Acts 2 The Gift of the Holy Spirit

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For a minute the air crackled. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I had the uncanny feeling that something big was about to happen. The whole world seemed to hold its breath. Suddenly the roar of a terrible wind shattered the silence. At least I thought it was wind at first, it was powerful, awesome, frightening. The noise was earth shattering, but a wind of such force should have caused some major damage. Yet nothing was touched. I didn’t know what it was, but I was going to find out. I rushed around the corner to follow the sound and saw a large crowd gathering. This time of year, Jerusalem was very crowded. It was the celebration of Pentecost, one of the yearly festivals that all male Jews were required to attend. Held 50 days after Passover, Pentecost celebrated the time God gave Moses the Law. We had spent the night studying the law and reading the book of Ruth in honor of that day. Now we were getting ready for the feasting and festivities that came with our celebration. Until the mysterious wind came, then all activity was put on hold to satisfy our curiosity.


The strange sound seemed to be heading into a particular dwelling. I recognized the house as the one where Jesus’ apostles were staying. I remembered with sadness his death on the cross at Passover, and felt compassion for their loss. I had also heard rumors of Jesus coming back to life again, but didn’t pay too much attention to them. That was impossible. I knew Jesus had done many miraculous things during his life, but since I was a Jew from Asia, I hadn’t seen anything first hand. I didn’t know how much truth was in the stories. Regardless of what I had missed before, I was about to witness something incredible now. The sound entered the house, filling it up and turning into fire. I felt frozen in place as the fire divided and consumed the men inside. What was happening? Why didn’t anyone do something? Perhaps everyone was as stunned as I was. Shocked at what they were seeing, unable to move. Then I realized that each person was on fire, but nothing was burning up. I could hardly believe my eyes. As I stood there with my mouth hanging open, it filtered through my befuddled brain that the men inside were all talking at once. Slowly I realized that I could understand them! I knew they were Galilean, but they were speaking my language! In amazement, I realized that we could all understand them, each in our own tongue. The crowd represented Jews from all over the world; Egypt, Arabia, Rome, Mesopotamia, Libya and many more. I was a part of the miracle, but I had no idea what was going on. Confusion showed on the faces around me, and I knew I wasn’t alone. Some started making fun of the apostles, accusing them of being drunk, but I knew this was not the result of too much wine. It was just too amazing.


Finally Peter came out and told us what was going on. He told us about Jesus and reminded us of the miracles he had done. He confirmed that Jesus really did rise from the dead and explained how he had fulfilled prophesy. Then Peter explained what we were seeing. Jesus had spoken to them after his resurrection and told them to stay in Jerusalem until he sent them his gift. That gift was what we were witnessing. It was the gift of the Holy Spirit. I knew about the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit who talked to the prophets in our scriptures. It was the Holy Spirit who gave them the power of God and the ability to prophesy. But the Holy Spirit was only for special people, the great men of faith in our nation. Those men had a special relationship with God that we could never hope for. Was it possible? Could it be true? Was he saying we could all have the Holy Spirit? What an honor that would be, to know God as the prophets knew him, to be able to talk to him and to have him as a part of our lives. I could hardly grasp the concept. My heart burst, I need to know how this could be. Someone asked the questions burning in my mind. “Brothers, what shall we do?” I listened closely as Peter answered. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.” I knew this was what I wanted; I knew this was what I would do. That day three thousand of us were baptized. It was a moment I would never forget. My life has never been the same. I cannot explain the joy we had as we basked in the love of God. Later life got difficult. The Romans and the Jewish leaders were threatened by us and made our lives difficult. But although I would be tortured for my new faith in Christ, I never regretted my decision.


It wasn’t until evening that I realized the significance of that day. Fifty days earlier we had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, the night the ancient Jews in Egypt sacrificed a lamb to save their firstborn sons from the plague of death that would ravish the land. On our Passover, Jesus, the Son of God, had been sacrificed to save the world from the plague of death brought on by our sins. Today we were celebrating Pentecost, the time when God gave those ancient Jews the gift of his law 50 days after freeing them from Egyptian slavery. On our celebration, 50 days after Christ’s death, we were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. This opened up a whole new relationship with our God. It is a relationship for all the nations, a relationship that confirmed our freedom from the penalty of our sins. From this day forward a new and better way had been given to us. No longer were sacrifices required. Jesus had completed the law and now we were free to accept his sacrifice and have all of our sins forgiven. What a wonderful gift! I couldn’t wait to share the news with everyone I knew in hopes that their lives would be changed as well.




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Comments 741 comments

gingerka profile image

gingerka 4 years ago from Colorado

Praise God that we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts to lead us through life everyday once we accept Jesus as our Savior. Nice job!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Amen! Thank you so much gingerka! I'm glad you liked it.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Hi, I'm wondering how people like you can see the Bible as perfect and infallible even though it has so many contradictions.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

That is a fair question newenglandsun. I have studied the Bible for many years and have been amazed at its consistency. I don't know of any contradictions within it that can't be resolved by keeping it in context. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Okay, here are some contradictions:

Hebrews 1:5 - For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"?

Job 38:7 - When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Mark 15:21-22 - Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.

John 19:17 - And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,

Mark 15:25 - Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.

John 19:14 - Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!"

Other different contradictions and historical discrepancies in the Bible include Genesis 1-2 being completely contradictory plus the world is 4.5 billion years old, not 6,000 as Genesis suggests. Also, a global flood could not have possibly happened. The Bible is also inaccurate about Jesus's birth place. Matthew and Luke argue that Jesus is the Son of David yet then proceed to argue that he was born a virgin who was not of the bloodline of David and therefore is not the Son of David. Etc.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Afternoon Newenglandsun! I see you have put some thought into this. I respect and appreciate that. If you are truly interested, I am happy to walk through each of these with you. I may even turn some into hubs. But, as a mother of young children, my time is limited. So if you are just looking for someone to argue with, I would appreciate it if you looked elsewhere. Please don't be offended by that, just recognize that I don't know you and while I believe you may be serious, I have learned there are many who just enjoy the argument.

So starting at the bottom with the intent to work up, let's begin with Mary's genealogy and wether Jesus is or is not the Son of David.

I see you are aware that the genealogies in both Matthew and Luke lead back to Joseph and not Mary. Beyond this omission, I want to point out that neither Matthew nor Luke say that Mary was not from the bloodline of David. In fact, both do proclaim Jesus as being a descendent of David.

Matthew 1:1 -"A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham."

Luke 18: 38 – 39 – “He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Perhaps you have noticed some of the differences in these genealogies. Matthew claims that Jacob is the father of Joseph, while Luke states that Heli is his father. Also in Matthew, the listed descendant of David is Solomon while the line in Luke goes through David’s son Nathan. This indicates that these are actually the genealogies of two different people. Since Jewish law requires that all genealogies are generally stated through the male line, not the female and a son-in-law could be considered a son, it is reasonable to say that Luke’s family tree is that of Mary. This is further supported by the Jewish Talmud mentioning that Mary’s father was Heli. (Chagigah 77.4) This would make Mary a descendant of David.

Although Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus, he was the legal father. In order for Jesus to be legally considered an heir of David, Joseph had to be from David’s line. Matthew’s gospel is written to the Jews and his genealogy meets all the public record requirements necessary to prove that Jesus was a legal descendant of David as Joseph's adopted son.

One more law further supports Mary’s lineage as being through David, based on Numbers 36:6-7, the law required marriages to stay within their own clan. So we can reason that in order for Mary to marry Joseph, she also had to be from the line of David.

Hopefully this was helpful and interesting for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or a preference on what we discuss next. However, before we move on to the discrepancies in Jesus’ birthplace, you will have to show me what you mean. While I have looked into some of the things you have mentioned before, I wasn’t aware of this one. I know I don’t know everything and I always try to honestly and openly look into anything that is new to me.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Thank you very much. I'm not entirely certain if Mary was of the seed of David though. It seems fishy to say they refer to two different Joseph's. No, I am trying to look for settlement on this matter as to whether the entire Bible can be trusted or just bits and pieces of it. As for where Jesus was born:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/xmaswwjb.htm

Hopefully you can cover any other question I have. Thank you so much!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Sorry newengland sun, I just saw this. I wonder why it didn't come through my email. I am glad that you are seriously searching. I am happy to help you. I didn't mean there were two different Josephs, but two different geneologies under Joseph's name. I was saying that Mary's geneology is under Joseph's name because Jewish law required all public record geneologies to be under the man's name.

I have just picked up my kids from school and must do homework/dinner/scouts now but I will try to look at that website tonight. Thanks!


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Thank you and I look forward to reading your hubs on this issue. I also have another question, I was reading my NRSV Bible today and in Mark 7:31, it says Jesus goes from Tyre, through Sidon, to get to the Sea of Galilee. Wouldn't this be a bad geographical error since Sidon is north of Tyre and the Sea of Galilee is south of Tyre?

Sorry if I have asked too many questions. I will try not to ask too many at once. Thank you.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good evening newenglandsun, no problem on the question, as long as you don't need them all answered at once. Although I must admit I got caught up in your article and have stayed up way to late tonight! Very interesting, thank you.

Here is my findings and thoughts. Hopefully they make sense, by this time of night I may not be to clear.

That was an interesting article, thank you for sharing. I would suggest reading all of Matthew chapter 2 to see how Jesus got from where he was born, Bethlehem of Judea to Nazareth, where he grew up, by way of Egypt. You will also see that Herod sent the Magi to Bethlehem in Judea in search of Jesus, based on the mentioned prophesy. And they found him.

I must say, I disagree with the article’s statement that his hometown had to be his birthplace. (Mark 6:1; John 7:41-43; and any reference to Jesus being a Nazarene) Mary and Joseph came from Nazareth (Luke 1:26) and they returned there when it was safe. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, making it his hometown. Just because he wasn’t born there doesn’t make him unable to be from there. I was born in a different town from where I grew up and I don’t consider my birthplace to be my hometown.

As far as Mary traveling with Joseph, while it may not have been normal, it certainly was possible. You can imagine the social stigma she probably faced with being pregnant before marriage in that culture. She may have wanted to go rather than be left alone at home as a social outcast. Or, knowing their baby would be a boy, they may have wanted/needed to register him also, in which case Mary would have had to go. (just my own speculations on this point)

While riding a mule across country was probably not normally the best thing for a pregnant woman to be doing, it wasn’t the most amazing thing about the pregnancy. After a virgin conception, a mule ride pales in comparison. She probably did her fair share of walking too. I certainly did a lot of walking my last month of pregnancy. And we don’t know that they travel alone. They could have very easily gone with a group. As the article pointed out, the roads would have been packed.

Finally we look at historical records. While it may seem silly to us to send everyone back to the home of their ancestors, it was not unheard of in the ancient world. Archeology has uncovered an Egyptian papyrus dating form 104 AD documenting this exact practice. The Jews were very fastidious about their heritage. If the census included inheritance taxes, it could be possible that the people had to return to where the records were kept, the home of their ancestors.

Taxing and census by the Romans was not uncommon. It is believed to have occurred approximately every 14 years from the time Caesar Augustus until the 3rd century AD. As your article mentioned, the tax by Quirinius in 6AD is well documented. However, unlike your article states, there is documentation of an earlier tax. The Roman historian Dio Cassius in his Roman History LV 25: 5-6 states (the tax)”had been introduced once before, but had been abolished later and was now revived”. Justin Martyr also refers to this earlier tax in his First Apology, 34 – “now there is a village in the land of the Jews…in which Christ was born, as you can ascertain also from the registries of the taxing under Quirinius, your first procurator in Judea.” As you can see there is archeological and historical evidence to support the tax and the travel of the citizens to the place of their roots.

Hope that was useful. I will try to find some time tomorrow to continue. Have a good night.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Thank you. I will keep searching and digging. I'm still not certain about that virgin birth thing and why Matthew and Luke try to argue that Jesus is the Son of David through Joseph's bloodline.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

It is interesting that you see an argument in Matthew and Luke, while I see a copy of the public records of Joseph and Mary’s genealogies stated just as they were filed at the “courthouse” for anyone to see. I was hoping to write a hub on this today, but I’m running out of time, so I’m not sure when it will happen. The rest of the week looks pretty busy.

Oh, I meant to ask you last night…I was curious to know which parts of the Bible you do find to be true. I always wondered how people choose when they don’t either accept or reject all of it. I hope you don’t mind.

I also forgot to include my thoughts on the lack of archeological evidence of Bethlehem. I don’t think it really disproves its existence. For a long time people said the Bible wasn’t true because they couldn’t find Jericho; and when they thought they did, it wasn’t what they expected. Then one day they found it! Turns out they were about a mile off track and had a misunderstanding of how a walled city grew. My understanding of archeology is that you can dig and dig for years without being sure if you are two miles or two inches from what you are looking for.

As far as Jesus going north to go south, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I get the impression that Jesus was visiting both areas before going back towards home. (matching verse in Matthew 15:21) Not unlike visiting Philadelphia and taking a trip up to New York before heading back to Georgia.

Anyway, I think we are up to the possibility of a global flood and the age of the earth. I have to get going, and I might not get back until next week. So I will see you then!

Oh, I was wondering if you have ever sat down and just read one of the gospels straight through. I’d be interested to know what you think of the bigger view.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

I read the book of John all the way through. It seems the author cannot make up his mind as to whether Jesus is God, just equal to God, or subordinate to God. Possibly has his theology confused.

It's mostly when I start looking at the other books in the Bible that it stops making sense. I'm not sure if I can accept all of Genesis being accurate so I would say that I can believe (to an extent) that much of the Hebrew Bible is true in particular everything after Genesis 1-11. Maybe not the book of Job though it does bring a good spiritual lesson. The book of Daniel, I have my doubts on whether or not a prophet named Daniel actually lived in the time of Nebechadnezzar. Although it is more than likely that it was around before the second century BCE. Maybe it was written in its entirety in the 4th century BCE or at least bits and pieces of it. The book of Hebrews is difficult and contradicts Job and other accounts in the Hebrew Bible. Much of the writers of the New Testament seem to have their facts about the Hebrew Bible skewed. Jesus's parables are obviously not historical. Some of the things that cannot be proven or disproven are easier for me to accept then that which is just beyond a comprehension and has much going against it. The miracles of Jesus are probably parables. Some might be true although I wonder why Paul doesn't mention them.

Sorry. Brain dump.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Hello newenglandsun! Here I was thinking I would have no time the rest of this week and I find myself sitting at the mechanics with an unexpected hour or two. That is a bit of a brain dump. Most of it can be explained with context and perception. I touched on that subject in John a little bit in my hub "Does Jesus claim to be God" based on John 5.

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/John-516-1...

the rest we can get to later if you're not tired of me by then :)

I have also used my time here at the garage to write my hub on Mary and Josephs lineage. It's called "Was Jesus a descendant of David?" I hope you find it interesting.

gotta go, I'll link it later


newenglandsun 4 years ago

I'm having trouble finding it. I have psted clarification on my confusion in John on your hub on that section though. Thank you for helping.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

I don't know why hubpages hasn't posted it yet...frustrating. here is the link..

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Is-Jesus-a...


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good evening newenglandsun...looks like we're practically neighbors. I'm not too far from ASU...so it looks like we are up the the age of the earth and the reality of the flood.

As far as the age of the earth, I think it might be an interesting arguement but not very relevant to proving or disproving the Bible. As far as I'm concerned, the bible doesn't say how old the earth is and claims from both sides are speculation. They may be thouroghly researced and thought out, but still speculation. I could go either way. I will say that Adam and Eve were adults which could indicate that the earth was created with at least some age built into it. Which would throw off everybody's opinions!

There seems to be plenty of evidence out there for the arguement of a worldwide flood. I was surprised at how much of the evidence against it consisted of "it just couldn't happen" or were tied to the age of the earth, which as I just said was speculation. Whether the mountains were flat or tall at the time, it is still interesting that most of the globe seems to have evidence of being covered in sedimentary rock and ocean fossils at one time. While I recognize that these could also occur from rivers, it seems like it would have been some huge rivers.

more interesting to me is that the story of the flood is repeated in the histories of the ancient cultures. (I can give you a list if your really want, but its petty long, so just let me know) I find this to be pretty compelling evidence.

On a less impressive note, if I remember high school science, the dino's and many other extinct species were said to be wiped out by a huge catastrophy, which also altered the shape of the continents. This doesn't prove there was a worldwide flood, but a flood could do that.

So where did all the water come from? Some argue that there just isn't enough water in our atmosphere to produce it. I believe that's probably true. But the world was a different place back then. Fossil evidence shows plants and animals were much larger and lived longer at one time. (I hope you don't ask me to find it... I'm still stretching back to high school, which was public education for me, but as always, if you want, I will try) I remember this being explained as the greenhouse effect. Which indicates that at one time the earth was covered with something to keep out the direct rays of the sun and keep it at a constant global temp.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on that. It seems that Christians are accused of making the evidence fit their beliefs, but I saw a lot of that on the other side too. This is all or today. Next I will read Genesis 1 & 2 to see what you are talking about. If you want to tell me your own objections, it might be helplful, or if you have someone else's problems you are concerned about, you can send me the link. Although it might be interesting to see what I come up with on my own and how it compares to your thoughts. Have a good night!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

arrrg, I spelled argument wrong and it won't let me go back and correct it anymore. Don't look to close there are probably more spelling and grammer mistakes!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good morning newenglandsun! I hope your day will be good. I have read through Genesis 1 & 2. While I remember from back in college that there is supposed to be some controversy here, you'll have to remind me what it is. My initial impression is that Genesis 1 - 2:3 is the picture of God creating the heavens and the earth just as it says. Then in 2:4 to the end I think God is zooming in and giving us a more detailed look at the creation of his prized possession (us). So it would be an overview first and then a close up of the important part. But let me know what you're concerned about. It's been awhile.

I find it interesting that you were once an evangelical. I have not ever belonged to a denomonation and was wondering what your view of God was as an evangelical?

I will be out of town again this weekend, so after I get your response, I might have to wait to reply till next week. If you don't here from me, have a great weekend! It looks like its going to be pretty nice on Sunday.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good morning newenglandsun! I hope your day will be good. I have read through Genesis 1 & 2. While I remember from back in college that there is supposed to be some controversy here, you'll have to remind me what it is. My initial impression is that Genesis 1 - 2:3 is the picture of God creating the heavens and the earth just as it says. Then in 2:4 to the end I think God is zooming in and giving us a more detailed look at the creation of his prized possession (us). So it would be an overview first and then a close up of the important part. But let me know what you're concerned about. It's been awhile.

I find it interesting that you were once an evangelical. I have not ever belonged to a denomonation and was wondering what your view of God was as an evangelical?

I will be out of town again this weekend, so after I get your response, I might have to wait to reply till next week. If you don't hear from me, have a great weekend! It looks like its going to be pretty nice on Sunday.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

You said: "I could go either way. I will say that Adam and Eve were adults which could indicate that the earth was created with at least some age built into it. Which would throw off everybody's opinions!"

With statements like these, the world could have just as easily been created last Thursady and our memories also appear to have the appearance of age. Heck, I could say that it was created just today at noon and that it will be destroyed next Thursday at noon and you could not disprove this at all. Your statement is what is considered as "Omphalos Hypothesis" and it is a terrible philosophical argument.

Some of the main problems with "flood geology" is that it overlooks bioerosion which we also have evidence of. Likewise, a flood with rain coming down like that would not produce the erosion patterns we see in different rock formations. I find it absurd how on the AiG website, they have the scientist actually examining the evidence and then they have the "Bible thumper" appealing to "God's Word" and somehow knowing more than the scientist. It is essentially "anti-scientific propaganda" to assert that science needs to conform to the Bible.

"On a less impressive note, if I remember high school science, the dino's and many other extinct species were said to be wiped out by a huge catastrophy,"

Actually, I do believe that in regards to mass-extinctions, these things work against the claims made by creationists who assert that their God is "perfect". Why would such an "intelligent designer" create things that would later end up extinct. Bridges getting destroyed are evidence of bad design and as such prove that the designer did not think through some things. Also, I always thought mass-extinctions were hypotheses anyway. There is likewise much evidence to suggest that dinosaurs evolved into birds as well.

Sorry if I came out argumentative.


newenglansun 4 years ago

To address my concerns in Genesis 1-2:

Genesis 1 says plants came before man and Genesis 2 says man came before plants. Likewise, Genesis 2:18-19 says that the animals came after man but that's not what Genesis 1:20-27 says.

As an evangelical, I was told that everyone else was wrong and that the secular world should be judged and that even though we should question whether our leaders told us the correct teachings, they are always right. I eventually figured out that this was actually a scheme of deliberate lying and hiding truth and telling not to do things we were supposed to do. Eventually, I succumbed to the "secular world" and lost my "spirituality" when I started challenging "orthodox" teachings like the life after death and inherited sin and the trinity. In other words, they told me (and still tell me), question, but don't expect to find any answers whatsoever.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

No problem, I probably came across as flippant. I'm sorry if it was offensive. I just don't believe that a discussion on the age of the earth is the same as a discussion on the validity of the Bible. I really don't care if it's young or old or even if it was created last Thursday. I didn't know there was actually a name for my attitude. I agree it's a terrible philosophical argument. It wasn't meant to be an argument, just an opinion.

I disagree when Christians are anti-scientific. I don't know the AiG website but if that is their slant, it would probably annoy me. I said it before, God gave us our brains and we should use them. Christians should not be intimidated by science. Both my boys want to be scientists and I support them totally.

I actually agree with you in regards to the mass-extinctions. That was just a thought that popped into my head, not really meant to be an argument. I remember my professor talking about the dinosaurs being birds back in college and everyone kind of laughed it off. Then a couple of years ago there was a display at the Natural History Museum in Mesa giving evidence to it.

