gifts of healing and miracles, or those chosen for a great testimony, these MAY see the miracle. Yet such events are the great EXCEPTION, not the rule, and God alone determines how and when the miracle occurs.
Truly it is IMPOSSIBLE to go before God is done with us. No matter the attacks against our life, if God has purpose yet for us here, nothing can kill us. Yet if it is time for someone's birthday in the next realm... We may ask that life be continued here on earth, but we should always seek HIS will above all else. Within the Word we see an example of someone praying for his life to be extended and it turned out NOT to be such a positive thing, as evident by problems coming in the "added" years.
Right prayer does nothing but makes those that pray feel like they are doing something. Sometimes people beat the odds and sometimes they don't regardless of prayer. My mom beat the odds more than 30 years ago both when her eye closed and during the emergency aneurism operation. It happened so fast no time was given to prayer and only a few people knew about it. 2% chance of her eye closing before the vein exploded and 2% chance of surviving the operation.
Praise God for your mother's life!! I am sure she gave many thanks to her Father for his mercies and the opportunities she continued to have here on earth. His purposes for her here on earth were not done and her appointed time had not yet come, so not even her own body could betray her and take her out!
Yes, she passed 20 years later from a slow and painful cancer as a result of smoking for almost 60 years.
It's always hard to lose our loved ones, even when we've been given more time, and even when we know they HAVE to go sooner or later. She went when it was time for her next birthday (a time appointed before her first appointed birthday on earth), and she is now in the very presence of God the Father.
I know that above anything I desire that my children be the Lord's and be with Him in eternity. In honor of your mother, my sister-in-Christ, I would like to pray more fervently for you, Rad Man. I do not want this to be an offense and I say it in no condescending manner. Would that be alright with you?
Sure, do what makes you feel good. And please don't take my words in an offensive manner, they are simply my opinion.
Realistic is the word cynics slap on their views in order to make it seem like they don't just look at the glass half-empty. Prayer does work. Just because it doesn't always work the way we want it to, especially when we want something big or flashy, does not mean it doesn't work.
If you pray for something and you don't get it, that means prayer isn't working.
Thankfully God is not merely a "Santa Clause" and we do NOT get everything we pray for. Not only would we become terribly spoiled, arrogant and entitled people, but many things we desire would not be "good" in the end. God is the One who will in the end work out all things for his perfect purposes. Since we cannot understand all this, without the Holy Spirit we don't know what we ought to pray for. Even extension of our lives is not necessarily good. So even while we make requests and intercessions, the final outcome should always be released into his hands, with recognition that it is his will that should be desired above ALL else (even life here on earth). Yet we do not say these prayers "didn't work" because God does honor our prayers in many ways, even in ways we don't realize. Sometimes the honoring of our prayers awaits a future point - the blood cries of the martyred saints together come before the Lord (as seen in Revelation) and the martyred saints are still awaiting their justice and vindication.
My daughter might agree with you. She asks for a lot of things I say no to. That doesn't mean I don't listen. I tend to know better.
It means that specific prayer is not producing the effect you want. It does not mean that prayer never works under any circumstances. Just because God doesn't produce miracles whenever someone whistles does not mean prayer doesn't work. Jesus even said, keep praying. Sometimes you don't get what you want right away, but keep at it. And sometimes you never get what you want. But that does not mean prayer never works.
Right, it works within the odds that are given for any specific event. If it did work we'd see it in the statistics. We don't. Millions of people pray to win the lottery everyday, but that doesn't change the odds of them winning. It also doesn't change the odds of any one individual getting cancer or surviving that cancer.
I wouldn't expect God would generally honor prayers to win the lottery (which isn't an altogether positive thing and can lead to a lot of troubles), though on a rare occasion perhaps.
Death will come to the believer and the unbeliever. All our days are numbered. Doesn't mean there aren't miracles performed in response to prayers and in accord with God's will.
Careful of your studies and statistics. Remember:
1) They rely on the honesty and motivations of the researchers and publishers (I've witnessed first hand the dishonest efforts by researchers while performing and having my own research published).
2) Since it does not appear to be God's desire to give signs to an unbelieving world as a whole or to be controlled by humans, he may withdraw altogether when we go about our studies.
3) Because humans chose to follow Satan rather than God, and the earth was therefore turned over to Satan (cursed), fulfilling human's and Satan's expressed will, Satan is in fact the prince of this world who reigns here at the present time. (The time of Jesus' reign is yet coming.) Though God is Sovereign and can supersede Satan and us at any time, Satan has much power granted by God for a short time (perhaps to demonstrate that we do NOT want an existence ruled by Satan after all, but want God to be our Lord for our eternity). Satan has the power to play his hand in these studies - as the deceiver with VERY specific purposes to keep people apart from God (through unbelief), Satan may reasonably be expected to engage in all manner of deception, even intentionally impacting the health of those in the studies to confound things. Satan was the cause of Job's physical illness and his children's deaths; he was restricted only from killing Job, for whom God had plans of eternal significance. Don't overlook Satan's role and assume it's all about what God is or isn't doing.
In other words....
(wait for it...)
(ooh, what will he say?)
(I don't know about you but the suspense is killling me!)
In order for you to have faith (believe) in it, it would need to operate in such a way that faith (belief) was not just unnecessary but also totally superfluous?
I received this from a friend. I removed the leaders name in case it could bring him trouble. Please pray, this is urgent!
Subject: Urgent News & Prayer Request from CRI - Crisis Relief International
The horrific magnitude of what is happening in northern Iraq is beyond our modern-day comprehension. The reports are clearly of Biblical proportions and prophetic significance.
John 16:2b “an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.”
Revelation 20:4 “Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God,”
BREAKING URGENT NEWS!
Just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone from ______ _______ who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts.
"We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food to. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated its staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!"
For more information on Northern Iraq:
1.) ISIS Fighters Overrun Iraq’s Largest Christian Town Qaraqosh, Residents Flee: http://www.inquisitr.com/1397185/isis-c … -qaraqosh/
2.) Email Prayer Bulletin from International Prayer Council (John Robb): http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com … ae529a824a
3.) Iraqi MP Breaks Down in Tears Pleading Parliament to Save Yazidis from Genocide: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/4406.htm
Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region.
May I plead with you not to ignore this email. Do not forward it before you have prayed through it. Then send it to as many people as possible.
Send it to friends and Christians you may know. Send it to your prayer group. Send it to your pastor and phone him/her to pray on Sunday during the service - making a special time of prayer for this. We need to stand in the gap for our fellow Christians.
Thank you so much for sharing all this, Sed-me! It brings me to tears and I will be praying for all the victims!
The time of the end is fast approaching and after a "little while" we'll see the end of suffering. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
It's so hard to fathom. We are here in the safety of our own homes and half way across the world an entire city of Christians is being forced out and executed... innocent children. We must pray.
Isis has raised up an army of 1000 men from around the world. They will focus on the US before too long, but right now absolute atrocities are being committed in Iraq. They buried 500 ppl alive, they have taken hundreds of women as sex slaves, they are killing children and pursuing ppl of different religions into the hills. The Yazidi ppl are not even being treated as well as the Christians, which is saying something. Ppl have run into the mountains with no food and water, ppl are dying of starvation... children decapitated.
John McCain has called for air strikes. The UN is beginning efforts (much too late.) The only safe place for these religious minority groups now is in the mountains of Kurdistan. It is the only place now that Isis and it's ilk do not have control over.
…And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
So people die young or suffer so that we can see Gods word displayed?
Does that make any sense?
Not to you, no. To those of us who realize God is worthy of all power, praise and glory... yes... it makes sense.
I went to the funeral of a 4 year old little girl who loved Jesus and exuded joy. She died in a car accident and later, her family reported that like 20 ppl gave their lives to Christ after her funeral b/c of her life's witness.
She is in Heaven, awaiting the rest of her family. They are eternally proud of her and will never stop loving her.. they are also awaiting the reunion. This is sacred... it's holy. At this moment, it may be beyond your understanding... that's not your fault. But to those of us who knew her family... let's just say, it's not something I want to debate. I'd like to just share that story with you and then take a break for a while.
I think that what's being said is if you pray for something and it happens, how do you determine whether or not it is a result of the fact that you prayed for it, or if it was just statistically going to happen or if it was just a random coincidence that it happened? From there, how do you determine where the source of that answered prayer (if it was answered prayer) was, or do you just automatically assume that the deity you prayed to answered your prayer (which would fall under confirmation bias.) If someone not of your belief system prayed to a different diety and claim that their prayers were answered, I don't see many people Acknowledging that as proof of an alternative diety. In fact, I see many jumping through multiple hoops to claim that it's anything BUT. Yet when believers claim answered prayer, it as always used as proof that their God claim is true. It just doesn't work both ways.
People pray for everything from the mundane to the miraculous, but statistics and prayer studies by Christian organizations show that, strictly statistically speaking, prayer is no more effective for the mundane or the miracles g than random occurrence or chance are.
It would appear that ISIS is currently getting it's prayers answered. Does that mean their God is the correct version of God? They have an army of about 20 thousand and are taking ground from the Iraqi army of 500 thousand to a million. It's the same logic that the Israelites used until things turned against them. At this point 54% of Jews consider themselves non-religious.
YET it is our Lord who prophesied (through his messengers, as recorded in the Spirit-inspired Word) and said very specifically that these things MUST happen when the end is near!!! So their assumed "successes" do not point to the truth of their "gods", but to the One who has foretold the end from the beginning and whose words and promises will all come to pass!
Please see my post to Rad Man.
What would be the motivation of "Christian" groups publishing studies that showed NO effectiveness of prayer? What would compel them to present what would supposedly be considered a "failure" (when they are under no obligation to do so)? That's somewhat like a lawyer presenting evidence for the other side, or a ball player trying to score a point for the opposing team. Sounds a little fishy. Like maybe something else in the spiritual realm is going on and Satan has his hand in it.
In the realm of research, it's called honesty. If you get money to conduct a study, you owe your contributers the study, regardless of whether or not the results are favorable.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/healt … l&_r=0
Look up the prayer study from the Templeton Foundation for the actual paper gleaned from the research. Just because something does not verify your beliefs does not mean it was due to Satan. That's absolutely absurd, and you have no evidence to back it up.
No, they honestly presented what they found. They honestly thought the results would be different and presented the evidence honestly. Wouldn't that have been what you would have done?
If I were to study prayer, sure, but since I don't think God would be pleased by such and since answers are not always what we want, but what his will is, then I would never be studying the "effectiveness" of prayer. I don't know that these researchers were following the will of God, and I wouldn't expect the Spirit to act in such cases. I wouldn't think God's people would expect such, so I'm suspicious of the researchers already.
The whole thing is even more suspicious to me because a well known fact of getting published is that generally only those studies that find SOMETHING get published. Here I'm not talking about religious studies specifically. If you find NO statistical difference, your study is not typically appealing to publishers. This is why all the graduate students performing research for publication were so intent on finding something of statistical significance (and why not all were honest). But it looks like here the publishers may have WANTED the study to find no differences and thus published it. Maybe it's the study that did find a statistical difference that they turned down for publication. It's all too much in the control of the world, in which Satan reigns.
