I was just laying here on my mother's bedroom floor. She turned to one of the TV preachers, and he was talking about how much Jesus loves us, and the sacrifices that He made for us, and how every human is expected to consciously make a decision to follow Him.
And I thought about the girls stuck against their will in sex trafficking. (I think about them often, actually, I suppose I'll end up working with people to help them get free.) And I was thinking about the girls, some of them who may very well believe in God, and about how they get raped everyday. And I imagine how it would feel to be violated on a daily basis, maybe multiple times a day. Drugged, raped, drugged, and raped, and raped some more. And I thought, what about them? Do they have to believe? As a man climbs on top of them, who knows what number he is, and they pray for ANYONE to come save them. Anyone, to stop this disgusting man from shoving himself inside of her. But nothing happens. And he rapes her, and she goes back to laying in a room somewhere and no one but more sick men know where she is.
Why does she have to believe?
Is God so unforgiving that if one day, if she finally gets free and doesn't die from overdose or tries to escape and is killed, if she gets free, and some inconsiderate evangelist tells her to accept Christ lest she burn in Hell forever... she says no, I won't except Him, and God sends her to fiery pit of Hell, anyway? I think of people, in situations similar to that, just as mind-numbingly awful situations, and I think, this is the God everyone has to believe in lest they burn in Hell?
Why? You think death on the cross is worse then multiple rapes? I doubt it. Supposedly Jesus knew what he was getting into. He was a grown man. "God" even. He knew He would die and that He would be "raised." This is a girl. Stuck in sexual slavery, who wishes, WISHES, she could die, without hope that she'd even be raised, just dead.
Why does SHE have to believe. Why do anyone of us HAVE to?
Those who are evangelists going round telling us we have to believe in Jesus are merely doing do for selfish reasons, in order to get in good with God. They could care less about the people they evangelize.
Now, now, don't exaggerate. I'm sure there are at least 2 (although not the ones filling their pockets with gold) in the country that actually care.
I agree and I disagree. From personal experience I can say that it was both. For selfish reasons, I didn't want to be in bad favor with God, because Jesus said that anyone who was ashamed of him before men, He would be ashamed of them before His father. Talk about pressure! Evangelism is a Christian requirement. But, I also did it because I cared about people, too. I genuinely believed that if you were not a Christian of some sort, you were on your way to a fiery end. I don't believe any of that anymore, of course, but there are people who dedicate their lives to it, 1) because they feel convicted by the "Holy Spirit," and 2) because they don't want to see other people go to Hell. But according to Paul, God doesn't care how his message gets across as long as it gets across. So I suppose from that perspective it doesn't matter why they do it, at least to other Christians.
I think it's insensitive and a fairly ridiculous notion, the lot of it.
Well that's between God and the individual. I don't know who or why people get forgiven, but I do know that God is capable of pulling us from the depths of hell. I trust that. I know He'll save those who really want to believe, but never had a life which reflected that. He forgives us, because He loves us. It is truly a beautiful thing.
Questions like this do nothing but get us to doubt our forgiving God. Yes, evil happens, but I look forward to the days ahead that have no evil in them.
How can you expect to truly know anything if you never doubt anything?
Religions and churches put up barriers to understanding who God is, because they point to this wonderful picture of Jesus, and then deny Him in their own actions. They're hypocrites, and Jesus warned us of those guys too. Don't even take my word for it, just ask Him.
"“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” - Even Ghandi had a high opinion of Jesus, but the bad example of so called "Christians" over the years has polluted the Word of God.
Jesus never compelled any of His followers to kill anyone, but said to be prepared to die for trying to witness to people, and even told us to forgive our killers! The history of religion is rife with examples of what NOT to do, I agree, but that doesn't mean I throw baby Jesus out with the bathwater. (Sorry, had to put a corny joke in there somewhere, or you'd probably think that you were talking to a robot just posting bible quotes...).
Doubting God is the opposite of trusting Him. And that is completely normal! And it is okay to do... Okay? Just be sure to direct your questions to God, no one else. Trust that you'll get answers.
Because, if what the bible says is true, and is the Word of God that it claims to be, then that means everything else we think is true... Might not be true. Even stuff we think we know about God, even something I say to you, might not be true. You can't trust anyone, but God, so just trust Him that He will answer your questions.
If you give up your fight in understanding who or what God is in your own terms, He'll show you who He really is. Just trust the answers you get, because chances are you won't like them. Instead of getting frustrated, ask more questions.
My question may have seemed like I was having some faith crisis or something. I'm not a Christian. Haven't been for years. While there are some nice characteristics of Jesus, I dare say he was not the epitome of "perfection."
My question was aimed at the people who put their foot in their mouths when they say they don't understand why people deny "God" and Christianity and the like. If I was that girl, and there are many of those girls, I would laugh in their face. "Oh, there's a God who loves me? Where was He when I was being raped and drugged every day for years? Oh, He had some mysterious plans that involved me lying their with no one for a while? Yea... right."
It is something interesting to believe in such a God... But I do not anymore, friend. Thanks for the response, though.
Ya know, it is easy to say "If that were me...", and yet it is so hard to actually do what we say we will do.
I personally know people who have had far worse things happen to them, even as children, and have clung to God and are all the better for it. Forgiving your enemies, releases their control over you. If you hate them, you are giving them something: Your attention. Your focus is so bent on hating that person, you forget what love really is. I know, because I used to be full of hate. But forgiving our enemies is a hard thing to do, and we fight with it all the time, even against things that other people do for selfish and evil reasons.
I've been through some rough times in my life, but I know that it doesn't matter. I forgive and move on, and keep focused on the message of Jesus Christ. My life is truly all the better for it. Yeah, evil still happens, but I know that God in the end wins. I trust that God will end all this sin and evil one day, and I don't have to do anything to help it along.
And see, that is where most people in churches go wrong, trying to solve the situation themselves. By voting, protesting, and doing things that at first seem "good" in our own way of doing things: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Passing laws hasn't changed anyone's hearts. Making rape illegal, hasn't stopped people from being raped. I'm not saying repeal the laws on rape, but think about why people don't change their ways even if it is illegal according to our own laws. People can't even obey THOSE laws, what makes you think they ever wanted to obey God's?
They're evil, and you don't have to worry about them or hate them. Just focus on Jesus' message of forgiveness and love. It changes people's hearts, and I know this because it certainly changed me. You don't have to have a secret password to get into the club, just ask and it will be given. No, you're probably not going to win the lottery... But I bet He will answer a prayer that involves getting to know Him a little better.
God bless you.
Is it right?
Is it necessary?
Do believers ever have troubles, doubts, questions?
Why is there evil in the world?
And does God exist?
Words, I get your point I truly do- but I'm at a loss of how to respond. What I do know is that you can't pray about something and then sit and wait. We can only be delivered from our struggles if we put ourselves to action to change things. An overweight person can't pray to lose weight- but they can pray that when they start exercising they will have the strength to push their limits. Those girls can't pray a man off of them, but she can pray that she will find a way to get help while she walks the street.
Hope this helps.
Jesus is the Son of God. There is no other way to attain salvation. I know Christ and him crucified for our sins. If you repent and believe in Jesus there is hope for future.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Blah... blah, blah? Great way to evade answering the question. "Christ crucified" doesn't compare to girl raped and drugged everyday by disgusting men for their disgusting pleasures.
Grown man, supposedly God, knowing and choosing His fate.
Little girl, stolen from her family, forced to do sick acts on much older men, against her will, could die if she makes an attempt to escape, or from ODing, may get rescued, but odds aren't in her favor. Hmmm.
Jesus, have mercy!"
"O, Lord!" I said. It was the voice of a woman. I looked at her and wanted to pull her out of the fire. The sight of her broke my heart. The skeleton form of a woman with a dirty-grey mist inside was talking to Jesus. In shock, I listened to her. Decayed flesh hung by shreds from her bones, and, as it burned, it fell off into the bottom of the pit. Where her eyes had once been were now only empty sockets. She had no hair. The fire started at her feet in small flames and grew as it climbed up and over her body. The woman seemed to be constantly burning, even when the flames were only embers. From deep down inside her came cries and groans of despair, "Lord, Lord, I want out of here!" She kept reaching out to Jesus. I looked at Jesus, and there was great sorrow on His face.
Jesus said to me, "My child, you are here with Me to let the world know that sin results in death, that hell is real. I looked at the woman again, and worms were crawling out of the bones of her skeleton. They were not harmed by the fire. Jesus said, "She knows and feels those worms inside."
"God, have mercy!" I cried as the fire reached its peak and the horrible burning started all over again. Great cries and deep sobs shook the form of this woman-soul. She was lost. There was no way out. "Jesus, why is she here?" I said in a small voice, for I was very scared.
You need to believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin to avoid this hell in your life.
(You may download the free ebook from net by googling "A Divine Revelation of Hell": Hear the eyewitness testimony on
the True Existence of Hell. Mary Katherine Baxter)
Appeal to fear, ay? Beautifully descriptive, but I fear not. If a God would put someone through that for what they did in a finite short life, He is not love, and certainly not just.
This is ok for you and people like yourself, who believe all that you do. Preaching to the converted is an easy task.
Although your interpretations of the Ten Commandments is admirable and good counsel for following a good and useful life, no one has to accept everything else around that book which entails fear, jsin and judgment.
You are free to continue in your faith of course, but you do not get me hooked on the same stuff....because for me, there is no such thing as a "god," and an "afterlife." I am totally free of that.
The reason I still come back to these hubs is that it keeps me aware of the diversity of thought processes in the human species. Often it's very entertaining and brings a laugh. At other times I find it pathetic, simplistic and very unintelligent.
Look, you're absolutely right to get sick and angry over the sex-slave situation. I have a daughter and I would be out of my head if something happened to her. And I'm not trying to make light of either the situation or your feelings about it when I ask this: What are you doing about it?
If your response is to get on forums and tell people how sick it is to believe in a God who isn't there, then how is that better than what I'm doing? I'll freely admit, I get on these forums as an escape from my life. Yeah, talking about God is important, telling people about Jesus is important, but my wife just died. I have a house to get together. I need to think about where money will come from and what to do with what I get. I have two special needs kids. My daughter is severely autistic. So what am I doing? Spending hours every day escaping my life. Well, that's not right. I'm not a professional theologian and I'm not training to be one. These are great intellectual exercises but if I fail my family then it's for nothing.