I was fortunate to grow up in a church where we were encouraged to question and taught how to find answers. They believed that the Bible was the ulitmate truth and ALL men could be wrong, including themselves. I don't think I appreciated how unusual it was to have leaders who were willing to admit that they were fallible and publically apologize and ask forgiveness when mistakes were made. My parents came from a church who used religion to control people and I am so thankful that they were careful to protect me from that.

Did they at least tell you how much God loves you and wants to be a part of your life regardless of your behavior? My parents church focused so much on the behavior it was almost ridiculous. (I come from Pennsylvania. There are some churches that actually paint all the chrome on their cars black because God doesn't like shiny chrome. It's too worldly!) They worked so hard to earn God's approval, that they never could accept that he loved them regardless.

I will relook at Genesis next week if that's ok. I still have to pack and I want to read your other comments. I'll also read up on bioerosion, I don't know to much about it.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

They told me how God loved everyone unconditionally, but I never felt genuinely loved by God.

Here's some on bioerosion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioerosion


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

I am very sorry to hear that. Is it something you want anymorea?

Thank you for the link, that will be helpful


newenglandsun 4 years ago

"I am very sorry to hear that. Is it something you want anymorea?"

I am confused by your question.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

wow, I wasn't watching what I was typing! I was just wondering if you wanted to feel loved by God?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

wow, I wasn't watching what I was typing! I was just wondering if you wanted to feel loved by God?


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Yeah.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Hello newenglandsun! I hope you enjoyed your weekend.

I can show you in the Bible that God loves you, but unless you are willing to believe the Bible, it won't mean much. I know he loves you, but telling you won't help because you've heard it before. The best thing is for you is to hear it from God himself. Do you talk to God very often, tell him how you feel and ask him to show you that he loves you?

I have looked closer at Genesis 1&2 and I see what you are talking about. If you don't read carefully it can seem to contradict . But they really do compliment each other.

Genesis 2:4 – 9 –“This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens-and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground-the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground…

I can see how a quick look at these verses might give the impression that the plants were made after man. However, a closer examination shows that it only mentions the shrubs and plants that grow in the field as not having made an appearance yet(not any of the other plants)…because there was no rain or man to cultivate them. So they were there before man was formed. The garden was also had to be planted before man was created in order for God to put him there.

Genesis 2:18 – 21 –“The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (19) Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

Here again, God had already made the animals before he brought them before Adam to be named. God knew they were not a suitable helper for Adam and they were not made for that purpose. God is showing Adam all he already made before he makes Adam his Eve. (maybe he did this so Adam knew there was nothing better out there :) )


newenglandsun 4 years ago

"Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!" (Ps. 137:9)

Loving God?

"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”" (Rev. 14:11)

Loving God?

I have to believe the Bible in its entirety? I cannot accept these verses as supporting a loving God.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

I would agree on Psalms 137 if it was God saying it. However, the Psalms are poems, the author of this Psalm is expressing his feelings to God asking for vengeance, asking God to remember what was done to them and repay it. Terrible things were done to the Israelites by their enemies; it is natural to want revenge. This doesn't mean that God blesses those who smash in the heads of children. It means we can express our feelings to God and ask for justice.

Revelation brings up a very valid question. Can a loving God be a just God and can a just God be loving? Can a loving God overlook evil for eternity and still be considered just? Is that really love? In Revelation, the worshipers of the beast do terrible things to anyone who keeps their allegiance to God. God gives them plenty opportunity to see who he is and accept him, but they still reject and hate him and anyone who follows him. Just like we want justice done to those who do wrong to us and our loved ones, If God is just, he will eventually have to punish those who murder and abuse his children.

If you don't either accept or reject the Bible as a whole, how do you decide what is true and what isn't? I'm not criticizing, just curious.

I read up on bioerosion but I'm not sure how it relates to the flood.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

So God's just going to torture people forever? How is this just? Define "justice".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_geology

Flood geology is screwed. Scientifically, there is no way a global flood happened and there is no way the earth is 6,000 years old.

I reject the parts of the Bible that which contend against rationality and science and real history.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

I meant to ask. Would I have to give up music like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm1YbxqJjSc&list=PL...

They always told me how music influences you and that you should listen to music with positive influence and "x" out all negative music. Etc. You might as well lock yourself in a closet.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Hope not, I like that song, thanks for sharing. Yes music can influence us, as can books and people and tv and on and on...you're right we can't lock ourselves in a closet. As with everything, use wisdom. If someone is suicidal, they shouldn't listen to songs glorifying suicide. I love this kind of music and I think its good to hear views different than mine. It doesn't mean I'm going to embrace them.

Sorry I've been gone this week. I hope you don't feel I'm neglecting you. It's just a crazy week. Should get better after tomorrow. I've been planning a carnival for my son's cub scout pack. I tend to wait til the last minute on things then run around like crazy. I forgot it was halloween weekend, makes the bounce houses harder to find.

Anyway, I did finish my work at school early yesterday and took the time to post an article on Jesus as Michael. Here's the link: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Is-Jesus-t...

I also took the time to read John Gill's commentary and compared it to the Bible. I was glad we agreed that the vision was of Jesus. But I still disagree with him that Jessus is the same as Michael. I could waver on it being one of the two other angels who were with Jesus touching Daniel. But I still think it is Jesus speaking. Jesus comes to Daniel while Michael is fighting the prince of Persia. I don't think they are the same person, the evidence just isn 't strong enough. If you know of something I'm missing in the Bible, please let me know.

Have a great weekend!


newenglandsun 4 years ago

That's also a relief that I'm not the only one who enjoys that kind of death metal/black metal or extreme gothic metal or speed metal stuff. There are also Christian bands I know of withing these genres and subgenres.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZVttDe15rE


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

thanks newengland. my musical life was veggie tales and wheels on the bus for so long I feel out of touch with the current music scene. (musically I actually liked the first one better)

So this week should we look at these verses?

Mark 15:21-22 - Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.

John 19:17 - And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,

Mark 15:25 - Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.

John 19:14 - Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!"

I think the contradiction you're refering to is whether Jesus or Simon carried the cross and at what hour Jesus was crucified? I think I know what I'm going to say, but I want to look into it first to be sure.

Have a great weekend!


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Yes and yes.

Out of curiosity, is everyone in your family a Christian?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newenglandsun! After thinking about it, I wanted to give you a better answer to your question about my family. Sorry about the short response. We had just got back from stargazing and I was in the middle of putting the kids to bed.

If you are here in the valley and ever have the chance to do the stargazing for everyone, it is well worth the drive! This weekend we were able to see Jupiter and its moons, another galaxy, a nebula, a star cluster that looked like an owl, a blue sun and many other things. We also heard one of the legends of why the seven sisters are followed by their seven husbands (the face and shoulder of Taurus); saw the queen’s throne, Pegasus, and the hero holding medusa’s head. I have never been able to pick out any constellations before going to these events and now I can pick out five or six. I can also find the Andromeda galaxy and several key stars and planets on my own. It’s very cool; they really make the sky come alive.

http://www.stargazingforeveryone.com/Public-Progra...

Anyway, I’m not sure my quick answer tells you what you want to know, so I thought I’d give a little more. After I hear from you again I will probably delete this answer because it includes the lives of others who try to keep their digital footprint to a minimum.

So while my current family is not all Christian, my immediate family growing up was. My parents had both left their former religions and became Christians around the time I was born, so I was raised in a Christian household.

Their families were Mennonite/Brethren. Both are “Christian” religions that focus on their works and behavior to earn their way to heaven and win God’s approval. While they believe the Bible, most of them don’t accept that Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness of their sins opens up the ability to have a real relationship with God. They work very hard at being separate from the world and are very concerned about appearing “worldly” or vain. I was always amused that my cousins spent more time in front of a mirror on their appearance trying not to look vain, than I, who was considered very worldly, ever did.

This gave me the huge advantage of being able to see the difference between religion and a relationship with God. There was so much judgment, guilt and condemnation in religion and so much grace, forgiveness and mercy in Jesus. My parent’s relationship with God was real and I could see His involvement in our lives. We talked to Him about everything. They had given God control of their lives instead of the church and it made a big difference. Even though it was hard at times, especially on my parents, we didn’t have to worry about what the rest of the family thought of us, because God loved and accepted us the way we were.

I also saw the difference in the lives of my grandfathers. Both of them were respected men in their church, looked up to as spiritual and important. On one side, my grandfather loved the attention and glory given to him. But went home and abused his wife and family every day; enough that their doctor felt their lives were threatened. I think this made me feel that religion was mostly about appearances and I still find it hard to respect people who seem to be very religious. Although I understand why they do so, I cringe every time someone calls me religious. I know that I am not better than anyone else and definitely worse than some.

My other grandfather was also respected. As I grew older, I saw he spent a lot of time studying the Bible and realized that what the church was teaching wasn’t all true. When he and my grandmother became Christians, they decided to stay in their church and became Sunday School teachers so they could teach the truth in their classes. They didn’t care how it would affect their reputation. Even though it threated the churches power and they were given a hard time by the leadership, they both taught the Bible into their 90’s. This to me was what a real Christian was. They loved God, and obeyed Him no matter what anyone else thought. They didn’t reject those around them, but loved them so much that they stayed and put up with the trouble in order to show them the truth.

In addition to the Mennonites and Brethern, my current family includes both practicing and non-practicing Catholics and two or three atheist/agnostics. I love every one of them and have a good relationship with them in spite of our differences. I do not feel that it is my job to change their minds. What they believe is between them and God. He has given them each the freedom to choose what they believe and who am I to take that freedom away?

So that is my history, I hope it answers your question and tells you what you want to know about me. -probably more than you wanted! :) I’ll be back later!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland. Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday. I had a friend with an emergency and I had to go help her. I don't want to wait too long without answering, so I'm going to go ahead and give you what I think off the top of my head without checking my facts. I hope that is ok...I'll come back and correct later if I need to.

On Simon...I think John is the only one of the gospels that doesn't mention him. This is not unusual for John. He wrote his book years after the others had been in circulation and doesn't seem to feel the need to repeat all the details found in the first three. This doesn't make it a contradiction, just a difference in opinion on what was important. I personally have always pictured Jesus struggling with the front of the cross and Simon being made to come behind and pick up the back or middle behind him, shouldering most of the weight.

On the time of day...I believe the Jews calculated their day differently than the rest of the world and Mark is using their clock while John uses Roman time. I really need to sit down and read those passages again to be sure that's what the difference is. I will go back and do it, I just don't know when I'll be able to. I'll let you know!

Enjoy your day :)


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Thank you. I did find a source on the age of the earth:

http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/evolution_r...

However, I have found numerous of its rebuttals against evolution to be based on age-old arguments that have been refuted over and over again by evolutionists.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

I can see that the age of the earth is important to you. I am sorry that I passed it off so easily before. Is it important because an argument for the earths age is the same as an argument for creation/evolution? That is not a connection I have ever made.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

It is important because many Christians believe the earth is young and people like the ICR and AiG make a belief in a 6,000 year old earth a necessary Bible doctrine. However, the scientific evidence sways toward evolution and a 4.5 billion year old earth. As well as a 13.7 billion year old universe (these are approximates, some scientists believe the universe to be 19 billion years old and some believe the earth is 4.6 billion years old, either way, the earth is far older than 6,000 years old). Also, intelligent design adherents have lost in numerous court cases (even intelligent design adherents that do believe the earth is 4.5 billion years old). So if AiG and the ICR try to make a young earth view necessary, then how can anyone pass it off as "the age of the earth is not important"? And are these people saying that everything I have been taught from professional scientists is wrong?


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Okay, don't answer in regard to the age of the earth, global flood, and evolution and creation.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Ha ha, I see I'm 4 minutes too late. I tried two or three times to answer on Thursday but for some reason it just wouldn't post. Then the weekend was busy as usual and the kids had off school today, so I'm just getting to sit down a minute while supper is cooking. :)


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Oh good, it worked, wasn't sure there for a minute I got another "not responding" message. Maybe I have to keep my comments short. Anyway, I don't know who the AiG of ICR is or what they are saying about your education. We started our conversation with the supposed contradictions in the Bible. Since the Bible doesn't say how old the earth is, I didn't think it was important to our conversation. If the AiG and ICR say a young earth view is necessary, that is their opinion. I don't have to agree or disagree. I can understand how an old earth would be necessary for evolution, but I don't see how a young earth is necessary to creation.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

I did check the library for those books you mentioned. They were not at our nearby location, but I can get them at another branch. If I can't get there this month, I'll put in a request for them.

Ooops something's burning. If I'm not exhausted, I'll try to get back to you after scouts. Otherwise I will try tomorrow.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

These are links to the ICR and AiG. They have been recommended to me by Christians who say that the Bible does teach the earth is 6,000 years old and that if you adopt an older earth, you are an Atheist.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/

http://www.icr.org/

Further, I was told by a young earth creationist that if one believes in evolution, they cannot be saved. While an old earth is necessary for creation, I am aware that RTB (Reasons to Believe) argues that evolution is junk but they use pseudoscience. On the other hand, they don't believe in a young earth but its more the evolution and creation thing in general that I am having trouble with.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Oh dear, this is why it's best to know what the Bible says so you don't have to listen to all these other organizations who add so many stipulations to salvation. Hmm, I have an opportunity to apply for a job today so I'm not as free to give my response right now as I would like to be. Let's do this so I know where to start when I get back...If you put everyone else aside, how do you view salvation and what do you think it means to be saved? What do you think you have to do (or not do)?


newenglandsun 4 years ago

I always thought that in order to be saved, one must believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:2-3). Then I came across people telling me things like you also have to believe certain other things about Jesus and this is why we have what are non-Christian cults pretending to be Christians. They are people like old earth creationists and theistic evolutionists trying to compromise the Bible. Evil people who deny Jesus is Almighty God in flesh apparently deny that Jesus came in the flesh and that Jesus is the Christ and accordingly, deny both Father and Son according to answeringislam.org even though these people would contend that answeringislam.org is denying both the Father and the Son. Then I heard that one must also have to believe a particular thing about Jesus's death in order to really be a Christian (that he paid a penalty for your sins) but the Eastern Orthodox Church believes that this belief is evil so idk what I am supposed to believe about God and Jesus or anything like that. I am also told things like "if you believe the Bible then you believe this about the immortal soul" even though Martin Luther and William Tyndale now would both be seen as cultists and heretics. So I would say that I just want to believe in something that will not make me a divisive person but if I be a Christian, then I think this would make me evil.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Wow, that gets confusing. If you would like, I can put together a list of what the Bible says on salvation and show you what I think it is this week. I also have thoughts on Darwin, science and creation to share as soon as I get a chance. In the meantime, here is the link to the hub on the time of Jesus' crucifixion. Hope you don't mind I wrote it from Johns point of view to make it more interesting.

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/What-time-...


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland! I am afraid you might be disappointed with my thoughts on science and creation. If you haven't already guessed, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what other people and organizations have to say about the issues. I'm pretty sure your knowledge of the pro's and con's of both sides far exceeds what I know. So I don't have new information for you, but perhaps a different viewpoint...

Science is fascinating. I see the ability to figure out how God did things in our universe as one of his greatest gifts. God also gave us a gift in the freedom we have to decide for ourselves what we believe about him. In his writings, Darwin excercised his right and ability to do just that. I have been told that Darwin's theory on evolution proves that there is no God. This isn't true either. In spite of his athiest upbringing, Darwin still attributed the first creation to the Creator. After all his research, he couldn't deny that it all started with God. That he worked so hard to come up with a theory that removed God from the rest of the process, I think is an indication of his own feelings about God. ...I will keep going in a minute, Nico is here and this will time out if I take too long


newengalndsun 4 years ago

Darwin argued abiogenesis (contrary to your claim). He was an agnostic. Not an atheist trying to get rid of a god. He never even was raised as an atheist. That is also nonfactual. He was a Christian who then doubted his faith, went on a trip to the Galapagos, drew a bunch of pictures, analyzed data he collected, and then proposed the theory of evolution.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Ah well, there you go, that's what I get for relying on 20 year old public education. Although I got the part of him crediting the first creation to the creator from his recap in chapter 13 of his book, which I reread just to make sure before saying that. I thought his father and grandfather were atheists. You seem to know a lot about him, now that you say he was a Christian who doubted his faith, I wonder, do you know if it had anything to do with his loosing a child? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

I did get back to you this morning, and wrote for 20 minutes more before I realized we had lost internet. We just got it back about an hour ago and I didn't want you to think I had forgotten you.

I have a meeting to go to tonight, so I will try to get back tomorrow between classes to rewrite what I lost today. Have a good evening!


newenglandsun 4 years ago

His complete religious views can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_darwin#Religi...

All I stated was that he wasn't raised an atheist. According to the article, he went to Anglican schools and then finally started doubting. Apparently, his trip to the Galapagos was in order to prove the existence of God.

Anyway, I have decided to explore the Christian thing more and try to find satisfactory answers to some of the questions I seek. The concept of a deity that can eradicate the wicked and evils in this world sounds great right now.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Evening Newengland, I hope you had a good day. Sorry I didn't get back earlier. But I wanted to recap what I had lost the other morning. I can't remember exactly what I wrote, but at least I want to explain why I believe the way I do.

I do believe in creation and the flood. This I believe because I believe the Bible is true. The Bible is true because God says it is true. It is his words to us, what he wants us to know. Most importantly, I believe that God is true because my relationship with him is as real as my relationship with my husband, my family, friends, ect. I talk to him every day. I ask him for wisdom, and he gives me wisdom. I tell him what I want and how I feel about things and he listens. He comforts me, protects me, does whats best for me no matter what. I complain and rant and even get angry at him, and its ok. I love him as much as I love any person, and I know he loves me back. No matter what I do, or how I mess up my life, he forgives me. Because of obeying him, I have lived a life with no real regrets. No matter how hard my circumstances might get, I don't worry (for long anyway). Even when bad things happen, (and they do!) I am at peace inside, I know its ok. When the world is falling apart around me, I can remain calm. It is amazing. This is what you want to look for if you're going to look into Christianity. Look beyond the religion, that will only disappoint you, look for the relationship, discover the reality of a relationship and get to know who God is.

While they were exiled , God promised his people that there would be an end to their captivity, he promised them that when they call on him, and pray to him, He would listen. He promised that they would seek him and find him, when they search with all their heart. Jeremiah 29: 12&13. I believe this is still his promise to us.

If you really want to know the truth, it may be helpful to you to ask God to show you what the truth is. Ask him to help you make sense of it all.

Hmmm, sorry if this sounds preachy or rambly. It's not as thought out as before and I'm tired. Hopefully I didn't say anything wrong. Goodnight. I'll try to stop in tomorrow, but I'm getting ready to go out of town again. Talk to you later, goodnite


newenglandsun 4 years ago

"I do believe in creation and the flood"

But evolution happened and there is no evidence for a global flood and more evidence against it.

"The Bible is true because God says it is true"

What's god calling a book true have to do with anything? Theoretically, I could say the napkin religion is the only true religion because it says so on this napkin.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/201...


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Evening Newengland,

I hope you had a good weekend.

God is a living breathing person who is as real as the person sitting next to me. Believing what he says is true is based on a lifetime of interaction with him, and a lifetime of studying the Bible to see if it’s true. That is a little bit different than believing a napkin is true based on what a random person wrote on it.

Anything I have to show you to prove the flood you have probably already look at and disregarded. I am sure you have even more info on what creationists believe and how they answer the arguments than I do. In the same way, I have looked at evolution and found the smoking gun to be lacking. Both sides take faith. I have no desire to rehash an age old argument. If you really want to know the truth, I would ask God to show you what is true then relook at what both sides say about the evidence with an open mind and decide what you want. Hopefully you can look beyond the hateful slurs and tones that each side apparently has for the other.

I am not trying to convince you that I am right and you are wrong. What you believe is between you and God, he gave you the freedom to believe what you want, I have no right to try and force you to believe as I do. Neither will I condemn you, make fun of you, or think you are a bad person if you disagree with me. Whether or not the flood and creation were real is not the important issue. The important issue is whether or not the Bible is true. You don’t believe the Bible because you have been told that it is full of contradictions. This is why I am happy to take the time to explain the contradictions to you, so that you can see that they don’t make the Bible untrue. There is no contradiction in the Bible about the flood or creation. It may contradict what you have been taught, but it doesn’t contradict itself.

Apparently Hubpages doesn’t like me to simply quote all the scriptures on salvation as I said I was going to do. They prefer a certain percentage of original content to be included. So I will have to just list the references here. Some of them are about general salvation, some are about Israel’s salvation and others are about eternal salvation. When you read a verse, sometimes it’s helpful to read the verses around it to see who is speaking and what is going on, then ask yourself “What does this say, what does this mean and what does this mean to me?” Of course, it’s always good to ask God to show you what it means. There are a lot so I will do them in sections, here are the first ones…

Psalms 27:1 ; 37:39 ; 62:2

Isaiah 12:2 ; 25:9

Zephaniah 3:17

Luke 1:69 ; 2:30

John 10:9

Acts 4:12 ; 15:11

Romans 5:9 ; 10:9 & 10

1 Corinthians 1:21 ; 15:2

1 Thessalonians 5:9

1 Timothy 4:10

2 Timothy 3:15

Hebrews 9:28

Have a good evening and a great Thanksgiving if I don’t get to talk to you before then.

Goodnight!


newenglandsun 4 years ago

"That is a little bit different than believing a napkin is true based on what a random person wrote on it."

You do realize that this is a little bit like what the Bible is, right? Quran and Book of Mormon also claim inspiration.

As to Noah and the flood and creation and what-not. You state that both views are faith. If so, why does my view on it have more evidence going for it? To be fair though, I will check out The Genesis Question by Hugh Ross however he is anti-evolutionist.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

The big difference is that I know God and I don't know the person who wrote on the napkin. And really, that is the key. Without the benefits of a personal relationship with God, the Bible is pointless. If you want to know God, the Bible is his way of telling us who he is. But if not, why bother? Evolution takes away all the love and care he put in to creating you, giving you value and purpose. If we came from sludge, then this is the best it gets, we create our own value and our own purpose. No matter how good we do at that, in the end, it is empty and pointless.