Did you follow the links Julie provided that shows the religious group who funded the study? Why would any God who wanted us to believe in him purposely mislead us so that the studies turn up empty? It's nonsensical.
It really doesn't matter WHO the religious group was that funded the study. God is not some test subject amenable to our control and study. I wouldn't expect the Holy Spirit to show up at our command rather than our humble faith and reliance on him. That's not misleading us. I'm sure the devil had a field day with that study.
I can't really speak for other people. One thing I've struggled with frequently is the nature of 'supernatural'. Many times, when I see something as answered prayer, it is in fact for something 'mundane' (usually money) and I don't always see it right away. Recently I was able to purchase a scratch'n'dent clothes dryer. A little scuffed but otherwise completely new. I've been needing one for a long time. I thought about it and realized that, although certainly someone less inclined to believe in prayer than myself could quite easily see it differently, it was still an answer to prayer, mine and other people's.
Would it be nice if I, or perhaps someone who was seen as generally more faithful by large groups of people (Billy Graham, for instance) could pretty consistently point to examples of 'answered prayer' independently verified by multiple, unbiased witnesses? Of course it would. Or if I could point to two or three 'big' examples. The proverbial mustard seed faith thing. But God doesn't work that way. A lot of times I simply have to have faith that things that I prayed for that did, indeed, come to pass but not in "miraculous" ways are answered prayer. I've long believed that God uses people.
(For those of you familiar with such things, I am not in any way advocating 'woman in the parking lot' sort of stories. That's certainly never happened to me or anyone else I know.)
But what I'm saying Chris is there's no logical progression from prayer, wait, get what I asked for = necessarily resulted from prayer. What I mean is, how do you rule out the possibility of it happening on its own, regardless of whether you prayed for it or not? How do you determine what is an actual answered prayer, what is coincidence and what is simple odds, and how do you back up that determination?
Even though I was reprimanded by you the last time I gave an answer (and it seems you prefer to be the one to initiate our interactions), I have something to say that someone might find of interest.
You can start by taking an example that's pretty out there and consider how likely it is to occur by chance. While my husband was in treatment for a month, so that we would miss two paychecks (and I was home with my one-year-old, not working), and even the mortgage would not be covered, I simply trusted God. Since correctional officers don't make much, and I wasn't working at the time, we didn't have savings. My husband's typical bimonthly paycheck (after insurance, etc. was removed) was around 1,450 - 1,480 (depending on the exact hours worked). Well, the mortgage was about to be due and I had no way to pay it (I'd called the mortgage company, but they said they couldn't do anything). Then what should arrive in the mail? A check for 1,480 - the amount of the missing paycheck - from a settlement company. Nearly a year earlier I'd filled out something that came in the mail regarding a class action sort of thing that said I might get $300 dollars or so from it. Quite remarkable considering 1) It was JUST the amount of the missing paycheck and nowhere close to the projected $300 that would have been unhelpful in paying the mortgage, 2) God had given me a peace about it and I was trusting him to act, 3) I don't get unanticipated checks for large amounts of money other times, and 4) I've never been in as much need for a large check at any other time than when it came. That's quite remarkable. But it doesn't end there.
The next paycheck was due and was needed for all the other bills. So what should "happen" to occur? My husband's work, which doesn't give bonuses, gave a random, unanticipated bonus to their 200 employees, which was in a similar amount to that other missing paycheck and which covered all the bills! At no other time, except right when it was needed, has such a bonus been given out of the blue.
You call these REMARKABLE events coincidences, I humbly and thankfully acknowledge them as the intervening hand of my Lord.
Remember this was merely the starting point. Now we have to explain why such things happen REGULARLY in the lives of those who trust in and rely on the Lord.
In a purely objective, verifiable-in-the-laboratory sense, I usually can't. What I do is look at it and realize that yes, this is something that I've been asking for and it came through in a way that rules out my having achieved it by my lonesome. After that, sometimes I get a feeling (although this is exceedingly rare and I am loathe to start the "Chris claims to hear directly from God" crap again) of relief or an 'a-ha' moment when I realize quite explicitly that it's God's working. A lot of times I do it as an act of faith, but as you know, Jesus said that if we don't get something at first keep asking. Sometimes it takes a while.
Correct me if I'm wrong here. You needed an inexpensive dryer. You prayed for a dryer. Your friends and family prayed for you to have a dryer. Ultimately, you found a dryer that was inexpensive - and you bought the dryer. This is an example of answered prayer?
If you need a dryer, and ultimately go out and purchase a dryer, it isn't "like" doing it on your own, it IS doing it on your own.
Additionally, God is apparently a vacation planner, a diet planner AND a utility provider. Do these nor all seem like crazy things to ask a god for when people are dying? The disciples supposedly cured leprosy and raised people from the dead, and you get a dryer? Moved any mountains lately?
Did you stub your toe or something? Bad day at work? Because seriously, that's a level of sarcasm that was truly not warranted, especially not from someone who has actually read the Bible and gone to seminary. You may not agree with it, but that was still a crap thing to say.
Especially in light of my own history.
It's not sarcasm at all. I was incredibly serious. I'm simply incredulous at what believers are claiming. One says that god planned her vacation for her. Another says that she eats like crap, but god answers prayer and helps her stay skinny and young looking. And you got a dryer. I'm sure that the dryer was needed, but all of these are rather mundane things, aren't they? And these are what prayers are being answered? Compare what we're hearing on this thread to what early Christians were supposedly able to do. Heal the blind. Cure the sick. Heal the time period's incurable disease. I don't recall reading where they asked for a new coat. I do recall them asking the Lord, if it was his will, to spare them from torture and death. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't.
I did say I can't speak for others. And I did say that my answered prayers are generally for 'mundane' things.
Some people do claim healing. But the fact that my wife is not still up and walking around does not mean that God never grants prayer requests. And yes, sometimes people attribute things to prayer that are not the result of answered prayer the same way they attribute bad things to external agents that are not.
There is a particular brand of corn on the cob that I love. It's only available for a few months a year. I believe that God provides it ultimately, but I don't believe that it magically appears. The farmers worked on breeding a strain that tasted really good, and they work darn hard to plant and grow and tend and harvest that corn. And I don't think God did it just for me. But He used them for that.
Similarly, just because God used human agents to get something to me that I needed and couldn't get on my own does not mean that He isn't the One who ultimately answered the prayer. If I were born rich and wanted a new car and went out and bought one out of my vast wealth, that would be different.
And yes, the Apostles did do "Big" miracles. Still, it says in the Bible (Jesus Himself told us) to ask for "our daily bread" and everything we need. We may not get luxuries but we will get what we need.
What I'm trying to get at is how do you tell the difference? How do you know which things to attribute to prayer, and which ones to attribute to coincidence? Which ones do you attribute to the hard work and dedication of others? Which ones do you attribute to yourself as things that you fulfilled and saw through to completion - and how do you decide? Furthermore, how do you turn around and assert that your attribution is absolutely correct? What is the margin of error, and how do you decide that?
If you are the first person to admit that most of your examples of answered prayer are for mundane things, how do you decide that they're answered prayers at all? Surprising and unexpected things happen to people ALL THE TIME. They happen to me all the time. They happen to my family all the time. Sometimes they're good, sometimes not so much. That doesn't mean that I just get to decide carte-blanche where they came from and claim it as absolute truth.
Okay, if I understand you correctly, the answer is that often you can't.
It's Biblical that God is in control of everything. We are still required to work, of course, and Jesus has commanded us to help others. And everyone who helps someone else is not necessarily a Christian. I understand that.
Some things I do attribute to myself, in that I set a goal and saw it through. Other things are the hard work of others, there's no question. But I can attribute hard work to the worker, giving credit where it's due, and still see the hand of God over everything. It's not necessarily an either/or proposition.
As for coincidence, although it's not like it never happens I'm not generally a fan. I'm old enough to see that a lot of times things do actually happen for a reason. Sometimes you even think you see the reason, and it's 'a' reason, but then later you learn that there was an even deeper reason for it.
And margin of error? For a Calvinist? Zero.
But what you just said is exactly my point here, and we're not going to see eye to eye, but I actually DO respect your opinion, and I think these conversations are important.
"Sometimes you even think you see the reason, and it's 'a' reason, but then later you learn that there was an even deeper reason for it."
And sometimes you attribute a reason to something for which there ultimately IS no reason. With no way to test it, verify it or anything else, you're just choosing a reason and running with it to the bank - whether you're right or not. And then you pass your choice off as absolute truth to others.
The only thing I can actually compare it to in my own life is thanking the FSM every time something goes right in my life. If I assert it to you as absolute truth because I chose it with no way of verifying it, would you take my word for it? Would you accept it? Would you then attribute it to the FSM as well?
I don't know...
Depends on whether you attend the Orthodox or Reformed branch of the Church of FSM!
(Sorry, couldn't resist...)
LOL if you believe in the wrong one, you have to spend an eternity in boiling Alfredo, you know.
Here's the hypocrisy in your reasoning - If it is no good to pray for any desired or only moderately needed thing because there are always more important things that could be prayed for (as if one prayer replaces another, or as if we're limited in the number of answered prayers we'll receive), then it must also be no good to buy or otherwise obtain any desired or only moderately needed thing because there are always more important things we could spend our money on. To avoid being a hypocrite, it seems that rather than buying yourself any of the many unnecessary things you do, you should send the money to those who are hungry or in need. In judging us, you're judging yourself for all the waste and self-indulgence you engage in.
You should be sending your money and the money you make from selling your possessions to the poor. It's what Jesus is said to have told you to do.
Then you agree that it was a hypocritical stand she was taking. Because if it is "wrong" to pray for something unessential, it is likewise "wrong" to buy or work for that which is unessential. Either way, there are always more pressing matters to attend to.
It's not "wrong" to pray for anything. Go ahead, knock yourself out, but please don't insult the intelligence of others by claiming that God answers mundane prayers when a group like ISIS is commenting genocide.
Do we assume that the prayers of ISIS are currently being answered over the prayers of the Christians being displaced? They have created their own state and men and women from all over the world are flocking to it.
You do not seem to understand that good and evil will always be.
Evil will always try to triumph. The battle is a constant in our world.
Just as death and decay begin the moment we are born, evil will never stop its barrage against God and mankind.
We humans... are in this battle. Cops and robbers, the lawbreakers and the victims... we fall on one side or the other. For believers, we pray AND we take action. Every time there is a disaster, you will find a church goer there being the hands and feet of God, b/c God requires it of us. Look at Katrina, look at the newest issue with immigration. Where ever ppl are hurting, you will find Believers giving of themselves to minister to those in need. But... we will still pray! We pray against Isis, we pray for our president, we pray for those who curse us, we pray for food for the hungry, we pray for orphans and widows, we pray for our own personal needs, like dryers and a way to see family when there is no way... we pray... that is what we do. There is no shame in this. We are living out our faith.
They may think they can silence or intimidate us but the fact is, they haven't a prayer.