And what are you doing? Are you involved human rights groups fighting sex trafficking, whether religious or not? Are you out in the neighborhood teaching girls about how wonderful they are and don't deserve less than the best, whether from a Christian perspective or not? Anger can be a good thing. It's a horrible situation and it turns my stomach. So what are we doing?
Great point Chris. Good questions to ask. I'm currently working towards my degree to do just that, actually. I'm working on my degree in psychology, and one of the things that I want to do is work with young girls (well, young kids in general, mainly HS age) and eventually start a program directed towards a number of things, and one of those is teaching people about their self-worth.
I admit that I don't do much with sex trafficking currently other than donating what I can if I can, but as I notice it's been on my mind much more often, I've been asking myself the same question. Yea, it makes me angry, and what am I going to do about it? I said something in a previous post of mine about me thinking I will be working towards that at some point since it's been on my mind lately.
But at the moment, it doesn't necessarily make it any less important of a question as far as the current topic is concerned. My situation doesn't allow me to do as much as like. I have my own issues and worries at the moment, so I enjoy my escapes on here as I should be able to.
I'm not trying to take that away from you. I would be the last to do that.
I'm glad to know that you're at least doing something. It may be true that the "unexamined life is not worth living" but if the life examined fails to produce fruit, then it was pointless to examine.
Why do you assume everybody has to believe in Jesus? Some couldn't even if they tried. That is just the way it is.
Okay, first of all, I don't know how you sleep at night...
Anyway, who is telling you that you have to believe in Jesus, or in anything? Religion is something that you need to seek out and accept on your own terms. Believe something not because someone tells you it's right; find out what makes sense to you, and stick to your guns.
And think about the positive aspects of life, too!
I sleep by closing my eyes, and laying my head down on a pillow...
Understand the perspective from which I'm asking the question. I am not a Christian, so I do not believe in this God. As that's been established, my question is asked more hypothetically than anything. The Christian God, as it is believed, has mandated that every man, woman, boy, and girl believe in Jesus, and this is the only way to join Him in a perfect "paradise."
My question is, why should everyone have to believe in Him, when they have fought day and night to believe in anything, and no apparent help comes? How can He expect everyone to be able to believe in Him with half of the sh*t they experience, which I can say is often worse than death on the cross of man/God who was going to be risen anyway?
I would find it hard to sleep if I thought about rape in such a detailed manor, myself.
But that is aside the point.
To answer your question, though: You state you are not Christian, yet you are recognizing the Christian god by saying "He vs. he" and "God vs. god." It makes me think that you may some truth (ahem, Truth) in the prospect of the one true god/God. Or whatever. I don't know, but I have heard and read that assigning the capitalized letter assigns a recognizion of, or direction to, the Christian god. You may need to find a Christian to fully answer this.
It seems to me, that you are asking these questions ("How can He expect everyone to b e able to believe in Him?") about a god, that if you truly did not believe in, then would be irrelevant questions at that. I don't believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, so I don't find it prudent to ask questions about that diety, such as "why does he fly?"
As to answer your question of how a god can expect people to believe in him, with all the terrible things going on in this world, I don't think your question has base. IF a god EXPECTED people to believe in him, he would be SHOWING HIMSELF to all of us at this very moment. I don't know much about Christianity, but the prospect of a god expecting everyone to believe in him seems a little off. I have heard it more as "seek me out, and I will reveal myself to you. If you do not believe, I will not show myself." Or something like that.
Let's say that the Christian god expected people to believe in him. In what way, would manmade sins like rape, war, and genocide, have anything to do with god? Under the notion that 'God made man and gave man free will' god really can't control whether or not man uses that will for good or evil. Isn't that the whole point of sinning, and asking forgiveness. Isn't that why they say 'Jesus died for our sins' because we cannot help but sin?
That's all I have to say on the subject. Like I said, ask a Christian.
Do you understand the nature of a hypothetical question?
I did speak about Jesus and God etc. in lowercase letters at one point. Sometimes I don't always use capital letters. You shouldn't read more into things than necessary. Most believers see it as being less disrespectful to at least refer to their God using capital letters, so I guess I do it out of respect subconsciously? I'm certainly not afraid to question their beliefs about Him and who He supposedly is according to some book.
The flying spaghetti monster isn't a significant deity in society. It is a known joke used to mock people who believe in dictator-cosmic sheriff-like deities. So, of course I wouldn't go into this kind of depth for this kind of character. There's no serious debate about whether or not everyone should have to believe in him, because it's clear to every believer and non-believer alike about his lack of existence.
Your points I rather agree with, as I share them as a personal view, myself, to an extent. The free will thing is debatable. Highly unlikely in the Universe existing in the bible at best.
Oh, and this is a question for Christians, but thanks for your input.
I don't think everyone has to believe in Jesus.
To understand the falsehood of christianity and their gospel let view it in this manner.
Think about salvation as a light.
Think of Christianity as a cave.
The purpose of the Light is to shine every man that he may see to free himself from the ultimate bondage ie death.
Christianity uses the figure of Jesus who taught this truth to "control the light"..
Is not that the speak absolute falsehood, but they speak under a banner of falsehood.
They have the freedom to speak the absolute Truth but once it come from christianity and draws you to christianity , that Truth is covered by the banner of christianity....
Thus my analogy of christianity and the cave.
For The light is hidden in the cave....only good for those within that cave and works on the outside only to attract more to that particular cave.
How does the True gospel work for every single person, no matter the background and religious or otherwise?
Is this, that Life and light is already present in you and comes unto you from yourself...
It comes as a Realisation...
...no need for anybody to communicate this to you. that realisation grows and becomes the totality of yourself...no need to any other thing except bask in that realisation.
When the realisation comes to you, it put every other thing in thier proper perspective.
And you would also see that men are faced with their absolute worst so that they can be the absolute best.
So the issues concerning the imprisoned women, is just you coming face to face with the worst.
For this world was created for this purpose, that you come face to face with the worst, that you may be the best.
So there is no need to be unnecessarily perturbed about their situation for frankly they are actually better off than many who have never experienced such.
Remember it is easier for the one who perceive himself in a prison to find a way of escape, that the one who never perceive themselves as being in one.
So in that respect they are closer to the light of salvation.
Hope you understand enough that you may find peace within yourself...for as you rest the light of realisation shines brighter.
If you were lost in a cave and the only way to escape was to take someone's hand and have them lead you out, what would you think if you felt resentful that you had to hold their hand? So, you stay in the cave and starve?
You have a choice. You can stay behind or you can return to your innate spiritual state as a child of God.
Remember, God created man (us) in His image and likeness. But the important point here is that God is not Homo sapiens. That means...
If the man who created me and the cave, and put me in their because of something one my "ancestors" did, and then offered me a hand out of the cave lest I stay lost forever and risk falling into a fiery pit in their somewhere, I would spit on his hand and survive in the cave until the fire found me. Why would I accept the help of the one who put me in the cave? Was He playing some game of chance?
"Oh, maybe she won't make the connection that I'm the one who put her there in the first place and she'll choose to accept My help because she's so desperate. I created her after all. She better ask for My help or it's an eternity of darkness and the fires for her."
Thanks, but no thanks. I'm in no cave. And no one "created me," nor are they offering me a way out of said non-existent cave.
God didn't put us in a cave. He put us on Earth. We are victims of our own doing (though there are exceptions, such as when parents sell their kids to whatever they choose). Yes, Adam and Eve screwed everything up- but God wants us to turn back to Him, and this is completely our choice. Even if you choose no, God doesn't hate you. He will just sit patiently waiting.
Sorry for the late reply, @ATW.
In my analogy, you were the one who put yourself in the cave. It was your decision, just as it was my decision to be here in this "cave." It had nothing to do with an ancestor.
And you missed my final point, earlier. God is not Homo sapiens, so...
And so, what?
If we were created in His image and likeness and He is not Homo sapiens, then we are not inherently human! We are immortal (albeit sleeping) spirit who happen to have human bodies.
The fact that you would spit on the hand of a rescuer (who did not put you in the cave), but would accuse them of doing that, is sad.
And so you miss the point of the answer to your OP question.
If you're not interested in the answer, then why ask it? Are you merely being rhetorical? Your point?
My question is not from a mystically-explain-everything-away standpoint. I'm still trying to figure how to respond to aquasilver, because you guys are the most "convinced" type, explaining away everything in a "spiritual realm" instead using of real terms, down here on earth. You're missing the importance of the question, but I'll play along where I can.
Firstly, if you believe our spirits chose to come to Earth, why would my spirit self choose to be down here if I knew I could risk eternal damnation/separation from paradise? That's idiotic.
If it was God choosing it, same question, but replace our choosing it with God choosing it. (I'm assuming you're one of those people who believes that we were in a spirit state before being "born" on Earth).
It's either a game of chance brought on by our own idiotic selves, or worse, our creator who seems to like to treat us like pieces on a chaotic chess board, instead of beings facing some pretty dire consequences, either way in ignorance.
So, you're saying that I put myself in the cave, BUT I beg to differ. I ignorantly walked into it, and wouldn't had had a cave to walk into, if God hadn't put it there. (You know the whole parents shouldn't have sharp and dangerous objects out in the open where there naive/ignorant children could come in contact with and get hurt-thing?)
Here we have God, who decided to create a cave. Every man, woman, boy, or girl is eventually going to walk straight into it, because of how He created us. Now, if you're saying that we are spiritually asleep, that means that we are walking into said cave, but not only are we unaware that we are, but we seem to be inclined to be in there, as well.
So, anyway, we're strolling along said cave. We meet claim after claim about a way to become free from the cave (that we we're not aware it's wrong to be in, or what's outside of it). THe Christians come with there Bible in tow, nice and tanned, though we can't tell too much, since we're in a cave, and tell us that "the truth's in this book, right here." What, in terms of chance and probability, would convince all people in the cave that it was of more value than any of the other books with the same claims, and people who didn't look quite as cold. How are you going to convince us that we don't belong in the cave in the first place, by the way?
Why didn't God put up OBVIOUS signs pointing to the way out? Why all the mystery and games?