As for evidence, there seems to be a huge lack of evidence for evolution. Our best evidence should be in the fossil record, but it just isn't there. There is nothing to record the changes in species. The few proofs we had back when I was learning evolution, have since proven to be false. I can remember three bits of evidence. One was some birds on the Galapagos Islands whose beaks grew longer in a drought, then the next generation had longer beaks. I think they were finchs. But after the droughts passes, the beaks went back to being short again. Another proof was a set of drawings from someone who's name was something like Heckel, which looked like the evolution of human embryos, but it turned out to be made up. And finally we were taught that we still had organs within us from before that no longer had any use because we had evolved. The example was the appendix. Since then we have learned that the appendix does have a purpose. Darwin was sure that in time all the fossils needed to support his theory would be found. But they haven't been.

I have not heard of that book, maybe I'll see if it's there when I go back to look for the others you mentioned.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

You seriously need to get your facts straight about evolution.

Heckel's embryos:

http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/embryos/Hae...

Fossil record:

http://carnegiemuseums.org/cmag/bk_issue/2000/mara...

The Galapagos birds:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin%27s_finches

And no, evolution does not take away "purpose". It merely explains the development of life on earth and how it changed over time. If we take away the theory of evolution, we might as well take away the quadratic formula as well.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Happy Thanksgiving Newenglandsun!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Hello Newengland! I hope you enjoyed your weekend and were able to spend it with family and friends.

I must admit that I am torn with how to respond to your last comment. If I back out of the argument, I am afraid you will think I’m not smart enough to give you an answer. I also worry that you will think I am belittling a matter that is obviously very important to you, which I don’t want to do. However, if I do continue to debate this issue, I fear that anything I say that goes against what you have been taught will only make you angrier. I sense a deep hostility towards God and Christians within you that I don’t want to contribute to. This is why I don’t want to get into a debate on this issue. I don’t want to make you angry, and I don’t want to get carried away by my own pride and drawn into an endless argument. So what should I do? Are you willing to ask God to show you the truth even if it means you may have been taught wrong? Or is it more important to be right? What is the heart of the issue for you? Sorry about all the questions, I have so many, but I'll stop now before you decide I'm to nosy :)


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Sorry if my comments have been argumentative. I just get really irritated and annoyed by young earth creation arguments (and creation arguments in general) because when I was a Christian, I was always told how everything in the Bible was indisputable truth and that the creation account in Genesis 1 and the flood and other things in these first 11 chapters of Genesis were all factual.

Then I actually started studying real science without looking through a "God-lens" and found out that everything I was told about Genesis 1-11 being completely factual was incorrect. I started studying the theory of evolution more from the perspective of someone wanting "intelligent design" to be true and I soon found out that this was just pseudoscience stuff and there are reasons why we teach evolution and not this silly creation "science" crap. Sorry if I come out hostile.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Understandable, it would be frustrating to feel like you have been lied to, especially by someone who should be as trustworthy as God should be. Honestly, I haven't read the last links you listed. I was surprised those things were still being taught, and I am afraid if I read the links and explain why I disagree it would just irritate you more. I think it might be better if we put this aside until I read the books you suggested. Perhaps a book review would not be as personal if we disagreed. In the mean time would you like to continue with the original list of questions? I think the next one was an issue with Job/Hebrews.

On the other hand, I don't mind reading the links if you really want to know what I think and why, but I don't want to get caught in the trap of just trying to prove each other wrong. I respect you too much for that.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Okey doke. Onto Job and Hebrews.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland!

Hey, this chapter in Job is my favorite chapter in the whole Bible. It's so beautiful. I love God's dry sense of humor here. Job's whole life is spinning out of control. Over and over he asks God "Why is this happening to me?" And then God answers him, shows him how He is in control even if it doesn't feel like it. I wrote a story about Job in a book I'm writing. Maybe if you're interested, I'll share it with you.

Looking at this, I think it is more a conversation about what "begotten" means than "son". Because it is only Jesus who is begotten and thats what makes the difference between Jesus being the Son of God and the angels (or us 2 Corinthians 6:18) being sons of God. I may have already written a hub about this. I have to look. If not, just give me a couple of days and I'll get that done for you.

Oh, it's time for me to get the kids up for school. Enjoy your day!


newenglandsun 4 years ago

+++++Because it is only Jesus who is begotten

Whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin, because his seed abideth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is begotten of God.

(1 Jn. 3:9)


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April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

oh, you are right, I was thinking begotten as used in John 3:16...thats a different word than used here and in Hebrews 1. That's what I get for talking before double checking. I'll be quiet now until I get a chance to look at it!


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Strong's 1080 used in 1 John 3:9 and Heb. 1:5.

Strong's 3439 used in John 3:16.

How is Heb. 1:5 talking about John 3:16?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

it's not...that's what I was saying...I was wrong. I read begotten and thought monogenes forgetting that gennao is also sometimes translated as begotten.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

haven't been home to do any writing, but I did pick up the books you suggested along with another one from the shelf..Darwin's Black Box. Do you know anything about it? I didn't find the Genesis Question though, but these three will keep me busy for awhile


newenglandsun 4 years ago

I have read Darwin's Black Box. My father owns a copy of it.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

worth reading?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend. I finally got a chance to sit down and read through Job 38 and Hebrews 1 again. I am almost embarrassed at how short my answer is after taking so long to get to it.

Over all, the Hebrews author is showing how Jesus fulfills and completes the Old Testament laws. He wants them to understand that because of who Jesus is and what He does, they don’t need their sacrifices and ceremonies anymore. Here in 1:4 – 5 he quotes Old Testament passages that the Jews understood to be about the Messiah. While the angels are collectively called the sons of God in Job, God never says to any individual angel “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

As I read this, I thought of my mom. When she was my youth leader, she referred to all the teens in her group as her kids, even though everyone understood that I was really her only kid there.

That's it, I hope it makes sense.

Did you get a chance to read through all the salvation verses? Let me know when you are ready for more. My hope is that once you read through them all, you can see for yourself what the Bible says is necessary for salvation, and ignore all the things religion says you have to add to be saved.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

You'll want to read Darwin's Black Box before reading the other two. It was written about thirteen or fifteen years ago, Finding Darwin's God was written in response to it and Stenger's book was written in 2007.


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April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks, thats helpful...I was thinking of skipping it since I didn't really know anything about it.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Sorry.

I was wondering about those verses. None of them say anything about believing a Trinity or that Jesus is God to be saved. Although I've seen many Trinitarian Christians saying things how like either if you don't believe in the Trinity you won't be saved or some say that it's not the Trinity that's most important but the belief that Jesus is God in the flesh that you need to believe in to be saved. In other words, any one who says that Jesus is not the Almighty God won't be saved. But one of the verses you showed me, I think it was Romans 10:9, talks about God and Jesus as if they were two distinct beings. It makes no sense that if a doctrine was actually critical to being saved, why don't these salvation verses talk about it.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Hello Newengland!

I am glad you took the time to read through those verses. That was about 1/3rd of what I have to give you, so the information is incomplete. You are asking very good questions. You will not find the word “trinity” anywhere in the Bible, and I am learning that many Christians really don’t have a clear understanding of what it actually is, and why we refer to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the trinity even though they are individuals.

I started Darwin’s box this week. It’s not what I expected so far. I was surprised at his definition of a creationist. Now I can understand some of our confusion. By Behe’s definition, I would not qualify as a creationist. I can also understand why someone would want to write a book refuting him. I am interested to read the responses in the other books.

Here are some more verses…

Psalms 54:1 ; 85:7 – 9; 91:14 – 16; 119:41

Jeremiah 3:23

Luke 3:6; 19:10

John 3:16 - 18

Acts 2:21; 16:29 – 32 (story starts in verse 16)

Romans 10:13

Ephesians 2:8

1 Timothy 2:4

Romans 3: 21 – 24

Gotta go, hope you have a great afternoon, sorry I still didn’t have time to give you the complete list of verses on salvation…I’ll continue it later.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

I was informed in church that the word "Trinity" was not in the Bible. However, this is never something I point out to overly dogmatic Trinitarians simply because most of them know that the word isn't the Bible. I am a little bit confused at your definition of the Trinity though seeing as I thought that it was the belief that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were three individual beings that were the same substance (and not merely the same "kind" of substance) and that they were all "God" or classified as "God". I remember when I started trying to look into the Trinity a bit last year, I found that "God" would be the Son one minute, the Father the next, the Holy Spirit rarely and then God would just be the Trinity everywhere else (except when God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit were or seemed to be indicated seperately, God would just be the Father here). It made absolutely no sense (not the idea that three could be one, that I could understand or the idea that Jesus was God and man at the same time but rather the idea that the term "God", and possibly God himself, was being defined by Trinitarians to match their formula). In other words, the only "genuine" way to interpret the Bible was only if you started with the presupposition that God was a Trinity and knew when God started switching back and forth between being a Trinity to just a single person.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland,

I was taught that there is one God who exists as three equal persons, (The Father, Jesus & the Holy Spirit), each with their own unique roles, acting as one in perfect unity. So the Father is always God, Jesus is always God and the Holy Spirit is always God. They don’t have to switch back and forth. Just like sunlight is always light, always heat and always energy, they exist at the same time.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was taught exactly that too. But then I found that God was distinct from Jesus at times and when I asked different Trinitarians about some of these distinctions they then proceeded to assert "this is the Father here". In other words, the Trinity God started turning into a deceiver when I looked at different passages of the Bible. Since I never really got straightforward answers from Trinitarians on the subject other than if you don't accept it, your not a Christian, I eventually got irritated and stopped talking about it altogether other than to just refute it. Fortunately, I uncovered some of Newton's notes which also helped a lot.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

sounds confusing...you're right, I'm not sure what you are saying...do they say that sometimes Jesus isn't God? Of course Jesus is distinct from the Father, otherwise(as my JW friend would say) was heaven empty when Jesus was on earth? Just because they are separate doesn't mean they aren't both God. They both have all the qualities that define God. Don't blame you for getting irritated, I would to.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

No. Not just the Father but God in general. Some of the verses:

John 17:3

Revelation 3:12

1 Corinthians 11:3 (although this passage could have been interpolated)

1 Corinthians 15:25-28

Revelation 1:1

Revelation 22:1-3

Revelation 4-5

plus++++

God is immortal and cannot die (1 Tim. 1:17, 6:15-16)

Jesus died? Immortal God died 2000 years ago? Or did God not die and just a person of God? But in the Trinity they are all supposed to be "all of God". Speaking of JW's:

http://www.witnessoftruth.com/articles/trinity/the...

Yes, they taught me Jesus was God all the time. Except for the times when he was doing things as "just a man" (like claiming he didn't know the hour, this wasn't God speaking, this was Jesus ... or claiming the Father was greater than him [anti-subordinationists taught me] ... or that he had a God ... or CARM even claims that as a man he died but as God he stayed alive).

http://carm.org/christianity/christian-doctrine/go...

Are they saying half of Jesus was dead on the cross?


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April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

No, my friend believed that Jesus was dead on the cross. She believed that Jesus was a god, like the god of war or money, not the true God like Jehovah. So when he died on the cross, it was like any other man. She didn’t believe that we have a spirit or a soul that survived after our bodies die. So when Jesus died, he ceased to exist as she believes we will.

She pictured the trinity as a god with one body and three heads; which reminded her of a monster. I don’t blame her for not being able to accept that kind of trinity; I’m not sure who told her that.

This is probably not a perfect description, but I would picture God as a family unit made up of three individuals who work together as one, in perfect unity. Each person shares equally the traits of the family (God) but each has their own different roles. The traits that make them God are omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, eternal, life giving and worshipable (made up word, I know, unprofessional). In order to be a human, Jesus voluntarily gave up some of his nature to take on ours, putting himself in a lower position to save us and to be an example to show us how to relate to God. (Phil 2:5 – 12)

As you said, their verses seem to fall into two categories; Jesus not being the same as the father, and Jesus not being equal to the father.

John 17:3 – Jesus is praying for the disciples. I think the prayer is that they can know the difference between the true God and the heathen gods they are surrounded by. Rather than excluding himself, he makes sure to include himself along with the father as the source of eternal life, which the Jews knew was something that only the true God can do. In the same way, when John refers to Jesus as the true God in 1 John 5:20, I don’t think he is excluding the Father.

Rev 3:12 – I think they are saying that if Jesus is calling the Father “my God” it indicates that he isn’t equal to him. I think he is showing equality by stating that both his name and the Father’s name will be written on this person. The name written on Jesus in Revelation 19:16 is the same as the one for God in 1 Timothy 6:15.

1 Corinthians 11:3 – This is a verse on the roles they play. God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man and man is the head of woman, something that makes a lot of people angry. I have two thoughts here.

-First, as I said earlier, Christ voluntarily took on the position of a slave for us. This is a temporary position.

-Second, I think we misunderstand the roles…Unfortunately in our culture everyone wants to be the head and to be submissive is to be less. My husband and I are equal partners in our marriage, but our roles are different. As the head, he is to love me sacrificially, giving up everything for me. In response, I am to respect him and submit to him. If done perfectly, as God does it, this is how to work together as one in perfect unity. Sometimes my husband is good at making me feel like my happiness is the most important thing to him and he often gives up what he would prefer in order to make me happy. When he does this, it is easy to go along and submit with what he asks, because it is in my best interest. I am submitting to him, but he giving up his preference to do what is best for me. Of course it doesn’t always work this way, and when it doesn’t we end up hurt and angry. I resent that he is trying to boss me, and he is hurt that I don’t appreciate what he is doing for me.

Oh sorry, I’m going to have to finish this later. Forgive me if I've said anything wrong, I didn't realize how late it was and I don't have time to read over it....


newenglandsun 4 years ago

I was talking about CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministries). In regard to your friend's beliefs about the soul and the spirit. She might be stating this due to what the Hebraic tradition about the soul and the spirit. It is to my knowledge that JW's do believe in a soul and a spirit. The nephesh is the individual. The ruach is the breath. This is the Hebraic teaching on the soul (the individual) and the spirit (the breath). When the breath is taken, the individual dies.

I'm not entirely certain about 1 John 5:20 trying to identify Jesus as the true God although if it does this would be either a contradiction or proof that Jesus is God the Father. Neither make any sense. Isaac Newton writes about this verse which can be found here:

http://www.newtonproject.sussex.ac.uk/view/texts/n...

With respect to the title "king of kings"/ It is to my knowledge that both Nebuchadnezzar and Artaxerxes assumed the title king of kings (Ez. 7:12, Dan. 2:37). Most presumably because they were given this title because they were enacting authority of God that had been given to them. I wonder why the same cannot be said of Jesus. In regard to your friend's calling Jesus "a god". You seem to make it sound as if she believed Jesus was a "false god". In the early Hebrew writings, they acknowledged the existence of other nations' gods as perfectly legitimate. They even appear to call angels elohim or gods (Ps. 2:5, Heb. 2:7). Another contradiction?

The explanation on 1 Cor. 11:3 makes more sense. I never have understood it that way before. I've mostly thought that this was sinply just a chain of command and I think a lot of people see it that way which is why they don't see the author (probably Paul) making a statement that women are to submit to men or that Christ is seen as subject. It also fits more in line with Paul's theology on women's roles in the church.

Sorry if I said anything wrong or offensive.


newenglandsun 4 years ago

Sorry, I also meant to comment on your friend's view of the Trinity being a three-headed god.

http://notrinity.blogspot.com/

This site has a list of pictures and painitings of the three-headed god.

In Phil. 2:5-11, if Jesus gave up his "God"-nature, wouldn't this mean that he wasn't fully God and fully man when he was on earth or was he somewhat God and fully man?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good morning Newengland, I just have a couple of minutes before the kids get up, and just wanted to say "hi". Thank you for defining CARM. I don't remember hearing of them before. I am pretty sure my friend said she believed the spirit was just our physical breath and ceased to exist when we die. She gave me a book that talks about it, I'll have to see if I can find it. Unfortunately I lost contact with her after she went to California to take care of her mother...although one of my best friends currently is a JW too. Maybe I'll ask her.

Not sure if I will have a chance to get back today, but I should have some more time tomorrow.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Sorry. I know I am probably asking difficult questions and am probably now wasting your time.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland!

No, I don’t find the questions difficult. The challenge for me is to express my answers in a clear and concise way so you can understand what I’m trying to say. My natural tendency is to ramble and talk myself in circles. One of the reasons I’m writing here on hubpages is to get better at explaining what I think. I appreciate your critiques and hope that they are helping me improve. Your knowledge is very impressive and your comments give me the opportunity to look at things I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. So no, I don’t feel like you are wasting my time. The only time I might feel a little bit that way is when I think you are getting mad. If you are angry, you won’t hear anything I’m trying to say, and I have a hard time hearing what you are trying to say. And besides, I like you Newengland. I worry about your anger. My sister says that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting another person to die. So I start wondering why you are angry, have you been hurt, I hope you aren’t miserable or that you haven’t lost relationships and so on. All of it is none of my business, and I don’t want to add to your frustrations so I find it best not to argue too much.

Besides, I’m not too good at arguing anyway, I get distracted with the undercurrents and I don’t express myself clearly when I’m on the spot.

I find I have similar distractions with Michael Behe. I don’t think I like him very much. His attitude makes me want him to be wrong, whether I agree or not. He is so insulting to his colleagues and his audience. It makes me wonder if he is insecure and has to put other people down to feel good about himself. Or perhaps he is just so proud of his knowledge he wants to make sure we appreciate his ability to make the complicated simple. If just read a basic textbook first. Even with my limited education I have no problem understanding his technical sections. Besides, most of what I’ve read so far has been similar to what I learned in high school, so nothing new or complex. Of course, I’m only on chapter 4 so I can’t say too much yet.

Oh dear, I’m sorry, my husband just called and has some things for me to do. Here I’ve been rambling on and haven’t even gotten to the Bible yet.

Hope to get back soon...


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I've lost many relationships. And many relationships that I do have right now, I question whether they are even worth it. The relationships I lose are the most worthwhile. It stings.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

oh Newengland, that is so hard and I am sorry you have to go through it. I have been to a place where I was so hurt and angry I wanted to leave the relationship. The resentment and bitterness made me into someone I didn't like at all. I couldn't have gotten through it without God's help. Unfortunately I was angry with him too and had to deal with that first.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Not lost due to anger. Because of other reasons. They always go a different direction and I've felt abandoned. I am usually afraid to start a new relationship due to this.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I know what you mean, I have had at least 8 friends move away in the 10 years I've lived here in AZ. Almost 1 a year...didn't know it was such a transitional place!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

That sounds like an accurate estimate. 3 in 4 years or so for me. Maybe even less than 4. Maube three and a half.

Of course, lately I've just resorted to using my people to my advantage. They might be "useful" to me, but they have no value whatsoever. If I lose them, I can get a new one and won't feel any pain.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm sorry. I just noticed that there appears in Matthew 1:17 14 generations from A to B, 14 generations from B to C, and 14 generations from C to D. There are 41 generations however. And I thought the whole Joseph's genealogies thing was difficult.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland,

Sorry, I overslept and only have a few minutes but I wanted to at least say "hi" since I'm not sure if I'll get another chance today.

I'm sorry to hear the people in your life have no value anymore. That sounds painful in its own way, and lonely on top of it. I hope someone comes in to your life that you can value again.

I'm not sure I understand the significance of what the number of generations is.

I really wanted to finish up the last set of verses we were talking about today too, but I hear the kids now so I hope you have a great day and I'll try to get back as soon as I can.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Sorry. I'm impatient.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland,

Sorry you’re impatient, I’ve been sick.

I think I left off at 1 Corinthians 15: 27 & 28. I’ll be honest, this is one of the verses I have had trouble clearly explaining in the past. It made sense in my head, but didn’t come out right. So if you even get the drift of what I’m trying to say, it will be an improvement over the last time I tried to explain it.

Ok, so these verses are about what happens at the end of time as we know it, after Christ’s 1000 year reign on earth. Everything will be put into subjection under the Son, except the Father. In turn, Jesus will hand over everything to the Father, (vs.24) and will be subject to the Father, so that God may be all in all.

I think this is talking about the end of Christ’s position and role as an example and mediator between God and man. We talked about this lower position that Jesus took on to become one of us being voluntary and temporary. When he became human, he put himself in subjection to the Father. Once everything is accomplished and death destroyed Christ will subject it all, including his position and roles he has now, back to the Father, and return back to his former glory or nature so God will be all in all.

Kind of like the marriage example I used for chapter 11 – Just because our roles in a marriage are different, this doesn’t mean we are not equal partners in the marriage. In the same way, just because the roles of the Father and Son are different, it doesn’t mean they are not equal as God.

I hope that at least makes a little bit of sense, I have to get going now. I will get back to finish (hopefully) Revelation 1:1, 4 ,5 & 22 as soon as I get a chance again.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

It's not necessarily that your explanation doesn't make sense, it just doesn't seem to be what is being said by Paul here.

1 Corinthians 15:25-28 - For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 "For God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "All things are put in subjection under him," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to every one.

There might be a voluntary reliquinishing of power but it is not of power that the Son had prior to the incarnation. And again, my main question is why God is seen as distinct from Jesus and not merely the Father.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I hope you do not mind that I have quoted you on my new blog entitled refutingmyoldersister.wordpress.com. I think that she misunderstands a lot of things about the way this world works and as such, likes to belittle me and pretend that she knows more. I think I upset her recently when I made a comment on something in regard to a statement made by Eugenie Scott on science as a faith. At this point, I'm not necessarily certain about Christianity, Atheism, or anything. I have heard too many lies on both sides of this whole entire god debate. I respect you though for unlike many people I have come across holding to a Christian faith, I cannot make the assertion that you have lied about anything. Maybe misunderstood what I was saying at times, but no lies.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you Newengland, I appreciate your comment. It is important to me to be as truthful as I can be, and if you ever think I am lying to you, please let me know! It was fun (and intimidating) to be quoted. :) What does your sister think of your blog?