It doesn't matter what these horrible people prayed for or to whom; what is occurring has nothing to do with prayers. The god of this world MUST have his victories in these end days, just as the Lord himself has foretold. A world run by Satan IS horrible, just as we've witnessed. Yet it is humankind that has been choosing Satan over God from the beginning. Now we are in the finale of our story. It must become utterly evident that Satan is not the ruler we want. Come, Lord Jesus, come!!
So you prayed for a inexpensive second hand almost new dryer, made no attempt to let anyone know you were looking for one and someone knocked on your door with a dryer to sell?
I wish. No, many people knew about the dryer, although I made clear that I was not asking for anyone to buy me a dryer.
Many people knew about you needing a dryer as you asked others if anyone had one for sale, someone came forward with one and you give thanks to God as if you or the people who sold you the dryer had nothing to do with it?
I've been trying to make clear that it's not quite that straightforward. I certainly didn't have the money for it on my own.
And yes, the Bible teaches that ultimately God supplies everything. That doesn't mean that we don't work. But sometimes He supplies things that either we couldn't get on our own or that it would take us far, far longer to get.
And sometimes He doesn't.
Chris, I'm really not trying to be mean. Genuinely, I'm not. I'm simply taken a little bit aback by what I'm hearing.
If my washing machine breaks, and I wish for a new washing machine, and I have other people wish for a new washing machine and I end up getting one, and somehow getting the money to purchase it, can I logically say that my wish has been granted? Should I continue wishing for things? Should I tell others that my wishes come true? If I don't get what I wish for, should I just say that sometimes I get them, sometimes I don't - and that's just the way it goes?
Can you please patiently explain to me what the difference is between the scenario I just posed to you and what it is that you're saying? It really sounds like you throw these prayers up into the atmosphere and let them fall where they may. If you get what you want, it's obviously a fulfilled prayer request. If you don't get what you want - oh well, sometimes you don't get what you pray for, and that's the way god works.
As a Calvinist I say, actually that last part is not that totally far off.
If you just wish for something (and I do it all the time) and it comes true, well that depends on how strongly magical your thinking is.
Don't forget that I specified that someone less inclined to believe in answered prayer would not have trouble believing it was not an answer to prayer. It's not a magical thing. I let people know I needed a dryer. I made clear that I was not asking them for it, just keeping people updated as they requested (it was part of a longer letter.) Over time (over a year, to be slightly more exact) people started suggesting ways to fix it. I actually did take it apart, clean it, and put it back together. The end result was that no longer did it not heat but also the light stopped working. I'm not mechanical. But then some people suggested it might be the heating element. One man said it would probably cost x amount to get it looked at and fixed. Then he decided to help me out, and instead of only giving enough to get the heating element fixed he gave me enough to buy a new, or at least functioning, dryer. I went to a big box store and found a scratch-n-dent that was one penny less than I was given. Is any of this magical? No. And put all together it's not necessarily magical either. But I did pray for it, and so did others, and it arrived. And although I certainly believe that Jesus is Love, I also subscribe to Jonathan Edwards thinking too. I'd be an idiot not to thank God. And I do, because He's looking out for me.
I understand. Really I do. But stuff like that happens to people all the time. It doesn't matter if they're a christian, an atheist, a muslim, a hindu or a deist. It still happens at about the same rate of success. And everyone chooses where to attribute it and why. Some don't attribute it to anyone at all. Some thank whatever god they believe in. Some say that it's karma. The bottom line is that there is absolutely no way possible to tell the difference - is there?
Chris, let me ask another question. Someone else brought this up earlier, but it was brushed aside when you were not active in the conversation.
Some people may state that the simple success of ISIS thus far is as a result of THEIR answered prayer. What's to say that they're not praying to Allah to gain success over people that they consider to be infidels? Does their success indicate that Allah is real, and watching over them somehow?
Don't feel bad Chris, the "vacation planning god" is a jab at me. Two years ago, I shared the fact that I hadn't seen my family in 5 years and wouldn't be able to for 2 more b/c my work wouldn't allow me the only vacation days off I needed to meet my family during this time. It was a terrible place to work, I ended up going to a smaller store and lo and behold, they did have that one specific week off that I might be able to see them. I had told my family I couldn't come, I was heartbroken, my younger kids barely knew my family, then out of no where, I was going.They have mocked me for sharing that story of gratefulness for years now and then blink innocently when accused of making unkind barbs.
For the record - it was not a "jab". It was a point. I used three examples. I did not call you out by name. I was not mocking you. that is all.
Honestly, I see the hand of God in that one.
Doesn't sound mundane at all! Neither does getting a needed dryer, especially when you have a family to do laundry for.
No. I went over this with Julie but I'll do it with you too.
It's not an either/or proposition. It doesn't have to be "either God magically supplied it or other people were nice and supplied it." It's totally Biblical that God has His hand on everything, that He is in control. And it's also totally Biblical that He uses human agents to accomplish His goals. And it's ALSO totally Biblical that we should ask God for everything we need (not necessarily want, but definitely need.) So if I ask God for a dryer, and someone gives me the money and I go get one, it's completely Biblical that God would still be the ultimate cause of that. Even though I acknowledge and thank the people who gave me the money, I still also thank God.
Don't you feel like you are talking away from humanity by giving thanks to something else for the kindness and generosity of a person?
If as you say God's hand is in everything then why is he helping ISIS cleans Iraq of other religions including Christianity?
No, I don't feel that way at all nor do I see why I should.
I'm going to say this, and I'm pretty sure it will be misunderstood, but it helps to explain my thinking.
In the OT, the Assyrians overran and enslaved the Israelites. The Bible makes it pretty clear the Israelites understood this as God using human agents to punish them for their sin. The Assyrians did not pray to YHWH, and the Israelites did. But after a long, long time, God used the enemies of Israel for His own purposes.
Does that mean I think ISIS is God's vengeance upon the Christians? I don't know. We don't live in OT Israel, and many things are different. But God does work in His own ways and I don't always understand them. That God is not performing some miraculous intervention does not mean He's not at work. Nor does it mean that 'Allah' is stronger than God.
Great news! The US has sent air strikes over Kurdistan leaving them in much better shape... Many countries, including France are making food drops over the mountains that, they say, tens of thousands of ppl are hiding in now. God is doing great things thru the nations... keep praying.
Is god flying the bomber jets or making the orders to send them? How do you claim to know that your prayers are responsible for these actions? What control method do you use to gather the statistics to conclude the probability of these strikes happening whether you prayed or not?
Thank you for reminding me that is best to pursue honest, intellectual conversation with Chris and others. I must have temporarily forgotten who I was asking genuine questions to.
You don't believe in God.
You don't believe in the power of prayer.
You hate me... oh wait you could only hate someone you gave a crap about...
I get it. Everybody gets it.
In the meantime, I started this thread requesting prayer from Christians for the ppl of Mosul.
I don't see the need for one more debate thread where you can once again establish that you don't believe in God.
I am speaking quite civilly with several other people who are participating on this thread. I'm sorry you don't like it, or think any conversation I'm in its automatically a debate, but I'm allowed to comment anywhere I like, just like you. In fact, most of what I've been doing is asking questions. If it bothers you that much, ignore me. I'm not just going to go away because you don't like or agree with my posts, sorry.
I didn't ask you to go away. I am expressing my feelings as you did yours. If we continue to express our feelings one of us will end up banned... me of course, 'cause I don't report you.
But again... off topic and old news.
Thank you SassySue and Emile for your support. I was smh as well. I wondered why no one commented on the Robin Williams threads "Why do you only care about Williams when there are so many other stars that are hurting?" I simply heard a story that begged for attention and shared it. Isis is a threat to *everyone and has been growing in power for 2 years. Christians are not the only ones in danger... their story was simply the first story of its magnitude I had heard at the time so I shared it. As we all know now, their attacks have spread to other religious minorities as well... as a matter of fact, they are basically killing off anything that stands in their way. Even my 11 year old daughter is praying that God will stop them. I am proud of her for this as it shows me that she is thinking of others. It is important to shine a light where men are trying to snuff it out. Not only so that those who are being terrorized will have hope, but so that the acts of the evil will be brought to light.
Rad, I have reviewed your comments throughout this thread and considered compiling an entertaining medley. Perhaps instead I could summarize your contentions so far.
Prayer is a pathetic gesture, void of any merit, sans self appeasement, yet you charge those who wield this delusional resource inequitably, (in your view), to be unethical and/or hypocritical. Is this correct?
No, that is not correct. Pray if it makes you feel better, but understand that it only makes one feel better. This entire mess in the middle east is unethical and asking others to only pray/care for those who are of the same faith is missing the point entirely. We would all agree that what ISIS and other radical religious groups are doing when they kill people based on religion is unethical, but is it then ethical to only pray/care for others like yourself?
Prayer in itself isn't hypercritical, however watching a particular group divide people up based on religion and complaining that your particular group is being persecuted and then only praying for the safety of your particular denomination is hypercritical.
How is it hypocritical, unethical, or for that matter even possible, to misuse an imaginary resource? Would you police wishing wells?
ISIS is misusing it's imaginary source and hurting others in the process in the name of it's imaginary source.
So to make that association you would have to be saying your issue is with their prayers? Have they confided these to you? If you could regulate their prayers, would their evil and hate be abated? Perhaps if we sent in our elite military for a covert operation, and simply stole their rugs and compasses?
The issue is that ISIS using it's imagination to behave unethically. They think they are right just as the rest of you think you are right. I'm pointing out unethical behaviour. I see this all the time, people behaving unethically in the name of their religion.
Really? How so? ISIS is using guns and mortars. Yes, they pray, but then they go out and kill. Sed-me has asked to pray and pray only, not go out and use guns. Where's the parallel? Are you saying, as you so often seem to, that praying is stupid or are you going further and saying it's pointless unless backed by the bayonet?
And seriously, how much of your 'inclusiveness' is really a true desire to include all mankind and how much of it is a reaction to Christianity, which you don't seem to care for very much?
ISIS is motivated by religion, specifically the Quran. They feel they are at war and the Quran is very specific on how to behave while at war.
Simply put, prayer serves only to make one feel like they are helping. If we all stood back and prayed, they would very quickly take over the entire world and we would (if still alive) be praying to Allah.
Or do you think God would somehow stop them without any human intervention?
Sorry, I lump all religions together.
You lump all religions together until I request prayer for one in need.
We have bad water that kills and we have good, life-giving water. If, having seen that the bad water kills, you then refuse all water, you no longer have the life-giving water and you die.
A completely irrelevant comment. If the entire world decided to simply pray, ISIS would take over then entire planet.
You can do that I suppose but it's wrong. You're frankly either going too far or not far enough. If you're really going to lump all religion together then you may as well say that all religions, including Buddhism, are militaristic at heart and it's only a matter of time before all religion pick up the gun. That would still be crap but at least it would be committing fully to the ideology. As it is, you only lump them together just enough to stir trouble, otherwise you do make distinctions.
I forget if this is in the Quran or if it's a haditha, but Mohammed himself is supposed to have said that no man is a Muslim unless he's a Muslim in his heart. In other words, although they could compel us to make the five prayers daily, no one who doesn't truly believe will. And Christians will continue to pray to Jesus, not Allah.