I always ask people why God doesn't make himself known more plainly (besides all the subtle things that obviously don't point everyone to a God) in a physical way that the less easily convinced people can relate to? If we are ultimately created against our will by a Creator, does He not at least owe us that? Give us the CHANCE to decide if we'll turn away from Him if He physically makes Himself PLAIN, CLEAR as day to ALL of humanity, not some choice few, and not as some "man/God" making mysterious claims in an age of ignorance! You really think if God were to open the Heavens right now and come out of the clouds in such a way to defy physics, and ALL of mankind could see it happen, He introduced himself as Yahweh, the God of the Bible, that He is real and that Jesus is the only way to get to HIm, do you REALLY think that the majority of people would deny His existence or refuse to follow Him? Like the MAJORITY of people? Of course some people would rebel against Him, look at all the injustice in the world! But how can anyone ever really know if He doesn't take some time out of His frikkin day to say "hello" in such a way that no one would miss it?! It's less important about the chances that people would still rebel, and WAY more important about the people who would very likely go running to Him? My god, you have a really negative way of seeing humanity. (I'm sorry, but you can't use Israel as an example of how all humans would be, because guess what? All humans aren't the same! Take a psychology or sociology class, and you'll see!)
If God is the God you say He is, He was playing a game of chance when He built the cave, and we ignorantly walked into it, unaware of Him and our own true nature, and are expected to believe the words of some guys in an internet forum who seem to be trying to answer real world questions with mystical fantasy.
"You really think if God were to open the Heavens right now and come out of the clouds in such a way to defy physics, and ALL of mankind could see it happen, He introduced himself as Yahweh, the God of the Bible, that He is real and that Jesus is the only way to get to HIm, do you REALLY think that the majority of people would deny His existence or refuse to follow Him?"
The did it on this occasion:
King James Version (KJV)
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
and after this occasion:
King James Version (KJV)
4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
and then when you ask again and Christ stated this:
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
You see, the enemy has closed your mind to Christ, because any believer who seeks God through Christ gets clear confirmation, but, like it is stated "wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it"
King James Version (KJV)
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
The key here are the words, broken and contrite, unfortunately your attitude is proud and haughty, and I am sure you remember sufficient scripture to know that:
King James Version (KJV)
24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
and that will never work well with God.
Again, you are unable to answer the important questions. You, as in YOU yourself. What would the scriptures mean to me as I don't believe in its "authority?" Isn't that like, evangelism 101? What is your answer? Not "God's?" Oh wait, thinking for yourself is too haughty. (Sounds like slavery/dictatorship to me)
Why should I believe something that you tell me to believe simply because you tell me to believe it? It is that kind of thinking that leads people to "drink the Kool-Aid." Plain and simple. What Christians fail to see is that your Holy Book and all your Christian "wisdom" has the same validity as anything else. As a matter of fact, most Eastern religions are actually more plausible than this stuff. But that's a different topic.
The reason those scriptures are "important" is not because they are are accurate in their assessment of humanity, but because they are perfect for avoiding rational thought.
First of all, these examples of God "speaking from the Heavens" were secluded events. It'd be different if there were writings from all over the world at around the same time at which EVERYONE heard a voice from Heaven saying this, and could then instantly see what was going on like a large "television screen", following some kind of clear explanation, and God softening their hearts to receive it (God often hardens hearts like Pharaoh's, but why is it so impossible to soften them for a better outcome?). These are not really meeting my scenario of EVERYONE hearing, not just a few select people.
It's funny to say that signs are wicked. If you didn't feel like God showed himself to you in some form or fashion, we wouldn't even be having this conversation right now. The kind of signs I'm asking for aren't evil. They're just too rational, and God can't have that, I suppose. He'd rather us all make the most important decision of our lives based on whispers and mysticism... yeah. Right.
My answer was made 20 years ago, when I changed teams and renounced the worlds authority over my life, in favour of accepting Christ as the authority over my life. (still awaiting your answer on that post)
Believers don't stop thinking, but when you 'plug in' to a different power source, then obviously you see things through that source's thinking, you get the 'god filter' that allows one to see the world in the same way that God does.
The word 'contrite' is the third stage of repentance:
contrite [kənˈtraɪt ˈkɒntraɪt]
1. full of guilt or regret; remorseful
2. arising from a sense of shame or guilt contrite promises
3. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) Theol remorseful for past sin and resolved to avoid future sin
[from Latin contrītus worn out, from conterere to bruise, from terere to grind]
When we first become aware of our sins, we are sorry, sorry we got caught mainly, and sorry for the mess we find ourselves in, or caused others; but sorry is not true repentance.
The next stage is that we repent, we turn away from our sin, but still we continue sinning as we are only repentant, which is not much of a higher level than being sorry.
When we get to be contrite, we have reached the point where we see our sin, and all sin, as God sees it, and we are repulsed by sin, as God is repulsed, and when we see sin as God sees sin, then God can deal with us, sin becomes repulsive and we are able to avoid sin not because we are fearful of getting caught, or aware that we should not be doing this or that, but because it is revolting to us, we are repulsed.
If you like; sin has become like an opposite magnetic field that we bounce away from whenever it is near our (Gods view of sin) magnetic field.
You are not even sorry, you stand proudly stating that you don't believe in Gods authority, like a person standing on a cliff top declaring that they do not believe in gravity.
On the day you step off this worlds 'cliff' you will find your answer.
As a matter of fact I read a few Eastern religious tracts way before I came to Christ, I started exploring religions (mainly to dismiss them) about 1967, and also areas like Ayn Rand (I was a prime Randite for a few years) witchcraft, astral projection, and the whole gamut of New Age rubbish that is out there to draw folk away from God, so I am not some babe born into a church family who has been indoctrinated, far from it,, I am more akin to a defector from the enemy, who puts his prior knowledge to better use against his former masters.
No, you should never believe because I or anyone else tells you something, but you are making probably the most major decision in your life; who you will allow to have authority over your existence and eternal fate, so you are right to be forceful in your objections to blind faith.
Yet you seem to have rejected Christ without exercising the same tough logic concerning who actually does have authority over you, which is another sort of blind faith.
Personally I set out reading the bible to find out where it was wrong so that I could shut up some bible bashing friends (who had just converted) and save them from their 'cult'.
The starting point was inspired by the desire to pull the bible apart and destroy their faith.
God has a sense of humour!
The reason those scriptures are "important" is because they are either truth or fiction, I would apply my 'rational thought' into deciding which of those they were, indeed, a rational man (as I was) would say "I must either be able to prove definitively that the God and Christ of the bible are a fraud, or I must accept it as truth"
But be careful, as that was how I came to faith, however, if you can prove to me that Christ and God are frauds, I will be with you right away, defending the faithless from affliction by believers.
I have a hub about just that aspect! "Searching for the truth.....still searching!" I won't put a link, as it's against the TOS, but it explains pretty much what I hold in my heart to be true.
Again, but without labouring the point, there will be no more 'signs and wonders' to convince fallen humanity, but one, and that will be Christ returning for those who belong to Him, and that is promised to be spectacular, and will no doubt persuade a whole heap of folk where they made their mistake:
1 Corinthians 15:51-53
King James Version (KJV)
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Imagine that, Christ returns and in an instant the 'dead' are raised, sounds like a good starter for getting folks attention, as Christ appears to all humanity in a dazzling light brighter than anyone could ever imagine, visible to all the world:
King James Version (KJV)
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
No, I doubt anyone will miss that event, but if you see it, you will be too late to escape what happens afterwards.
Not really, but it is up to you to make the most important decision of your life based upon the search for truth, and that search is easier achieved when one starts with an open mind and a contrite spirit and broken heart.
Sometimes we need to reach total despair and ruination, before our pride is broken down and we can genuinely reach out to God and cry for Him to show Himself.
God will allow us to sink to the deepest depths of hopelessness if that is what it takes to pluck us from the control of the enemy.
But I cannot lie to you or our readers, we need to be prepared for the total surrender of our pride, ego and stubborn natures before Christ will open our hearts and the Holy Spirit will pour in Gods love.
King James Version (KJV)
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
Unfortunately, our enemy has filled our silly heads with our self importance and arrogant ways, so many will die rather than surrender to God, which is sad, because once we accept Gods Grace and Mercy, we escape His Judgement, and receive His Blessings.
It's a good 'deal' - everything you have in exchange for everything He has, but alas, there is no space for negotiations and cutting corners.
PS: I care for you enough to have 'invested' 97 minutes of my life answering your post, just saying... now I must away to bed, it's 1.20am here!
@ATW, you ask some tough questions. I love it. Gets me to think outside the box. Trying to describe what I've experienced is tough when English is so inadequate, but it helps me to stretch my mind to find better ways of describing it. And I'm finding, in you and others, so many ways to misunderstand what I'm saying. It all depends upon the fixed ideas and other baggage we bring to that understanding. I suppose, 60 years ago, I would not have understood what I know today.
You're right. It was idiotic to choose the "cave." It only took a split second to fall, like a child who wonders if they can fly, but find that stepping off the roof was more dangerous than they thought.
But "cave" was only an imperfect analogy.
The child of God that fell isn't human, but spirit. And the fall was from the realm of creation into the physical realm of space-time-energy-mass reality. One moment we depended upon spirit and God and could see with spiritual eyes (the light), and the next we depended upon physical matter and energy, but with no physical form, suddenly we couldn't see (the darkness).
Before the fall, we were perfectly aware of physical reality, but were not part of it and not dependent upon it. If I could adequately describe what exactly the fall was like, I would be free of it. That's the way it works. If you know the truth of any problem, that problem vanishes instantly. If it persists, you have not yet spotted the truth of it. Powerful, but simple. The truth really will set you free of anything.
God making Himself known
I understand the frustration concerning God making Himself known.
The nature of the trap we find ourselves in prevents God from showing Himself every day. God is perfectly capable of showing Himself, but it would prove counterproductive. You see, we have to come to Him on faith, because that is the only way to break through the "dream" barrier back to truth (beyond "reality"). It's like the patient that must be a fighter to snap out of their coma, instead of slipping deeper into it.
God attempting to force us to snap out of it by showing Himself and lots of miracles would only deepen our entrapment. The disbelief is part of that trap. Ego is the trap--ego with all of its dichotomies--good-evil, right-wrong, generous-selfish, compassion-indifference, wisdom-stupidity, confidence-doubt and many more. We can go all the way from perfect doubt to perfect mortal confidence and still not get any closer to walking on water. That's because every location on that scale is a part of ego and incapable of creating. Only when you let go of ego, do you have a chance of escape from the darkness of blindness from physical dependency.
I could quote scripture, but my own experience speaks more to the mortal side of things.
In 1971, I experienced spiritual counseling that resulted in me being outside of my physical body. I could not feel my body or the chair in which it sat, but I could see perfectly well without human eyes. What startled me back into my body (took me back from the light into the darkness of physicality) was the realization that I was not casting a shadow. That self-consciousness trapped me again. That's why generosity, compassion and humility are so important. Any self-centeredness brings us back to ego, which is a physical cog in "reality" and part of the darkness.