I didn’t mean to say that Jesus was relinquishing his original power, I am sure I am making it harder to explain than it needs to be. I am glad that’s not the point.

In viewing God as a family unit, I don’t have a problem with Jesus being referred to as an individual within that family. Just as I don’t mind being referred to as separate within my family. For example, I wouldn’t mind if one friend of mine said to another something like “April’s family wants her to do such and such”, or “April and the Reynolds are going to the ballgame”. Being spoken of separately doesn’t reduce my partnership within my family. To mirror Rev. 1:1 a bit closer, someone might say, “the message from April that the Reynolds gave her to pass on”. I hope that makes sense.

I think Revelation 22 shows the oneness of God. There is only one throne, the throne of God and the Lamb, and they share one face and one name. The same in chapters 4& 5, there is one throne. God is seated on it and Jesus is in the middle of it. He shares the worship of the creatures, elders and angels. For me this indicates that Jesus is included as God.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

That makes sense (your analogy).

I don't think that your comment on Rev. 22 or Rev. 4-5 is the most well-researched comment though.

1 Chron. 29:20-23 - Then David said to all the assembly, "Bless the LORD your God." And all the assembly blessed the LORD, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads, and worshiped the LORD, and did obeisance to the king. 21 And they performed sacrifices to the LORD, and on the next day offered burnt offerings to the LORD, a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel; 22 and they ate and drank before the LORD on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and they anointed him as prince for the LORD, and Zadok as priest. 23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him.

It seems more like this scene is simply the traditional worship given to the annointed king and to God at the same time.

This now brings up another question. Is David God since he is distinguished from God? It's not that your analogy doesn't make sense, it's more that your analogy has nothing to do with what I was taught about the Trinity. A family has parts and components in it. The Trinity does not.

Also, my older sister hasn't seen my blog yet. I hope to construct more of it before showing it to her.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I think my older sister is a little bit insecure. When someone makes a statement that corrects what she thinks about something, she generally yells back or states how ignorant said person is. My blog is devoted to refuting her straw-men and ad hominems. If she sees it, she will probably arguing using more straw-men and ad hominems.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Merry Christmas Newengland! Trying to stay off the computer with the whole family home for a few weeks but I wanted to stop in and wish you peace during this season and the New Year! Enjoy your holidays :)


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Christians believe homosexuality is a grave sin and condemn homosexuals. I forgot about this. I'm bisexual. I guess this means I cannot be a Christian any way. And I guess I should hope there is no god so I can be spared. (cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-10)


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Newengland! When I saw my email notification yesterday I kicked the kids off the computer so I could read your comment. I'm glad I did. Unfortunately I was interrupted and had to leave so I'm not getting back to you til today, but this is important. Newengland, God loves you whether you are homosexual, bisexual, hedrosexual, metrosexual, transexual or any other kind of sexual. And if you can't become a christian, no one can. Condemning Christians tend to forget to condemn gluttony, gossiping, lying, coveting and anything else they might have to convict themselves of. Not one of us is perfect, and I'm pretty sure sexual orientation doesn't even make it on the list of things God hates (Prov 6 I think).


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Then why do so many Christians believe the Bible condemns it?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Sorry, I know I've been asking you like a lot of questions lately but you say:

"I'm pretty sure sexual orientation doesn't even make it on the list of things God hates"

This confuses me, are you saying it is a sin or it is not a sin?

Regardless, the following Bible passages state:

Leviticus 18:22 - 'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female ; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 - 'If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act ; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

Romans 1:26-27 - For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions ; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural , and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

(Paul's an idiot, no offense. Sexual orientation IS a part of one's nature and personality. In fact, psychologists have reached a firm conclusion that is VERY BAD to try and make a non heterosexual person heterosexual.)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God ? Do not be deceived ; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

(I am a criminal simply just for being me?)

1 Timothy 1:9-10 - realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

These all demonstrate that it is very evil to not be a heterosexual. Of course, there are some that try to say that it is only the act of homosexuality that is evil but this means that while they let people be non-heterosexual, they attempt to take away their basic rights. Either way, it seems like god treats non-heterosexuals as nothing but animals.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Happy New Year Newengland!

The kids are headed back to school tomorrow, but my sister is coming for a visit on Wednesday so I will still not be on the computer till after she leaves but I want you to know I haven’t forgotten you.

I was wondering if you would call me on my last comment. First, I want to just say that I know plenty of Christians who love and accept their homosexual friends, neighbors and family members without judgment. But in all fairness, I know that homosexuality is a favorite sin for many Christians to condemn and call unforgivable. The point of my comment was not to say whether or not it is a sin, but rather to say it is no different than the many other sins we all commit each and every day and God still loves us.

Corinthians was written to the Christian church in Corinth. Its mandates are for the believer who has accepted Christ’s sacrifice for their sins, and given their lives over to God to rule, not those outside the church. (1 Corinthians 5: 10 – 12) If you don’t have the benefits of a friendship with God, why worry about following his morality? Without that relationship, what you make of your life is up to you…do the best you can, who cares what Christians or even God thinks? God has given you the freedom to make your own choices. Why should I as a Christian try to take that away? Whether you want him to have a say in your life or not is up to you, no one else. I think the job of Christians should be to demonstrate God’s love to everybody so that people want to get to know him and experience for themselves the benefits of a relationship with him.

Sorry, trying not to rant, how Christians tend to treat others is a point of frustration for me.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

So are you saying that god just shuts the doors of heaven on people because of their sexual orientation? IF god exists and IF god is the Christian god, then this means homosexuals/bisexuals are tortured for eternity in hell, no? You are confusing me.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

"God has given you the freedom to make your own choices. Why should I as a Christian try to take that away? Whether you want him to have a say in your life or not is up to you, no one else."

I thought your stupid deity already knew what I was going to do in the first place so isn't he the one at fault for predestining people?!?

I'm sorry, I'm a little frustrated right now. I really do want to feel love by a god who is in charge of the whole thing, but the only god I have seen is self-contradictory. Does god just say no to homosexuals/bisexuals simply because of their sexual orientation which they cannot change? How is it genuinely loving and just to punish people in hell forever because there is no way possible to change who they are? How is this truly a god of love?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hello newengland!

I finally have a quiet house. Hopefully you have enjoyed your holidays and are off to a good start in the New Year.

Although I see I started it out by making you mad. Let me clarify. (which might not make you any less mad) Yes, all sex outside of marriage is a sin. There are many other sins such as gossip, lying, gluttony, ect. Since we all sin, we all deserve to be shut out of heaven. Our sin puts up a wall between us and God. However, because God loves us regardless of whichever sin we have a natural bent towards, he provided a way for us to have a relationship with him now and spend eternity with him in heaven. That was Jesus dying on the cross to pay the price for our sins for us. If we want to turn away from our sinful lives and accept Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, he will forgive us and in his view we will be as pure and holy as we need to be to enter heaven. But when we do that, we are giving him permission to change us and make us into the person he wants us to be. To confess that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9) , means that we are making him our master and will do our best to obey him.

And God does change us when we let him. Sometimes we do have to work at resisting the temptations and other times it happens naturally. At one time in my life I was a very cold, hardhearted person. I was discovering the power in controlling and manipulating people and I enjoyed it. I felt like I didn’t care about anybody. I even thought that if someone told me my mother was dying of cancer I wouldn’t care (sorry mom). Then I read about someone like me and got a glimpse of the lonely future that could come from my attitude and asked God to give me compassion. I totally forgot about the moment until years later when someone told me I was the most compassionate person they ever met. I was surprised when I remembered that I had asked for compassion and realized the change in me. On the other hand, I still have to avoid situations that I find tempting and resist giving in to the sins that would entangle me. But even when I mess up, God still loves me and I’m still forgiven.

I have never regretted giving my life to God. Gone is the emptiness inside, the worry and the fears. And by obeying God, I live a life without any regrets. Sure, bad things still happen and life can still be hard, but I know it will all be ok in the end and see it as part of the adventure.

Oh dear, I’m afraid I have been rambling and now it’s time for me to go. Let me see, I think I wrote a hub that might be helpful…Ifhttp://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/John-527-J... I don't loose battery power I'll link it. Maybe...


newenglandsun 3 years ago

You said in it: "God is also a just God and whether we spend our eternity in God’s presence or away from it; we are still accountable for our actions. I am not saying that we can earn our way into God’s kingdom. That is based on our decision to accept or reject what Jesus did on the cross."

How can god be just if he kicks people out of heaven and makes them suffer eternal torment in hell just for not believing in him even though he only revealed himself to Israel and not to the Native Americans in North and South America or to the Aborigines in Australia? What about the people who have not been reached?

I've also been looking into this sexual orientation thing a bit more. You seem to be making it sound as if it is a way as to how people live their life. Like drinking. It is apart of who you are. They have tried to change people's sexual orientation before and have failed at it. Sometimes, it causes more harm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

(Sorry, really graphic story.)

Anyway, I did come across a source that was claiming that anti-gay Christians abuse the Bible.

http://www.clgs.org/arsenokoit%C3%A9s-and-malakos-...

They have articles on this issue as well which I have found to be useful and helpful.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good morning Newengland!

We are seeing it two different ways. It's not that we all start out in heaven and God kicks us out when he doesn't like what we do. Rather we all start out outside of heaven and God made a way for us to go. But we decide if we want to do what it takes to get there.

God looks at our hearts, not our knowledge. We are only responsible for what we have been exposed to. Everyone, everywhere has the opportunity to decide something about God, even if it's just looking out at nature and deciding there is a God. (Romans 1:19 & 20- since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualitlies-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse) My uncle's brother was a bush pilot who dellivered supplies to missionaries in the jungles of the world. There are many stories from missionaries who go out to these remote tribes only to be amazed at how much they already know about God, and how eager they are to learn more about him.

I'm sorry, I have worked in too many bars and known too many alcoholics to believe it is a happy lifestyle choice. Ahh, the kids are up, I'm going to have to go. I'm helping out at school today so I'll come back and finish if I get done early. Hopefully I will, I'm working tomorrow and won't be able to get back then either. Have a good day!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

How can Romans 1:19-20 be true in light of the big bang theory and abiogenesis and the theory of evolution?



April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Ah, music that makes my heart soar and breaks it at the same time. Thank you for sharing it Newengland. I hope you enjoyed your weekend.

Having God’s help to change is different.

Everybody is a natural sinner. It is a part of who we are. The sins that enslave each person might be different, but they are still a part of who we are. Trying to fix it without God may be somewhat successful for some; not at all successful for others and downright disastrous in the cases we have referred to. But it is different when we allow God to change us or help us change. I have heard many, many stories from people whose lives have been changed because of their relationship with God. They are very different from the story you sent, which was horrible in so many ways. We can be so inhumane to each other.

I haven’t had time to read the other article.

I did get Darwin’s Black Box finished over Christmas. I had to skim through the last section pretty quickly though. Someone put a hold on it so I couldn’t renew it. I’ll try to start Finding Darwin’s God this week.

I don’t know how to compare Romans 1:19 & 20 to the theories you mention. It would depend on your viewpoint. Romans is a part of the same Bible that says that God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them. As long as you reject the Bible, there is no need for it to fit in with the theories of evolution, big bang or abiogenesis. If you accept the Bible, then I would say they are theories on the details of how he may have done it or what the process may have looked like. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and we shouldn’t hate each other for it.

It’s time for me to go, I hope you have a great day.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Glad I can find you music you enjoy. I finished Finding Darwin's God, read The Genesis Question, and started God: The Failed Hypothesis. I haven't really gotten much out of any of them so far.

I wouldn't necessarily say that I "reject" the Bible. At least, I don't want to reject the Bible. It is a good book in places where it can't be understood.

"It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."

Mark Twain


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Yuck, I hate rain. It messes up my running schedule.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I remember what you mean. It could rain for a month or two straight in Pa. It's not so bad here. I actually kinda like it now. At least it isn't bitter cold. Sorry you can't run. we had to change our plans too.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Maybe I'll run in the rain. I did it up in Pennsylvania last summer when it rained.

Yeah, Pennsylvania is quite different than Arizona in terms of climate. Rain is just evil.

Wow, we are like totally connected in terms of where we have been or come from. We're both in AZ and we both have connections to PA.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I was thinking that if you lived by ASU, couldn't we be able to meet each other in person?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

maybe, that depends...

If you're a guy, no. Sorry, I won't hurt my husband by meeting with another guy.

But if you're a girl, and don't mind meeting with friends at first, that would be fine. I'm in north Phx, so I'm not next door, but we could meet in the middle somewhere.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm a guy.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

It's okay. I understand. I don't like messing with the integrity of a relationship. While I have made friends with both parties of different couples (boyfriend/girlfriend relationships and married couples), everyone is different.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you Newengland for understanding. I don't like to be difficult.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I meant to ask. You mention your mother but not your father. Is he still an active part of your life right now?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

yes, he is. just can't afford two tickets


newenglandsun 3 years ago

That's too bad. I'm sorry.

I'm also sorry if I've ever caused you any sort of trouble.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Here's another good song I found:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTlerMKvBEs

Epic battle scene from the movie 300 if you've ever seen it. I've never seen it but it looks like a pretty good movie.

I just purchased their album Aealo from iTunes and have vowed myself that it will be my last purchase from iTunes with my debit card for this semester.

If you have an iTunes, you can actually get music that your interested in as well from it. It works really great as soon as you learn how to work it.

Oh, yes. I wanted to ask. In the book you are writing, are you planning to cover the Jesus and Michael the Archangel thing. I am reading a book right now covering the arguments for and against the deity of Christ by a JW right now.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you Newengland. I was considering including it in my book, but although I still don't think he is the same as Michael, as you pointed out, it is not clear enough from the Bible to say for sure either way. So I don't think so. I saw you had another question on the other hub that I was going to answer tonight, but we are building forts, playing games and making cookies and lemonade. It is getting later than I thought, so I probably won't get to it tonight. (my boy is tiring me out) I'll get back when I have a chance.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

The Exodus. I think many Biblical scholars are saying it did not happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exodus


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good for them.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

But the Bible says the Exodus happens but the evidence suggests otherwise.

??????


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hmmm, my husband was just w atching something on tv not too long ago that seemed to be an archaeologist documenting her journey to find out if the exodus was true or not. She seemed to have found a lot of evidence for it. Of course I was in and out of the room doing other stuff, so I don't remember what it was called or what channel it was on. I'll see if I can find it. Maybe the history channel.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

They had a documentary about people who "found" Noah's Ark. Hugh Ross's book, The Genesis Question explains why finding Noah's Ark would be a highly unlikely task. I would assume many well-meaning people might just be mistaken about their finds.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I think its kind of like other things, there are those who say there is evidence and those who say there isn't.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hey Newengland. I know you had another list of questions somewhere here on one of my hubs. I think I still need to answer them, but I’m wondering how much you really care about the answers. I’m just thinking about it because I spend hours on each question.

Even when I know the answers, I research to make sure I can back up what I have to say, write and rewrite to make sure I am saying what I mean, and do what I can to make sure I give you my best response. And when I don’t take that time, you are quick to point out my mistakes.

I do it because I know it is what God wants me to do. When I don’t have the time, he has cleared my schedule (like the time I ended up sitting at the mechanics all afternoon). When you have been angry over my responses or mean to my guests and I have wanted quit, God encourages me to forgive, answer your questions and tell you that he loves you.

But now I’m feeling tired and even though I should look for your other questions now that I have an hour to sit down, I just want to go to sleep.

Your tendency to try and start arguments with the other guests on my hubs makes me feel like you don’t really care and are only looking for someone to argue with. And if I won’t argue, you will use me and my hubs to find someone who will. You have your own websites to find people to fight with; you don’t need to get mad at my guests.

I like you Newengland and if you really want answers, I am willing to do so. But right now, I’m not thinking that you really care about anything I have to say about the Bible. You seem to have made up your mind that God is not real and the Bible is not true. And that’s ok, I don’t think you are a bad person for that, it is your decision to make.

Sorry, maybe I will feel more like doing this next week.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

oh sheesh, I just read that and it sounds like I'm mad at you. I'm not, just need some sleep. Forgive me if you're offended.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I do care about the answers to the questions. I just don't know how I can conclude the Bible is real and that God is real. Sorry I get mad at your guests. They can really get in my face sometimes with their assumptions.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I mean no offense but some of your guests aren't always the nicest people on this site. Many of them, when they see a question I have asked, seek to degrade me as a person. I think one guest once said how I was in danger because I didn't believe the inspiration of the Bible and challenged its authority.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Newengland I hope you enjoyed your weekend. I am feeling a little better, and if the vertigo doesn't kill me, I think I will survive. :) Hopefully I will get better as the weather improves. Hard to believe its to be close to 90 by the end of the week.

Yes, you are right. Some of my guests aren't the nicest. But I don't think most of their comments are always as personally degrading as you take them. Others I think are reacting to your tone, which can be very angry and confrontational (and personal). Some I think are trying to protect me. I'm not sure you realize how you come across in your writing, it can be easy to react to. (and they may not realize how they are coming across in their responses either)

I saw that Caleb left a comment that you won't like, but since he did clarify at the end that he doesn't think you are stupid, and I saw you asking him to respond to your question, I will let it stand. From what I can tell, you picked that fight with him anyway. I haven't gone over to see what you wrote on his hub.

I hope you like me enough by this point to allow me to say what I have said here. I do not mean to criticize you personally because I think you are a different person from what you seem to be in your comments. I really do want you to be able to comment without being attacked or feeling like you are being degraded.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm sorry. I didn't realize some of my questions were confrontational.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

not the questions themselves. I like having questions to answer.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

No, your questions are fine, and I really appreciate that you're tone and overall manner is changing. Thank you.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm sorry. Sometimes people in general irritate me.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland! You remind me of my brother. I could have sworn you had another list of questions on here somewhere. Including one about why hebrews was so different from the OT. But I spent and hour the other day and almost another hour today going through all my hubs looking for them. For the life of me I can't find it. Am I caught up with your questions so far on contradictions in the Bible, or am I missing something?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I think it was Hebrews 1 vs. Job 38.

I also had Matthew 1:17 vs. Matthew 1:1-16. 41 generations vs. 42 generations.

Is your brother irritated by people easily?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Yes, everyone is an idiot. Makes his life so much more stressful. (and sometimes amusing)

I do remember Job 38 & hebrews but I totally forgot about Matt. Sorry about that. I'll look at it this week.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Thank you. By the way, I stumbled upon this "iloveatheists" website that tells atheists to submit their challenges so I did and was pretty much dictated what I do and do not believe and was told why I do and do not believe what I do and do not believe. I think I will stop looking into Christian apologist links, books, and articles. Icky human beings these people are.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Newengland, sorry you didn't feel loved. It is frustrating to be pigeonholed. Half the time when I felt like you were trying to catagorize me I didn't even know what you were talking about. Sometimes I wonder what you decided. I was thinking it might be fun to sign up to be one of those apologists. But I try not to be icky. :)

Anyway, I wrote a hub on Matthew 1. Decided it was too many words to put in comments. Here is the link, who knows when hubpages will actually publish it:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Does-the-B...

have a good night


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Happy St. Patricks day newengland, Hope you had a great weekend


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Thank you. You too.

Oh, yes. There was the issue with what the centurion said to Jesus on the cross - "was the son of god" or "was innocent".


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I do remember that. You thought it was ridiculous to believe the centurion said both. Although I don't see why. Its no different than someone coming out of a movie and saying "wow that Amelia Bedilia is hot" and then a minute later as they are still thinking of her, saying "wow she really is a good actress."


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Amelia Bedilia was made into a movie?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

No, I'm just not up on who's hot right now and thought that would be funny. It's been hard to get to a movie since we had kids.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Oh. I remember reading those books when I was in fourth grade. Oh, yes. Another question on Luke. Luke 1 describes how he is writing his gospel to give Theophilus the exact understanding as to how things happened. Would this make him in agreement with the other gospels or were there other gospels circulating around at this time?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Yes, Luke agrees with Matthew, Mark & John. There were other books circulating at the time that did not meet the requirements to be part of the Bible, those didn't entirely agree with the rest of the Bible.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

That's what I had though too. I wasn't entirely certain if some of the gospels like Thomas and Peter were from around that time frame or not. That would make more sense. Unfortunately, though, so many Christian apologists believe that the accurate dates for the gospels are from closer to Jesus's time frame and that the Gnostic gospels were from much later. Of course, I can understand this because if the gospels commonly thought of as Gnostic gospels were within that time frame, then they would be able to present an equally accurate account of Jesus's life too, no?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I guess that depends, today's media is full of current accounts that are reported inaccurately. I suppose the same would have happened then.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

How do we know the accounts in the Bible were the accurate ones? Other than the fact that they are in the Bible.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

They had to meet strict guidelines and undergo serious scrutiny to be included. There were plenty that didn't make the cut.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Well they would have been scrutinized by orthodox Christians. So there was obvious historical bias in constructing the gospels. This does not mean the Biblical gospels are more historical.

Sorry, I'm just really confused by all of this.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

thats ok, ...I think there were 5 standards used to discover if a book was inspired by God or not. lets see if I can remember them right.