And no, prayer is not just a psychological crutch. Bad things do happen. That's Biblical. And it's also Biblical that bad things happen to Christians, sometimes because of their Christianity. We pray anyway. It's a communication with our Lord.
Sed-me has prayed for people of various groups, as have we all. It's not hypocritical to be most hurt or affected by the suffering of your family, including spiritual family. Our love should be so strong that our love for every group is great and only continues up in intensity. What if, for all you know, the people you're judging love EVERY group more than those not being judged? As a human, you just can't make a right judgment, so please stop judging.
Based on what you actually said, I would say that bBerean is closer to the way you generally present yourself in posts than your own statement here is. Perhaps this post is the way you meant to come across, but it's not. What you may intend as a call for inclusiveness comes across, even here, as a sneer at Christians.
yes, I get that, but I'm dealing with Christians here and so I have to speak to them.
I'm aware I don't always articulate my thoughts as well as I should be able to. That's one of the reason I started here as it helps me develop my weaknesses in engaging conversations.
In the first few pages of this forum I asked Beth many times why she's only praying for her fellow Christians while many more were in much worse shape. If she was Jewish or one of the many types of Muslims that ISIS was killing and she made the same statement I would have reacted in the same way. But even still we have Christians here defending caring more for fellow Christians than other human beings.
If you believe it unethical to care more for your family members, even though you care for all people, then you have no business caring more or doing more for your own kids than other people's kids. You should treat them all the same. Otherwise it's hypocrisy.
I love people, I care deeply about people, I pray for all people. INFPs are found capable of a deeper love than most of the other 16 types. But my love for my family is the strongest and second only to my love for God. Our spiritual brothers and sisters from every tribe and nation are our true and eternal family, so we are to love them as family. That in no way means we are not to love others, any more than your strong love for your children means you don't care about other children.
Family members? What a joke. You don't even know any of those people. You don't even know what kind of Christians they are.
No, you're response is the joke. As if we really needed proof, there it is. In truth, it doesn't matter what kind of Christians they are. If they truly follow Christ, then they are brothers and sisters, and that is Biblical to the bone.
The Coptics in Egypt follow some traditions that I cannot get behind, but I still consider them true Christians and pray for them.
Again, if you really want to show compassion for the whole area, this is not the way to do it. And trying to push Christians into a corner has only gotten you into one here.
Nonsense, you are no more family to all Christians than all white people are family. It's simply nonsense and an excuse to discriminate.
Have you thought this argument through? It doesn't appear so.
Would you say you are a brother of all white people?
Apples and oranges. I'm not racially motivated, and in any case I'm neither more nor less the 'brother' of a white man living in Denmark who thinks all religion is garbage than I am the 'brother' of an Indian Buddhist or an African Catholic.
I AM however, the 'brother' of any man of any color anywhere who follows Jesus.
I AM however, the 'brother' of any man of who follow any one as long as his color is white.
It's being human.
What's the difference?
Why not you are brother of another because he is human ? Did your jesus ask you to ask the religion? Have you read the story of a "good samaritan"?
Seriously, there are only two possible answers to that question:
1) You are just causing trouble and if you really were interested in the answer then five minutes actual thinking would give it to you.
2) If you honestly can't tell then you are so far gone that your evil rear end needs to stay away from me.
Give what? That you consider christians as special? That middle east people are "prone to it(violence) by inclination or predisposition"?
After telling that you consider only christians as brothers and middle east people are "prone to violence" you are asking me to stay away? If it were a century before you would have been arguing for white supremacy and asking me to stay away because I oppose it!
And you still say you are a Christian who preach love. What more evidence one want that religion make people "inhuman"?
I didn't say either of those things. Again, you are bringing a whole lot more of you to this than you are trying to find out what I actually think. You are quick to jump to conclusions, you read what you want into my post rather than what is actually there, then you think you're slamming me when you're really just showing how angry you are.
I'm always up for conversation. I'm not shy about sharing my real views on things. Ask and I will answer.
What a horrible, uncalled for assumption to make about someone - "If it were a century before you would have been arguing for white supremacy." Not at ALL fitting for Chris!
We are all God's creation, and all valued by the Creator. It is his will that the good news about Jesus Christ be preached to EVERY tribe and nation, and thus heaven (eternity) will be filled with his people from throughout the world. He blessed Israel TO BE A BLESSING. He loved Israel, but had in his plans from the beginning the inclusion of ALL people, who he loves as well. Those who have understanding through the Spirit and the Word will likewise love ALL people and will not be racist in any day because they follow the Spirit and Word rather than the traditions of the day. If someone is a racist now, and just as surely if someone was a racist even when it was encouraged by society, they show that they lack/lacked understanding.
The creator, according to ISIS, is having a different plan. You say you know what the created wanted, they say they know it better and both of you fight each other to find out who is right. But what you both got is an opinion based on a book written by ancient people who didn't even know that earth is a sphere nor knew tuberculosis and leprosy was caused by microorganisms nor knew epilepsy is a brain disorder.
It may also be more than symbolic that Mosul is the capital of the Nineveh province of Iraq.
Yes, I am praying for the Christians there.
I am trying to keep my composure b/c I find this infuriating.
Let's turn the tables, shall we? Why *can't* I pray for Christians? They are the ones reported by a secular news force to be in the greatest need... with the exception of the Yazidi ppl... but as soon as I heard about them, I prayed for them... they represent a great number of the ppl who were chased into the mountains. But what about the Muslim teens that Isis gunned down? Oh yes, I requested prayer for their situation too. What about those buried alive and the children being decapitated? I don't even know what religion, if any, they were. Can it be possible I requested prayer for them too? Yes! Yes, I did!
What has got me so upset is the fact that in the midst of these atrocities and the abominable way that lives are being taken... YOU are sitting in the safety of your home, once again, posing questions to Christians with the sole purpose of tearing down the faith of believers. PEOPLE ARE DYING, RADMAN! Do you understand? I am asking those who pray, to pray! If you do not want to be involved... and I say this with all due respect... Get out of the way! Say or do something positive or take it to a different thread. Murder is taking place while you sit and think of sharp tongued barbs for ppl you disdain. Do you understand what I am saying?
Please, don't talk as if you have more compassion than I. You were told repeatedly that there were many groups being treated much worse than the Christian and yet you still insisted on asking for prayers just for them. And now you pretend to have more compassion?
People are dying and there is nothing you or I can do about it. Nothing. Why is it happening? Religion. At the very least I'm looking at the cause.
I was told repeatedly that what? I didn't have a right to pray for a group of ppl I had heard about on the radio? I will not respond to that or I'll say something I regret.
Who? Who was being treated worse? Name them... it was breaking news that day. At that point, the Christians being forced out of Mosul was THE story. There were not even sub plots at this time that listeners were being informed about.
How dare you tell me who I can and cannot request prayer for.
Maybe you think I can do nothing, but I believe in the power in prayer. If you do not, the mature thing to do would be to excuse yourself lest your bigotry show. And don't short change yourself... you found something to do... we're all held hostage by it and it's sapping every last ounce of communication out of this thread. I will let you debate with the others. I'm done.
Here's where your lumping together of religions comes up crap. They are not dying for 'religion.' If you were to pose that to either ISIS or their victims and get them to understand that you are not talking about religion singular (Islam, Christianity, whatever) but religion as an idea, an archetypal concept, they would laugh you out of the room. You are not displaying compassion. You may indeed have a genuine concern for ALL the different peoples being affected in the area, and so you should. But what you are doing here is hammering on something you don't like. You are not showing compassion for other people groups. You are showing contempt for religion as you understand it. Coming in here and stirring up trouble is not compassionate, it is the certainty that you know better than those stupid Christians and you will not rest until you've shown them.
Congratulations, you're now my grandmother.
Seriously, if you want to show compassion for all the other groups, start a forum for that. Go to sites where you can contribute to the relief efforts. Blog about how horrible it is and how we should band together to help everyone. Research the war and give educated lectures about true cause and effect. Or do something really compassionate and go build a house for a homeless person, or contribute to Medecin sans Frontiers in their battle with the ebola outbreak. But half of what you do on this page is just repeat that you think prayer is a waste of time. So we got it, you think it, now get over it.
I restate my question, how much of this is a genuine desire for true inclusiveness, and how much of this is simply reacting to the Christianity you disdain?
Rad, I know you said that no, my summation did not represent your views, but I have reviewed your comments in the thread again, and really think I nailed it. I believe I could support everything with your words.
Perhaps if I break it down, you can show me exactly where you think I go wrong. Please tell me which sentiment you feel you have not expressed in these forums, (even if not in these exact words, but with the same meanings):
a) Prayer is pathetic.
b) Prayer is just a gesture.
c) Prayer is without merit.
d) Prayer is really about self appeasement, (making one feel better about themselves).
e) Prayer is delusional.
Is it not your view that:
1) Those considering prayer a resource, utilize it inequitably.
2) Praying for one group and not another is unethical.
3) Not praying for everyone at the same time is hypocritical.
Please, by number or letter, explain the points where you feel your view is being misrepresented in my original summation.
I don't believe I used any of those words, but your close.
1. No, I didn't say all people who pray are unethical.
2. A white and a black lady are being held captive, do you pray for the white women's safe return if you are white and for the black women's return if you are black? If you said no to that then you should say no to only praying for Christians.
3. If you are claiming the higher moral ground and then only praying for the white women's return I'd say it would be hypocritical.
I didn't say you said all who pray are unethical. I said you expressed praying for one group and not another is unethical.
Ever support a charity? By your logic, you are hypocritical if you don't support them all the same. How is that different?
I certainly hope I wouldn't find you had purchased Girl Scout cookies while leaving the Boy Scouts wanting in their popcorn drive, or that you've given money to cancer research while leaving the MS foundation unfunded.
Anything less than exactly proportional benevolence would be unethical and hypocritical, correct?
How can you on one hand say there is no value to prayer, and on the other complain praying for one group and not another is unethical and hypocritical?
Don't they all receive nothing for the prayer's efforts either way?
Please explain what the inequity you complain of is, if prayer does nothing anyway.
So you think it perfectly okay/ethical to only ask for help for the white women if you are white or the black women if you are black? Just answer the question.
Please see my last post to you. The true question is whether it's okay to pray or act more fervently for your SISTER who is held captive than SOMEONE ELSE'S SISTER who is held captive. Ethnicity / "race" is nothing but a temporal aspect of our bodies, cultures, etc. We're all part of the human race; we're not in truth "family" with people of our same ethnicity.
But God has designed that we who have accepted our rights to become the children of God (offered to ALL, but accepted only by some) now become spiritual brothers and sisters who will spend eternity together.
It's the spiritual brotherhood of ISIS that kill the spiritual Christian brothers and sisters. Without such nonsense of the "spiritual brotherhood" there is no rationale to kill.
So if you don't pray (a wastage of time, by the way) which the spiritual brothers of ISIS also might be doing but instead use the time to coerce your government to act, probably that might help.
By the same token are you responsible for the atrocities done by your spiritual brothers?
Temporal, spiritual what difference does it make? Aren't all human beings irrespective of the religion and creed?