In 1977, after several years performing miracles, I experienced the greatest miracle yet, this lifetime. In 5 seconds, nearly 1000 cars on Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles cleared the center, westbound lane, evacuating into the lanes left and right which had already been impossibly choked with cars. Traffic had been bumper-to-bumper, so there was no room for those other cars in the left and right lanes. I describe this more fully in my "Anatomy of a Miracle" hub.
So, if you were God and you wanted to rescue your children, and you knew that if you showed miracles, you knew that their egos would choke them even more, wouldn't you refrain from performing miracles as "proof?" Ego requires proof. But if you have faith to perform miracles, then proof isn't necessary.
It's like in Goal Setting Seminars. You never state your goal as a wish. You state your goal as a done deal.
Never, "I wish I had a million dollars."
But, "It feels great having a million dollars in the bank."
Mystical fantasy? It would seem that way to someone who has never seen it. Or someone who doesn't want to see it. Or someone who has given up on seeing it. But I have seen it. I have walked in it and felt it. But I haven't made it yet. I'm still clinging too much to the things of this world. And that's the trap.
All my love to you and yours. And good luck with your quest.
Unfortunately, believers will choose to remain in the cave and starve.
In a rescue mission, those who believe in the rescue will be rescued.
Those who let their egos get bent out of shape will rebel and ridicule the rescuer.
Your response, @ATM is entirely illogical.
Many who think they believe might be left behind, because they (like you, @ATM) cling to their egos.
We are attempting to rescue you from the indoctrination and slavery of your religion.
@ATM, that's the first really kind thing I've read of yours on this topic. Thank you!
Let me tell you a little about myself, since you "think" I'm indoctrinated.
62 years ago, I was born to a Southern Baptist family in Texas. My maternal grandfather was a Southern Baptist minister and former missionary to Africa. My Aunt Joyce was even born in Lagos, Nigeria, so technically, she's "African American," though still Caucasian.
I started to question my grandfather's teachings at the early age of 9. My father was more interested in Eastern mysticism. After reading Dianetics in 1959, he planned on moving us to the DC area to study Scientology. Contrary to "popular" opinion these days, Scientology is very much a religion and I gained a great deal spiritually from the experience. During one counseling session, my body blacked out, but I was floating 12 feet off my body's left shoulder, and 15 feet above the ground. I could see perfectly clearly. The really interesting thing was that I discovered I wasn't casting a shadow. Spirit isn't physical.
Years later, while comparing the "Know to Mystery Scale" with the "Emotional Tone Scale," I discovered the mechanics of creation. Testing them out proved to be far easier than I had imagined and the results were instantaneous -- something I had expected, given the nature of time and creation.
A few years later, on the streets of Los Angeles, I found my most spiritual moment. One moment, I was enraged by reckless drivers nearly colliding their vehicles with my car, six times in about two minutes. Then, I took full responsibility for their acts and found the mechanics of creation again. Within 5 seconds, 2 miles (nearly 1000 cars) of center west-bound lane had evacuated in front of me, merely by the prayer -- the "asking" (what the Buddhists would call "allowing").
In the mid 1980's, I left Scientology, because the politics had become too thick. Hubbard was dead and the ensuing power struggle was not what I wanted.
I studied Buddhism for a decade and a half. Then Judaism and Kabbalah. Seven years ago, I returned to Christianity, but on my own terms. I belong to know denomination. I search for truth, not dogma. And I communicate with others who have found pieces of the puzzle I'm attempting to solve.
So, while I appreciate your concern. I know full well that I need no such help. I already know that I am a spiritual being with a Homo sapiens body, and I'm looking for more of the same that I found when walking sans corpus and finding miracles. That's when ego is gone and the real me is awake.
Maybe some day you will understand this. I hope so, even if your decision remains the same.
But, we know that's pure baloney. Only a massive ego would claim they defied gravity, let alone making the claim when blacked out.
Only a massive ego would fabricate such a story.
You do no such thing.
And such is the vileness of those who cling to darkness. Your "rescue mission" wasn't out of compassion, but out of ego. Anyone who doesn't see the universe as you do must be cracked. Boy, how self-centered is that?
Thinking you know something when you weren't there is the height of arrogance and ego. I could laugh at how stupid you sound, but I actually care about you and your plight.
This is exactly the reason why God doesn't show himself to those who cling to the darkness. You seem to cling to it all the harder when anything resembling proof comes your way, because because of such proof, ego is sorely bruised. Just like the disbelievers who saw with their own eyes the miracles of Christ and those of his disciples. You're not even aware enough to be jealous. So, low in spirituality that you have nothing but ridicule and spite.
Maybe next lifetime. Likely you won't remember a lick of this one, but when the karma catches up with you, you'll have two choices, because you won't remember the source of that karma:
* Blame and condemn the universe (God) for your foul experiences
* Become humble and ask God for why such things are happening to you
Because so many people, like you, cling to selfishness (ego) in all its myriad flavors, you'll likely choose the first one. That blame will likely continue to include religion as a source of all your frustrations. People cramming things you don't want down your throat is the source of all your problems. You'll likely carry that cross with you for the next few trillion years -- long past the time when there are no more early-type stars -- no more O, B, A, F and G types in the entire universe. Through entropy, the universe cooling down to contain only red dwarfs and black holes. No more starry night skies. Only the death of the universe and you still harping on about how religion has ruined your eternity.
Good luck with that. Your choice.
You mean the universe in which you see invisible super friends or the universe that is our reality?
Claiming your invisible super friends opened up a boulevard of gridlocked traffic just for YOU is the height of arrogance and ego. No one has to be there to understand that.
No, that is the excuse egotistical believers will make up in some silly attempt to convince us they're special.
You have no proof of your invisible super friends or anything remotely resembling them, it is all in your head.
Allow me to use your own words to respond to that...
"Thinking you know something when you weren't there is the height of arrogance and ego. I could laugh at how stupid you sound..."
So, high in ego that you have nothing but dishonesty.
So, you believe in karma, too? LOL!
lone77star, it's amazing how this hub is still going after 2 1/2 thousand postings. I can see why I dropped of the following list way back 6 weeks ago, at least. My feelings remain the same, and I think they come out of this quote from you:
"Remember, God created man (us) in His image and likeness. But the important point here is that God is not Homo sapiens. That means..."
It really is not so..... Man made and continues to make "god" in his/her own image. "God" is a figment of the imagination of millions of individuals. That "god" has the looks, the attributes, the abilities exactly as the worshiper needs to believe in.
No physical, provable reality at all, just imagination.
I think you think this is a different thread than it is, friend. Hello, by the way, I've just gotten back into the forums so I haven't seen you in a while.
But that's not true. There's a very specific and good reason why we are forbidden to make 'graven images' of God. No one knows what God really looks like. Which is why people who look as different as you and I and A Thousand Words and Chasuk can all truly be said to be made in His image. We have been given some of His attributes but not His power. Man can never truly understand God.
@Jonny, I think you're talking about the wrong forum. This one only has 84 posts as I write this, and started only 10 days ago.
I agree that some humans have created gods in many images, some (only some) in the image of Homo sapiens.
Clearly you think you're a Homo sapiens body. You believe that. But there is something far more potent than belief. Knowing. I know that I am a spiritual being who happens to have a Homo sapiens body. I knew that before I had proof. In fact, that was the only way I could gain proof. That's the way creation works. Proof comes after the fact; not before.
Yes, humans, for the most part are trapped in continuity. They require proof before they can do anything. There are some beautiful exceptions, thank goodness! Roger Bannister was one such chap. After his feat, several others were finally able to do it, too. And then there was Chuck Yeager. He had faith in his abilities and cracked his own barrier. Only then were others able to duplicate that feat. A few people can rise above continuity and create something new that allows others to move forward.
Science studies continuity (Newtonian, action-reaction) reality. Science studies the products of creation.
Creation, being "unreasonable," and the like, are superior to continuity and the dependencies that work within it.
Some people can get out of their physical bodies and look without human eyes. Even I have done this. Some people have performed miracles (contraventions of physical law) -- something that cannot be explained by science today or tomorrow. Why? Because it uses creation which is discontinuous in nature. Remember, science studies only the realm of continuity -- not discontinuity. I have done these things, too. But I would not have been able to do them with doubt or uncertainty.
If you've ever studied Calculus, you may be familiar with discontinuities. Something quite intriguing about them. They form analogies to creation itself.
Just as Peter stepped out of his storm-tossed boat onto the unsettled Sea of Galillee, each of us can do these things and even greater, but only by giving up the "self" of this world -- ego. Only a spiritual self can do those things. Only a child of God.
God does not have form -- Homo sapiens, jackal, crocodile, owl or otherwise. That's why one of the 10 commandments prohibits graven images. Any form made to represent God would thus be a lie, because he has no form. He does not even have time or space. Such persisting constructs would not fit in the realm of Source, which is pure discontinuity.
It has taken me 60+ years to find the English words to begin to describe these things, but they are still inadequate. These words are only a rough approximation.
It wasn't imagination when Peter walked on water, if only for a moment, before doubt set back in. It wasn't imagination when I found myself outside my body, unable to feel the chair in which it sat, unable to feel the clothes it wore, and unable to see it on the other side of the bluish-gray, blinds to the second-story window between me and my body. I could see clearly the cracking, pink stucco of the outside of the building. And in the evening air, I could see that I was not casting a shadow on the building from the parking lot lights of the Chez Claude restaurant next door. And it wasn't imagination when I saw nearly a thousand cars evacuate the center west-bound lane on Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles during rush hour -- all within 5 seconds. One thick lane of traffic impossibly cramming into the left and right lanes which were already snarling with thick traffic. What prompted this unlikely phenomenon? I had, for a few moments, entirely given up the action-reaction ego self, and I asked God -- with faith and utter humility. The answer was instantaneous and affirmative, just like Peter's stepping onto the storm-tossed water.
The miracle itself was secondary to the state of spiritual awakening which had occurred. Now, I know the feeling and the truth that can guide me back. The words of Christ help me to understand what happened that day.
@Jonny, I have no doubt that intelligence serves you well, for your physical existence. But this world is temporary. In a few million years, the sun will be brighter as it's chemistry slowly changes. The Earth will cook, the oceans begin to evaporate and then to boil. Life will cease to exist on this world, and the continents will become molten pools of fiery rock. You can stick around, if you'd like. But I hope to be long gone.
He has placed you in a beautiful world... before you lays a beautiful path which leads to eternity.