1. written by a proven prophet or apostle (100% of measurable prophesies came true)

2. writer was confirmed by acts of God (able to do miracles)

3. told the truth about God (had to agree with established bible 100%)

4. had to have the power of God (it changed lives)

5. had to be totally accepted by the people it was addressed to as from God. (They knew the writer and if what he said was true first hand)


newenglandsun 3 years ago

The writer had to perform miracles? What kind of requirement is that?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I think so, I'll look it up for you, but I think I got it right. I would think that if the Bible is inspired by God and is to be God's word, he would be able to have the writers perform miracles. The apostles all performed miracles as did the O.T. prophets. It was one way the people knew that they really were sent from God.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

But how did they know the magick came from God? As far as I know, some of the stuff with miracles/magic had two primary sources. God vs. Satan. Thus, it could have been Satan performing the miracles. Did Satan write the Bible to trick us all?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thats why each book had to meet all of the qualifications.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

But who was conducting the qualifications? Satan? God? People? If people, then how can it have been written by God?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Ok, I found what I was looking for. My in-laws come Wednesday for a couple of weeks, but I’m thinking about writing a hub on this subject after they leave.

The Bible was written by prophets and apostles who were inspired by God on what to write. God gave these men the ability to do miracles to confirm they were speaking for him. For the New Testament, the early churches used the qualifications to discover which books were inspired by God and circulated them among the other churches. For the Old Testament the Jews used the same qualifications and put the books in the temple when they were from God.

2 Corinthians 12:12 – “the things that mark an apostle-signs, wonders and miracles-were done among you with great perseverance.”

Hebrews 1:1 “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…Hebrews 2:1, 3-4 – “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away…(3,4)how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation. This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”

Satan can also do some miracles and signs, but they are limited. Because of this the people also had to look at the lives and message of the person claiming to be a prophet or an apostle to see that it matched up with the rest of what they knew was from God.

Deuteronomy 13: 1-3 –“If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you”

Matthew 7:15 – “watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”

Hope that's helpful. Spring break starts today for my kids. Enjoy your weekend!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

1 Corinthians 14:34 contradicts verses in the Old Testament. Esther specifically. She should have shut up as God had commanded.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

how's that?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

1 Corinthians 14:34 - Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.

Esther was commanded to speak.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

she wasn't speaking in a church


newenglandsun 3 years ago

1 Timothy 2:12 - I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. (ESV)

does not equal Deborah in Judges 3. Or Esther.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

In 1 Timothy, Paul is writing to Timothy in response to false teaching that is being taught in Ephesus. The instructions are for the church to protect itself from being led away from the gospel, and refer to the behavior of those in church...a call to prayer, the behavior of women, overseers, deacons, elders and so on. Neither Esther or Deborah were trying to be leaders in the church or teach in the church. The church didn't even exist yet.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

So the O.T. isn't misogynistic but the N.T. is?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I will have to look up misogynistic...not sure when I will get to it, company coming this week for a couple of weeks


newenglandsun 3 years ago

misogynistic (adj) - reflecting or exhibiting hatred, dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women

dictionary.com


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

thanks newengland, that's helpful. Actually I think the nt church was more liberal when it came to women in their church services than the ot was. I think women had to stay in their own section in the synagogue and weren't encouraged to be educated as much. I think the nt church encouraged them to learn and was a mixed congregation. outside of church I think the jews and later the Christians treated women with more respect and equality than their other Mideast counterparts. I won't have the opportunity to check to see if my facts are right on this for awhile, but if you're studying religion you may have the resources to do that for me and let me know. :)

So easter is coming up, are you going to wear your t-shirt to church Sunday?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I don't have any Satanic t-shirts...yet. And was thinking of skipping church this Sunday, actually.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I do go to church. I would consider myself more of a seeker. I think you judge a little bit too harshly.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

To clarify. I believe the Bible is very irrelevant in many of its applications that people think should apply to everyone and have a tendency to force it on everyone. I also believe that it was written by men and not a god (whether god is real or not) and that there is no way to prove any of it happened and more evidence exists against it then anything else.

I meant to ask about the Bible's gender roles. Are we still supposed to follow these gender roles? Because there is no way I can comply with the gender roles that the Bible seems to institute. They don't even seem to match most people I know of. I find myself more on the feminine side and there are plenty of women capable of taking care of themselves.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm sorry. I meant to answer your question as well. There are scholars who believe that the Bible holds women in a far better position than the pagans. However, Christians try to copy these scholars blindly it seems. They say they agree with these scholars but at the same time adversely disagree. The secular scholars all believe that the early writers of the Bible had no intention of holding women in a subordinate role and that passages like 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 and 1 Corinthians 14:34 are apart of male conspiracies to oppress women. The Christian scholars who agree with these secular scholars on the Bible vs. Pagans often times fail to point this out and as such, they remain within this sexist conspiracy that the secular scholars already believe them to be in. Additionally, the secular scholars believe 1 and 2 Timothy stray from Paul's original teachings on women's roles within the church and are seen as contradictory to Paul. So you can only arrive at the conclusion that "Christians treated women with more respect and equality than their other Mideast counterparts" if you believe "the Bible's a bunch of bull". I know that Rodney Stark would comply with this but he isn't a New Testament scholar.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

ahh, I'm sorry I didn't mean to sound judgmental. I'm embarrassed to admit this and you'll think I'm silly, but I worry about you when you seem so angry about things. I know you go to church and most don't know about your doubts and that is fine if you are getting something out of it. I was just thinking it would be better for your happiness to avoid it if it was just going to make you mad. To tell the truth, if I didn't have the personal relationship with God that I have, I would find the whole thing totally unbelievable. I only believe because I feel so loved by him and have seen him do so much for me, because he does communicate with me and is so real in my life. But even though I know he is real, I have a hard time understanding why someone else who doesn't have this relationship with him would want to believe in him and obey him. I have friends who tell me how empty or dark or pointless their lives were before they knew God, but since I have know him since I was a child, it is hard for me to relate. oh, I have to go...I hope this makes some sense and I didn't say anything wrong or offensive. I won't have time to reread it...sorry!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

It's okay. We all have flaws. I'm just trying not to direct blame on any body. It is difficult when people have inflicted so much pain on you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDagiT4P5Hc


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Happy Easter Newengland! I hope you enjoyed your day today!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Newengland! Been wondering how you are doing. My in-laws are still here so this will be a quick answer, but I would say there is a third option, which would be that God allows evil so that we have the freedom of choice. Evil stems from disobeying him and he doesn’t force us to obey him. If we only had the choice to do good, then it really isn’t a choice. There will come a day when he does get rid of all evil. I read an article the other night that made me think of you, just how the guy worded the question sounded like something you had said before. Maybe I’ll try to find it and link it here. I hope this makes some sort of sense. I'll come back and read it later. Maybe Wednesday or Thursday when things get back to normal. Hope you are doing well!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

But then why wait so long to get rid of it? Is he really up there?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Newengland, Sorry, this is going to be short again.

I think that it's so that everyone will have the freedom to choose. Yes he's up there, and down here... you should keep asking him to show you if he's real or not. I know he wants me to answer your questions and tell you he loves you, I hope that means something.

here is the link I was talking about. Just how he asks the questions reminds me of something you said before.

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Love-your-...


newenglandsun 3 years ago

The concept of a god knowing exactly what I'll be doing next seems contradictory to free will. In other news (no pun intended), I started reading Al-Jazeera.

http://www.aljazeera.com/

Interesting perspective in contrast with something like CNN.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I usually know what my kids will do next because I love them and have made the effort to know them well. Doesn't mean they don't choose what they are going to do. God loves us and cares enough to know us better than we even know ourselves. Also, he sees our whole timeline so he knows the future and can see what we will do.

Don't watch CNN. I have issues, media irritates me.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Media irritates me too but I decided to break my isolationism and look into what the world is saying. The media wants power and wants people to be seduced to their viewpoints. It's political brainwashing on both sides but as more of a rebel, I'd like to hear from the Islamic side of why America is hated rather than hearing a bunch of "glorify America!" brainwashed white kids with priveleges unabated threatening to destroy everything "not American".


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I agree with that. I know someone who spends a lot of time in the Islamic world offering his services as a doctor for free to the poor. He told me their whole perception of America is what they see on MTV and they think we are all like that and it is very offensive to their way of life. He said it's the same as how so many American's think they are all terrorists and it's just not true.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

If you read Aljazeera, you will find that they also perceive the United States as being lazy and not looking out for those in need. Which probably is true.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

dead?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Felt like it there for a minute. no puke but almost. After that it was just busy. I haven't had a chance to write for weeks.

Although I thought for sure I commented. That probably does describe too many of us. I'm sure there are many hard working caring American's but you can't tell that from tv and internet.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Or from looking around...lol.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I'll say


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I had to rid my computer of one of those antivirus viruses on Friday cause my virus protection didn't catch it as a virus. So annoying.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

that doesn't sound like fun. I spent Friday making an arrow of light for my cub scouts crossover ceremony into boyscouts. It wasn't as quick or easy as it looked.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Yeah, antivirus viruses are designed to look like standard antivirus software and they keep telling you your computer is infected and in danger and it is - with the "antivirus" software they are trying to sell you. Fortunately, it was only on my computer for an hour. I restarted and caught it while it wasn't running and delted everything associated with the evil virus.

I wonder if I could create some sort of virus to cut down the operating systems of every single government in existence at the moment to slow them down...

Any way, I'm still trying to get updates on the Boston Marathon right now. I know a couple of marathon runners and I don't know if they were in it or not. I hope not.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/04/201...

Anarchism had nothing to do with it, I am 100% positive.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lop47rwvQM1qid6b...

We prefer to target those with power when we get violent IF we get violent. There is also pacifist anarchism. We do not target innocents.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I thought of you when I heard about it and I'm glad you weren't there.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I hope your friends are ok


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Like I said, I know marathon runners but I don't know if they were running in the Boston Marathon today. I do think one of these two has participated in it in the past if I am not mistaken but I don't know if he was participating in it today. It would be a lot easier to get past this if I didn't know any body who has run in a marathon in the past.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

F*****g three people were killed. Can't they just release the names or are these monsters waiting for the 15 critically injured to die first?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hang in there, give them time to reach the families first. I can't imagine what it's like up there right now.


newenlgandsun 3 years ago

I'd like to know who was running in it too so I can make sure these two people weren't as well but I can't find that either.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Breaking away from marathoners...

How Patrick Jane does justice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGR87q20dIs

The Mentalist is such a great show.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I love the mentalist


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Oh wait, I'm not all caught up yet (we dvr everything we watch) will this be a spoiler?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

It's from the fourth season. Thus far, no marathon runners I know were killed or injured. Which is not good for the people that do know the people who were killed or injured.

Any way, new episode next week. I wonder if he will catch Red John this season. Oh, I recently started watching House M.D. He's a pretty funny guy.

:( Can't find any funny moments from him right now.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I liked house too. it always amazes me that Jayne doesn't get in more trouble


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

you're right sorry I didn't think about how his name was spelled. Please leave Rayne alone. Anyone who reads you giving people a hard time on my hubs and decides I'm letting it happen can report it and I can get kicked off, and I like it here so please, once again, leave my guests alone.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Sorry. Honestly, she is giving me a hard time.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Then please ignore her. I have gotten a couple of notices about you following my readers to their sites and trying to fight with them. Fortunately they haven't been official yet. Your manner doesn't come across as just questioning and most people aren't on here to answer questions in their hubs but to practice their writing and get feed back on how to improve it. They have forums for questions but I pretty much stay off of them. I have to get the kids ready for school. I'm deleting your conversation with Rayne and will get to your question to me over there another time


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Okay. Thank you.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I have decided to stop commenting on your hubs all together. You shouldn't have to be forced off hubpages because the other people that comment on your hubs are rude and nasty people. I have called many people liars and many of your visitors (all of them) are really some of the rudest and nastiest Christians out there that never make me regret rejecting god. If you have to get kicked off because I have unveiled these people as being rude and nasty and of harassing people, then that is not fair.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hey newengland, I'm not worried about your comments to me.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Okay, so in regard to the sexist Ephesians 5:22-31, do you voluntarily submit to your husband and how is this not sexist?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

a quick answer looking this up, I think we talked about this before.

I'm to submit to him, but he's to sacrifice for me.

It's easy to submit when everything he does is for me. It would be foolish not to submit when he's doing what I want.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

But isn't that sexist? I thought marriage was more like a partnership.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Ideally it does make for an equal partnership because both husband and wife are giving up their will for the other.

When both are doing their part, then I am not better because he sacrifices what he wants for me and he is not better because I submit to him. We are equal.

Unfortunately our world pretty much ignores the husbands role of sacrifice and it becomes about position and power instead of roles.

When the husband demands that the wife always submits to what he wants from her and he is not sacrificing to do what is best for her or the wife is constantly demanding her own way and refusing to submit to him, then it is unequal. Then its not partnership, its slavery. I think in those cases, the dominant person is the one who loves the least. And that is not a strong, healthy or happy marriage.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I was asking one of my friends if this would be viewed as sexism. She said that it would be. I was always taught this about the guys always looking out for the ladies and how it was proper but then whenever I tried it, there were always girls that did not like it too much. It's sexism to say that the woman is always to be watched out for. It's complicated because some girls don't mind it (you for instance) and some girls take issue with it (my friend for instance).


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I am really a stubborn, strong and independent person and I don't really like being "watched out for" too much either. But I think that's something different.

The kind of sacrifices my husband makes go beyond politeness. Like being willing to give up a job because of the move, or making sure we go visit my family at least as often as his if not more, or traveling where I want to go instead of where he wants to go. Giving up what he wants to spend his money on so I can get what I want. Not having the bigger house he wanted so I could have the bigger yard that I wanted. From his decisions I know my happiness is more important to him than his own. So when times like this happen and I am not feeling well but want to keep my schedule anyway and he asks me to give up some of my activites and get more rest, I am willing to submit and do it because he asked me to and I know he is worried about me even if I think I am fine and I know I can do it. If anyone else asked me to slow down and give up what I want to do, or even if he asked me without his history of sacrificing for me, I would just ignore them resent them for it.

I am off to spend the rest of the day in a doctor's office. have a good one.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

So it's really not one of those issues where "the man is the head of the house", then? I am confused now.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Haha, I sound like a spoiled brat up there. I am really not demanding, he is just willing.

you just have to change your definition to the head of the house being a servant instead of a master.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Right, but it's still enforcing gender roles. Which is still sexism.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

but both husbands and wives are serving each other - equal

husbands when they sacrifice and wives when they submit


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Why not wives sacrifice and husbands submit? Why not the wife as the head of the house? Why not both as head of the house?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I don't know, why not? Seems like it ends up being pretty much the same anyway. Although most partnerships don't work very well if both have the same exact roll.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

How would they not work well if they were both the sacrificial head of the house or both the submissive one in a relationship?

I don't why the roles aren't flip-flopped either, so why ask me? My guess is the NT writers were misogynystic.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I was just thinking in general. Roles are usually good things. When I was a travel agent I was creative and my boss was logistical. If we were both creative nothing would get done and if we were both like her we wouldn't have had many clients.

I'm not sure I think roles become sexist unless you elevate one above the other.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

But the problem with the Bible's gender roles are that it reflects a patriarchal society. There's definitely a biological set of roles but I am not certain why a women can't lead.

I have another question though. Does it bother you that I find both men and women to be attractive?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

no, it doesn't bother me. Why, do you think it should?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

It bothers some people. Sometimes people are disturbed to find I think another guy is attractive.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I was thinking and had another question in regard to gender roles. Hypothetically speaking, what if your husband were to die and that would leave you to care for your kids on your own? If women are not to take the role of the head of the house, then who would?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

why my 2 year old of course :0


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. Then I'd no longer be married and it wouldn't be an issue. :)


newenglandsun 3 years ago

They only apply in marriage? What if the husband is the submissive one and the wife is the head of the house?

Also, what is your view on pants? I heard some denominations apparently forbid women from wearing them.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

You have a two year old? I thought your kids were older.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Yes, they are older, that was part of the joke.

Love pants, hate to shave my legs all the time. I do have relatives though who don't believe in pants (makes family reunions scandalous, just kidding). That is not a Bible requirement but a religious tradition.

Yes, only in marriage...that would be between them and not my business. Although I had an aunt who was dominant and my uncle submissive and it wasn't pretty!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I wasn't sure. You could have a two-year old. You say you are a mother of two boys but that doesn't necessarily mean you don't have any daughters right off the bat. Patriarchal relationship perhaps why there was no mention, idk?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

no, just two boys.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Ever been interested in having daughters? Sorry, just curious.

Any way, you said:

"Yes, only in marriage...that would be between them and not my business. Although I had an aunt who was dominant and my uncle submissive and it wasn't pretty!"

So then is the Bible's stance on gender roles only "recommended"? I'm confused.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I am very happy with just boys!

No, that's my personal opinion. Each couple has the freedom to choose what they want to do.

God made the roles and that is how it is designed to work best. But he also gave us the freedom to decide if we will obey him or not and so what each couple decides is not my business.

Unfortunately, it's not a perfect world and we have made it about power and position instead of working together equally.

He could have made it the other way around and we still wouldn't like it and would still make it sexist and unequal.

Do you stay here after school's out? Just wondering, tomorrow is my kids last day.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I live here. My parents are thinking about moving to Colorado I heard but I'd still stay here.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Of course it would still be sexist the other way around. Why not though just write something clever like "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" or something like that? Would have been a lot less sexist.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

There's an idea, you can ask God when you see him.

How do you like the summer here? I couldn't believe how hot it was when we first moved here. But it's still better than the cold. I'll be happy if I never have to shovel snow or scrape ice again.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

In my 18 years of living here, summer has been the worst part. Flames are evil. Summer in a place like New England or Norway would probably be way better.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

But seriously, God should have been a communist. Who knows, maybe communism would have worked out.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Heard a story, the devil asked God for a piece of land to do with what he wanted. God gave him Arizona. After creating our prickly, unfriendly desert just the way he wanted it, the devil stepped back to take in his handy work and declared..." I'm going home, this place is hotter than hell!"


newenglandsun 3 years ago

"Arizona has a constant and unwavering year-round temperature of 145 °F (336 degrees Kelvin), and an average of 0.0000000001 inches (2.54 × 10-15 kilometers) of yearly rainfall."

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Arizona


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

only 145? I bet Colorado is nice in summer. Although mornings and evenings have been pretty nice lately. have a good weekend.



newenglandsun 3 years ago

So now that it's summer, I must ask one question...

bikini, tankini, one piece, or none?

I personally don't wear swimsuits but I prefer just my shorts on when swimming.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

one piece of course, I knew it was Celsius. it was a subtle hint to improve his writing by making it relevant for both sides of the pond. He has done the same for me. Happy Weekend!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Yeah, I find the one piece and tankini look a bit more attractive than the scantily clad bikini.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

still here


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

:) I know


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm also sorry for yelling at you a few weeks ago. The topic of bisexuality is a little bit sensitive for me if you can understand.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you Newengland, I appreciate that.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Question.

If God created people in his image, does this mean that he created people for creativity? If so, then why not allow people to express this creativity and why exclude certain forms of creativity from certain people (no tattoos, not make up for men, etc.)?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

hi newengland! Hope you had a good memorial day. I am glad you feel comfortable talking with me. sorry I didn't see that comment there earlier. looks like its marked spam but I'm not sure why. anyway, yes, God made us to be creative. I don't know of the bible saying anything about tattoos or makeup for men. I think those are societies rules or religion's rules and there are a lot of things about both society and religion that I disagree with. Although I am sure there are creative ways to come up with ways to be creative that do go against bible standards.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Leviticus 19:28 - You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.

Where tattoos are disallowed. Apparently Leviticus 18-20 make up some sort of universal code of moral law.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

metal-archives has rules against calling bands bad things because of the way they look.

http://www.metal-archives.com/content/rules


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I'm not approving that one on here, but no.

forgot about the tattoo verse. I never got up the courage to actually do it anyway.

Be interesting to see if it was associated with slavery or idol worship at the time.

I don't think it's really restricting creativity, just the canvas


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Sorry I asked.

Going back to tattoos, why would tattoos be prohibited?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I guess I just asked that in the first place because it helps to understand why most heterosexual Christians just simply state homosexuality or bisexuality is a lifestyle. They just simply don't know what it's like to have attractions toward people of the same gender.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Ah, ok. But I can only speak for myself and I’m not sure my opinion will really answer your question. I do see a lifestyle choice, but probably not the one you are thinking of.

Everyone desires things that are against what God wants for us.

The lifestyle choice we make is what we do with those desires. Do we obey God or not?

If we have a personal relationship with God,(based on repenting and accepting Christ’s sacrifice for our sin) and have chosen to live our lives obeying him, then we have some advantages:

-Often God just makes the desires go away -if He doesn’t, He helps us deal with them

-we don’t have the emptiness inside that we are trying to fill with pleasures that end up being short lived

-We can ask God for wisdom in our choices and he helps us understand how they can hurt us or

others

-the fulfillment that comes from doing what God has for us to do takes up our thoughts and doesn’t leave room to dwell on our temptations

If you don’t have that kind of relationship with God, you can still choose to follow your desires and take the path they lead too or resist them and take another path. Resisting will be harder without God’s help but it can still protect you from the natural consequences we talked about before. (Remember, to me all sex outside of marriage goes against God’s plan and has pretty much the same consequences. I don’t see one as worse than the other)

So to me the lifestyle choice is to follow God or follow one’s desires, whatever they are. God gave you the freedom to choose.

On a personal note: As I continue to see the lives of several close friends/family destroyed by the breaking of the marriage bond (some married some not) and had to witness the deep pain and anguish that goes with it, I would implore you to keep that bond for marriage and reduce your risk of this suffering I see around me.

For me, I decided as a teenager that I wanted to obey God’s rules and trust that He knew what was best and here I am at 40 years old without any real regrets in my past. That is a priceless gift I have and one that fewer and fewer people I know can actually claim.