Those who thirst for blood will find a "rationale" for it; they need no "religious cause", which is only an excuse. Remove religion and you'll continue to find that humans kill.
We are in the day of favor and grace, and in Christ we are called to love and peace. No true follower of Christ will thirst for blood.
Of course they will find a reason but one reason less is one reason less. The present one is between Iraqies,, there is no other reason other than religion.
Is it the 'no true Scotsman' fallacy? Christianity since its inception has shown no grace. It was made of lies and violence (true humanitarian actions not withstanding, but that is true of all religions). Before the advent of Islam Christianity was the most violent religion and in body count Christianity still tops, I think.
You think? Interesting that you would make such a statement. Backed up with no more evidence than you think. How far back in history are we going? What percentage of the world's cultures are you including in your 'thought' process? What religions are you including in your 'thought' process?
Seriously. if you do think, you must take into account what you flippantly label religious violence encompasses a wide variety of causes and religion is, at best, a contributing factor; not the only factor and not necessarily the primary factor.
Religion exacerbates existing problems. By the adherent believing that God, Allah, whatever approves of their conclusions and supports their actions. It is an effective rallying cry for the masses, but rarely is it what compels a government, or those in power, to war. The powers that be, the ones who organize and push the conflict, expect more out of the outcome than a high five from a deity.
The voice pledging jihad in the video is brash, prideful and chillingly juvenile.
"We promise you car bombs and explosives," the boy shouts, his small arms and hands gesturing wildly for emphasis.
"We'll destroy the enemies of the religions, all of them — all who fought the Islamic State," he continues.
"And the Caliphate?" prompts an adult male voice, coaching the youth off-camera.
"And the Caliphate. The Caliphate will remain until the end of the world," the child answers, reiterating his support for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/isis-child … -1.2736033
The child. Children are led by adults. One has to look at the factors motivating the adult.
Are you saying that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is motivated by something other than religion. What about the crusades? What about the Muslim conquests?
I read that young men who sign up with ISIS are immediately given cars and cell phones. I don't know about where you live, but kids around here would quickly sign up for about anything if promised that. The kids involved there are poor, uneducated and have little promise of changing that condition. I do wonder where the money comes from. So, yes, I think if we follow the money trail we would find other agendas involved.
The Crusades? I wonder how i would feel, as a ruler in Europe at the turn of the first century. Muslim imperialism already having subjugated one European state. Forays ongoing in France. I think i might have jumped at the chance to take the battle into another arena. But, the peasantry. Uneducated, unable to ponder the bigger picture. They probably were of the mindset that one tyrant would be the same as another. How to galvanize them to action?
You don't know where the money is coming from? Where did Osama bin Laden get his money from? You may want to do a little research on the Saudi family.
Did you click on the link I posted a while back that explains who they recruit these children?
I know where the money comes from and i know what they gain by pushing religion. Control of the region. Control of the oil. Unfettered by a democratic process. Those in power will use the means at their disposal to stay there.
No I didn't see your link.
So you know what went behind all those wars in history. You know their minds to know that "religion was not the sole cause".
Human sacrifices was part of most ancient religions and Aztecs were most notorious. And most of the human sacrifices were people captured in war. But none of them killed to proselytize. Neither their religion asked love. But Christianity and islam did kill in the name of religion.
Nobody can get a body count so we can only think or guess. For large scale killings society should have a minimum number. So far except for Aztecs only Christianity and islam has such numbers (that is regarding religions that did mass murders). Which one did more is anybodys guess. But given that aztecs ruled lesser number of people, and after the initial burst islam was relatively peaceful, my guess is Christianity.
But since you know everything and since you can never be wrong, you should be right here too!
I think, my primary problem is that these complaints give the impression that the speaker is under some utopian belief that humanity, without the influence of religion, would somehow be less violent and more compassionate when, viewing history, there is no reason to believe religion compels us to violence more so than any other ideology. Viewing recent history (the last hundred years)we see much more violence, on a greater scale, driven by other reasons. We have no evidence to support an assumption that the absence of religion would somehow make the world more peaceful.
I never claimed that absence of religion is going to end all strifes. What I said is religions promote violence and absence of religion can reduce violence. Say iraqi Muslims and christians. Similarly racism was another reason to fight. We could to an extent reduce the incidence not by accepting but by suppressing racism and showing contempt on racists.
Absence of religion would NOT reduce violence. People prone to it by inclination or predisposition would still commit it. If Jews were not Jewish and Arabs were not Muslim (a broad over-generalization but you get the point) and everything else were still equal, we would still see extreme levels of violence in the Middle East.
If the whites were not white and blacks we still would gave slavery in America?
You think the people of middle east are so prone to violence that they can't spend their day without it while you people are the apostles of peace?
1) Are you asking me or telling me? And what does that have to do with religion anyway? Whether that's a question or a statement you will notice (as I certainly have) how remarkably religion-free that sentence is.
2) What, exactly, are you asking me? You are bringing some preconceptions to that question that it would be awfully nice if you would clue me in on if you want me to respond appropriately.
However, I will repeat, if religion were removed and all other things were the same, we would still have violence in the Middle East. The assumption that I think people there are "so prone to violence that they can't spend their day without it" says way more about you and your ideas than it does about me and mine. But it is an assumption, not a deduction.
Probably I was not clear, now I find that I haven't properly typed the sentence. You said that "If Jews were not Jewish and Arabs were not Muslim (a broad over-generalization but you get the point) and everything else were still equal, we would still see extreme levels of violence in the Middle East."
So I am asking you this, we had slavery in America. Somebody from that era would have said the same question in a different way, like "If whites were not whites and blacks were not black and everything else were still equal, we would still see extreme levels of slavery in America", would that be correct? Somebody thought it objectionable to discriminate humans based on skin color, why the same is not applicable to religion? After all slavery too started with the notion that a "white" person is more of a brother than the black person.
Why should there be "extreme level of violence" in middle east without religion? You also said that people who are prone to violence will have violence. Reading it together, what else one should understand other than that middle east people are "prone to violence"?
Why should the Iraqies fight each other? Why should Iraqi muslims(sunni) fight with Iraqi muslims(shia), christians and Yazidis, if not for religion?
Why should I be angry? I am just showing the flaws in your argument, whether you accept it or discard it is entirely upto you as whether you pray/not pray for christians or yazidis is not going to change anything.
If you're not angry, then great, but neither are you showing flaws in my argument.
I said that if the two groups in the Middle East did not have their respective religions but everything else staid the same we would still have violence. You responded by saying that if white people in America and black people in America during slavery did not have the respective colors of their skin would it be the same? How is that a logical analogy? It isn't. You're not getting at it at all.
Nor, at any point, did I ever say people in the Middle East are 'prone to violence' as if it's just something they're born with. Or even bred into them. You keep bringing that up but that's you, not me. If you want to go after somebody who said that, then go find somebody who actually said that.
And lastly, I did not say that we would have the same levels of violence, or the same kind of violence. Still, I can see where you might have thought I was saying that, so let me be clear. Yes, we would still have violence, but probably not on the levels we're seeing now.
Quote:"Absence of religion would NOT reduce violence. People prone to it by inclination or predisposition would still commit it. If Jews were not Jewish and Arabs were not Muslim (a broad over-generalization but you get the point) and everything else were still equal, we would still see extreme levels of violence in the Middle East."
So what does this mean? The second part says in the absence of religion there will still be "extreme levels of violence"
So what do you think might be the reason of that violence? You yourself say people who are prone to violence will have violence. I don't see any other reason for iraqis to fight each other other than religion. Enlighten me why the middle east should have more violence than say America or Europe.
I only said this, just like skin color, religion is an arbitrary standard to discriminate. Humans get their religion and color only by the accident of birth.
Okay, I see what you're saying now. I lumped things together that I might better have split apart. But you still keep missing the central clause in my statement. That is, "...and everything else were still equal," meaning that all other things were equal to the way they are now. If we still had one group that were claiming the right to land that another group had held for centuries, causing large-scale displacement, and if there was large poverty and people who saw their only means of getting justice as violent, and pretty much everything else, then yes, we would still see violence.
Religion can be seen as a cause but in reality it isn't, at least not nearly as often as many people want to believe. If people want to commit violence and religion is completely removed as a reason, they will still probably commit violence.
Religion is not quite as arbitrary as you think. If you actually think deeply about your religion (which, admittedly, not a lot of people do) then you see that a line does get set. Now, here I can only speak for Christianity, not for Islam or any other religion. And the thing about Christianity, it's both exclusive and inclusive. If you actually read what Jesus said and did, He makes it pretty clear that there is an inside group by things like the Parable of the Sheep and Goats, but on the other hand He commands us to treat people who are not "in" just as well as those who are not.
And no, religion is not merely an accident of birth. Many people born with religion grow up to reject it. And others, like myself, who didn't grow up with it become religious.
The likely hood of you or myself becoming a Muslim as opposed to any other religion is 99.8% if we are born in Morocco or Afghanistan. The likely hood of us becoming a Christian if born and raised in the Philippines or Romania is about 97%. The likely hood of becoming Jewish being born and raised in Israel is 75%.
While researching these numbers I found something rather disturbing. There we only 800,000 Jews left alive after WW2.
You are right, but it's still not the same as skin color.
That is disturbing. Where did you get the number?
Why is discriminating against religion any different than discriminating against skin colour? This is something that seems to be happening in the states and it confounds me. You are not allowed to not serve someone because of the colour of their skin, but it's okay if they are wearing a burka?
One of these pages.
It was the second link. However upon further reading I realize they we talking about Jews inside Israel.
"Between 1948 and 1958, the Jewish population rose from 800,000 to two million."
Farther up it reads "The world Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million prior to World War II, but 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust."
Meaning there were more then 10 million left after the holocaust. Opps. Sorry.
I agree that there will be violence, what I disagree is that without religion there will still be "extreme violence". Isn't there violence in America, is it "extreme violence"?
By right of land are you implying Israel and Palestine? Here to religion plays a role. Why shouldn't the jews be able to integrate into european society and had to go back to palestine, other than for religion?
They will, of course(say Rwanda violence). But that will not take responsibility from religions for religion incites or justify violence in most regions. And you haven't stated why iraqies should fight each other. If it was poverty why should ISIS gives the option of conversion? Again Iraq is an oil rich region that if the violence was not there, it could be rich just like Saudi or UAE.
It is this inside grouping that divides human beings. People think they are all in the inside group and want to put everyone in the inside group by hook or crook.
Here is a thread http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/123680 saying there is nothing bad in Islam while the most violence in the middle east is perpetrated in the name of islam. What is the difference between your claim and his? The ISIS also consider themselves belonging to the insider group of their chosen god.
No, for most people religion is an accident of birth as Rad Man sites above. You are inclined to christianity only because you were born in a christian nation. If you were born in Iraq, probably you would be fighting with ISIS now as a member.
Yes, there is violence in America and yes, sometimes it gets pretty extreme. Just look at Ferguson, MO. And in the 1960's it was even more widespread than that. So while I have said that the violence would probably not be of the type (suicide bombings especially) or quite the level that we see now if religion were removed, I think it quite possible that if religion were the only thing removed we would still see violence that would be characterized as 'extreme.'