It is up to you whether you want to go through the beautiful path of this beautiful world or not.
The choice is yours. To lead a good life or not.
He will not be responsible for your taking the ugly path... Not responsible for your choice...
It seems like a lifetime ago that I was reading a series written by Jane Adams called the Seth series.
It is when questions such as this one are presented that I would tend to agree with her (Jane Adams) that we experience many lives. She isn't talking about reincarnation for time is only a concept which we adhere to. The point is that whether chronologically or concurrently we experience many life experiences. While in one life experience we might be the abuser and in another we are the abused.
Unless there is some kind of answer such as this, ….. Nothing makes any sense to me.
I do believe in a higher POWER; I do not believe that this Higher Power can be minimized the way Organized religion has been doing.
Kinda like picking up a rock while climbing a mountain, bringing it back home and proclaiming that I have the mountain in my pocket.
Nobody HAS to believe in Jesus ! People who do so do it by choice, just as people who don't believe choose not to. Everyone has their own reasons (background,family history, influence,choice) which determines that choice. And everyone has to respect other's people choice. That's usually when the problems start. Religion is, like it or not, a way of dealing with one's fear of mortality. Christians are trying to buy themelves immortality. Nobody has a definite proof that Jesus existed, even though a lot of independant research over the centuries tend to lean that way. On the other hand, most non believers don't bother to prove he didn't exist, because being atheist, they mostly just don't care and have better ways of enjoying their life. My point is non believers seem to be more secure with their non beliefs than Christians who are always trying to sell you Jesus and rally other people to their own belief. The way nobody physically looks alike, nobody's soul is the same. Accept it, and if you can, accept that your neighbor's view can be different from yours.
Everybody's life will be so much better !
I think it's sad that we have little perspective on what were talking about when we're talking about evil and God.
We say God why are you letting people starve over there?
We say God how can you let those people be killed that way?
We say God how is it that you allow such horrible torture?
The killing, murdering, stealing, raping, and any other crime you can think of is done by man. Frankly if I were God my question would be these problems were caused by mankind and so why is it that others sit on their behind pointing their finger at the problem and God while themselves doing something to correct the problems that God had nothing to do with??
Then, we pray to God to find our car keys and praise Him when we do.
But, we have police, court systems and prisons to deal with criminals, the very same criminals your God created for us to deal with.
A Troubled Man
Your comments are so contradictory. You spout off how much better mankind is than God and then you blame God for all the wrong that man is doing-What's Up With That?
God didn't create criminals- they choose that for themselves. And we created a police force and justice system (that doesn't work) to deal with it.
Regardless, your God created them according to your holy book, like it or not.
Yes, we are trying to deal with Gods mistakes.
God created them perfect, but with free will. We are not God's slaves, after all. The mistakes were made by people's choices- not God's decision to create.
He wants us all to be slaves, though. If you are a Christian, you are a slave.
"God created them perfect, but with free will."
That's cute, God creates us all perfectly? Take your black and white glasses off for a minute, and you may see just how wrong you are. People will say those types of statements less often as we learn how the brain works, and how imperfect humans actually are...
Also, free will is an illusion no matter what your faith or lack there of. It is a figment of your imagination (and mine).
God creating us perfectly means that God created us the way He wanted to create us, not necessarily the way we would have chosen according to our imperfect understanding of perfection. Let's face it, if we could choose, most of us would choose to be God. Which ties in to my next point.
Free will is difficult, I'll admit. I wrestle with it constantly. But in the end I do believe in free will. I know the argument ultimately is that free will is an illusion because God knows what we will do and therefore no matter how "free" our choices are God will work them to His will. Actually, I agree with that analysis but not the conclusion. Free will means that we have the choice of what we believe, no matter what God does with the outcome. If YOU don't know what the future holds, then your choices are exactly that, choices. Predestination is not quite as cut and dry, or black and white if you will, as most people on either side of make out.
Slavery for a Christian is different from other forms of slavery because it is freely chosen by the Christian. As I've written elsewhere, chattel slavery means you never have the choice. Anything you do is ultimately subject to the master's or mistress' will, no matter how hard you struggle or how badly you want your freedom. In Christ, the slavery we choose is slavery to God, to goodness, to ultimate freedom. And people choose to not be His slaves all the time, even if they've been His for long periods of time.
Heck no he didn't create me perfect. He tried that- and man decided his way was better. And the only thing I am slave to is myself, because of the decisions I make. Humans are terrible, that's why God sent a flood, that's why he sent Jesus. It's not for lack of trying that we're still the way we always were.
Slaves, @ATW? Really?
You always have a choice. You can murder the next person you meet. It's up to you. Or you can care for them and love them. You can ignore them. Where is the slave in that. A slave to law? A slave to physical reality which means that if you murder, people will likely catch up with you and kill your body?
You keep thinking you're a Homo sapiens body. You have a human body, yes. But thinking you are your car is ridiculous.
Your human body is a vehicle. Immortal spirit has fallen and can no longer see. We need these bodies for our perception and for the continuity of consciousness needed to figure things out.
Try this out: The next time you sleep, tell yourself in your dreams to balance your checkbook. You have all of the information available to you, but remembering it accurately and having the stability of thought to perform the calculations proves to be near impossible. That's spirit without a body. A constant dream state in darkness and lacking continuity.
Yes, God created perfection, but perfection on His terms. It perfectly suits the purpose He had.
When God created His children, he took apart Himself -- "flesh" of his non-physical "flesh" -- our true selves -- souls, immortal spirit, Holy Ghosts. We had the decision to stay in the spiritual realm, but we chose the darkness of physical dependency. And without physical form, we have no way of perception. Thus, we call it the "darkness."
I have seen the light. I have seen without human eyes, and it is just as clear as anything (before my body needed glasses). But I still have a long way to go before I make it permanent. I'm a slow learner.
That's a contradiction supported with a fabrication.
True, you are slaves to indoctrination.
Yes everyone MUST make a decision as to whether or not they will accept Jesus Christ. Even making NO decision at all is actually making a decision. Just like if you choose not to properly groom yourself when you have the resources/tools to do so, although you have done nothing by not grooming, you have at least made a decision...not going to work to earn a respectable and decent living is still making a choice when acceptable work is available. NOT accepting Jesus is a CHOICE! You are either for Him or against Him and there is NO neutral ground. And the truth still remains one way or another that, Yes! He did die for EVERYONE's sins, those who profess His Holy name and even those who do not. For unlike unjust man who lives and loves based on conditions, Jesus lives, dies and loves based on unconditional love for all of man. Just like any real mother or father who has multiple children, you don't only love the ones that are obedient, fair, always successful, etc. you love the children that are sometimes, or even all the time, challenging. Any parent knows that you don't just throw your children out to the wolves when things don't go your way. (And I am NOT referring to those parents who drive their children into rivers, molest them, and all other evils against God's principles and will...there are obviously some very distorted underlying problems there...).
Not accepting unicorns, leprechauns and the tooth fairy is also a choice. So what?
Only dictators and despots make those kind of absolute requirements.
Parents also don't send their children to hell to burn for an eternity if they aren't worshiped or loved.
Thank you for being so open minded about people who chose not to be believers. There should be many more people like you. There's nothing wrong , whether you are a believer or not. The hard part is to have people respect one's choice and in that regard, I have to say believers do not help themselves by trying to convert everybody, all the time. Faith doesn't make anybody necessarily a good person, it just makes that person different.
God does not make mistakes, He created man in His own image and blessed them with the power of choice. Unfortunately, it is what man chose to do with his power of choice that causes us so many problems that reek havoc on everyone, the young, the old, the rich, the poor and even the innocent and God-fearing ones. The battle against these evils is not ours to fight alone without an omnipotent and omnicient God, for we do not have the power to do so, and we most definately lack the wisdom.
The fight against good and evil is the battle that we must engage in on the side of good (God) who in the end will prevail, or on the side of evil (Satan) who has a prophesied end/destruction. This is a great battle playing out on earth that can not be attacked with your fists, your mouth and definately not by your words/writings alone; this is a spiritual battle against principalities, not tangible objects and beings. You must fight this battle on the side of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit in the spirit and not in the flesh in order to win and bring Glory to God, and for any of you who care less about the glory of God, how about the sheer and simple alleviation of affliction, pain and death of yourselves!
Hilarious. Those who consider themselves "special" because they have chosen God are taught to continue fighting, yet those who don't choose God are not fighting.
That's an oversimplification at best. Those who don't choose God fight all the time. And I'm not just talking about Muslims. And many Christians don't fight. They see pacificism as something commanded by Jesus.
Not according to statistics.
Yet, we see Christians fighting for Jesus here on the forums every day, you included.
But believers here are fighting a spiritual battle, against the forces of the enemy, overt or covert, nobody is calling on your door with a sword or other weapon, and you equally fight here for atheism, but I do not fear you deciding to visit violence on me either.
Yes, believers are fighting and everyone else is the enemy. Yeah, we get that.
No one would have to fight for atheism if believers weren't fighting their enemies in the first place. Duh.
...and of course your argument is a double edged sword...
"No one would have to fight for atheism if believers weren't fighting their enemies in the first place"
I think you can understand that easily enough, you are not unintelligent, both parties are 'fighting' for what they believe and attempt to redress what their 'opponents' express.
It swings both ways....
That is ridiculous. There would be no need for any fighting whatsoever if your religion didn't cram their beliefs down our throats.
No one is persecuting you, it's all in your head.
I can't speak for all, but my point is not to cram my beliefs down your throat. It's to educate. If you don't believe, fine- that's your choice. I just don't want people making choices on what they think is fact, when it's just opinion. If you don't think I have "facts" that's fine too. And "my religion" is not supposed to be cramming it's doctrines down your throat anyway, it's supposed to show you what love looks like.
@ATM -And no one is making you read this forum. You have complete control over what YOU cram down your OWN throat.
Baloney, you are not educating anyone, you are telling us how to live our lives based on ancient myths and superstitions that contain threats of eternal hellfire. It is the antithesis to education.
It is not your concern or your place to decide what people want in regards to making choices.
You don't, which IS a fact.
It doesn't show us what love looks like by any stretch of the imagination. It diminishes love to some insignificant detail in stark contrast to what love actually entails.
And, you have complete control in not telling us how to live our lives.
Not once have I told you how to live your life. And if I have, quote me on it. I have only stated what I believe. I have never told you to believe what I believe, nor do I plan to. The things I post are purely comments to make people think, not commandments for you to follow. And most of those comments have been ignored.