As far as tattoos, I don’t really know. My guess is that at the time tattoos were either used for slavery or idol worship. With my kids out of school for the summer and getting ready to go back to PA, I don’t think I’m going to have the time to research it. If you decide to do the research, I’d be interested in what you find out.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

The APA says to watch out for groups telling you that you can change your sexual orientation. Alan Chambers, a gay man and head of Exodus International was once a leading "ex-gay". Recently, he apologized to the entire gay community and stated that their "reparative" therapy failed in 99.9% of cases. There was also another "ex-gay" named John Paulk who recently divorced his wife Anne because it turned out he was gay.

There are many people who desire change, want change, and "ask God" to help them change to a heterosexual orientation who simply just cannot change. Are you saying that these people who desperately sought for a heterosexual orientation were just not in tune with God enough? Like I said, it's a lot easier just to pass it off as a lifestyle when you yourself are not gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Sex outside of marriage is bad? What about sex inside a gay marriage? Is that bad? Do you stone your children when they don't obey you (Ex. 21:15)? This is one of God's rules (allegedly).


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

yep, every day.

From what I understand, I would agree that it would be very difficult to change in this area without repenting of all your sins, accepting that Christ paid the cost of your sins and giving your whole life willingly over to God's control and devoting your life to obeying him and letting him change you.

The APA is probably right about it being impossible to change yourself. I don't really know and I assume they have researched it thoroughly. My friends who are gay are happy with who they are so I don't really know of anyone who is desperately trying to change.

If we are talking about God's plan for marriage, then we should go with his definition of marriage, which as far as I know is a man and woman.

If we are talking about a political/ social definition of marriage, then I think that partners in a gay marriage who were married virgins would probably have the same lower risk of breaking the bond that's formed and the problems that go with it as a heterosexual couple who were married virgins.

I hope this makes sense, now that the boys are out of school the minute I sit down in front of the computer they are climbing all over me, reading over my shoulder and pushing buttons on the keyboard. Makes it very hard to respond. Especially since they are kinda young to be asking questions about what I'm writing here. :)


newenglandsun 3 years ago

God gave David wives (plural). 2 Samuel 12:7-8. Where is the notion that God's plan for marriage is one man and one woman? I know that my dad when he was teaching the college kids about marriage, he pointed to Genesis 1-2 where the two become one flesh and all. What about Matthew 19:10-12? And why are only gays expected to be virgins? That sounds like discrimination.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Oh, yes. This penal substitution atonement thing. Jesus comes and saves people by sacrificing himself since he is sinless. Let's use this in practice. Hypothetically, suppose you have to pay a parking ticket. But no problem. If you can get someone who has never done any wrong in their life to pay a price for you, you're off the hook. Let's bring in a baby. Cut it's finger off, and now you have the price of the parking ticket paid. That's what Christianity to me is participating in with this odious penal substitutionary atonement thing. And why would a god who is so loving just simply go psycho and demand sacrifice before he forgives any one any way? "Oh, I'm God! I love you so much and I will forgive you for your sins. Oh, but wait, I haven't sacrificed my Son yet! Jesus get over here and die for everyone!" That's a sick God. And then there's the Trinity. So by God I mean God the Father and by Son I mean God the Son. Because God the Father didn't die.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

little bit of anger there?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Yeah. I feel like I would rather kill a god that requests sacrifice before he forgives someone.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Why, if he already provided the sacrifice?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Specifically that he needed one in order to forgive in the first place.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

why, doesn't justice require penalty?

He wouldn't be just if he ignored the penalty, that he paid the price himself so we don't have to proves his love

I'm another year older now and off to Pennsylvania tomorrow. (where it's only to be in the 70"s) If I don't get a chance to get online much, have a great week!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

"why, doesn't justice require penalty?"

Not all the time. I would imagine even if there is a penalty that true justice might not even be achieved at times.


newenglandsun 3 years ago


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Oh, sorry. Wanted to comment on this statement - "I'm another year older now"

Happy birthday! Don't worry about your age though. If your profile picture is a recent one, then you are a very attractive woman still.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you Newengland! Yes, that picture is less than a year old. It's cool and rainy here. A nice change.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

It's always like that in Pennsylvania. Except for Winter when it snows instead.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Man is it hot here! I miss the rain. The airline offered us umbrellas for the walk out to the airplane yesterday. I had to decline, my husband says I'm not sweet enough to melt.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I had a weird observation on Biblical hermeneutics this week.

http://newenglandsun.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/bibl...


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I replied. Not certain if you got it.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

On my blog that is.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Basically, like one hermeneutic will always be wrong. Hermeneutics do nothing more than reflect one's own biases on the Bible.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Christocentric hermeneutics - the principle of applying hermeneutics to the Bible such that they are based on the character or revealed Biblical truth of Christ. That is, virtually non-existent. Since one cannot know the Biblical character and truth of Christ until some form of Biblical hermeneutics is applied or some divine, special revelation has happened, the Bible cannot therefore be understood at all in this way. Nor in any other way. Can I just burn it instead? Not angry this time. Just confused.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

yeah, sounds confusing, I have no idea what you are talking about.


newenglandsun 3 years ago


newenglandsun 3 years ago

hello?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

hi, I'm here. I'm babysitting a 2 year old these days, very tiring, not getting much done.

Did you do anything for father's day yesterday?

Other than the Bible, the books I'm asked to preview, and whatever I need to read for book discussions, I'm pretty much a fiction girl.

off to get my errands run and hopefully have time for a nap


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Ah. There are lots of hermeneutical and how to understand the Bible books out there. Fortunately, Rachel Held Evans also reviewed the book on her blog so you can get caught up on the important details.

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/christocentric-her...


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I wanted to ask as to why you're taking care of a 2-year-old right now? Is it a friend's or a relative's? Girl or boy?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

helping out a friend/ loving a neighbor :) will get back here later.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I came across this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Constructing-Jesus-Memory-Im...

Apparently, according to one reviewer it is a tool of Satan or a great work depending on what your view Biblical innerrancy is. I guess I'll have to check it out when I make more money (try $500+).


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

haha, For a minute I thought the price of the book was $500, silly me I thought it better be made out of gold.

I am sure you can read a hundred different books on hermeneutics or just about any subject and get many different opinions. I tend to be a critical reader and usually find something to disagree with in just about any book I read. (and yes, I am open to others doing the same with my writing!) For the most part I find that I don’t really have the time or the desire to worry about other people’s opinions and whether they are right or wrong. It’s just not worth arguing about.

I took a college class on Biblical Hermeneutics when I was in high school and am very satisfied with the methods I learned. Which, in addition to learning that the context is the key, I explain in the hub … http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/How-to-use...

It was less opinion based and more instructional.

I looked for my book tonight to see if it mentioned these other things but I didn’t find it. I also read Rachel’s book review and while I agree that the Bible is about Jesus, I’m not sure if I agree with all the points that she mentioned. Without reading it, it's hard to tell. But there seem to be enough people debating it so no need to add my two cents.

Have a good night!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I always like to have extra money to spend on other things and needs. Just applied for a job at Arby's. Hoping I get hired.

Yeah, I agree with establishing the historical context the best. This is what Dale Allison's book seems to do based on the reviews I've read.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

"I cannot understand...how that theology and exegesis formed thus...by a kind of intellectual parthenogenesis, would then generate three independent stories from which, in each case, all those developments had been carefully removed" (Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, 611).

N.T. Wright continues:

"[t]he stories exhibit...not with tales artfully told by people eager to sustain a fiction and therefore anxious to make everything look right, but with the hurried, puzzled accounts of those who have seen with their own eyes something which took them horridly by surpries" (612).

He also defines in another work "the kingdom as a present reality, in which people can share, but which still awaits some sort of final validation" (Jesus and The Victory of God, 469).

N.T. Wright doesn't make sense to me. How would he argue in regard to the literary elements of about seven creation narratives in the Hebrew Bible? Are these literal, historical accounts as well? What about the metaphorical book of Job? And if Jesus's prophecies are literal, why is there no evidence of Paul's prophecies in 1 Cor. 15 coming true?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning! I'm still babysitting, thought I'd grab a minute while she's distracted with the train set to come say "hi".

Good luck with the Arby's job. We just bought two sets of braces, no extra money for us for awhile.

I don't know anything about N.T. Wright. You'll have to ask him what he means or just don't read him if he doesn't make sense.

Remind me what the prophecies in 1 Cor. 15 are? I think Job is historical.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

N.T. Wright is an Anglican bishop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCFhVHoRP5o

I'm surprised you don't know him. A lot of evangelical Christians know him and laud him.

Prophecies pertaining to the resurrection.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

No, I'm sure there are a lot of famous people I'm not familiar with. Whenever I have some time to spare I prefer to study the Bible, not read other books about it. Although there are times after I study a section that I will go online to see what others say about that particular verse, but usually that is after I have come to my own conclusions.

How can Paul prophesy about the resurrection? It had already happened.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

1 Corinthians 15:51 - Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,

All the people he was talking to are "sleeping" (dead) now. I find the Bible gibberish unless I am reading someone else's comments on it.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

sorry, I thought you were talking about Christ's resurrection.

I would say there is no evidence because its a prophesy that hasn't happened yet. verse 52 says this happens (people changing without sleeping/dying) at the last trumpet which is generally considered the end of time or the end of earth and life as we know it. And after that there won't be anymore death.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

For N.T. Wright, "end of time" just means that this is the fulfillment of a prophecy. And Paul is addressing his Corinthian Church here so the "we" is him and the Corinthians. They're all dead right now.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Hello?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Yeah, sorry, between babysitting, keeping my own kids from killing each other and being dizzy every day, my poor hubpages are getting neglected. Whenever I sit down to write here I only have the energy to read someone else's work, if that. my foggy thoughts on Corinthians is that the we is general since he is writing prophesy but he didn't know when his prophesy would occur. hope you are managing to keep cool!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Trying my best. Except when my older sister defends biphobic comments that practically seek to erase bisexuality. Yeah, bisexuals suffer biphobia from heterosexuals and lesbians and gays.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Didn't think about that problem. Enjoy your weekend.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

There are two ways to erase bisexuality and one of them is something people don't think about too often.

1) Saying that bisexuals are liars or are confused or are really closeted gays. This is the Dan Savage type of biphobia. Thus, bisexuals don't really exist.

2) Saying that everyone or most people are bisexual. The bisexual erasure that my sister defended. What this says to bisexuals is that we don't really matter any way since everyone is bisexual, so we can just move on now.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I am sure you're sister loves you, and maybe enjoys getting a reaction out of you. When my little sister got mad at me, I'd tell her that she would get over it which totally invalidated her and made her angrier. She finally caught on that I was picking on her and admitted she was just trying to get my attention. Not saying that this is what's going on with you guys, but as an older sis myself it was a lot of fun to make my siblings mad. Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly and we have great relationships.

Anyway, was 119 hot enough for you today?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I hadn't told her I was bi. Ironically though, she claims as her defense of defending a biphobic comment from her friend that she knows bisexual people. But then attacks Christians who have gay friends as homophobic.

I highly doubt that she's "just" picking on me. She thinks of herself as the "human answer book". Well, has never titled herself that but sure as hell acts like it.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

When you first said you were babysitting a two-year-old, I was worried that you had gone and pulled a Lisa Kline on us.

http://www.bittenandbound.com/2009/01/23/lisa-klin...

From your statement - "why my 2 year old of course :0"


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

man, I thought I was the human answer book :)

She is cute, adorable, I love her dearly, but I am very happy to send her home every afternoon. I don't think I could handle another one. I'm so tired!

Heard from Arby's yet?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Not yet. I'll probably call them myself.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Happy fourth!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

"The Non-Conformist Conscience makes cowards of us all." - Max Beerbohm

"I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism." - Frank Buchman

"Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating." - Andrea Dworkin

"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel." - Abraham Lincoln

You can find a lot more here:

http://quotes.dictionary.com/search/anti-conformis...


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

thanks


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm a non-conformist. These are the only people that seem to get things done.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

What kind of things do you get done as a non-conformist?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

All sorts of things.

You end segregation in the United States.

You free India from British colonizers.

You start new religions.

You make achievements in science.

You basically move everyone forward.

You also sometimes get on everyone's nerves because they feel that you are breaking the social norms of the society.

You really are pushing things.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Contrast this to conformists.

With conformity, you end with 6 million Jews dead, bombs dropped on other people, Native Americans kicked out of their homeland, witches burned at the stake, and racial segregation. At best, conformity doesn't do anything.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Oh, I see, I was wondering what you do personally as a non-conformist.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I reject society's norms. For instance, I don't let people tell me what to believe, I don't let people dictate what clothes I should wear and I don't let people dictate what music I listen to or what people of my certain social group (gender, culture, etc.) are doing nowadays.

I'm not sure I agree with your version of Christianity. It seems enslaving to me.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

That sounds like good standards to live by.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

It is. Sometimes I am frightened around other people cause they come off as robots that just follow what everybody else says.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I saw this happy video today that brought me so much joy and I thought of how rude it would be if I never shared it with any one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QSP51TNTdQ

Correction - the actual lyric is "4", not "0".


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

sorry, I missed this one. cool footage, great music, still made me feel sad.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Why? It's a perfect representation of humanity.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

That's exactly why...

Btw, I would have to agree with the slavery comment. Everyone chooses a master at some point in their lives, either consciously or by their choices, and perhaps even genetics.

For some it’s money, a job, reputation, approval or their social circle, for others there are more dangerous enslavements such as addictions. This is just to name a few, there are many things that people are enslaved too.

I have chosen to make God my master and I have never looked back. I consider enslavement to him different than slavery to religion, church, pastors/spiritual leaders, or “Christian” expectations. That is probably why I don’t know the people or groups you quote to me.

So yes, I willingly submit to someone who knows me and loves me so completely that he died for me. The result has been a life of adventure, peace and purpose with no regrets.

The best part is that he loves you too.

Getting ready to leave, have a good evening!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

it's one thing to be a spiritualist but you follow the tenets of a religion.

what prevented you from converting to Islam? they claim to follow god. they don't believe a god died for them.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

The philosophical definition of a person is that which bears conscience.

The sociological definition of a person is that which culture defines it as.

In other words, people in a coma and people who are different from the culture it is perfectly legal to kill. Don't try to figure it out. I've tried and have been accused of being intellectually dishonest.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hey, how are you? Sorry, had a sleep study over the weekend and it really made me tired and dizzy for a few days. Better today, but still really tired.

Yes, I do go to a church that teaches the Bible and isn't affiliated with a denomination and although I don't like being called "religious" I do see how it appears that I would qualify. However, we were talking about enslavement and I do not hold my church in the position of master.

I don't know much about Islam so I do not have the ability to judge if they follow God or not. Yes, they call him by a different name, but I can come up with at least a handful of different names for him in the Old Testament alone. I think that could only be determined by knowing the heart of each individual, not something you can judge the whole group by. I also suspect that a lot of the big differences might not be as big as we think and would end up being cultural and language misunderstandings. (I know someone wrote a book about it once..."the deadly misunderstanding" I believe) I also believe that there are Islamic leaders who have interpreted the Koran to suit their own needs instead of keeping it in context and taught their own ideas instead of the intended meaning. Which also happens pretty often with the Bible. I once came across a website, written by a Muslim, that had a pretty long list of verses in the Koran that actually referred to the Bible, Jews and Christians as a source of truth. I have never heard of anything in the Koran, kept in context, that goes against anything the Bible says, also kept in context, of course. But I haven't read it or studied it so I don't really know, or think it matters to me personally. I have better things to do than to judge the beliefs of the rest of the world's religions. Have a good evening!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Yes, they believe Jews and Christians are people of the book. My Islam in the Modern World professor made an interesting comparison between them and Wookiees. The comparison was "Are Wookiees violent?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO6M4ngKRp0

They'll rip your arms out apparently. BUT...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XfFxS4-EKM

We also see that historically, they have been an oppressed group.

In other news though, my older sister is mocking me for my stance on abortion which is actually relatively neutral. I see value in both sides of the argument and I think that both sides also make their fair share of misleading attacks on the other side.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

This is my own personal stance on abortion if you're interested.

http://newenglandsun.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/refu...

I explain why I believe it should be legal but at the same time used for better purposes. I also include a video attached by YouTube user KnownNoMore who provides a refutation of "The Violinist Argument" and provides actually a better thinking exercising that is more analogous to the situation. Only flaw is he left out scenario 3 which is what if Ryan is causing Bryan to slip off the ledge although he does cover this in the comments section.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hello, I'm taking my son on an adventure this week, be back Friday. I might have time to read your wordpress next week. Have a good week/end


newenglandsun 3 years ago

The goal of this game is to win.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIm93Xuij7k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMhV3fwx5Sg

I mean, it IS a lottery.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Coming back?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

yeah, kids go to back to school tomorrow, and I think I only have to babysit one more week at the end of the month...I started to watch the lottery, but I get no peace when I sit down at the computer. I think I saw another version of it...

btw, did you get my comments on wordpress? The other times I commented I got an email saying they would be published after you approved them but I didn't this time and I haven't had a chance to go back and look


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Yeah. I responded as well. Don't you just love how Shirley Jackson wrote that story? The first time I read it was in ninth grade, I think. My English teacher was asking me afterward if I still wanted to win it. It's interesting how Old Man Warner is fixated on keeping the annual lottery going. It's representative of how the eugenic tradition has warped him into a mindless monster and now he has become craved on blood. The extremes people will go to in order to keep a tradition alive. Not only that but the extremes people will go to kill each other thinking it's all for their own survival when it's not them being killed. Mindless authoritarianism.


newenglandsun 3 years ago


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Haha, I forgot I told you my backround :)


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Can't recall what you're referring to.

Here's my older sister though for you -

"I'm a philosopher. I know more about subject x than you do because I have that training."

Goes on to read Christopher Hitchens and contends he is correct even though he was a propagandist and a journalist.

I think the overall translation and why she acts like that is more-so that she only finds you intellectual if you agree with her. Not because she really cares about your expertise.

I wonder if she affirms an historical Jesus or not. It would be pretty interesting for me to discuss this, if she doesn't then say I am a religious studies major, I affirm an historical Jesus, I think I know more about this than you do. And see how she responds.

Any way, she left for Colorado Saturday night so I don't have to deal with her obnoxiousness for a while.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

good morning, I hope you are enjoying your break from your sister. My boys always like when they get a break from each other. I was refering to my Mennonite family. head coverings are a big deal where I come from.

Did you ever get the Arby's job? I signed up to work at the Cardinals stadium, but I was so dizzy on my first day that I had to call in sick.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

No. The problem is that people who are actually capable of working and more-so fit to work are generally rejected for some "minority group" guy I figure. I applied to several different jobs including Radio Shack and McDonald's. I just don't think they're looking for white males so I have officially given up looking for a job. If I'm going to live as a homeless hobo the rest of my life, I'd better start now.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Maybe the complication I suffer is that I'm not certain whether Autism is ADA so I just don't put that down.

I'm getting something soon that will hopefully help me get a part-time job though for sure. I forgot what's called.

Met with my DDD coordinator last week (I think it was DDD).


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm thinking I'll apply to GameStop although I don't think my mother approves. I've been doing a lot of gaming over break.

https://gamestopcareerscorp.silkroad.com/map_image...

Video game systems - N64, SNES, Nintendo Wii, DS Lite

Game Software knowledge - save batteries in GameBoy/GameBoy Color/Advanced/DS games sometimes need to be updated, Gamecube memory cards that get 1,019 blocks need reformatting constantly, sports games take up more memory space, some N64 games require controller packs to save

PC knowledge - own a PC, know how to google problems I have with mine, a semester as a software engineering student including Java, otherwise, relatively basic

Hmm...that, and my witchcraft and heresy professor sometimes takes his kids to GameStop to trade in games so I might be able to say hi to him if I apply there.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Everyone's favourite Nintendo character (sorry Mario, you lose...EPICALLY!).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QslFyC8A1XQ


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Do you have classes this fall?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

yes i do


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

like them ?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Haven't started yet. I picked them though. I saw Elysium yesterday with my dad and my friend. It's really good if hard sci-fi is your thing. To be perfectly honest, hard sci-fi isn't really my thing by I liked it.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I think it will be a while before I get to see a movie again, we are considering giving up cable to pay the doc bills...

how did you come up with the name newenglandsun? Just curious.

I tried to respond to your comments in wordpress, but I read so many I can't remember which ones i commented on. I think I found 2 and re-responded(is that a word?) maybe that was all.

I hope you like your classes.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I invented it. I don't really know how I came up with it. Mindless creativity?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

i love it!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

http://kpho.membercenter.worldnow.com/story/231064...

I knew this guy that died. He was a really sweet person. Would greet me when I walked into church (my old one, not my current one) and smile a lot.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I am very sorry Newengland


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I wouldn't have stated he was a friend but he was a very decent human being. More decent than most.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I still find it sad when something like that happens, even to someone I'm merely acquainted with.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

35 is young, but I've been acquainted to someone who died at 16 I think it was. Maybe even 15. 15-17 I'd say. A student at one of my schools was barely even in high school when he got sick and then died. I think he was a freshman when I met him but he might of been an eighth grader.

I had a professor last semester who died early on. From her profile on the ASU website, she looked like she was in her late 40's. Her widower took over the class after her death.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

There was a car accident when I was in high school that killed 4 kids in my class. Even though I didn't really know them(my class had 300 kids) it was still very sad.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

By class you mean freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, right?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Speaking of dead people, have you heard of Peter Hitchens? He's not dead but his brother Christopher is.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Rage-Against-God-Atheism...

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2012/10/wha...


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

yes, and no, I hadn't heard of him. Sounds like mud slinging is everywhere.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Sometimes, deaths leave us having to make tough decisions.

http://hubpages.com/money/Do-You-Have-Life-Insuran...