And yes, religion does play a part in what is going on, but on the other hand it's been demonstrated that Muslims and Jews can live together if they want to. So again, religion is what's claimed as the cause of violence but it isn't necessarily, it's often just an excuse.
Saudi Arabia and UAE are also police states where dissension is dealt with more harshly than Iraq. Iraq is a different story than Israel/Palestine and I haven't been focusing on that, so you're right, I haven't give 'a reason why Iraqis should fight each other.' I'm not sure if we would see the same kind of violence in Iraq without religion, but then again we might. Iraq was a classic case of a minority ruling a majority and any dissent being dealt with harshly.
If the areas they were overrunning were rich, ISIS would still give the 'option' of conversion. They are an idealogical organization, although they ideology they are organized around is religion. They believe that theirs is the only way to Heaven, and people reject the opportunity because they believe they already have the way to Heaven.
One thing that set the early Christians apart and should be followed more rigorously now is the belief that ANYONE can be 'on the inside' and it's not by hook or by crook that you get them there. If they don't really believe it, it does them no good. The thread you cited asks for specifics from the Quran as to why people don't like Islam. I engage in the same thing with Christianity. As I keep saying, it's not the basic ideas of Christianity that are bad, it's the way that some people practice, or don't practice but say they do, their faith that is bad.
I've dealt with the first part with Julie and Rad.
That second one is an easy statement to make but in my case it's totally wrong. And it's also a pretty big assumption about me fighting with ISIS. Again, that is your bias showing, not really something that can be deduced about me.
A few cases of extreme violence is not the same as the routine extreme violence that is happening in iraq now. Isis is against christians is only based on religion otherwise how would they differentiate between iraqi Muslims and christians?
Each think they have a way to heaven and fight while the truth is, heaven is just a falsehood perpetuated by religion. So religion is the root cause.
They might be police states but you don't see the type of violence you see in iraq.
Between isis muslims and christians there is no difference but religion. Between the indians and pakistanis that killed during partition there is no difference but religion, then how can you say religion is not the cause. If we both say the same language, eat the same food and dress the same, and if we kill each other based only on the difference of religion how can we still say that the cause is anything but religion?
The entire thread, it tells you how those people who do violence is not true muslims, your argument is the same. And people use all sorts if methods to bring people to the inside. The violence by spanish inquisidars and isis are all attempt to recruit people to the inside group. Anybody can get inside, violence occurs when people use force those who refuse to get inside. And people use force only because they think themselves as right while others as wrong that they are special and going to eternal heaven while the other is doomed to hell, that they are superior and know better while the other is children or fools and need coercion.
You mean skin color can't be changed but religion can? You know that Michael Jackson changed his skin color and iraqi christians ate dying because they can't change.
You won't be in isis? Why, are you special compared to the ordinary people of isis? Are you so different that you will have some special ability to think differently if you went through the same genetics and experience? They are what they are only because they were born in that particular region at that particular time and went through their experiences. They are no more bad than you or me. If they were born in America they would have been following Christianity or atheism.
Did ISIS stop persecuting Muslims? I missed that memo.
Funny, I'd always heard that Michael had a disease that changed his skin color, he wore makeup to even out the tones. You sure are a fount of information.
So, who else has successfully and permanently changed their skin color?
And elsewhere you said that Iraqi Christians could change, and save themselves. Here you're saying they can't. Which is it?
(That opening is almost too much to resist but I will. But it ain't easy...)
Would they? You're awfully sure. It's funny when you want to say we can't know things and when you want to say we absolutely do. And you do make an awful lot of assumptions about what I think and why.
Can't you really not understand or simply act?
Iraqi christians could change but they won't because they blindly believe in an ancient book which promise them eternal hell if they did.
Is being a muslim the worst thing in the world?
It is from your own words Mr.Neal. You said even if you were born in iraq under the same conditions of an Isis follower, you would not follow ISIS. That means you are special and you have special knowledge above that of the common folk.
Human beings are animals and products of their genes and circumstances. If you were born into a Muslim family you would be a Muslim. If you insist you still would be a Christian that means you are special and superior which you were denying two posts above.
PS: about Jackson you might be correct, I am not familiar with American entertainers. In my place I have seen fair actresses whose old photos shows that they were dark people.( the society I live in give a great importance to fair color, subjugated by the white man for a long time may be the reason) But that is beside the point. Skin color is arbitrary, so is religion. Most people don't try to change it other than for very specific reason and very few people attempt.
I think what he means by accident of birth, and I could be wrong, is that if you grow up in a predominantly Muslim country, you're more likely to be a Muslim. If you grow up in India, you're more likely to be Hindu. If you grow up in Spain, you're more likely to be Catholic, and if you grow up in America which is predominantly Christian, you're likely to be a Christian. In other words, the overwhelming majority of people adopt the Elgin of their culture and their family. Not that you're born into it.
While that is demonstrably true, what he said is that religion is like skin color, implying that you are both with it and you can't change it. And I'm painfully aware that most people who find religion don't go about it like I do, either at the time or since then.
I listened to part of one of the episodes of that call in show, and I have no idea if it was Headly or not who said it, but they pointed out something like "If you confront religious people with a choice of God or science, they will run to God every time and feel like they've passed a test of faith." That was good. Although he was talking about something a little different (that science and God are not mutually exclusive) the lesson can be applied a little differently to examination of faith. A lot of people are afraid to sit down and really examine what they believe and why, as if the act itself were somehow showing a lack of faith in God. And as a result, many people do grow up to just accept a faith they don't really understand and practice imperfectly at best. Then people of other faith, or no faith, will point to that imperfect practice and trumpet, "Ah HA! See! They're just hypocrites!" Unfortunately, this is truly human nature.
God, meanwhile, moves in mysterious ways. I sometimes think that, as we see western society move farther and farther away from any kind of faith-base, the leaders of Christianity might need to re-examine what we do and realize that in a way, we're back to the Roman period, when Christianity was a small group of people and it wasn't our political power that marked us out.
Human nature and demonic influences are at the core of violence. Remove "religion" - thereby removing all the "bad water" that poisons the people AND the life-giving water - and you will still have violence at the hands of the bloodthirsty. What you won't have is that which gives eternal life. Of course, that will never happen because the faithful will stand firm to the end, no matter the efforts to destroy and eliminate faith and "religion".
Those who follow Jesus Christ in Spirit and in truth will live in love and peace so far as it depends on them (though they may have to protect people). You may label it whatever fallacy you so desire, it changes nothing about the truth.
The same was said by racists!!!
Human nature as such does not cause violence unless threatened and demons are fictitious.
You remove religion you will get one cause less for violence.
And violence was perpetrated by even those "saints" of chistitians. For example it was st. John chrysostome - the "golden tongued" who first(arguably) demonised jews. It was priests and friars who were the leaders of inquisition. So you might say that in your version if Christianity there is only love but even you people who preach love preach eternal damnation for those people who disagree with you. ( I don't know whether you personally do it, for I don't know you [but they say that one can judge the character of a person by the type of friends one keep] but the bible does it)
Sister, I said nothing of sisters. Stop pretending these people are your family. It's as silly as saying all white women are your sisters.
It is God who has invited us all into his family, given us the rights to become his children, and made those of us in Jesus Christ to be brothers and sisters. Skin color and all other physical and cultural attributes are eternally insignificant. In Jesus Christ there are no differences; we are all one.
Your the one evading, while at the same time trying to inject racism. Nice.
Didn't answer the question. I'm not bringing in something that is different than what we are talking about, I'm showing you that it's unethical to only care for people of your own religion just as it's unethical to only care for people of your own skin colour.
No, as evidenced by the other responses trying a myriad of ways to convey a simple concept that continues to elude you, or that you simply refuse to acknowledge for what ever reason, you either can't or won't get it. In consideration of that, Sed-Me is right. It is pointless to continue as though you are going to. There is nothing to add regarding your protests that hasn't been made abundantly clear in previous posts, for any objective observer.
One unethical thing that has been exposed in this thread however, is that someone would actually try and put a racist spin on somebody else praying for the well being of Christians, (note we didn't specify what color Christians, mind you), that are suffering persecution. The intent of the thread was to share concerns and request prayers. You've not contributed one wit to the intent of the OP, only served as a distraction. Let's get back to the purpose of the OP, with prayers going out for those suffering at the hands of ISIS.
So it's not okay to discriminate against race, but okay to discriminate against religion?
It's not a matter of "only caring" for any particular group; we care about ALL people! It's a matter of having a great spiritual intimacy and connection with those in the family of believers, just the way you have an intimacy and connection with those in your earthly family.
Why, religion'ism' is better than racism?
Fighting over ideas and fighting based on skin tone are not the same.
Yes, killing in the name of religion is glorious while killing in the name of racism is not, understood.
Don't play petty games. Ppl are suffering right now. If you're not a part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Pray or get out of the way... it's my new motto for this thread. lol
I am neither the part of the problem nor the solution. Just like you I am miles away sitting in the safety of my room. And I don't care whether the christians are killing Muslims or vice versa as long as they don't come to my place. But if humans are killing other humans I am sad but beyond that I am of no help.
For someone who doesn't care, you sure have posted quite a bit on this thread. If it is of no matter to you, you do not need to continue posting. If what you want is distance, this would be a good way to start.
If you don't want replies that are not of your liking then don't post. Racists and religionist should all get a reply, discrimination is not to be tolerated. And the if you were not selectively blind you would have read that though I don't care muslims or christians killing each other, I care when humans do.
You might be surprised to find out that Muslims and Christians are both human.
Not when they call themselves christians and Muslims, they think themselves as angels and special while the others as doomed, demons and needing guidance. To kill humans most humans need to think them as sub-humans.
There are quite a few Christians and Muslims who might be surprised to hear that. I personally have never killed anyone and have no plans to do so.
I was talking about those who kill.
If one don't consider oneself right and others wrong, why preach and evangelize?
Yes you don't kill anyone but even you were bothered about your fellow humans - christians and conveniently forgot about the Yazidis who are in worse position.
You could possibly re-read this thread for mention of the Yazidi ppl.
Enough. Start a fire somewhere else.
I see now, your OP was only about the Yazidis!!!
You mean my op was only about Christians? B/c they hadn't reported on the Yazidi ppl yet. When they had, I requested prayer for them too. ENOUGH.
They are not humans to you? Sounds disturbed and disturbing - taking religious intolerance to such a degree that you deny those of particular faiths are even human!!
People who are killed are not human to those who kill, can you understand now?
Religious people consider themselves special and blessed while considering others who don't belong to their group as "demonic", misguided and damned.
I consider all people special. They are all one-of-a-kind masterpieces by the Creator - wonderfully made and completely irreplaceable! That's why I never give up hope for people and persist in sharing the good news of God's love and mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
The ISIS is also doing the same, trying to spread their good news with the help of a bayonet similar to what your ancestors did. When you consider only your news as good and anothers news bad, you are considering yourself special and the other as one in need of correction, less special if not doomed. You see, your good news is good news only to you, others have their own and when you try to give each other the good news fights erupt. One side then accuse the other of being demonic and consider oneself as blessed or god's select, which is going to aggravate the fight - human nature because humans are basically animals and the basic motto is "survival of the fittest".