Tell that to the murdered abortion doctors.
Well firstly telling it to the murdered doctors would be impossible for obvious reasons, and secondly I agree with your point.
Obviously I would debate whether those responsible for murder were able to consider themselves as real Christians, though I am sure they thought they were, they were not doing what Christ commanded, and therefore were deceived into accepting a false doctrine that permitted something which Christ never permitted: murder of another human being.
I would spiritually 'fight' and deny those people just as much as I would spiritually fight any atheist who sought to corrupt or denigrate the words of Christ.
Empowering humanities enemy is error, and it matters not who is doing it.
The more I deal with American Christians, the more I despair at what they represent.
Not all of them, some are fine believers, but you also have a whole lot of whackos to deal with.
We can denigrate the words of Christ if those words cause fighting and if they're crammed down our throats, which they do. By admitting that, you are admitting the cause of the fighting.
@ATM, what words of Christ cause fighting? Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek and to walk away if someone doesn't want the message. Doesn't that sound good? By admitting that, could you be dispelling your own generalities? Could there be some room for dialog?
Crammed down your throats? Ouch! I don't like that, either. Some so-called Christians have a pretty strange interpretation of Christ's words. I wouldn't want that crammed down anyone's throat.
So, we're in agreement on some things.
The words in the Bible used by Christians to tell us how to live our lives.
We don't want to hear the message in the first place because it does nothing but cause conflict. Stop delivering the message.
No, it doesn't.
But, you are doing the same thing.
At last we can agree on something! You never said a truer word.
Yes, I am. And you're fighting against Him, or against Christianity, or something. So on the one hand you disprove my point and on the other you prove it.
Yes, something. That something is Christianity and the effect it has on people. making them say and do things that mostly causes disrespect and conflict to others.
Christians are initiating the fight and if they simply stopped cramming Christianity down our throats, the fighting will stop immediately. Simple, but highly effective.
Yet you cannot see that this works BOTH ways.... if there were not people attacking Christianity (say for instance, if believers were able to discuss Christ in a forum without having atheists barging in attacking whatever was said) then there would be no fighting.
It takes two to tango.
I find it hilarious, John, that @ATM thinks Christians talking with each other is cramming Christianity down their throats. Perhaps, if he woke up to that simple fact, he would uninvite himself from the discussion.
If you don't like to discuss Christianity, then don't come to the party.
It's like, if you hate Mexican food, then don't go to a Mexican food restaurant.
Is @ATM smart enough to understand this. Somehow, I suspect he is, and he's merely hiding behind the lie so that he can continue to enjoy his ego-filled Christ bashing.
Some people thrill to start fights and then ridicule those who fight back for "starting the fight."
That's ego for you. Very creative and more seductive than a viper in the garden.
Ah yes, the typical response from Christians, if you don't like being told how to live your life, too bad for you. Nice.
No, it's like if I don't want to hear Christs message and be told how to live my life according to Christianity, I will tell you that.
Ah, yet another who feels they are the victims. Such unabashed hypocrisy, dishonest to the core.
Yes, it's all about ego with you. The word ego appears in almost every one of your posts as an explanation for everything. Yet, you don't realize that it is a massive ego who would believe a boulevard of gridlocked traffic opened up for them because of God.
But, that's probably why you continuously talk about egos, those who have the largest usually do.
LOL! Oh, I see, you are making yourselves out to be victims of attack. Stunningly hilarious.
If atheists or gay people open a Forum to discuss their points of view, I can guarantee there will be a "christian," usually a self-appointed, dyed in the wool fundamentalist, who will come in and put "God's" oar into the discussion.
You are right, it "takes two to tango!"
Yes, but that cuts both ways. Whether Christians 'started' the fight or not is a matter of perspective, but if those fighting against Christianity would simply stop, the fighting would stop then as well. Simple, and effective.
Likely? No, but simple and effective.
No, it is a matter of fact.
LOL! Christians started the fight, so they must end it by stopping.
Jesus can be Allah,Buddah,Krishna,Tao etc.They are all God. I agree , These extreme personal circumstance one is faced with can make it little difficult to comprehend the goodness of of these supernatural beings.I have not been faced with these extreme circumstances but my faith has been tested many times. Honestly, I have HIM to thank for because i have pulled out in all my trials and tribulations.Without HIM, i will be lost and I do not know how to live life otherwise.
Why does anyone need to believe in Christ?
It's a matter of authority, the authority over our lives.
By default we are born into the authority of the world, even if someone were the child of the most righteous God fearing family in the world, the child would still be born into the authority of the world, and the world is controlled by Gods enemy.
Because of that, we need to decide at some point whether we stay under that default authority, or switch the authority over us from the enemies authority to Gods authority.
Currently scripture tells us that ALL Gods power and authority has been give to Christ, by God, until Christ returns it to God when this age ends (coming soon to a planet near you ).
So believing in who Christ is, becomes essential to transferring the authority over our life from the enemy to Christ (Gods authority at this time).
We all have the choice, if being under the authority of the world works better for someone, (in their opinion) God will not force them to change.
God does not condone spiritual rape any more than He condones physical rape.
The (hypothetical) rape victims you speak of, have fallen into the hands of evil people, who are under the enemies authority, (because God does NOT condone rape) so calling on Christ to intercede would seem to make sense spiritually, in the same way that calling a policeman would in the physical.
Does that mean that they will be set free?
Well it worked for Paul when he was cast into jail, but he was not cursing God, he was blessing the guards, and thanking God for what He was going to do, and I doubt most rape victims are spiritually mature enough to do that, in fact I would warrant that in their (justifiable) anger and fear, they curse everything and thereby empower their enemy more than empowering God.
The words we speak (and write) either empower God or the (our) enemy.
Consider that as you read the topic and the comments, and see who people are empowering on this forum post?
unitify, just because aquasilver wrote what he did, and you find what he says "nice" and it is what you agree with, does not make what he says right. You are free to agree with him of course, that is your prerogative, but that does not automatically make you or him right.
How much more right does one have to be to invalidate or confirm the opinion?
Will 1% do it?
I made a presentation of how scripture shows things work, anyone is able to dispute it, if they can.
But if you consider it incorrect, then no problem, your choice has been demonstrated.
When an opinion is based upon a belief, then no one can prove it right or wrong.
If you need to "believe" it, that is because you cannot prove it. You might be convinced by the evidence before you, to your own satisfaction. You might convince others who, by their own choice, decide to accept you opinion. The opinion is still only based upon belief(s).
If an opinion is based upon "hard" evidence, i.e., each of us with an equivalent set of working sense organs (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) perceives the same evidence and agrees it is the same, then the opinion can be verified as valid. Belief is not needed.
Choice is freedom, but validation will not depend upon "percentage of correctness."
Johnny, I cede the last point "validation will not depend upon "percentage of correctness" actually it was a point I was debating with a Christian list I belong to earlier today, who insist that in a scriptural deadlock, the 1% right win, which I agree with you is error!
My observation is based upon hard evidence that did persuade me, and having worked on both sides of the fence, I can hardly deny one or both masters exist and have authority, and that is my point, we ALL serve one or the other.
I understand that as an atheist, you cannot allow that you are under any spiritual authority, to accept any spiritual aspect to living would obviously defeat your concepts.
But I have experience many spiritual events and occurances both before I came under Christ's authority and certainly since.
I cannot deny that which I know, but understand that you cannot accept that which you do not know.
That first sections kind of filled with a lot of fluff. I'm well aware of the whole process, as I am a former Christian. None of that stuff flies with me, now, but all the definitions and break downs were pretty unnecessary. And certain concepts seem kind of odd, once you allow yourself to think differently, and the spiritual comforts leave you. I was quite devoted for a good portion of my life, and was also not raised in the church. Moving on to the more important matters at hand.
Oh, and I will get to your other post soon.
Why does someone have to have "authority" over you or me? Why is my life not my own? Sure it may be finite and at the mercy of nature, but it is my own, and what I do with it is what I will. It's seems so silly to me to think that's arrogance.
Why? What loving Father says "I'm going to create a beautiful Earth, with lush forests, and crisp streams, animals, and even more "aware" beings like Myself. But, before them, I will create the angel that will threaten their very existence. Their beauty. Their immortality. I will create him, knowing what could happen. Knowing that he would probably end up having domain over this Earth and Hell, the most awful thing I've ever created. And that my beautiful creations, my "children," he would be master to them, and that some of them may never choose to come to me, and end up in this terrifying place"
My thing is, it would be quite simple for me, if I were a deity with limitless power, to create a Universe where none of my creations had to suffer for eternity. Want to know how?
I would either
1) Never create them. (Hurt your ego, does it, to imagine yourself nor no one or nothing you care about to exist, huh?)
2) Create a Universe, if I absolutely had to, and fill it with beings that have true free will. They could choose to love me and acknowledge or not, doesn't matter, I'm secure in myself, and I don't need their acknowledgement. I would show them the way to live a life helpful to themselves and to each other. If they want to follow that path, wonderful! If they want to follow a different one, ok. But, if I see them trying to hurt one another, I will stop them. I will chastize them, not simply to yell, or exert my power, but to explain how there actions are harming their brothers. I will have a finite system of punishment, but nothing eternal in nature. It wouldn't be to yell at them and tell how they're worthless without me. It will be to teach them how their actions affect their neighbors, so that they can live more peacefully with their brothers. And I will give them the choice to live forever or to die finitely. If they want to live forever, but don't get along with their brothers, they will have to stay in a different place, but not an unpleasant place. Everyone would have a place to go, where they could spend eternity with other beings like themselves. Everyone would be happy. Because, in the end, I created them ALL. And they ALL deserve the best, whether or not they decide to do things I want, or even acknowledge me or whatever. Because they did not choose to exist, but I chose to create them.
First of all, the victims themselves, though nameless, aren't hypothetical. There are hundreds of thousands of girls, real live girls and women experiencing it every day.
Secondly, if God cannot exist physically/spiritually as He pleases, why are we here? That would make Jesus' testimony undoubtedly invalid, no? He could, being "all-powerful" very come down here and stop the rapes from occurring HImself. He chooses not to. And He chooses to choose a sick man's importance of free will over a little girls right to savor her innocence as long as possible. Fact.
He personally hardened Pharaoh's heart, so He can impose HImself and His will onto people just fine. He killed all of Egypt's first born (children who were simply just children, just in the wrong city at the wrong time in the wrong culture) personally, as a shadowy mist of death, Himself. He could just as easily sweep through those back alley brothels where they hoard their woman sex slaves, and then give dreams to the people looking for them about where they are so they can be saved.