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

That is tough


newenglandsun 3 years ago

She has four dogs and is a published author. You should look at more of her writings. She's an intellectual.



tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

This is a perfect link to my hub on a disciples view on the resurrection:)


neweneglandsun 3 years ago

That professor that died, it seems my comparative mysticism instructor this semester recycled her powerpoint lectures and syllabuses so I virtually have a "ghost" professor this semester. Ummm...not sure how that's going to work but okay....


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Does that mean you've already had all the material from when her husband taught it, or will it still be new?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I took a course on religion in America then. This is a different course.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Well, fortunately, the instructor got more updated and now it's her syllabus we're using. She does follow a similar format as my late instructor though.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

That's good. I hope the format was a good fit for you. A mysticism class would be a good class to have a "ghost" professor in though :)


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I saw this video. What do you think about it? I'm considering converting to this Church (the one argued for in the video, not the Emergent one).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q09FGGFocLk


newenglandsun 3 years ago

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1zEvW8iXsqA/UAZAvL8wJQI/...

The blessed virgin Mary. I'm considering converting to Roman Catholicism right now due to their rich history, tradition, and because I think that it's most basic teachings are reasonable. I know that you have a Catholic background as well but are not a Catholic.

http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0...

This is another plus for me about Catholic teaching. Biblical literalism is not needed. I hear my dad always commenting on how Catholics struggle with works but from my looking into it, it seems like a straw-man. I like the works plus faith salvation because it means that those ugly Christians out there won't have to ruin eternity. At first, I didn't agree with them on Original Sin but then I read an article on the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia and it appears that I thought the Protestants and Catholics shared the same teaching which they don't.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11312a.htm#VII

Because a lot of what you have said has helped, I hope that we can still be friends and hopefully, when I am more settled down in my conversion process, talk more on things of faith. There are Catholic clubs on ASU's campus. I'll try to join one.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Newengland! Wow, I must say I'm surprised. I married into a Catholic family, and I have awesome in-laws. Now I am really interested in listening to the link you sent last. (I've been babysitting again and haven't had any free time.) Of course we can still be friends, your religious beliefs have nothing to do with that. I am always interested in talking to you about faith. Have a good evening, maybe I'll have a chance to read at least some of your links tomorrow.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Your welcome. I've been talking to some Catholics on Mark Shea's blog on Patheos and have learned quite a bit about them. How Orthodox Christians are viewed, how Anglicans are viewed, etc. I'm hoping to get some Raymond Brown and some more Catholic books.

There are lots of Catholics on ASU's campus. Two of my Hebrew classmates are Catholics as well.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

This contains some views on faith plus works salvation.

http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/why-does-th...

Salvation is not earned. It is given by God's grace but such gift also moves us to enact love toward others.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I agree with your statement "salvation is not earned, it is given by God's grace but such gift also moves us to enact love towards others" This isn't the view I have heard from my in-laws, but I am glad to hear it is the Catholic view.

Does this mean you have made some peace with God?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Trying to. I believe that Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are much better at answering questions than Protestantism.

It's the whole notion of "faith without works is dead". We were having a conversation on Sunday (other family friends who are Evangelical Christians come over to discuss the Bible) and the concept of justification was brought up. I was asking about whether works were involved as well and of course, everyone was answering according to sola fide how it is only our faith that can save us. It isn't logical and it isn't really "Biblical" either.

Although in regard to works based salvation, there have been Catholic comments on Pope Francis I's statement on atheists going to Heaven.

http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=5107...

It's really faith plus works but doing good works does and can lead people to God whether they are aware of it or not. I would assume by atheists that Pope Francis I meant all non-Christians. Note: This is also seen in Matt. 25:31-46.


newenglandsun 3 years ago


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Newengland!

I just watched the clip about the book then looked at the summary on Amazon. Sounds interesting. I didn't realize that Protestants didn't know that the Catholic church was the original church that Jesus started. We were taught that in High School.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Some do, some don't. Although, all due respects, the word "Catholic" means "Universal". Hence, it makes perfect sense that Jesus started the Catholic Church because he was universal to all who came to him.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

This is apparently, the Catholic view on the atonement.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02055a.htm

Which is good, because I like the Christus Victor model so that would not be heretical as long as I acknowledged the other key bits of atonement.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I am falling behind in my comments :) I just skimmed the americancatholic link. I'm not familiar with the biblical fundamentalist belief system. From the name, I would think I qualify, but from reading the article, I don't agree with everything mentioned. There are a lot of Catholics who go to our church and from reading this article and thinking of conversations with them, I think there is a lot of arguments that occur without an understanding of what the beliefs really are. What I mean is that I think a lot of Protestants and probably Catholics too don't really understand what exactly they believe or why. And I think they also misunderstand what the others believe too.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

That's definitely quite true. I think a Biblical fundamentalist is basically someone who is willing to defend Biblical literalism unto the death. I was browsing through some of the on-campus Catholic clubs and found St. Paul's Outreach that looks interesting. Unfortunately, there's no other information on them.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

http://www.wikihow.com/Become-Catholic

A great source I found on how to become a Catholic.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning! Just skimmed the link on faith + works and I am saddened to think of all the Catholics I know who really try to earn their salvation. I knew at it's heart that the Catholic teaching was correct but I thought it had been changed over the years based on conversations with my inlaws and the many catholics I know that go to our church. I am glad to see this is not true, and I wonder why so many think their salvation is based on their performance.

I also had a chance to read the article on Pope Francis and I did't realize that Catholics didn't believe that Jesus died for everybody. I believe he did and I do think that doing good works can lead to him. That is how one of my good friends who was raised catholic came to Christ, she started with good works and found that she was learning more and more about him. But I do think that if those good works lead you to Christ and you still reject him and never recognize that he is the source of our salvation, then the good works aren't enough to save you. Which I think is implied in the article, but not really addressed.

So I am wondering what has changed your hatred towards God?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

No. Jesus did die for everyone. I think you misunderstood the article.

"His redemptive embrace was for all, not just a chosen few." (from the article)

I cannot understand how so many Protestants (including my Evangelical upbringing) can simply just say faith alone is enough to save you. I think that a lot of people in my group at my currently covenantal church would embrace a faith in action teaching quite generously.

One cannot do good works without Christ. So no, doing good works can lead you to a better understanding of who Jesus is and in that way, bring you closer to Jesus.

Matt. 25:37-40 - Then the upright will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?" And the King will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."

Yes, if you have a staunch and adamant rejection of Christ, you would probably end up in Hell. Besides, there's also Purgatory and I think for the most part, it is in God's judgment whether they died in grace or not.

What has changed my hatred? I guess, nothing. I just figured out that I've always liked the Catholic God better. But it's a process and a poor college student like me is limited. It might not be for another few years that I'm officially a member of the Catholic Church and I want to read more books on the subject. Who knows? I started reading the Catechism this morning. They have it on www.vatican.va.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I was taught that we are saved by faith and then we have the responsibility to work out our salvation. Which sounds like the same as what I'm reading about the Catholic belief.

I did agree that Jesus died for everybody and good works can lead us to a better understanding of who Jesus is and bring us closer to him. That's how my friend was drawn to him.

I just think that at some point we make a decision to accept or reject him. But God knows our hearts and I trust that he will judge us justly.

I would probably agree with most of the Catholic beliefs as they are written, and I can appreciate where most of their traditions come from. I am glad you are taking the time to find out what they actually believe. I just haven't met too many who understand their beliefs and apply them to their thinking. Which is also a very common occurrence in Protestant churches.

It is a process and it's a decision that no one can make for you. I'm just sorry you got so much grief from everybody while you're going through it.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

To be honest, if I announce to my family that I'm considering converting to Catholicism, I might get a few snide remarks here and there criticizing Catholic teachings but not expecting too much grief. My grandparents had a friend convert to Catholicism and they were saying how the Catholic Church wasn't really "Christian".

For the most part, my family members don't think that if one is seriously following the teachings of Catholicism they're a "Christian" but there's really no foundation in Protestantism or even in my family's more Emergent Church stance that can actually dictate that.

Sure, it rejects sola scriptura and to some extent, sola fide, and sure it teaches that Mary is the Mother of God and the Holy Queen of Heaven and sure they ask saints to pray on behalf of us but there's absolutely nothing that asserts that these things are non-Christian.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I hope you don't let it bother you too much. I think you can be a "christian" in a Catholic church as well as you can in a Baptist, Methodist, or any other church. I also think you can be a Baptist or a Methodist and not really be a Christian. But then again, religious titles don't mean much to me.

I think too many people end up worshiping the traditions and opinions of their chosen churches instead of finding out what it's like to have a real relationship with their God through Jesus.

I think the Bible, written by men inspired by God should be the gold standard to live by.

Opinions and traditions have their place and their purpose. They are valuable but I don't think they have the same authority as the Bible. And we don't all have to agree on all of them. If it's not in the Bible, and doesn't go against the Bible, I think we have the freedom to our own opinion. Even within the Bible, I think we have the right to our own opinion on things that aren't clearly stated in black and white. There is definitely room to agree to disagree in some areas. And there is no need to condemn those who have a different view on some things.

I think God knows if we have a heart dedicated to him and will judge accordingly.

I'm saying "I think, I think" a lot. Sorry, you really shouldn't care what I think. I also feel like I'm coming across harsher than I mean to. Sorry about that too, it must be the mood I'm in today.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Some traditions are better than others. I think the traditions of the Catholic Church contain so much more mysticism than anything in Protestantism. For the large part, in Baptist theology, stress is laid on your personal relationship with Jesus but that's kind of it. The rest of it is dull. Methodism focuses on justification through holiness which can also be kind of bland. Although there are less serious individuals in all denominations. Tom Araya and Ralph Santolla are both practicing Roman Catholics FYI and neither of them let their music get in the way of their religious views.

"I think the Bible, written by men inspired by God should be the gold standard to live by."

Meh, I somewhat agree in that it is in fact loaded with spiritual truth especially in Ecclesiastes. It's truths should take high priority in our lives, however, neither Jesus or the Biblical writers were sola scriptura. They quoted from other places that are not a part of what you nor I would classify as "scripture".

2 Tim. 3:8 - As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith; (RSV w/ Apocrypha)

Nowhere do we get the names of Jannes and Jambres. Jude quotes from the Assumption of Moses, The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the Book of Enoch. Nowhere in the Old Testament is there anything commanded to "hate your enemy" (Matt. 5:43).


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I was just using Baptist and Methodist as a generalization. Any religion without a personal relationship with God ends up being empty. Yes, the Bible quotes other sources which gives the quotes authority, but not the full source. Sorry I don't know what sola scriptura and sola fida mean. I guess I could look it up, but I'm feeling lazy today.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Scripture alone, faith alone. One has to define what they mean by faith in order for faith alone to be accurate. Of course extra-Biblical sources have full authority in the Church if the Church has sanctioned them. You don't reject the Nicene, the Apsotle's, or the Athanasian Creeds do you?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Penal substitution atonement teaches Jesus died and was punished in our place. This is wrong.

Romans 6:6 - We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. (RSV Catholic Edition)

Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (RSV Catholic Edition)

Galatians 5:24 - And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (RSV Catholic Edition)

If Jesus was crucified in our place as penal substitution atonement teaches, then why are we crucified along with him? This goes hand in hand with what Catholics teach about soteriology. Jesus died to defeat the evils of sin and death so that we could live free of them (one of the cores of Christus Victor atonement).

I really need more Catholic Bibles. I have the NJB and there's the RSV Catholic Edition from biblegateway.com that I sited from. The NAB is also available online but it's nice to be able to carry them around.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Just because I don't think that something has the same authority as the Bible doesn't mean I reject them.

The Nicene Creed was necessary to clarify what the church believed in the face of division brought on by Arius. I don't know as much about the Apostle's creed but it is my understanding that it was necessary because the Nicene creed didn't address all the issues or left some things still unclear. I don't think I've heard of the Athanasian Creed. But I imagine that it is just as valuable as the other two. I've only studied the Nicene Creed but I don't recall anything about the early Bishops and church leaders intending it to be on an equal standing with the Bible.

The problem with Church sanctioned sources is that different churches sanction different materials. And the tendency is to place greater authority on the extra-biblical material. For example, the Mormon's consider themselves Christians and they sanction the Book of Mormon. But if the Book of Mormon teaches something different than the Bible, they will ignore the Bible. Jehovah's Witnesses also consider themselves Christians, but the do the same thing with anything that comes out of the Watchtower Society. Of course I'm not suggesting that Catholicism is a cult. These are just the examples that came to mind.

Hey, I don't know if you're interested or not and it's probably a drive for you, but Ravi Zacharias is coming to our church on September 15th and teaching on the Reasonableness of the Christian Faith. Apparently he travels around the world and defends/explains Christianity. I heard him once before and was impressed with how well he answered questions from the audience. I don't know if he'll have time for that in a church service, but I thought of you.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

The councils and the catechism of the Catholic Church do not hold the same authority as the Bible but they guide us in what we believe. The creeds have always been made in response to heresy and issues that have come up in the church. We need to have some sort of guiding authority. Papal infallibility refers to the doctrinal statements that which the Pope has made. It only applies to these doctrinal statements.

"It is only in connection with doctrinal authority as such that, practically speaking, this question of infallibility arises; that is to say, when we speak of the Church's infallibility we mean, at least primarily and principally, what is sometimes called active as distinguished from passive infallibility. We mean in other words that the Church is infallible in her objective definitive teaching regarding faith and morals, not that believers are infallible in their subjective interpretation of her teaching." Toner, Patrick. "Infallibility." (The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 26 Aug. 2013)

These extra-Biblical creeds as well as Papal infallibility serve to unite Christians in belief. If people just rely on the Bible, we end up with grievous errors such as Arianism, Socinianism, Pelagianism, Calvinism, Lutheranism, etc.

Note: when I say Lutheranism, I am referring mostly to the elementary understanding of sola fide and sola scriptura.

I don't like Ravi Zacharias. He's too much of a Biblical literalist. I find that he misrepresents a lot of facts and doesn't really do too well to prove his version of Christianity correct.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Yes, that makes sense, they all are valuable in the roles they serve.

No problem about Ravi, I just thought the topic might interest you. I had not heard of him before my friend gave me her tickets because she couldn't go when he was in town a couple years ago.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Sorry if I've offended you. There are things Catholics and Protestants differ on. When they do, the differences can be extreme. At least you can understand why using the Bible as the sole source of faith alone can be an extremely deadly heresy.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

You didn't offend me. I do not mind you disagreeing with me. And I hope you extend me the same courtesy. There is a lot that you have learned from the Catholic church that I agree with, including:

"Salvation is not earned. It is given by God's grace but such gift also moves us to enact love toward others."

"The councils and the catechism of the Catholic Church do not hold the same authority as the Bible but they guide us in what we believe. The creeds have always been made in response to heresy and issues that have come up in the church."

Our source of faith should come from a personal relationship with God who can give us wisdom in navigating all the available material out there and help us discern what is true and what isn't true.

I happen to agree with many things in the early writings of the Catholic Church. I also don't agree with everything taught by the early Protestant leaders. And I agree that the Bible is used to support many harmful and dangerous beliefs.

This is why it is important to have a good understanding of what the Bible says, and understand how to keep it in context so we can compare the other writings/ideas and make an informed decision when deciding if they are right or not.

Only the Bible has the authority to claim absolute truth inspired by God. Everything else is opinion and we can agree with it or disagree with it. When we pick a church, we should know what they believe and at least agree with the things they hold most important.

I think it is ok have different opinions on the things that are not clearly stated in black and white in the Bible. And we should all respect each others opinions and work together to share the gospel of Jesus, not tear each other apart.

Historically, I think that people can get addicted to religious power and stray away from Biblical and Church sanctioned writings and twist them to their own advantage. I believe this happens in both Protestant and Catholic churches. Knowing the Bible and the stated beliefs of the church can protect us from leaders who fall into this trap and gives a measure of accountability.

Sorry, this response seems very hodgepodge, I hope it makes sense.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Oh, and I don't mind if you don't like Ravi. I have no opinion of him myself other than being impressed with how he can answer questions on the spot. I have to think them through awhile and write and rewrite to be sure I'm saying what I mean. I'm terrible at debate.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I have a question based on what you said.

You believe that only the Bible is inspired. I would agree. I would also agree that it's okay to hold to opinions not stated in black and white (a Catholic can be an adherent to intelligent design as in the case with Michael Behe or be a Darwinian evolutionist like Kenneth Miller).

But is the Bible the only thing supposed to take authority? No. The Roman Catholic Church has had a rich history and it has had to learn to grow and handle heresies better but all of it's teachings are based on what the early church taught.

If St. Paul or Pope Peter (he's the first Pope in more of an analogous sense) came down and told you that a particular interpretation of their writings that you once held was wrong would you change it?

I remember one time when Ravi Zacharias was asked a question on Protestantism vs. Catholicism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c24okgroOiw

I looked at the two schools of thought after that and that was when I realized Roman Catholicism keeps in line with the text better. God has given the Church authority on Earth and God is the authority of the Church. Protestantism is so broken because within it, there's no unifying authority. There's no traditions which have been fortified in time. Everyone claims apostolic authority even the Modalistic Oneness Pentecostals (Modalism was deemed heretical by all the church fathers). I would highly encourage you to search more as well.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WosgwLekgn8

I've posted this video here for you because you seem to have attached the notion of penal substitutionary atonement as the whole of the gospel in some of our past discussions. If after watching this video, you still hold to it, then I think you are helpless.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Evening Newengland!

I would have to say that if Peter or Paul came down and told me that my interpretation of the Bible was wrong, I would first consider how important that particular subject was to my relationship with God. If it was vital, I would pray and search the scriptures to see if there was clear evidence to back their viewpoint and re-look at the evidence supporting my viewpoint and go from there.

Yes, the Roman Catholic church has a rich history, but it also has some dark history too. There have been times when the church has chosen to serve it's own interests instead of humbly representing Christ. Should I research the wars fought in the name of the church, the murders committed? The times when the church got rich on the backs of its poor subjects? I'd rather not. The church is run by people and shouldn't be expected to be perfect. But church history is not a good pillar to hang an authority equal to the Bible on.

I have never heard of a Protestant church claim their traditions and creeds to be equal to the Bible, but I have also not really attended any churches that belonged to a denomination. I think the church here on earth is made up of any group of believers who follow Christ, regardless of what they call themselves.

But if history and tradition are what you are looking for in a religion, then I would agree that the Catholic Church is the best. And if you are looking to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then I think that can be found in the Catholic church too.

I will have to watch the videos tomorrow, time to put the kids to bed.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

There has been no "dark" history. At least not one darker than that of Protestantism. Protestants have persecuted Catholics. The Catholic Church has learned how to handle things better. Yeah, bad leaders will show up because people aren't fallible. This doesn't mean their teachings aren't infallible. The crusades and the inquisitions were learning moments. The Church was looking for ways to unite Europe together. They were trying to preserve unity. In their action, they made a mistake and they learned from it. How many Catholics use violence nowadays? And when the Protestant Church started cropping up, it was the Catholic Church that attempted to make it better for "witches" by asserting that women could have been demon-possessed as well. You don't see this at all from Protestantism.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I want to be a Roman Catholic because I felt God recently telling me to explore the Roman Catholic Church and if there is anything I found out of line with it or that I flat out found to be abominable, reject it. But if I couldn't, explore it more and join it.

You know why God knows what you'll do next? It's cause he is God and is outside of time. He has predestined you to happiness. But if one chooses to live a life of sin and reject God, then they are given a decree of reprobation of God letting them have their way.

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/04/dialogue-on...


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Newengland, sorry, I'm going to have to wait til another day to see if I'm hopeless and catch up. Good night


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Evening Newengland, happy weekend! I think I have a couple of minutes to watch youtube tonight. Even if I turn out to be helpless, I don't mind if we disagree. I have no need to convince you of anything, and only share my own views because you ask. I am glad you are exploring the Roman Catholic Church. I hope you find a personal relationship and peace with God as a Roman Catholic, and if not that you will keep questioning and seeking. So off to the video...


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Interesting video...I may be nit picking words, but I disagree with his portrayal of the protestant view of God not looking on man and would insert his orthodox view on Jesus as an expression of God's love instead.

Oh, and I agree that all churches history has learning moments, which is why none of them should claim infallibility.

Have a good night!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I think a growing number of Evangelical Protestants nowadays are starting to frown on penal substitutionary atonement. Although my dad still thinks it's a hallmark of Christian faith and that one must believe it to be a Christian (which really means there were no Christians until 1500 C.E.).



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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

very funny

I would say I believe Jesus died for my sins so that I could have a personal relationship with God, I just don't think I agree with how the priest in the video described it. Especially the part about God not turning his face towards man anymore. You see God interacting lovingly with man through both the old and new testament.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

That was the priest's point. Penal substitutionary atonement prevents God from being able to forgive us and seek after us until a sacrifice is made.

Jesus died for our sins and bore our sins in the cross not in taking a penalty from God but rather in order to save us from the destruction and darkness that sin entails.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christus_Victor

Jesus's death in Christus Victor is seen as releasing us from the bondage that sin, death, and the powers of the devil and evil once held over us.

His death is viewed as a pacifist conquest over these things as opposed to a penal ordination dictated upon him.

C.S. Lewis, the author of Chronicles of Narnia, captures Christus Victor when he has Aslan sacrifice himself for Edmund from the White Witch. His view is more substitutionary than my view but it is another perspective.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Happy Steve Irwin Day! It's the seventh anniversary of his death which shocked the world.

http://d6779566.u38.net-central.com.au/images/Irwi...

I came across this very frightening statistic.

http://columbia.news21.com/2010/lost-and-found/img...

Life's short, spend lots of time with those you love.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

life is short, I also try to keep peace with the ones I love.

I'm planning on taking some time to research some of the things we've been talking about. I had no idea that Catholics were so antagonistic against Protestants. I thought we all agreed on the basics, but applied them differently. Anyway, I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you since I won't be able to get to it this week. The kids have off school the rest of the week and then it's our anniversary this weekend. I think we are going to go check out the lava tubes outside Flagstaff.