Not necessarily. Human beings are basically selfish and egocentric, but basically animals? No. God created us in HIs image but He did NOT create pigs, pigeons or baboons in His image. And there is nothing anywhere that mandates we MUST 'fight to the death' for our 'good news.'
Your analysis holds only if there is a neutral ground where there is no 'good news' for anyone and anything that is labeled 'good news' is an imposition. But if there really is Good News, then that news is good for EVERYONE, even if they don't agree with it or want to accept it. If human beings act in a way that runs against that Good News, even while claiming it, they are still doing wrong. But the news itself is still good.
I presume you have seen the creator to know how he looks like. I haven't seen and as far as I am concerned "creator" is an irrational hypothesis which no man is able to rationalize without a fallacy. And I don't see any difference between animals and humans other than that humans have a bigger brain and a proportionate increase in the range of behavior and that I belong to that species. They all have the same organs which all act in the same way.
That is an observation not from history. People kill and die for the news, even now. The christians in iraq can save their hide by simply changing their religion and Muslims need not kill them to change, but both cling to what they think is the only "good news".
Wrong. What you consider good news is not considered good news by muslims and vice versa. Personally I find your good news morally repugnant. So there is no "universal good news", only you consider it so. The news will not be good news just because you will it. For christians in iraq it certainly is a bad news.
Why? Does it make you feel superior when I say no I haven't? It shouldn't. I have read His word and it makes clear that He made us in His image.
Well, we all have our biases and in my experience some are quite happy to trumpet them.
Why do you act like you disagree with me but sound like you agree with me?
So in other words, my actual statement is correct but you don't deal with what I said and instead deal with your reaction to what you think you understand.
Tell me, what do you think the Good News that you find so 'morally repugnant' actually is?
It is you who show superiority by saying that you know what the creator wants, I consider every one equal, not privy to any special knowledge.
You haven't read "his" words. What you have read is written by human beings but purported as being from the creator. Just because some human being wrote so, does not make it so.
So you do, I see. You are biased towards a particular book while against others. No human is able to establish "creator" rationally or logically. All they do is using fallacies like ontological argument, cosmological argument, special pleading, Pascal's wager...... in different forms or argue from authority of some ancient texts or famous persons as you do. But if you can, at least give a logical proof, I am happy to accept what you say.
Pray how? The christians there commit suicide and muslims kill(in some other place and time the roles are reversed) thinking that there is a mandate to kill or die.
Your actual statement that if it is a good news, it should be a good news to all is correct, but I have shown with examples that your good news is not good news to all. And I am in neutral ground, there is no news at all, let alone good news. Christians has decided that what they believe is good for them and good for all. But the violence perpetrated for and against shows it is good news not even for them.
Your good news? Simple a god acted as his own son and killed himself in that form to give eternal life to humans.
On the contrary, you and I agree in that all people are equal and none are privy to any special knowledge that is not there for all. So don't be so quick to assign a feeling of superiority to someone who does not possess it. That's your bias, not mine.
And yes, I have read His words, written through human agents.
I'm very open about what I believe AND WHY. If you're interested, I'm willing to go into it. Again, don't assign things to me that I don't take on myself. And just because I do have a bias does NOT mean that you are bias-free.
I was not aware that Christians were committing suicide. Where did you get that? I'm being completely serious and ernest, I don't get to watch or listen to as much news as some and if you know something I don't, I would like to know.
A) No, you've as yet to show that my good news is not good news to all.
B) You are hardly on neutral ground. The mere fact that you are here and so worked up and ready to assign things to people without getting to know them proves that.
C) I also said that if someone does wrong and goes against the Good News, even while claiming it, they are still doing wrong. They don't get off the hook in any sense that way. So you're still not 'proving' me wrong.
D) Well, you kind of almost understand it. You're leaving out two very important things: 1) That God does indeed exist (you imply here and state outright elsewhere that He does not,) and 2) That the 'eternal life' is actually being in Heaven with God forever, and the alternative makes whatever someone goes through here on Earth something they wish they could get back to, no matter how bad.
Yet you think you are special, don't you because you believe in the bible?
So you agree it was written by humans? How do you know it is God's words other than by your bias? Why weren't the authors fraudsters or superstitious?
I believe humans will be extinct in a few years and I can tell you the reasons, so? Can you logically prove? Can you explain without contradicting yourself? If so I am open.
They have a choice don't they? They can convert and save themselves. If a car is coming in the wrong way and if I keep my ground telling I have the right of way then I am commiting suicide, ain't I?
I told you I didn't see any news but ancient superstition and I am not alone.
Do you feel like I am from the demon? That is usually the christian tactic to say that whoever questions them is demonic. I am questioning your assertions posted in a public forum. I am not worked up nor am I in your personal territory.
For someone who agree that is good news, you are right. But for the majority who don't care about your news it's only a superstition.
No I am not implying but categorically stating that there is nothing in this world that fit the definition of a creator. Creator is irrational and illogical, self contradictory. If you say that thing which is not seen exist, its your job to say how.
That is a superstition, even a delusion. For me that is a false hope sold by charlatans, not a good news.
That one always makes me laugh. No. My thinking is hardly that limited. Nor is my understanding of the Bible I believe in that shallow.
But for people who do not accept the Bible at face value as absolute truth, saying what the Bible says about creation and being made in the image of god is relatively meaningless without any type of evidence whatsoever.
Yes and no. The existence of God, even if someone does not believe it, is not meaningless. I wish there was as easy an answer for the rest as most people on both sides want there to be. It would certainly make life simpler.
You misunderstand me. I didn't say that the existence of god or the non existence of God is meaningless. I said that asserting that we were made in the image of god as his creation is meaningless to someone who does not accept the Bible as truth or as an authority. It would be like me quoting the Koran to you to back up an assertion and expecting you to accept its claims at face value.
I got that, but by the same token at some point the assertion must be put out there, even if it is rejected. If for no other reason than so that people I'm talking to actually understand (hopefully) where I'm coming from.
But an assertion without evidence is meaningless. I can say until I'm blue in the face that according to (insert book name) I'm made in the image of (insert whatever) but simply making the assertion with nothing to back it up makes it empty. What's the point? Aside from the 40,000 denominations and their various spins of dogma, do you really think that anyone raised (at least in the western world where Christianity has dominated for a thousand years - for now, not withstanding the growing rise of secularism ) would NOT know basic Christian ideology? Creationism is still taught in some public schools, although thankfully that trend is being challenged and defeated around the country.
Is it really, ultimately meaningless?
Are you sure there's no evidence?
Is the here and now really all we have?
Are you really so certain that Christianity is still some kind of lingua franca in the Western World? My son is a Christian and yet he often doesn't recognize ideas and phrases that were common parlance when I was his age.
Is the 'defeat' of Creationism in and of itself really the best and most noble goal? What replaces it?
Ultimately meaningless to use a holy book as evidence to present to someone who doesn't accept it as true? Yep. About as useful as me trying to use the Koran to prove Islam to you. Would it work?
I'm all for teaching creationism to students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills because to understand and examine it. But it's not science. It doesn't belong in a science classroom. Science does, and creationism isn't science. If you're going to introduce religion in the classroom you should be responsible to teach them all equally. Religion education doesn't belong in public school.
No evidence that the creation story is actually true? Yep.
Is the here and now all we have? Sorry, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China or anything that I actually said? My answer? I don't know - and neither do you or anyone else. You hope its not. You believe that it's not, but that doesn't make it true, and there is no more evidence for your hope than any other religious ideology out there. Your hope of eternal Paradise also comes with a hope of eternal damnation and suffering for people like me on more than one count, so if there is something more or there, I hope it isn't your version.
Whether or not Creationism is science (and I'm not arguing that it is or that it should be taught in school as science, that was not the point of my question) unless things are radically different in your average public school science class, kids are not learning science properly. I was never taught what a Scientific Theory is, and Darwinism was the order of the day. And I've seen the fallout of that in these forums, where people who don't know what a ST is keep saying "it's just a theory" and people who DO know and SHOULD be more helpful with the knowledge just keep their yaps shut and deride the hoi polloi.
Nevertheless, that was not the point of the question.
Here and now is not all we have. That means a lot of things, Sis.
The questions were not meant to be answered immediately. My conclusions are the results of years of pondering, and if I'm being a tad mysterious it's because thinking is what this whole thing is SUPPOSED to be about.
Quite simply hypothesis is an assumption and theory is a rational explanation based on that hypothesis.
Say god exists is a hypothesis, if you can explain rationally how god created then that becomes a theory.
Irrational theories are irrational - nonsense. So make a rational theory then I will accept what you say.
That shows what? That if you take what I say out of context you can then proceed to 'get' me on it?
Evasion? No, not on my part.
You need to stop arguing with the Christian in your head. Half the things you're so eager to attribute to me I didn't say, and the other half are usually not meant the way you take them.
And I'm still confused as to what 'that shows." What does that even mean?
That shows why you argue for an irrational theory. Why you state that god exists even though you cannot show how.
"Half the things you're so eager to attribute to me I didn't say"
The last time you said this I after two attempts finally had to quote your whole post to show how what you write come across.
So I am asking again
If you were born in an ordinary muslim family somewhere in iraq or saudi would you be a Christian?
Or if you think that is a hypothetical question,
Will an ordinary human (anyone like you or me) born to an ordinary muslim family in the middle east suddenly abandon islam for Christianity?
From what you said what I understood is that if you were you would.
I can only read what you write Mr Neal not your mind.
This should be good...
I'm dying to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It is simply the latest example of you bringing you to it, because if you analyze the entire statement preceding and proceeding it, you find that your conclusion has absolutely nothing to do with the conversation I was having with Julie, but I'm still really interested to see your reasoning to arrive from point 'a' to point 'pi-the square of hummus.'
I don't read all the comments but mostly only those comments addressed to me or those from people whom I find interesting or if it accidentally catches my eye. So I was not answering for her but replying to the comment you made to me by quoting a statement relevant to our conversation.
The world exists. I am seeing it from my birth. I remember my grandfather who said not only about himself but about his great grandfather who lived here. They all said change occurs which I also can see but the world was here. From that I am concluding that the world was always here. So unless otherwise proved it was here always in one form or another.
Now the religious come along and say that it was not here sometime before and the reason they say is nothing can be eternal. Then in the next breath they say god is eternal and created the world there by contradicting their own first premise. I think you also agree that when one contradict oneself he won't be believed. More over they have nothing to prove their assertions except personal revelations.
This is in a nutshell, but there is more to it if you have time.
Now if it is about why you can't show, its because as I already told no human being ever lived and published were ever able to show. The christians for two millennium is trying but couldn't come up. I don't consider you more knowledgeable than the religious heads but still I asked you twice(though you say I am arguing to the christian in my head, I do indeed ask you but it's your refusal to answer or your vagueness that make me guess) but you didn't answer.
If it is about why I think you are arguing for god, that is what you told me that humans look like the creator. I think creator = god.