Set free from what? The world He keeps sending them to? If every spirit comes from God, why the hell is He still creating people if they could possibly go to Hell? I can't believe you don't see all the holes? (Well, actually I can believe it)
So it's understandable that they are angry, but God is rendered powerless by it... Wait, He is all-powerful, right? Or is that just conditional?
Thanks for the reply, I will get back on it when my workday is over (it's 12.40pm where I am).
You make some good points, I will attempt to clarify!
The 'definitions and break downs' were more for people who do allow that "that stuff flies with me" and in the hope that they may just trigger some inkling in you that they may just need to 'fly with you' as well, but obviously not.
Ahh... and there lies the rub, so to speak, you believe that you should be able to do as you wish, and that the God you say does not exist, should accept that and grant you favour, and further that God is unfair and unjust for granting you free choice (free will is a whole other matter) on how you lead your life, and who you allow authority over your life, then having to face any penalty that exists when you CHOOSE to stay under the enemies authority.
Then you cannot see that this 'attitude' may just be viewed as arrogant.
Let's take this to a physical dimension:
You attend college, at your parents insistence, as they know it will benefit you in later years, but decide that you will NOT comply with the basic rules that you should produce some works that show you understood the course and had learned the lessons, you refuse to sit for the examination, then complain that your parents were wrong to make you attend, and the college are wrong for failing you the course..... and then wonder why you are flipping burgers at Micky D's
I am going to presume that you do not have children (forgive and correct me if I am wrong) and as such possibly never realised that those children we create are actually not ours, we are simply their custodians, charged with TRYING to raise them in a manner that will be best for them.
Of course many parents fail in this, and equally, many children fail in this also, both parents and children can reject what is good and accept what is bad, and the results are apparent in our society today (including those sex slaves we both want set free, and the pathetic men who abuse them)
A wise parent guides their charges, provides answers to their questions and tries to ensure that by gentle leadership, and when required, chastisement, they make the right decisions, but even the best parent comes to a point where they realise that the child is wilful (consider that word will full) and has rejected the parents love; in favour of the world and the worlds 'love' (which is actually hatred).
They have separated themselves from the parents love by their own free choice.
The parent still loves them, and most parents accept their errant children back and lavish love on them no matter what the child has done, but the child MUST return, and where the parent seeks to force or coerce the child to return, it is normally seen as heavy handed and control freak abuse by the child.
As for "I will create him, knowing what could happen. Knowing that he would probably end up having domain over this Earth and Hell, the most awful thing I've ever created."
Try to remember that this may be a (self administered) selection process, you can 'complete' the selection at any time, by making your choice with full acceptance, it's US that decide whether we want to stay under the enemies authority and share his fate, or whether we want to reject what is presented as our 'default' life and return to our (Holy Spirit led and protected) existence with God.
While we stay rebellious and serve the enemy, we continue to be subject to his authority, once we choose to return our lives authority to God, He leaves us in position to help others pass the selection process and make the right decisions.
But of course IF the 'heart' (the real spiritual presence of a being) is bad, they will refuse all efforts to reject their rebellion and return to God.
The 'hell' aspect you refer to later, and I will deal with that then.
Obviously not, had I not been born, I would have no consciousness and be unaware of my condition, and equally, having been born, I have no awareness of whatever MAY have been my condition prior to being born.
I can know that God tells me:
King James Version (KJV)
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
and I can suspect that possibly I was a spirit form BEFORE I was injected into this present physical body I occupy, and that I will return to spirit when I leave this vehicle.
In fact I can speculate that this whole existence is a test to see how I cope with physical existence in a corrupt world, to ascertain whether I am a 'good' spirit, who will desire to return to Gods spiritual kingdom, or a 'bad' spirit, who chooses to stay in the rebellion of the spirit that controls this physical world.
i.e. Maybe, just maybe the whole exercise from the start was a self determined selection process, where we are separated from our 'real' spiritual selves for a period, in order that we may see what is in our 'heart' (and I use heart in the same analogy context that God does in scripture) what is in the inner parts of us, the REAL nature of our spirits.
Are we good spirits, wishing to stay with God, and be within His will, or are we rebellious spirits, seeking to do our own will?
"Everyone would have a place to go, where they could spend eternity with other beings like themselves."
This one is an old chestnut I have answered many time previously, but as you seem to have missed my replies, I will go the extra mile again.
First, yep, I have a hub or two that deals with this.... "Predestination -v- Free will" would be a good place to save me repeating myself, but for those too lazy or busy to read it...
Just LOOK and THINK about your statement: "spend eternity with other beings like themselves".
You are presuming that all those 'beings like yourself' will be benevolent kind and pleasant people who just happen to have rejected God.
But those other 'beings like themselves' will be those who have rejected God in favour of rebellion and following the dictates of the enemy, they will be placed (for eternity) in a place that God has decided and agreed to stay away from and not rule over, so there is no asking God for a change of 'heart' reunion, God has granted those who wish their 'hearts' desire, isolation from God where whatever THEY choose to do is OK and where God has chosen to stay out of.
To quote from my article:
A perfect atheist paradise, I don't think.
Try rational thought processes with Idi Amin or Stalin, or Pol Pot and Hitler, with every serial killer, rapist, child molester and pervert that has ever died.... I think you will be quickly wishing that you could be annihilated, but you are stuck there for eternity, knowing that you actually chose to be there, by default.
...and don't forget, you will probably be sharing it with those men who abuse the young women this hub refers to.
Who, by the way, are also just as much 'victims' of the enemy and who just follow their and his will rather than submit to Gods will.
By now you should have understood that our temporal world system is under the enemies control, it's part of the (self) selection process, but yes God could come here and stop all of this once and for all, and in fact WILL come down for a final time to put an end to this rebellious and evil world system.
The number of folk whose spiritual 'hearts' are more inclined to listen to the enemy, and pursue his rebellion, rather than Gods will is almost completed and despite having heard the truth, they have chosen rebellion and evil as their master.
The 'Great Commission' was a brave endeavour, now almost completed, and once it has been finished, once every human being alive has had the opportunity to hear the truth, then Christ (God) will return, and deal with the evil of this world.
He personally hardened Pharaoh's heart, but it was already mostly hardened to Gods people, they had been abused for a long time, God just made sure that Pharaoh's 'heart' was hardened to the limit, God did not take Pharaoh where Pharaoh had not already ventured, God simply ensured that His people would make the right choice, (and they still had to elect to put the blood of the 'lamb' on their doorpost in order to show they HAD decided) .... to follow Moses, Gods leader, away from captivity and into the promised land, albeit via the wilderness when they wavered and wanted to get back to the old ways.
I hope you can see the symbolism of that incident, the extreme parable that is present for anyone to see, the analogy with our own conditions.
God gave Moses a dream vision, Moses read it wrong and went and killed someone, then lived in the back end of beyond tending sheep for forty years before he saw another 'vision' in a burning bush, Moses was so 'gone' from God by then that he had to ask Him if it was Him, so afraid that God had to anoint Aaron to do the speaking, but when God found men willing and able to march up to Pharaoh and denounce his actions, Gods people were released, and even enriched as they walked away.
Are you prepared to allow God to deal with the sex slaves, and even more relevant, will you give God YOUR authority to deal with them, or will you remain in rebellion, denying God and empowering the enemy who keeps those sex slaves as victims?
I think I have dealt with this above?
God is NEVER rendered powerless, but He does choose when to intervene, and mainly He intervenes when we call upon Him, when we desire His will over ours, when folk are frying out for Gods Mercy to be displayed.
When most of the people alive prefer to empower the enemy with their rebellion and actions, God allows their will be be done.
Are you asking for Gods will to be done here on earth, as it is in heaven?
The words we speak (and write) either empower God or the (our) enemy.
Who have you chosen to empower?
Still sticking it to the unbelievers huh?
Why you create this artificial divide is beyond me. It only causes conflict - makes me wonder which of these supposed super beings you are actually working for?
Seems that conflict is what your imaginary bad guy wants - no?
No Mark, but still trying to explain things as I see them, as I have experienced them and as I perceive to be true, just as you do on your pages.
Not confrontational, just explicable!
Show me where I am wrong and I will change, but I do need to see where what I have stated is wrong.
It is an artificial divide. In your world - there are only 2 types of people - and they are at war with each other. This is nonsense - I am not at war with you. I ask that you drop this artificial division you have created. It exists nowhere else, but in your mind.
Mark, I respect that you are being reasonable, and that you believe that the 'division' I describe is not how you view the situation.
In this instance ATW raised questions about why God did, or did not do such and such, and I have presented what I believe to be the reasoning.
Obviously my take is spiritual based and yours does not extend to that concept, that is your decision, based I presume on your experiences and knowledge.
We agree to differ, but until you can show me evidence that what I believe is wrong, I cannot deny what I believe, nor will I stop presenting it WHEN OTHERS RAISE THE QUESTION.
But if you check, I don't raise these questions, I try not to post topics related to God in the forums, I attempt to explain simply what I believe and I hope I am (no longer ) offensive in my responses.
If folk do not start the attacks on Gods motives, I will not feel any need to respond to explain what I think (from study) His motives are in things.
I have 'invested' about 4 hours in explaining this to ATW, I did not invest that time because I was bored and had nothing else to do, nor because I wanted to start a fight, my intentions were simply to explain something which patently ATW does not understand.
If I am wrong, I invite others to spend their time explaining WHY I am wrong (not just telling me, but explaining) and I will change horses, because I am searching for truth, and believe I have found it, so if there is a 'better' truth, then I am up for accepting it, once I have been shown why what I believe is wrong.
If folk cannot do that, then I suggest the examine what they believe also.
But - how can I explain how wrong you are when you have created all these invisible beings that I cannot contest? I cannot prove to you that the imaginary voices in your head are not actually there in reality - can I?
Nothing I can do will change your mind - therefore you are pretending to be open minded. All I can do is try convincing you to be reasonable.
You are wrong because there is no god, no adversary and no conflict - you have created it in your head. Now - what else can I say that might convince you that we are not at war with each other?
We are never at war with each other, we may have had a few wars of words, but I have no war with you, or any other human being, even the ones who seek to harm me.... with the possible exception of the Rothschild's, but everyone should be at war with them! because they are at war with everyone else!
"You are wrong because there is no god, no adversary and no conflict - you have created it in your head"
...and there we have the point that we disagree upon, and which equally I cannot change your mind on.