Have a great week, and happy Steve Irwin Day to you too! I was shocked.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Um, no, Roman Catholicism is fundamentally and drastically different from Protestantism. The main tenant of Protestantism is sola scriptura. Whereas the main tenant of both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy is tradition (what the founders of Christianity have always believed). Eastern Orthodox Christians generally are suspicious toward Roman Catholics but the Roman Catholic Church acknowledges both as the lungs (one encompasses the mysticism, the other encompasses the juridicial).

But due to the adherence to sola scriptura in Protestantism, you get people who have attacked things that which have always been believed and adhered to. You get a rejection of the Trinity in Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians, denial that Mary is the Mother of God leading to Nestorianism (like Southern Baptists), rejection of prayers and veneration of Saints (this actually allows us to reflect on the work God has done through us, for instance, Mary's purity, Francis's giving, etc.), etc. Anglicanism sometimes trend closer but they also went wayward down the lines.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Yes, but I thought the traditions were based on the Bible and that what the founders believed was in the Bible


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Yes, they were based on the Bible. But so was Arianism. In fact, there's no realistic way to defend the Trinity by appealing to sola scriptura.

I found this humorous article by the way.

http://www.answering-christianity.com/pagan_trinit...

We just covered Hinduism in my Comparitive Mysticism class and the differences between the Hindu Trimurti and the Christian Trinity are obvious unless someone is deliberately trying to make the connection. Within Hinduism, the three names of the Brahman are more like aspects of his power (creation, preserving, and destroying). Note that in Christianity, God does not destroy, he recreates. Although a lot of skeptics will argue the Christian Trinity came from Paganism until the cows come home despite the fact that the differences make them quite obviously unique.

In addition to that though, there are hundreds of masculine and feminine names for God in Hinduism (including Yahweh). Which means it's more like the Trinity is made up of other different Trinities and extends on to infinity. The Trimurti represents the three major names by which God is known but Brahman is considered all. If you worship Jehovah, to them, you worship Brahman and just call him a different name although that's not as major as the three aforementioned.

Of course there are some noobs in that class though that regretfully think a parallel equates to a direct borrowing! There are skeptics though that have tried to publish scholarly arguments that Jesus was a pagan God that have been rejected as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jesus_Mysteries#R...

(Among the few times I will agree with extreme conservatives even though as more of a Bible moderate, it actually really does look like a good read.)

https://www.facebook.com/alincolnism

This is a very funny Facebook page.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. Concepts such as universalism were taught by the early Church fathers like Origen and Clement of Alexandria. This was also based on the Bible. SwordOfManticore holds to universalism. But the problem is that universalism interferes with human free will and was rejected. Annihilationism is also based on the Bible and while there are significantly less philosophical problems with that, this is still a heresy.

Although I do think the fire is more metaphorical based on what I've read from the Catechism and we don't know who exactly is there yet either.

But anyone, there is a ton of stuff that can't be defended by adhering to sola scriptura.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Happy anniversary! How long have you been married?


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks! 17 years


newenglandsun 3 years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Mercury

3 days ago, it was this guys birthday. He wasn't much older than you when he died.

http://www.amazon.com/Liturgical-Catechism-Divine-...

Here's something I need. I decided I want to be a Byzantine Catholic instead. Although Roman Catholics can still take communion with them and Byzantine Catholics are in communion with the Pope of Rome as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_Byzantine_Catho...


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

He had an amazing voice.

I had a chance to look at sola scriptura a little on Friday, I still have some things to look up, I'll let you know what I decide.

I have a question for you, in becoming Catholic, do you see yourself as giving your life to God or to the Church?

Love this rain!!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Both. Jesus the Christ gave his life for the Church. He prayed that his Church might be one and have one faith.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Still attend my Covenantal Church right now (it apparently stems from Lutheranism). I wanted to learn more about Church history in general so I asked one of the pastors who was a good historian. He recommended really good guys such as Martin Marty and Justo Gonzalez but for now, I think I'll target Jaroslav Pelikan and Joseph Ratzinger's works on early Christianity.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkRhJ_BuWyo

Eastern Churches and Roman Catholics teach something called "theosis" which is where the Christian, in his sanctification process, becomes a partaker with the Trinity.

2 Peter 1:4 - by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. (RSV Catholic Edition)

This is the ultimate goal of the Christian. To escape from the corruption and become partakers in the divine nature.

Sometimes, Protestants believe this teaching is blasphemous. It's actually an historic Christian teaching.

"The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."" (Catechism 460)

This echoes

2 Pt 1:4.

St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939.

St. Athanasius, De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57, 1-4.

I think Eastern Churches tend to put more emphasis on this teaching than do Roman Catholics though.


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April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Newengland, sorry it was so nice out yesterday I did yard work instead of studying. Now I'm just getting home from church. We had an overview of the Bible by a 6th grade catechism teacher.

Forgive me if my next question is too personal, I will delete it if you don't want to answer, but I was just wondering...

a year ago you had so much anger and hatred towards God in your writing and now there has been such a change in how you write that it seems as if you have forgiven God for the things that caused your pain. I was just wondering how you feel now looking back at some of the things you said about him?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Indifferent. That was some other god that I was angry with.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

oh, on the sanctification comment, it sounds like a fancy way of stating the Christians goal to become more like Christ.

In giving my life to him, I am set apart from the world for his service. I strive to become one with him in desiring that my attitudes and actions reflect him. And in obedience to him, his goals and desires for me (hopefully) become mine .

I don't believe this actually makes me God or equal to any member of the trinity. I am not omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience or eternal. Nor will I ever be.

Someday I may abide with him in perfect unity, but that kind of perfection is impossible here on this earth

But as for now, I consider myself a "partaker of the divine nature" because of the personal relationship I have with God as a result of Jesus' sacrifice for me. When I accepted that, my sins were forgiven, making oneness with him possible. God is with me constantly, interested and active in every part of my life. He is truly amazing.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I think you misunderstood Athanasius. I believe the original quote said "deified". We will become one with God in such away that our nature will become like his. But this is more in a functional sense.

"the personal relationship I have with God as a result of Jesus' sacrifice for me. When I accepted that, my sins were forgiven, making oneness with him possible."

I'm not nullifying the importance of Jesus's death here but I don't think that God was in need of Jesus's sacrifice to forgive you. God became man so that we could be made one with God in a way so much more intimate. This is recapitulation view of the atonement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recapitulation_theory...

I have a Calvinist telling me that I have issues that I need to deal with God. Which is utterly wrong. I am at peace with him. I'm just not at peace with Calvinism. It's so annoying! Calvinists think that everyone who doesn't believe in Calvinism is rejecting god (I lowercase the word god here because there's doesn't exist!). So when you are joining a church that teaches historically that Calvinism is heresy, they think you're the ones that are apostate. Both Catholicism and Orthodoxy hold Calvinism to be heretical. They are historical revisionists too. I don't like them too much.


newenglandsun 3 years ago


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I recant of ever wanting to be a Catholic.

They require one to believe in a literal Adam and Eve as the two progenitors of the human race which is not only silly in light of modern science, but the explanations to defend it are racist beyond measure. One who does not hold it cannot be a Catholic any way except by self-proclamation. Thus, the Catholics choose either to worship a racist or are deliberately forcing people to make a decision between God and science. Sorry Poop of Rome (I mean Dope of Rome) but you and your followers have chosen to believe lies and if your god really is a racist, I will personally kill him for the sake of all of us.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I am sorry to hear that New England, I hope you are not discouraged with your search for the truth.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hey Newengland, how are you doing?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

If I told you would you leave me alone?

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Why-Church


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Of course I will leave you alone if you wish Newengland. I consider you a friend and was just wondering how you were doing.

I am sorry if I said anything to offend you. It has never been my desire to judge you or convince you that I am right, only answer your questions and explain why I believe what I do. I don't need you to agree with me to be friends.

I have respected your privacy on here, but if our paths ever happen to pass, I hope you will introduce yourself, I would love to know your name.

I also hope you find what you are looking for and keep up your struggle with God until you do. Never stop questioning, its what I admire about you.

I know God loves you Newengland, and I wish you the best in everything.

-April


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

sorry, one more time....love your name, its the one I chose for my son. :)


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Hi. Sorry that I called you that. I've been able to think more and wrote this.

http://newenglandsun.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/mono...

Blessings.

P.S. I still don't like that you stole my name. :p


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

That's ok, sorry you felt like a puppet. I really had no thoughts of judging, manipulating or putting conditions on our relationship. I think you are too smart to be anyone's puppet, that's something I like about you. I'm glad you're not giving up wrestling with God.



newenglandsun 3 years ago

All this time and I've finally figured out what is missing. You need a flower in your hair.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

There you go, that would have been fun. I wasn't even aware the picture had been taken until afterwards.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I responded to your comment on my last wordpress post. Did you know that when Rob Bell wrote Love Wins, he received nothing but flak from the Evangelical Community?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

A flower would definitely make you look cuter. For a forty one year old. Although I do think that picture of you is already cute right now, a flower would definitely make it cuter.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I can picture you as an Anglican. You seem like that type.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Don't know much about them. Not a big fan of denominations


newenglandsun 3 years ago

How could you not know much about the Church of England? They are like the third prong in Churches that actually have some sense of standing in historic Christianity.

Here they are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkolFTgPPhE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gcBJ6Bz8Mc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7HcteRTuL8

Uber-conservative Anglican theology/theodicy:

http://www.amazon.com/Testament-People-Christian-O...

http://www.amazon.com/Victory-Christian-Origins-Qu...

http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Christian-Origi...

http://www.amazon.com/Evil-Justice-God-N-Wright/dp...

Uber-liberal Anglicans:

http://www.amazon.com/Gathering-Gods-Table-Meaning...

More Anglicans:

http://www.amazon.com/Arius-Heresy-Tradition-Rowan...

Anglicanism is really one of the least denominational of all Churches. Formal, yes, denominational, really, it consists of a wide range of beliefs.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I found an Anglican Church in your area.

http://www.christchurchphoenix.org/content/about-u...

Anglicans can still have very good relations with the Catholic tradition as well. I actually am fond of Anglo-Catholics who adhere to the more traditional historic origins of their Church as being once part of the Catholic Church.

http://www.amazon.com/Our-Lady-Saint-Mary-Barry/dp...


newenglandsun 3 years ago

This person is apparently also an Anglican of the Christchurch variety (they tend to be Anglo-Catholics).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQQSW35PrEY


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Beautiful voice.

I like Celine Dion singing this too with the verses.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

There are liberal Anglicans, conservative Anglicans, High Anglicans, Evangelical Anglicans, Calvinist Anglicans, Arminian Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics, etc.

You would totally make it as an Anglican.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

They seem a little formal for me.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

It's supposed to be formal. It reflects back on that parable about the king who invited a bunch of guests to his banquet and a poor guy came without the proper clothes. You're dressing before God, a king.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I don't get why you hate religion/denominationalism so much. They are important part of Christianity.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I don't hate religion or denominationalism. They are very necessary. God made us all different and we all worship in different ways. I think the denominations reflect this well. I personally prefer a non-denominational church, but have many friends who prefer various denominations. I don't think that any is better or worse than the other and they all have their benfits.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I used to be in a non-denominational church.

http://www.sunvalleycc.com/tempe/

It used to be called Bethany Community Church.


newenglandsun 3 years ago


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

that was beautiful,


newenglandsun 3 years ago


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Pray for me.

Sexual purity.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I will!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

How can I reflect on Mary who was a virgin her entire life and still be impure?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

If Jesus had brothers and sisters, I don't think Mary was a virgin her whole life, just until after Jesus was born. Still praying for you frequently.

Matthew 1:24 & 25

Matthew 13:55 & 56


newenglandsun 3 years ago

She was a virgin her whole life.

"Thus, what it was necessary for you to learn of Him, this He Himself has said; that the Virgin was untouched by man until the birth; but that which both was seen to be a consequence of the former statement, and was acknowledged, this in its turn he leaves for you to perceive; namely, that not even after this, she having so become a mother, and having been counted worthy of a new sort of travail, and a child-bearing so strange, could that righteous man ever have endured to know her." (Chrysostom, Homily 5 on Matthew)

"he exalts himself by honoring James; and this he does by calling him the Lord's brother, although he was not by birth His brother, but only so reputed." (Chrysostom, Homily 1 on Galatians)

"Brother" does not always mean blood-related. Tradition has generally accepted that Joseph was a widower who took Mary as his wife. So there were brothers from the previous relationship in there. And "until" does not mean that it had to have happened. It can imply a sense of there being a non-ending thing that even goes past the described event. Like when Jesus says "I am with *until* the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20).


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I guess I'll have to write a blog about Mary's perpetual virginity.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

That would be interesting. I must say, I'm glad you have an explanation. My friend who is a Jehovah's Witness told me that they have a lot of Catholics who convert to Jehovah's Witnesses when they are shown those verses and are told that the Catholic Church is lying to them.

Personally, I think that if I tell you that I didn't go to the movies until I was 18, I would be implying that I go to the movies now. But since Mary's perpetual virginity has no impact on my relationship with Jesus, or my faith, I would not mind discovering that I was wrong when I get to heaven.

I still find you on my mind to keep praying for you. I hope you are doing well.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm fairly certain the church fathers were right on this issue.



newenglandsun 3 years ago

You usually comment quickly on my wordpresses. Something wrong?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi, we were camping this weekend so I just saw the email this morning and then was gone all morning. I forgot to ask, did they have kneeling benches? My favorite part of going to church with my in-laws is having the opportunity to kneel before God in Church. I think all churches should have them.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

No kneeling at a Byzantine liturgy so there were no kneeling benches.

The Byzantines chant their entire liturgy which is another way it differs from the Roman liturgy.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

The Church has become much more important for me. I think it wise that everyone reflect on the importance of the Church.

It is the bride of Christ and as such, the two are one flesh. You cannot separate Church from Christ.

So I would have to see myself giving my life to God and the Church for the two must not be separated.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

That is a very good viewpoint newengland, and very true. Thank you for pointing that out, it is a good reminder when my own attitude towards the establishment becomes jaded.

But I think it is also important to remember that the church is made up of humans and humans are not perfect. I get frustrated when I see people leave the church because they don't like something that is said or done and then give up on both the church and Christ.

It's also sad when people don't really understand what they believe and why, or what their church believes and why and then they go a long with whatever the church says when it strays from the truth. I think of my grandfathers frustration when his conservative church stopped teaching the Bible and started teaching new age philosophy and not only did very few people stand up and say that it went against the churches stated beliefs but most people didn't seem to care.

I am so glad that you spend the time and energy in researching and understanding what you believe. In the end, all the wrestling with God will be well worth the effort. I think this makes you wiser.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Of course the Church isn't perfect (inquisitions and witchcraft trials and all sparked by Catholics but also disputed by Catholics).

But it's important. I might end up graduating with two degrees in history and religious studies which is exciting. I'm in my third year right now.

My education plan is to study at Florida State University (my dad was teasing me about how I'm going to get there from Arizona) history and ethnography of religion. I would probably go with the one they offer centralizing in Europe but I'm also equally interested with the Mediterranean.

I would definitely love to write a book covering the inquisition and the witchcraft trials for very poorly informed rationalists and Eastern Orthodox brethren as well on Catholic and Orthodox relations, New Testament Christology, sex and gender issues, historical Jesus, etc. Are you still praying for me by the way?


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Those are good ideas, both the book and the plan. I love Florida, my husband went to FIT. Yes, I am still praying for you pretty much every day. I hope all is going well.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

My comparative mysticism class is turning out to be the worst class ever. It's entirely just an appraisal of how great, fantastic, and awesome the Dharmic traditions are (and scholars disagree with whether "religion" is even a proper term for these things in the first place) and is pretty much bashing Abrahamic traditions (Judaism doesn't get very much attention at all and we're only asked a couple of miniscule questions about them, it's section on Christianity is just a bash of the Latin Church coupled with feminist biased scholarship that isn't even factual, and the section on Islam calls some Muslims fundamentalists [the term was used in reference to a set of papers published by Christians in AMERICA in reaction to modern Bible scholarship called "the fundamentals"]) and every time I vent disagreement with the lecture and hostility toward the crap their feeding us, I just get shunned as being bigoted. Yeah, bigoted against the modern humanities.

That's one reason why I've actually turned against much of what my school teaches about religious studies. They try to bring it down to an athropological and sociological level without any theology whatsoever (or limited theology at that) and we never even get to learn why these people believe what they believe! I'll probably get an F in the class but I really don't care. I go home and I get overly conservative crap - "Stop being a pessimist!" "Learn to be a better person!" "Catholics are debatably Christians." "Catholic Church needs to evolve!" "We hold to the seven ecumenical creeds except the one that says Mary is the Theotokos!" - and then I go to school and get overly liberal crap - "Persecution of women in the Middle Ages." "All religions are pagan!" - etc. I hate everything.

I'll let you know though if the teacher gives me an A. It could just be the students that don't like me speaking my mind.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

If you want to know something sadder, the Eastern Orthodox don't even get mentioned once inside religious studies classrooms. I am soooooooo ready to move on from ASU. They get mentioned in classes they actually take and in philosophy classes (Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, two great ones) but other than that, there is silence on them.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning Newengland. I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I had heard that about those classes at ASU, I have some friends who took them. But I am surprised that you are getting that kind of reaction from the other students. Although if you are hostile, they just might be reacting to that more than what you are saying. It sounds very frustrating.

I hope that you are still able to learn something, it's always good to see how other people think and find out why, even if its not truth.

Hang in there, you're a smart guy, and its hard to look for the truth. Especially when people are threatened by it. I am proud of you for not giving in and just accepting what you're told, conservative or liberal. If there's anything I know, its that God loves you and he can help you sort it all out.

I have actually heard of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, they really must be great. (although I still don't know much about them)


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'll probably include a critique (a strong one) on how the class spiraled downward on that last section although I did learn a great deal about Buddhism and Taoism. However, I learned more about Hinduism from my Baghavad Gita than from the lecture.

I do have a hard time with some classes and some professors who get too fixated with one view on the other. Which is why I'm taking a professor I had for Witchcraft and Heresy in Europe last year for two classes next semester. He's not a "this is what your book says, that's it" professor.

This section, they used the term "Islamic fundamentalists" in the lecture (they also throw out the term "liberal Muslims" as if everyone knows it and fail to define a lot). There isn't really an Islamic fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is an entirely Christian term for those not familiar with it. Generally refers to an adherent of the teachings in these sets of papers:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Fundamentals-Sourcebook-...

Highlight though - one girl actually commented positively on my view of how Muslims were influenced (whatever that means) by pagans which was that Muslims adopted much from the Jewish scriptures, the Neo-Platonists and Platonists did too, and the Muslims came across these Platonists and started quoting them because they saw them get their information from the same place.

But it should be fun to include in the final "what I learned" paper in this class a strong critique.

Hostile? Maybe a little bit but mostly toward the sloppy feminist scholarship we reviewed. It's funny though how "free-thinkers" enter into a class and then walk out believing exactly what they were taught in class. American education, IMHO, is doomed.

P.S. If you read anything by Tolstoy, Kingdom of God is Within You.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I am glad its not a total loss and that you had some positive feed back.

I remember now, I think Tolstoy wrote war and peace too. I know I wanted to read it in middle school but I can't remember if I actually did.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

This is what we chant in the Greek Catholic liturgy. Except in English.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPEPnAlsy80

And with a Catholic, not Orthodox, prayer to it.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Also, I don't know if you'll be able to make it through "War and Peace". It's not fiction. You should try something like "Anna Kerennina".

I still am hoping our own paths will cross so I can introduce myself in person to you.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I didn't know that, thanks for the heads up. In that case, I probably didn't read it. I didn't realize he wrote Anna Kerennina, did you see the movie?

I thought about that, when I was working at the Cardinal's game. Of course, we were so busy, I wouldn't have been able to talk.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I didn't know that, thanks for the heads up. In that case, I probably didn't read it. I didn't realize he wrote Anna Kerennina, did you see the movie?

I thought about that, when I was working at the Cardinal's game. Of course, we were so busy, I wouldn't have been able to talk.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I will try to read your article on hell when I get a chance!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/20...

This guy blocked me after misrepresenting my views on Hell. I called him misinformed (which is true) and he stated that I made a joke about rape, aka "violence to women" (what kind of crap definition of rape is that? men don't get raped? rape is any act of non-consensual or coerced love) which wasn't true at all. I only stated the obvious logical consequence of universalism and then he painted me as believing God tortures people in Hell.

I guess there aren't enough idiots in the blogosphere. I actually admire my older sister now for detailing a refutation of his liberalism.

http://anatheistbiblestudy.tumblr.com/post/1807983...


newenglandsun 3 years ago

How do I get you back here again?

FYI, you're behind on hub-making.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

haha, yes I am. Meant to get back today, but hubby has off work this week, went to lunch instead


newenglandsun 3 years ago

"Hubby"? What kind of term is that?

If I was married, I would never call my wife "wifey".


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I asked if he minded and he said no, now he is calling me "wifey" every chance he can...look what you started. :)


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Just now?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Stop in and say hi whenever you feel like it. I miss you.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

By the way, were you satisfied with who Red John turned out to be?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXMfdy2-5Q8

P.S. If you haven't seen the most recent episode and don't like spoilers, don't click the URL.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Went to see Ender's Game with my husband today. Now the kids have off school the rest of the week. Not sure how much I'll be able to get the computer. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

We have one more show before we find out. I think it's Grace or Rigsby, or someone from the team. (or maybe grace is just working for Red John) We'll probably watch it tonight. Thanks for the spoiler warning.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Rock Paper Scissors!


newenglandsun 3 years ago


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