And thus, in a nutshell, is both the solution and the problem.
You judge according to you. Whatever you see and think and conclude is, in your estimation, the right conclusion and you see no reason to take anything else into consideration.
Which, in a nutshell, is why you keep getting it so wrong in your responses to me.
But in the future, if you're going to respond to a comment I made to someone else, at least respond to the entire comment. As I said, you picked one sentence then proceeded to construct an argument that was fallacious and egocentric. Not correct, but I will hand it to you that it was starting to show signs of complexity.
I haven't been paying attention to your conversation here, but he has made a valid point. If we explain the existence of the universe and us by saying that everything has a beginning and ending except for God we have made a logical fallacy. As we've made one exception to the rule we just gave. It's called special pleading and do we say that at the very least all of the religions based on the OT are based on a logical fallacy?
The reason I didn't respond directly to the point he made is not because I disagree with the point, but because he has shown a habit of either taking one specific thing that I say completely out of context or of ignoring what I've said altogether and superimposing his preconceived notion of what a Christian thinks on what I said. Not coincidentally, he has accused me of saying things I never said, or of thinking things I never thought.
One time he was able to show me what I said, and although I admitted I could see why he might have gotten the impression he did, I clarified what I was saying to show that I had not been saying what he kept 'throwing back at me.'
And although I can see why many people, both religious and non, would jump on that one sentence of my overall statement, I'm really trying to get you (and Julie) to think more long-term and big-picture. I don't assume either of you will agree with me, but I would like to get both of you to understand better just how I actually see things. So although I certainly stand by the statement "There is God." it's not the endpoint of what I'm attempting to get at. I was trying to show that there are lots of things that are not immediate, here-and-now types of things that we deal with constantly, and there's a bigger world not just in space but also in time to deal with.
The first thing we have to establish is whether there is a god before embarking on a discussion of events. Otherwise it will be circular argument, experience proves god and it is because of god the experience and we will simply be running around in circles.
Told you again and again to show how you rationally and logically concluded god.
Matter exists whether you or me sees it or not. And nobody can dispute that because if matter exists it should exist by the definition of "exist" and not on anybody's opinion
On matter you are absolutely correct and I've never disputed that. But you have concluded that the universe has just always been because...you don't see anything else. You can't prove it, but you hold to it and deride me for believing something different.
That is why I said in a nutshell.
Past is an explanation, it has to be rational. We both can agree that we cannot walk back in time and see what happened.
Mine is not a belief. There are only two options, either matter is eternal ir it was created some time in the past, it's a dichotomy. If one is false other has to be true, both cannot be true or false at the same time. All creation scenarios are irrational.
If we both that agree god exists, by existing he need a body made of matter, any kind of matter which again prove matter is eternal.
Then time is a human concept there is only eternal present, by definition.
I can elaborate further but then you will accuse me of talking in length.
The logic part radman already discussed.
And universe is matter plus space, space is out conceptualization of nothingness and nothingness is neither created nor destroyed.
Why would God 'need' a body of matter? Why must He be corporeal?
No, it isn't. Once the concept of God is stipulated, the question is logical.
By saying the only thing that doesn't have a beginning and an ending is your version of God, which is special pleading. You've made one exception.
Which then becomes a separate issue. Either stipulate that God exists (for the sake of the argument) and proceed to answer the question, or deny that God exists. But don't act like you're allowing it then turn around and deny it.
I know that you didn't stipulate that God exists, Jomine did. But for you to argue that it's special pleading is irrelevant to the conversation that I'm having with him.
Okay, I've not been paying much attention to your conversation, so I'll give you that, but sometimes we have to talk to you guys as if God exists. I sometimes do it in an attempt to show how unethical the bible is. I have no idea what he was doing, but that doesn't change the special pleading needed to make your claim.
The concept of god is stipulated by as by basing our only true premise that universe exist. Death and beginning is a false premise based on the concept of time and observations of birth and death of organisms and organizations.
The logic is like this,
Everything is created, everything except god.
Everything is created is a stipulation and except is special pleading.
What you seem to be saying is that you stipulate that God exists but then insist that He can't really exist. Which is fine if that's what you want to do, but that still doesn't answer my question. Once you allow that God does exist, even if only for the sake of argument, why then do you insist that God must have a physical body?
God = creator.
If matter is eternal what did god create?
Exist = physical presence = having shape.
God should have a shape to differentiate himself from the surrounding nothingness, otherwise he will become one with nothingness, will be nothing. If god exists, by definition of exist god should be physical. Non physical is also called concept that which we conceive in our mind. Spirit and god are concepts, does not denote any object.
The same is the case with logic, you propose everything needs to be created. So if god is a thing he needs to be created. If he is not created, by your logic, he becomes nothing but nothing doesn't take part in any action.
'If matter is eternal...'
I don't remember making that argument. Matter decays.
And I stand by what I said. Spirit is a definite thing. It is not physical, like flesh, but it exists. Besides, no one is arguing that God has no form. Only that His form does not inhabit a physical body. And your answer to my question is basically to restate what I was questioning in the first place.
What you call decay is just matter rearranging, it doesn't disappear. When we die our body decay into its component particle, C, CO2, H2O, N2,......... not that it suddenly becomes nothing. It simply change places.
"Spirit is a definite thing"
If it is thing it must exist, it got a shape. Being a thing, you have to say where in the body it is situated and why it is not detected.
Form is shape. I am not saying that the matter that make up god is like anything in this universe. I am not speculating on its size or texture or characteristic or definite shape but only that it has shape. What has shape is physical - not nothing but a thing. Physical presence means having a shape that is physical and form are near synonyms, form/shape is the property of physical.
So if god exists he has a shape/form. Whatever has form is an object/thing/matter/physical presence. So matter has to exist as the body of god otherwise god will become nothing, a concept conceived in the mind if sentient beings.
So all you have to say is whether god is an object/matter/physical or whether he is a concept.
If he exists, he is an object that has shape/form.
Whatever gives that shape is physical by definition.
So that physical has to be eternal.
If that much can exist eternally why not the rest?
More over according to what you say god should be able to think, that is he is organized into a living form instead of haphazard arrangement. Then you should be able to say how such an intelligent being can be eternal for another premise of ours is intelligence need to created.
Rationally you have only three options,
Creation ex nihilo,
Creation ex Materia
Creation ex deo
All of which are irrational, presupposing matter. Ex nihilo is doubly so as god has to act on nothingness but nothingness is not an actor in any action.
More over universe encompass nothingness that gives shape. Nothingness is no created, it's always there.
Logically you are using two special pleadings. One regarding things and other regarding intelligence.
I didn't even read the whole thing. It boils down to this, either you allow for the existence of God or you don't. If you say you allow for the existence of God then declare that only under the circumstances you would accept can He exist, you are not allowing for the existence of God. So why act like you are in the first place? I'm not even saying you should say that God definitely exists, it's just that if you're going to allow, for the sake of argument, something that would be outside your accepted understanding, why then turn around and nullify your own statement by refusing to act as if this something could possibly exist outside of your accepted understanding? Why sneak in the physics lesson?
I said lets agree that god exists, now make the theory. If you make the theory then I will accept your premise 'god exists' in your experience and not the other way round.
Remember I asked you to prove god logically or explain rationally otherwise still its only your word.
You want me to agree to a contradiction(put forward by you), that god exists but he is not an object. How can anyone agree to a contradiction?
If god exists he is an object (made of matter).
If he is not made of matter, god is a concept. (It's not only about god but about anything).
So you decide whether your god is an object or concept, I think you said about god concept (Once the concept of God is stipulated, the question is logical).
If you say your god is an object, lets agree that god exists as a hypothesis, now explain how god created.
If god is a concept, then by your own words god doesn't exist.
By the way it is not simply physics(if we discussing objects we can't escape physics),
Before embarking on any conversation we have an implied agreement that we follow a set of rules, the rules of language so that we understand each other precisely. So what I have done is clarifying the meaning of the words we use, for a better understanding of each other, that we don't commit the fallacy of equivocation.
Don't you want me to understand you?
Of course I do but you don't seem to want to. I understand your statement but you either don't understand or simply refuse to accept mine. I have stated that in many vernaculars, in many cultures really, 'spirit' is not a concept but an object, just one that lacks physical matter. If you've read Christian literature, as you claim, then you should understand that. If you keep saying no, that's not possible, then you will never understand me no matter how often I explain myself.
The 'theory' of God is a being who is transcendent, outside of space and time, and who literally created everything out of nothing. You don't need to accept that as absolutely true, but you do need to accept that this is the conception I believe is true. Since God's own description is a being of Spirit and not a man like us, and one who can see past, present and future all together, then it does not necessarily follow that either God has a physical body or God is merely a concept. I believe in the soul, I believe in spirit beings.
That's interesting to me Chris, as the bible seems to say something different. From what I've read Jesus was said to have ascended with a physical body and Christians are supposed to get new bodies resembling Christ's body.
1 Corinthians 15:35–49
Okay, good point. I suppose at this point I should differentiate between God the Father and Jesus (God the Son.) You're right that the Bible takes great pains to point out that Jesus does indeed have a physical body, but in the OT, where references to God are to the Father and He is said to be above and separate from humans and to be a being of pure Spirit.
His BACKSIDE appears in front of Moses. How does a non physical being without a body have a backside, I wonder. The Greek and Roman gods managed, since they had bodies and mated with mortal women and all.
I think this was an attempt to explain that.
"When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown."
Eh, possibly. But then God goes and knocks someone up and then leaves her to be stoned to death for breaking his own rule if her future husband wasn't supportive. Nice guy.
And then realizes that to complete the prophesy the baby needs to be born in Bethlehem so he makes a very very pregnant women travel all that way. Nice.
First of all, Bethlehem was a mis-translation. Secondly, the birth stories do not agree. Thirdly, there was no Empire wide tax that required everyone to travel to their place of ancestry. Tax collectors traveled to assess taxes of the land that was currently owned, which they can't do if you leave your property to go and register somehere else. The whole story doesn't make sense.
Chris Neal was arguing two posts above that he can make sense of a contradictory statement. If he can treat synonyms as antonyms and can still claim to make sense, this won't be much difficult. After all it is selective blindness and deafness that make a religious.
PS: can you please elaborate on the mistranslation of Bethlehem, I don't remember seeing that before.
I can't find exactly where that was covered in one of my books, but I found a slight reference to it here:
Whoa! Whoa-ho! Back it up!
I NEVER, EVER said I 'could make sense of contradictory statement." I have not gone into depth on this. I've said before and will say again, in a human sense, God does not make sense. I don't pretend to understand Him. I believe He exists.
Part of what you base that erroneous statement on is your insistence on defining things a certain way. You know, that's fine, but if I define the word 'spirit' differently than you do, what I then do is make sense out of a non-contradictory statement. If you redefine it the way you want it and insist it doesn't make sense, I still have not ever claimed I could 'make sense of a contradictory statement.' Say that I don't make sense (according to your definitions) but don't put words in my mouth.
God is a non physical object- your words not mine. Object and physical are synonyms. If it didn't make sense(I couldn't) to you, would you use it?