I accept and have no problem with your stance that God does not exist, but like many other people, it's not true for me.
You cannot see Him anywhere, I see Him all over the place.
But let's just agree to differ, and I will attempt to keep thing civilised as and when I write in the forums!
How are the bike wounds healing? you should be healed by now!
No - you said this:
"The words we speak (and write) either empower God or the (our) enemy.
Who have you chosen to empower?"
Therefore you think we are at odds. You see reality - you just need more than that - this divide you create is artificial. You think I do the bidding of your enemy, and have told me so on many occasions.
So - I ask again. What can I say or do to convince you that we are not in conflict? I am not empowering your enemy. I am not a "Satan Whisperer," or whatever you call those who do not believe.
Mark, taking it as understood that you know how I see to this 'division' between God and the enemy, I will not go into yet another explanation.
You see no divisions because you see nothing except humanity ruling the world, and for as long as you believe that humanity alone rules how things happen, we can never reach agreement.
You take it personally when I mention 'Satan Whisperers' and I confess that at the time it was written (must be two years ago I guess, and still going strong on readers) I definitely saw you as an active proponent of the enemies thoughts and words, and in fairness, your exposition was much harsher then, so the designation was half acceptable.
I was also much more radical at that point, being a newbie and one with little of no experience of non (closed) Christian forums, and I have since stated that my views have broadened a lot, mainly from meeting so many hubbers who whilst holding differing views still had valid points to make.
"What can I say or do to convince you that we are not in conflict?"
You are doing that as we speak!
I am not God, and you are not 'The Enemy', (I use the caps to emphasise the title)
In your thinking neither exist, so you cannot be representative of either entity.
In my thinking they both exist, so each and every human falls under one or the others authority.
As you expound more frequently against the concept of God, I think it reasonable to discern that you are not 'of God'.
Every human being (IMO) is in one or the others dominion, but for the majority of humanity it is fair to say they have no idea about these things, and care nothing for them.
For me it is an absolute, but the degree of an individuals development and progression obviously varies greatly.
Some humans go onward to serve their masters fully, most just serve without even being aware of who they are serving, and only come to knowledge when they die.
Again, in your beliefs there is nothing following death, in mine there is.
Why argue about it, why take it personally?
If I am wrong, then what I identify you with has no bearing, likewise if you are right, there is no relevance.
The only possible reason for anyone to object to what I expound, is if they have even the slightest doubt that it may be truth.
Why argue about it? Because your beliefs create an artificial division that is not there. They cause conflict which does not need to be.
Why make these pronouncements if they are not supposed to have an effect on me? To make yourself look well in the eyes of your brethren? Why make it personal? You specifically called me a "Satan Whisperer," and stated that I am in league with "the enemy."
Some ignorant people will believe these pronouncements of yours and this will cause conflict. When you stop preaching it - I will stop asking you to stop causing this artificial division that is at the root of all religious conflicts.
the only REAL division among people is between those who live in France, and those who do not
shut up and lend me 500 trillion dollars...
I got bills to pay
I'll settle for five million, Mark. Want me to send you the account information?
$18,000 for giving me the the SEO advice of
"...here's a tip Greek One, if you want to make money, get on the first page of Google"
That sounds a LITTLE steep!
Well, thank you for your responses aquasilver. I think it's safe to say that you happily inhabit your strange world. But, happily, is the key here, and I think if anything, that will basically solidify this thing for you, and render our discussions fairly pointless. Circular at best. There are a lot of points I could bring up, but seeing as it would probably be a waste of time, as I've seen with Claire and Kathryn, and I think I'll raise the white flag. Not out of defeat, but I can see the future exhaustion for trying to go back and forth with you in a conversation. I will respond to that previous post first, however. But then, I'm going to save my energy.
Thanks for the conversation. I've actually got a wide range of new hub ideas to think/write about.
Glad you gained something from the topic.
I look forward to seeing what you produce from it.
But really, aguasilver, I see your great post as a Sermon. You speak to A Thousand Words like she is sitting in your congregation, and you have all the authority to tell her what her problems are, and what the solutions for her would be, if only she would climb down off her little chair and accept what you are saying.
And everything you say hinges upon the presumption that there is a god "up there" or somewhere.
I feel that your sermon tells us much more about you than it does about christianity.
Fortunately for ATW, she has a much wider and more wholesome life than being strapped in religion would allow her.
Ok, so I basically responded to this already, to an extent. Something we definitely disagree with is the whole "authority" over our lives thing. You believe there's some default, devilish authority over our lives OR Christ is our authority, no in-between. I don't believe in the idea of some Cosmological being on either side of the scale having "authority" of my life. That's a black/white version of the world that just doesn't fly, but if it works for you, ok. Life is finite, and it is beautiful, and my life is my own, but how I live it affects everyone else, and so my accountability is for myself and for others, but I am not owned by anyone, except my debtors, unfortunately.
Already responded to this part, too. See, in order to actually believe that the "Devil" was the authority over my life, I would need to believe in him... but I don't... As far as what God does or doesn't condone, that we will also agree to disagree on. He has imposed Himself on humanity a number of times (according to what's written in the Bible). His inaction at the more important times when many people need to see HIm act is inexcusable, and they say that doing nothing when you see a crime and do nothing when you have the means to stop is nearly as bad as doing it yourself, and I agree, especially if you are "God."
Again, already responded to this, as well. Those girls are just as real as you and I. It seems as though God is not all powerful. If His ability to do something is prohibited or allowed by the actions of a human, then His power is thus limited. "Oh, I won't set that girl free from her rape situation because she won't acknowledge and turn to me (feed my ego) and I'm powerless if she doesn't. I don't want to impose my will on those poor rapists to set her free physically, either." Come on. Let's forget the spiritual part of it, just save her from the constant rape.
Thanks, but, I think we've come to an impasse.
Actually they are the creditor, you are the debtor, and yes they own your butt.
Bingo... there you have it.
When you took their 'loan' they gained authority over your life, and it's the same spiritually.
The enemy you refuse to believe in, is still your creditor. Ignoring him simply compounds the interest.
Your refusal to accept he exists, will make no difference, he WILL collect his debt.
Christ came and paid your debt for you.
Now you can tell your former creditors to butt out of your life, they have no more authority over you, and if you will simply transfer your 'account' to Christ, you will never need to go to the loan sharks again.
But it is your choice, the loan sharks are just waiting for your next debt to be incurred....
If ALL your 'debts' were called in tomorrow... can you clear them, or are you bankrupt?
All life really is, is a constant opportunity to testify to truth. Christ said "I am the way, the truth and life." If a person is the only witness to an event, their testimony will always be true even if no one else believes them. That is the type of philosophical argument ATW is attempting to have. ATW somehow wants your spiritual testimony to something you have witness and experienced in life to be real for ATW. It can't be. But us giving our testimony and expounding on our faith should help ATW see all the glorious daily miracles that come ATW's way. It is for ATW to see and experience and feel these events and testify to the glory of the Creator for them. If ATW so chooses not to see them, not to acknowledge them, then ATW will spend life looking for tricks, for miracles and signs that never will be enough to change the mind anyway.
By repeatedly denying Scriputre, ATW is making it clear that ATW has no foundation on which to build. Self is like sand and it shifts with every changing emotion, every change of environment. Having a foundation in Christ is neither a trap or a cave. It is something to build ones life upon. It is stable and unmoving, and when everything else doesn't make sense, these truths remain. In the face of war, torture, and other horrors, the truth remains and catches us, prevents us from sinking into the sand of our own personal reason which can never makes sense of evil, especially great evil.
OK, see the normal solution has been rendered, take the topic off topic and turn it into a farce, nice work, seems to be the accepted way to kill topics that get too near to home.
That one gets you a great big LOL. A little balance for ya:
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
In a letter to Beatrice Frohlich, 17 December 1952 Einstein stated, "The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve." And to Eric Gutkind he wrote, "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text.
Einstein says you are naive. Will you stop believing the End is Nigh now?
Words, words, words...
One man ´s opinion vs. other man ´s opinion . ( please let's remain polite and fair) ...
The one is always right in his own view and vice- versa..
Is anything accomplished?
A quote of Einstein s is to end it all.? ( for some he is the ultimate ) though he is deriving the" clues" from the SORCE which is set in this Orbit from the beginning.
We arrived " here " a bit late -- all what we have to disposition to use/abuse was already here. Everyone of us has been " send " by a specific purpose and that's causing this " search" for identity until we settle with the TRUTH.
The world - (system, education, parties, even " religion") can't give it to you because isn't there , never been.
The ONE who is in controll is giving liberally as each one of us makes the choice. To deny or to acknowledge His existence won't make any difference.
We have entered into this realm of " principles" : take it or not ... Even if sevenandahalf billion people would sign a petition of agreement HE doesn't exist, or does exist, all will stay the same . The Master of the Univers, the Creator and a Sustainer of it all remains the same..
...it's better for me to stop here.
You'll continue saying what you think that you are right,; all we derive is a concept of a"master " we serve, and the reason that us who are onthe TRUTH side do not need to argue. We are in the mission to share and to let you know the purpose and a eand of the life's journey on this planet before we are called to move on into the eternity realm.
Oh, sorry the question needs to be answered first of all:
"Why does everyone HAVE to believe in Jesus?"
You don't have to if you'll choose that way.
Only the outcome would be different if you do .
Understand how you feel. If it helps, there are many wonderful Christian people sacrificing a lot to rescue girls like these. No one has to believe, but the friendship of Christ makes a huge difference when you're going through terrible times.
I heard a missionary speak who works in Indonesia. Really neat guy. He and his wife reach out to women caught in prostitution. These women can't just walk away, it's too complicated. So, Jim Yost and his wife (forgot her name) tell these women to talk to the men who come to them. They say, "Are you married? So why are you coming to me, then?" This is enough to make many men leave without getting what they paid for. I think that's brilliant.
You mention wanting to help these people - I think Jim Yost takes interns. You could Google him. I don't remember what organization he's with.
My apology if phrasing of my comment have caused a controversy.
By simply answering : you don't HAVE to... believe in Jesus .. Is directly saying to this particular "author", reminding her that she is FIGHTING against all those wonderful words intended to HELP -LEAD her to make right decision, to come into the FAMILY of loving Father...
God´s blessings to " all" who " fight the good fight.."
Your question "Why does everyone HAVE to believe in Jesus?" is quite fascinating.
However, the fascination abruptly ends when one searches the Bible for the reason.
If you wish a place within the House of the Lord, then:
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
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